Publication Date



Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine


BACKGROUND: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) occurs more frequently in cancer patients than in the general population, but the effect of specific TTS triggers on outcomes in cancer patients is not well studied.

OBJECTIVES: The study sought to determine whether triggering event (chemotherapy, immune-modulators vs. procedural or emotional stress) modifies outcomes in a cancer patient population with TTS.

METHODS: All cancer patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) between December 2008 and December 2020 at our institution were enrolled in the catheterization laboratory registry. Demographic and clinical data of the identified patients with TTS were retrospective collected and further classified according to the TTS trigger. The groups were compared with regards to major adverse cardiac events, overall survival and recovery of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and global longitudinal strain (GLS) after TTS presentation.

RESULTS: Eighty one of the 373 cancer patients who presented with ACS met the Mayo criteria for TTS. The triggering event was determined to be "cancer specific triggers" (use of chemotherapy in 23, immunomodulators use in 7, and radiation in 4), and "traditional triggers" (medical triggers 22, and procedural 18 and emotional stress in 7). Of the 81 patients, 47 died, all from cancer-related causes (no cardiovascular mortality). Median survival was 11.9 months. Immunomodulator (IM) related TTS and radiation related TTS were associated with higher mortality during the follow-up. Patients with medical triggers showed the least recovery in LVEF and GLS while patients with emotional and chemotherapy triggers, showed the most improvement in LVEF and GLS, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Cancer patients presenting with ACS picture have a high prevalence of TTS due to presence of traditional and cancer specific triggers. Survival and improvement in left ventricular systolic function seem to be related to the initial trigger for TTS.


takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy, chemotherapy, immunomodulators, cardio-oncology, takotsubo syndrome, triggers



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