Did your lost relationship left you heartbroken? You felt really bad, right? Well, we have an explanation regarding your condition! Described for the first time by the Japanese cardiologists, broken heart syndrome can become a cause of a heart failure.

It is called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy-apical ballooning syndrome, also known as broken heart syndrome (Prasad A et al 2008). It came out that is not just a term used by romantic novelists or Hollywood movies. Rather, it is a real, severe, the medical conditions. It is not very often that a novel cardiac syndrome provokes such a great interest from cardiologists worldwide. It was first described by the Japanese cardiologists from the Hiroshima City Hospital (Neth Heart J. 2007). They were the first to report this strong cardiac syndrome. They were also the first to originally propose the term takotsubo, which means octopus trap. Proposing this rare name for a medical condition, came as a result of the resemblance of its typical shape: an end-systolic left ventriculogram, which resembled on octopus trap.

Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition that is often brought on by stressful situations in one’s life, such as the unexpected death or rejection of a loved one; break ups in general, or job loss. Statistics gathered from cardiologists around the world state that several of their brokenhearted patients, have experience the death of their loved ones, or gone through a break up.

When undergoing the broken heart syndrome, the body releases a vast amount of chemicals and this sudden fuss can shock one’s heart muscles, making it unable to pump as it normally should (Prasad A, et al. American Heart Journal 2008). As a result, the patient may develop a heart failure. Experts ( Prasad A, et al. American Heart Journal 2008) think that surging stress hormones, for example adrenaline essentially “stunts” the heart. Triggering changes in heart muscles cells or coronary blood vessels (or both), prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively (Neth Heart J. 2007). Researchers (Prasad A, et al. American Heart Journal 2008) suggest that older women are more vulnerable because of reduced levels of estrogen after menopause. That’s why it occurs mostly in women rather than men. Their tears and stress are the same, but the stress factor in women covers the full spectrum of the emotional domain (Neth Heart J. 2007).


However, there are several characteristics, which specifically define the broken heart syndrome, such as:

  • Chest pain and shortness of breath often-severe stress (emotional or physical). There is no evidence of coronary artery obstruction.
  • Movement abnormalities in the left ventricle.
  • Ballooning of the left ventricle

Years later from the diagnosis, scientists confirmed that stress was the main scenario of this acute, but rapidly reversible systolic dysfunction (Neth Heart J. 2007).

Can our heart be recovered, after being broken?

Doctors say, patients can recover within a month (Mayo Clinic Staff). Therefore, the folkloric myth “A woman’s heart can be broken, but given proper attention a broken heart can be mended! “, is scientifically proven. Time heals everything, but the next time you are planning to fall in love, think twice about its consequences! 


COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Elona Xhemaili (State University of Tetovo, Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Macedonia)


  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-heart-syndrome/symptoms-causes/dxc-20264170
  • http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1513631-overview
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1995104/
  • http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/takotsubo-cardiomyopathy-broken-heart-syndrome
  • https://medlineplus.gov/cardiomyopathy.html