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Stress-induced takotsubo cardiomyopathy in survivors of the 2011 Queensland floods

Stuart J Butterly, Mathivathana Indrajith, Paul Garrahy, Arnold C T Ng, Paul A Gould and William Y S Wang
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (2): 109-110. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11620

We report the first two Australian cases of flood-related takotsubo cardiomyopathy, in patients who were trapped by life-threatening flash floods in and near Toowoomba, Queensland. It is well recognised that events that incite significant physical and emotional stress in individuals can trigger this syndrome, which often mimics acute myocardial infarction.

On 10 January 2011, at about 13:30, the Queensland city of Toowoomba experienced flash flooding caused by intense rainfall over the catchment areas of three creeks that traverse the city.1 When the central business district was hit by “a wave of water”, a 66-year-old female resident became trapped in her flooded and spinning car. She was removed from her car by witnesses. That evening she developed chest pain with associated shortness of breath and palpitations. The pain came and went throughout the night before she attended the local hospital.

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  • Stuart J Butterly1,2
  • Mathivathana Indrajith1,2
  • Paul Garrahy1
  • Arnold C T Ng1,2
  • Paul A Gould1,2
  • William Y S Wang1,2

  • 1 Department of Cardiology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: stuart.butterly@uq.net.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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