n South African Medical Journal - A lady with a broken heart : apical ballooning syndrome : continuing medical education - case report

Volume 105, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Severe chest pain after an emotional argument resulted in the admission of a healthy 72-year-old woman. She was haemodynamically compromised, with an electrocardiogram (ECG) demonstrating anterior ST-depression and T-wave inversions. Her 6-hour troponin T level was 132 ng/L. Cardiac catheterisation revealed unobstructed coronary arteries and a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of < 35%, with basal hyperkinesia and apical segment ballooning (Figs 2 - 5). She was discharged home after 3 days of supportive therapy. At 3 months she was asymptomatic, with an equilibrium radionuclide angiography scan revealing a normal heart with an LVEF of 73%.

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