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Myasthenic crisis and Takotsubo syndrome: a non-chance relationship
INTRODUCTION. Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is a rare condition that mimics an acute myocardial infarction. It is associated with precordial pain, ST segment elevation, absence of coronary occlusion and reversible deformation of the left ventricle due to anteroapical dyskinesia that is reminiscent of a Japanese art of fishing octopuses (tako-tsubo). It is related with emotional and physical stress, and is thought to be mediated by an acute release of catecholamines. CASE
REPORT. An 83-year-old woman with hypertension. She was admitted to the heart unit with a suspected acute coronary syndrome and respiratory failure, and thus required mechanical ventilation. An echocardiography scan showed severe ventricular dysfunction with apical dyskinesia. Cardiac catheterisation ruled out heart disease and a ventriculography scan revealed a bloated systolic deformation of the anterior and apical segments (TTS). Attempts to withdraw ventilation were unsuccessful and the neurology department was consulted. A directed medical history revealed that the patient had been suffering from generalised weakness, and progressive dysphagia and dyspnoea for several months. Results of an edrophonium test were positive. Single-fibre electromyography showed a pathological jitter and acetylcholine antireceptor antibodies were positive. The patient was treated with immunoglobulins, corticoids and pyridostigmine. A control echocardiogram showed resolution of the TTS.