How does Broken Heart Syndrome (stress cardiomyopathy) differ from a heart attack?
As you know we are not physicians however, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine: Stress cardiomyopathy can easily be mistaken for heart attack. Patients with this syndrome can have many of the same symptoms that heart attack patients have including chest pain, shortness of breath, congestive heart failure, and low blood pressure. With a closer look, however, there are some major differences between the two conditions. First, most heart attacks occur due to blockages and blood clots forming in the coronary arteries, the arteries that supply the heart with blood. If these clots cut off the blood supply to the heart for a long enough period of time, heart muscle cells can die, leaving the heart with permanent and irreversible damage. This is completely different from what is seen with stress cardiomyopathy. First, most of the patients with stress cardiomyopathy that both we and others have seen appear to have fairly normal coronary arteries and do not have severe blockages or clots. Second