Evidence for an Association Between Tako-Tsubo Cardiomyopathy and Bronchial Asthma: Retrospective Analysis in a Primary Care Hospital

Leonardo Glutz von Blotzheim1, 2, *, Stefan Christen1, Stephan Wieser3, Silvia Ulrich4, Lars C Huber3, 4
1 Division of Cardiology, Waid City Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Citizen’s Hospital Solothurn, Switzerland
3 Division of Pulmonology, Waid City Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
4 Division of Pulmonology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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© Blotzheim et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Niklaus-Konrad-Strasse 11, CH-4500 Solothurn, Switzerland; Tel: +41 (0)79 677 44 37; Fax: +41 (0)32 627 42 07; E-mail: leonardo.glutz@gmx.ch



We investigated the prevalence of bronchial asthma in patients with Tako-Tsubo Syndrome (TTS).


This retrospective case-series study was conducted in a primary care hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. Data of all patients with newly diagnosed TTS (2002 - 2012) were assessed electronically by the use of ICD-10. Asthma prevalence was compared to published epidemiologic data.


Bronchial asthma is characterized by airway inflammation and, during attack, release of endogenous catecholamines. Sympathomimetic drugs are the mainstay of treatment for asthma patients. Likewise, catecholamine mediated diffuse microvascular myocardial dysfunction seems to be of critical importance for the development of TTS.


20 cases of TTS were identified. 90% were female, showed a median age of 70±13y [25y - 90y], an apical and/or midventricular ballooning pattern with preserved basal function and a median initial LVEF of 34±9% [25% - 55%]. 65% of patients underwent coronary angiography to rule out significant coronary artery disease. Hypertension was present in 45% of patients, 35% were smokers, none was suffering from diabetes. Prevalence of asthma in patients with TTS was significantly higher compared to the normal population (25% vs. 7%, p=0.012). In 30% of the TTS patients an iatrogenic cause for development of TTS was identified.


Prevalence of asthma was significantly higher in patients with TTS compared to epidemiologic data from an age-matched population. Phenotypes of patients developing obstructive ventilatory disease and TTS might share common pathogenic mechanisms beyond the use of bronchodilatators. In addition, we identified other iatrogenic etiologies in patients with TTS.

Keywords: Bronchial asthma, sympathomimetic drugs, Tako-Tsubo-Syndrome.