Caring for the Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Patient

Published:September 21, 2017DOI:


      • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is often misdiagnosed as acute coronary syndromes.
      • Patient with this condition have special physical and psychological needs.
      • It is a reversible cardiac disorder if diagnosed and treated early.
      • Nurse practitioners can assess, screen, diagnose, treat with medications, refer to specialties, and monitor posttreatment outcome.


      Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by an atypical pattern of wall motion abnormalities seen during coronary angiography or echocardiogram as excessive abnormal movement of basal with midventricular and apical hypokinesis. These findings occur in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease. The disorder was named due to its distinctive resemblance to traditional Japanese octopus fishing pots called tako-tsubo. The heart presents with a wide base and a long thin neck when viewed in an echocardiogram. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy was first identified in Japan in 1990 and, since then, has been gaining increased attention and being diagnosed worldwide.


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      Both authors are affiliated with California State University in Los Angeles. Mercy N. Nyeche, MSN, AGACNP, works in the Harbor UCLA Medical Center Cardiology Step DownUnit (PCU/Telemetry) in Torrance, CA, and can be reached at [email protected].


      Elizabeth J. Winokur, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing, California State University, Los Angeles and is also Nurse Researcher at St Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA.