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Stress-induced Hyperviscosity in the Pathophysiology of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

Patients who experience the broken heart syndrome may also experience significantly increased blood viscosity according to a May 2013 article published in the American Journal of Cardiology.  The broken heart syndrome, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC), is characterized by a temporary weakening of the heart muscle, often triggered by emotional or physical stress.  This condition mimics acute coronary syndrome and often presents with chest pain and shortness of breath without clinically significant narrowing of blood vessels.  The authors identified significantly higher whole blood viscosity at 94.5 s-1 (p < 0.05) in 17 women (mean age = 71 years) with previous TC when compared with 8 age, gender, and risk factor matched controls.  A cold pressor test was used to stimulate physiological stress, resulting in an adrenergic storm and red blood cell membrane disruption which were likely responsible for hemoconcentration and increased blood viscosity values in test subjects.  The authors Cecchi et al., suggested that blood viscosity reducing therapies may have clinical implications for reducing the risk of TC onset and reoccurrence.  


Reference: 

Cecchi E, Parodi G, Giglioli C, et al. Stress-induced hyperviscosity in the pathophysiology of takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Am J Cardiol. May 15 2013;111(10):1523-1529.

 

Last Updated: 2014-12-30

 

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