NOV 28, 2015 9:37 AM PST

Specific Anesthesia Treatment Helps Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy Patients

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Stress-induced cardiomyopathy is a common condition that follows cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding). In these cases the heart muscle stops functioning, reducing heart pumping capacity. To prevent stress-induced cardiomyopathy and subsequent brain damage due to oxygen deficiencies, scientists from the Sahlgrenska Academy studied ways to identify risk factors and ways to treat this condition. 

90 percent of stress-induced cardiomyopathy patients are middle-aged women, and initial symptoms are similar to a heart attack. In a two-year study following patients who had experienced both a subarachnoid cerebral hemorrhage and intense stress, scientists from Sweden looked at the different health risks of people with and without stress-induced cardiomyopathy.

10-20 percent of the study participants were found to have stress-induced cardiomyopathy and a corresponding increased risk of further brain damage and all-around worse long-term prognosis. 

They also found that a simple blood test could help determine which cerebral hemorrhage patients are at risk for stress-induced cardiomyopathy, using two biomarkers for identification. 

In an additional experimental study with rats, the scientists found that a specific anesthetic, isoflurane, is uniquely able to prevent heart failure from stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Isoflurane also promotes healthy heart elasticity and pumping capacity. 

"This is the first potential cardioprotective treatment for stress induced cardiomyopathy to be presented," said Dr. Jonatan Oras.

Watch the following video to see a cardiomyopathy echocardiogram.

Source: Medical News Today and Sahlgrenska Academy

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog:
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