Reversible left ventricular apical ballooning, without coronary artery stenosis, is a novel heart syndrome mimicking acute myocardial infarction, and is very rare in Taiwan. A 74-year-old Taiwanese woman returned from travelling abroad for one week and suffered from persistent, severe jet lag with sleep disturbance. She had a cold exacerbated by bronchial asthma for three days. She presented with sudden onset of chest pain after drinking three cups of coffee and taking a sauna for more than 1 h. On admission, an electrocardiogram showed ST segment elevation in leads II, III, aVF and V3, and cardiac enzyme tests revealed minimal elevation. An echocardiogram showed apical ballooning and basal hyperkinesias of the left ventricle (LV) in systole. A coronary angiogram on the second day was normal, while the ST segment was still elevated, and the patient continued to experience chest pain. A negative T wave developed three days later. The electrocardiogram abnormality and LV dysfunction resolved completely six months later. A takotsubo (ampulla) cardiomyopathy was diagnosed. The activated myocardial adrenergic nervous system, stimulated by acute and marked stress in this patient, with more adrenergic innervations distributed in the apex of the LV, may be the trigger for this novel cardiac syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Angiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Apical ballooning
  • Noradrenaline
  • Reversible
  • Stress
  • Taiwan
  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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