Malignant arrhythmia in apical ballooning syndrome: Risk factors and outcomes

Chadi Dib, Abhiram Prasad, Paul A. Friedman, Ahmad Elesber, Charanjit S. Rihal, Stephen C. Hammill, Samuel J. Asirvatham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objectives: We sought to determine the frequency and outcomes with symptomatic arrhythmia in patients with apical ballooning syndrome (ABS). Methods: A retrospective review of the Mayo Clinic Angiography database was conducted to identify patients who met the Mayo criteria for ABS. Patients with documented arrhythmias formed the study group, and 31 randomly selected patients with ABS but without arrhythmia formed the control group Results: Out of 105 patients identified with ABS, 6 (5.7%) women aged 69 +/- 9 years experienced significant arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation, asystole), 2 patients died, and 1 required permanent pacemaker implantation. When compared with controls, the study group showed no significant difference with respect to ECG characteristics (QT, QRS duration or axis) except for R-R interval variability (see comments below) (30.6±6 vs 14.5±17 p = 0.0004), QTc, and P-R interval. Patients without arrhythmia were more likely to be on beta-blocker therapy than the study population (33% vs 80.6% p = 0.02). Conclusion: Life-threatening arrhythmia is uncommon (5.7%) with ABS despite marked, structural abnormalities. When arrhythmias do occur, the outcome is poor. Prominent variability in R-R intervals appears to be predictive of significant arrhythmias in ABS. The role of beta-blocker therapy in preventing arrhythmia with ABS requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


  • Apical ballooning
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrioventricular block
  • Sudden death
  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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