Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy in Cancer Patients

Dana Elena Giza, Juan Lopez-Mattei, Pimprapa Vejpongsa, Ezequiel Munoz, Gloria Iliescu, Danai Kitkungvan, Saamir A. Hassan, Peter Kim, Michael S. Ewer, Cezar Iliescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Takotsubo syndrome, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy (SC), is underrecognized in cancer patients. This study aims to investigate the incidence, natural history, and triggers of SC in cancer patients and its impact on cancer therapy and overall survival. A total of 30 subjects fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for SC at MD Anderson Cancer Center over a 6-year period. Clinical presentation, electrocardiogram, laboratory data, and transthoracic echocardiogram results registered during the acute phase and follow-up were collected. All patients underwent coronary angiography. The most frequent presenting symptoms were chest pain in 63.3% of the patients and shortness of breath/dyspnea on exertion in 27% of the patients. T-wave inversion was a more common electrocardiographic presentation (60%) than ST elevation (13.3%). The median and interquartile range of peak creatine kinase MB fraction, troponin I, and brain natriuretic peptide were creatine kinase MB fraction 8.9, 4.6 to 21.1; troponin I 1.31, 0.7 to 3.3; and brain natriuretic peptide 1,124, 453.5 to 2,369.5. The most common complication of SC was cardiogenic shock requiring inotropic agents (20%). Of the 21 patients who required ongoing cancer treatment, 16 were able to resume chemotherapy, 5 underwent surgery, and 4 received radiation treatment. Median time to resume cancer treatment was 20 days after SC. None of the patients experienced recurrence of SC and other cardiac events. In conclusion, SC should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cancer patients who present with chest pain and ECG findings characteristic of acute coronary syndrome. Most of these patients normalize ejection fraction and may resume cancer therapy early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2284-2288
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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