Takotsubo cardiomyopathy caused by emotional stressors in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic era

Devika Kir, Nusen Beer, Eduardo J. De Marchena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the disease itself, including economic, social, political, religious, and psychological implications. This novel coronavirus has been shown to have cardiovascular manifestations in the form of arrhythmias, conduction disturbances, myocarditis, stress cardiomyopathy, myocardial injury and myocardial ischemia or infarction from increased microvascular and/or macrovascular coagulopathy. However, in addition to these direct effects, we are now starting to recognize indirect cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 in the form of increased incidence of Takutsobo cardiomyopathy in patients without any evidence of coronavirus infection presumably due to the increased psychological stress of social isolation and societal turbulence. In this case series, we present two post-menopausal women, presenting with chest pain and acute coronary syndrome, who are finally diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy, triggered by increased emotional stress-related to the pandemic. There is data from a retrospective cohort analysis showing a fourfold increase in the incidence of acute coronary syndrome resulting from stress cardiomyopathy during the pandemic period compared to similar times periods before the pandemic. Hence, health care providers need to be cognizant of the emotional ramifications of the ongoing pandemic in the form of increased risk of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Moreover, urgent measures need to be taken to help the at-risk population cope with the ongoing stressors to help decrease the incidence of this cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-769
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiac surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • coronavirus/COVID-19
  • emotional stressors
  • pandemic
  • stress cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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