Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a common procedure performed in the management of chronic pain syndromes. Although typically well tolerated, adverse events can be individual and unique to patient comorbidities.
CASE REPORT: We present a case of a 65-year-old woman who developed Takotsubo (stress-induced) cardiomyopathy after undergoing an RFA for chronic neck pain. She presented with chest pain shortly after RFA and was found to have elevated troponin-I, newly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (25%) with apical akinesis, and no evidence of obstructive coronary artery disease on angiography. She was admitted to the hospital for a short stay and did well. Transthoracic echocardiogram done at follow-up 3 weeks later showed resolution of the wall motion abnormalities and return of left ventricular function.
CONCLUSION: Although this patient was fortunate to not suffer from a life-threatening outcome, many patients are not so lucky. Recurrence of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy has been shown to result from both similar and novel triggers, which has profound implications for future pain management in this patient.
KEY WORDS: Radiofrequency ablation, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy