Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy in the Setting of a Myasthenic Crisis

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International Journal of Neuroscience


Background: Myasthenic crisis is characterized by severe weakness in bulbar and respiratory muscles leading to respiratory failure and can be a natural result of myasthenia gravis or precipitate due to infections, surgeries, and pregnancy. It has been shown that stressful emotional events can lead to stress, or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by transient reversible left ventricular dysfunction in the absence of obstructive artery disease with hypo- or akinesis of the apex with hypercontractility of the base.

Methods: Case report and review of literature.

Results: We report a 77-year old man with myasthenia gravis that was admitted to the neurological intensive care unit due to a myasthenic crisis. During the course of his treatment with plasma exchange, he developed hypotension with a reduced cardiac ejection fraction found on transthoracic electrocardiography. Repeat echocardiography 2 and 8 days later showed a normal ejection fraction and resolved cardiac function.

Conclusion: While takotsubo cardiomyopathy rarely presents concurrently with a myasthenic crisis, its consideration is warranted in the face of cardiovascular decompensation. Given that several cardiac complications are known to be associated with myasthenic crisis, cardiac monitoring is advised. Nine reports describe takotsubo cardiomyopathy occurring concurrently with a myasthenic crisis; however, only one report demonstrates this association in the absence of concomitant comorbidities or significant emotional distress.



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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, broken-heart syndrome, myasthenia gravis, myasthenic crisis, stress cardiomyopathy