A Broken Heart
A 70-year-old woman with no past cardiac history was admitted for near collapse and chest discomfort that occurred when she was informed that her husband of 45 years had died in our hospital of congestive heart failure and refractory ventricular arrhythmias. The ECG revealed minor anterior ST-segment elevations and inferolateral ST-segment depressions, which resolved after intravenous nitroglycerin was administered. Cardiac enzymes were minimally but definitely elevated.
The patient underwent cardiac catheterization, which revealed normal coronary arteries. The left ventriculogram showed anterolateral akinesis and apical hypokinesis, as depicted in the Figure⇓. The patient was discharged on aspirin and amlodipine. An echocardiogram repeated 3 months later was normal. She has no memory of the entire hospitalization but continues to grieve for her husband.
The editor of Images in Cardiovascular Medicine is Hugh A. McAllister, Jr, MD, Chief, Department of Pathology, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, and Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Texas Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine.
Circulation encourages readers to submit cardiovascular images to Dr Hugh A. McAllister, Jr, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, 6720 Bertner Ave, MC1–267, Houston, TX 77030.
- Copyright © 1998 by American Heart Association