Reverse takotsubo cardiomyopathy induced by adrenaline-containing irrigation solution during shoulder arthroscopy*

K. Azem*, O. Kaplan, B. Zribi, J. Elliston, E. Mangoubi, K. Orvin, S. Fein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterised by reversible systolic dysfunction resulting from catecholamine-induced vasospasm, mainly triggered by intense emotional or physical stress. Adding adrenaline to arthroscopic irrigation solution enhances visibility by minimising bleeding. However, there is a risk of complications due to systemic absorption. Several severe cardiac consequences have been described. Here, we present a case of a patient who underwent elective shoulder arthroscopy involving an adrenaline-containing irrigation solution. Forty-five minutes after surgery began, he developed ventricular arrhythmias with hemodynamic instability, necessitating vasopressor support. Bedside transthoracic echocardiography revealed severe left ventricular dysfunction with basal ballooning, and emergent coronary angiography revealed normal coronary arteries. These findings correspond to a reverse variant of takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The patient was transferred to the intensive cardiac care unit sedated, ventilated and hemodynamically supported. Three days following the procedure, he was successfully weaned from vasopressors and mechanical ventilation. Transthoracic echocardiography 3 months after surgery demonstrated complete left ventricular function recovery. Although complications due to adrenaline-containing irrigation solutions are rare, a growing body of case reports should prompt consideration of the safety of this practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12235
JournalAnaesthesia Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • adrenaline
  • arthroscopy
  • irrigation
  • takotsubo cardiomyopathy


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