The role of inflammation in stress cardiomyopathy

Andra Maria Ciutac, Dana Dawson* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


Stress cardiomyopathy (SC) is an increasingly recognized form of acute heart failure, which has been linked to a wide variety of emotional and physical triggers. The pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease remain incompletely understood, however, inflammation has been recently shown to play a pivotal role. This review summarizes the most notable findings of myocardial inflammation, demonstrated from biopsies and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in humans. In the acute stage macrophage infiltration appears to represent the substrate for myocardial edema, together defining the local myocardial inflammation. This appears to evolve into a low grade systemic chronic inflammation which could explain the protracted clinical course of these patients and raises hope for finding a specific SC cardiac biomarker as well as a therapeutic breakthrough. As a parallel to the human findings the review covers some of the emerging mechanistic insights from experimental models, which, albeit not proven in the human condition, highlight the possible importance in pursuing distinct paths of investigation such as the beta-receptor signaling, aberrations of nitric oxide generation and signaling and the contribution of the vascular endothelium/permeability to edema and inflammation during the acute stage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Early online date20 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2020


  • takotsubo cardiomyopathy
  • inflammation
  • cardiac magnetic
  • resonance imaging
  • Cardiac magnetic
  • Resonance imaging
  • Inflammation
  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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