Article Abstract

Stress-induced thrombus: prevalence of thromboembolic events and the role of anticoagulation in Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

Authors: Mark R. Heckle, Cody W. McCoy, Oluwaseun A. Akinseye, Rami N. Khouzam


Background: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM), also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy has a favorable prognosis with expected recovery in weeks. Left ventricular (LV) thrombus is a known complication of TCM, which can lead to embolization and potentially a stroke. The prevalence of LV thrombus and the role of anticoagulation have yet to be fully defined in this condition.
Methods: We performed a search of published literature through PubMed and Scopus, which identified 282 patients with TCM in whom the incidence of LV thrombus and/or thromboembolic event was reported. In order to contrast this to the current anticoagulation strategy of atrial fibrillation, the occurrence of LV thrombus was compared to the adjusted stroke rate using the CHADS2 score.
Results: Of the 282 patients identified through a literature search, 26 (9.2%) were noted to have a thromboembolic event in the setting of TCM. The incidence of thromboembolic event ranged from 5.3% to as high as 14.3%. When compared to the CH2sDS2-VASc score, the average incidence of LV thrombus in our study equated to a score between 4 and 5.
Conclusions: While the occurrence of LV thrombus in TCM is variable among studies, the average incidence remains relatively high. Thus, making LV thrombus a significant complication of stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Prophylactic anticoagulation until recovery may have a role in reducing the rate of LV thrombus. Further studies will be needed to determine the rate of embolization and utility of anticoagulation in TCM.