Role of the central autonomic nervous system intrinsic functional organisation and psychosocial factors in primary microvascular angina and Takotsubo syndrome

Magdalena Maria Cattaneo, Emanuele Pravatà, Micol Provenzi, Marco Moccetti, Alain Kaelin, Isabella Sudano, Luigi Marzio Biasucci, Camilla Gallino, Costanzo Limoni, Carlo Calanchini, Augusto Gallino, Filippo Crea, Mattia Cattaneo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Introduction and objective: Dysfunctional central autonomic nervous system network (CAN) at rest may result in aberrant autonomic responses to psychosocial stressors. We hypothesised that patients with primary microvascular angina (MVA) or Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) would exhibit a peculiar functional organisation of the CAN, potentially associated with psychological patterns. Methods: Patients underwent a psychosocial evaluation: a clinical diagnostic interview, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory form Y and Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). The strength of intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) between various nodes of the CAN was investigated using cerebral resting state functional MRI (RS-fMRI). Results: We evaluated 50 (46 women) stable patients: 16 patients with MVA, 17 patients with TTS and 17 patients with previous acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Compared with AMI, patients with MVA showed a lower (higher impairment) SF-36 Body-Pain score (p 0.046) and a higher SF-36 Mental-Health score (p 0.039). Patients with TTS showed the strongest FC between two nodes of the CAN (sympathetic midcingulate cortex and parasympathetic primary motor area) (F 6.25, p 0.005) using RS-fMRI. Conclusions: The study implements an innovative collaborative research among cardiologists, neuroscientists and psychiatrists ('Neuro-psycho-heart Team'). MVA showed a discrepancy between the highest level of self-reported body pain and the best mental health score, which might suggest a mechanism of somatisation. TTS exhibited an increased functional integration between two areas of the CAN involved in interoceptive pain awareness and negative emotional status. We implemented an innovative research collaboration among cardiologists, neuroscientists and psychiatrists. These data are hypothesis generating and suggest potential prospective investigations on pathophysiology and implementation of psychotherapy and stress-reducing techniques as therapeutic strategies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)e001315-N/A
RivistaOpen Heart
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Aged
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Microvascular Angina
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pain Perception
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychosocial Functioning
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
  • autonomic regulation
  • cardiomyopathy apical
  • endothelial function
  • microvascular
  • syndrome X


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