Prevalence of migraine and raynaud phenomenon in women with apical ballooning syndrome (Takotsubo or Stress Cardiomyopathy)

Dawn C. Scantlebury, Abhiram Prasad, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Patricia J.M. Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Apical ballooning syndrome (ABS), migraine, and Raynaud phenomenon are characterized by female predominance, identifiable triggers, and, likely, vascular dysfunction. Estrogen deficiency, such as in menopause, is considered to be a predisposing factor for ABS. We investigated the association of ABS with migraine, Raynaud phenomenon, and hormonal factors. We compared 25 consecutive residents (all women) of Olmsted County, Minnesota, presenting with ABS, to 2 age-matched control groups from the same community: 25 women presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), matched for the index ABS event date, and 50 women with neither diagnosis. The patients with ABS were more likely to have a migraine history (11 [44%] vs 4 [16%] STEMI controls, p = 0.031, and vs 6 [12%] population controls, p = 0.003), and "possible migraine" (including other headache syndromes suggestive of migraine; 15 [60%] vs 6 [24%] STEMI controls, p = 0.012; and vs 12 [24%] population controls, p = 0.003). Of the patients with ABS, 4 (16%) had Raynaud phenomenon compared to no STEMI controls and 1 (2%) population control (p = 0.038). No differences were present in parity, menopausal status, years since the onset of menopause, and frequency of oophorectomy. Current hormonal replacement therapy use was greater in those with ABS than in the population controls: 4 (16%) versus none (p = 0.002). In conclusion, the association of ABS with migraine and Raynaud phenomenon supports a role of vasomotor dysfunction in the pathogenesis of ABS. The absence of an association with reproductive characteristics and the finding that ABS occurred despite exogenous hormonal use in some patients suggests that estrogen deficiency per se is not the primary factor in the pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1288
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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