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The Takotsubo syndrome is an acquired, non-ischemic stress-induced cardiomyopathy popularly known as the ‘broken heart syndrome’. It is an acute left ventricular dysfunction presenting mostly in older women after an intensely stressful event. The exact pathophysiology remains elusive. The term came into existence in the early 1990s in Japan, where the distinctive change in the shape of the left ventricle with apical ballooning during systole, resembled the Takotsubo, an octopus pot used bythe Japanese fisherman. From a rare underrecognized syndrome, it has been increasingly recognised as a form of acute cardiac failure. Clinical diagnosis of the syndrome may be unidentified due to its similarity with the acute coronary syndrome, but without the narrowing of coronary vessels in angiographic imaging. There is a substantial elevation of the cardiac biomarkers, troponin and the natriuretic peptides which helps in differentiating the Takotsubo syndrome from myocardial infarction. A case report of a 59-year old Malaysian lady with typical, recurrent episodes of the Takotsubo syndrome is presented.
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