Ilan Shor Wittstein, M.D.

Headshot of Ilan Shor Wittstein
  • Director, Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Languages: English, Hebrew


Acute Coronary Care, Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Cardiac Sarcoidosis, Cardiac Transplant, Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Cardiovascular Disease, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Critical Care Cardiology, Endomyocardial Biopsy, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Ischemic Heart Disease, Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, Right Heart Catheterization, Stress Testing, Stress-induced Cardiomyopathy more

Research Interests

Effect of emotional and psychological stress on cardiac function; Stress Cardiomyopathy more

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Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 443-997-0270
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower, Suite 7125T
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-614-6258 | Fax: 410-367-2224
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance) - Google Maps

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 443-997-0270
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 443-997-0270 | Fax: 410-367-2224
Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center) - Google Maps


Dr. Ilan Wittstein is a cardiologist and the foremost expert in “broken heart syndrome,” also known as stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. His 2005 article in the New England Journal of Medicine explaining the mechanisms of short-term heart failure after extreme stress introduced this syndrome to the global medical community. Dr. Wittstein has lectured extensively on stress cardiomyopathy, both nationally and internationally, and has appeared in scores of major media stories on national TV and radio networks, in international documentaries, newspapers, magazines and websites. Time Magazine called stress cardiomyopathy one of 2005’s most important medical discoveries. As a result of Dr. Wittstein’s work, Johns Hopkins Hospital has become a referral center for patients diagnosed with this condition.

Dr. Wittstein received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, then completed medical school, residency, and two cardiology fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is an assistant professor of medicine and gives regular lectures and seminars on topics of coronary care. Dr. Wittstein also serves as a peer reviewer for over 20 journals including Lancet, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and European Heart Journal. more


  • Director, Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1990)


  • Internal Medicine; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1993)


  • Cardiology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1995)
  • Cardiology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1998)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology) (2012)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Cardiovascular Disease) (2012)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Ilan S. Wittstein; David R. Thiemann; Joao A.C. Lima; Kenneth L. Baughman; Steven P. Schulman; Gary Gerstenblith; Katherine C. Wu; Jeffrey J. Rade; Trinity J. Bivalacqua; Hunter C. Champion. Neurohumoral features of myocardial stunning due to sudden emotional stress. New England Journal of Medicine. 2005;352(6):539-548.

Daniel J Brotman; Sherita H Golden; Ilan S Wittstein. The cardiovascular toll of stress. Lancet. 2007;370(9592):1089-1100.

Jacob Abraham; James O. Mudd; Navin Kapur; Kelly Klein; Hunter C. Champion; Ilan S. Wittstein. Stress Cardiomyopathy After Intravenous Administration of Catecholamines and Beta-Receptor Agonists. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2009;53(15):1320-1325.

David B. Bekelman; Edward P. Havranek; Diane M. Becker; Jean S. Kutner; Pamela N. Peterson; Ilan S. Wittstein; Sheldon H. Gottlieb; Traci E. Yamashita; Diane L. Fairclough; Sydney M. Dy. Symptoms, Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients With Heart Failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure. 2007;13(8):643-648.

S. Laowattana; S.L. Zeger; J.A.C. Lima; S.N. Goodman; I.S. Wittstein; S.M. Oppenheimer. Left insular stroke is associated with adverse cardiac outcome. Neurology. 2006;66(4):477-483.

David B. Bekelman; Sydney M. Dy; Diane M. Becker; Ilan S. Wittstein; Danetta E. Hendricks; Traci E. Yamashita; Sheldon H. Gottlieb. Spiritual well-being and depression in patients with heart failure. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2007;22(4):470-477.

Ryan J Tedford; Anna R Hemnes; Stuart D Russell; Ilan S Wittstein; Mobusher Mahmud; Ari L Zaiman; Stephen C Mathai; David R Thiemann; Paul M Hassoun; Reda E Girgis; et al. PDE5A inhibitor treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension after mechanical circulatory support. Circulation. Heart failure. 2008;1(4):213-219.

Bettina Heidecker; Edward K. Kasper; Ilan S. Wittstein; Hunter C. Champion; Elayne Breton; Stuart D. Russell; Michelle M. Kittleson; Kenneth L. Baughman; Joshua M. Hare. Transcriptomic biomarkers for individual risk assessment in new-onset heart failure. Circulation. 2008;118(3):238-246.

Xinqi Peng; Fabio A. Recchia; Barry J. Byrne; Ilan S. Wittstein; Roy C. Ziegelstein; David A. Kass. In vitro system to study realistic pulsatile flow and stretch signaling in cultured vascular cells. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology. 2000;279(3 48-3):C797-C805.

Ilan S. Wittstein. Stress cardiomyopathy: A syndrome of catecholamine-mediated myocardial stunning? Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology. 2012;32(5):847-857.

Activities & Honors


  • Best Doctors in America, 2007 - 2014
  • Baltimore's top cardiologists, Baltimore Magazine, 2014
  • Cardiology Fellowship Faculty Teaching Award, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2010
  • Baltimore's top cardiologists, Baltimore Magazine, 2007
  • Department of Medicine Housestaff Teaching Award, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2004
  • Henry Strong Denison Award for outstanding basic research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990
  • Hawk Prize for innovative research in molecular biology and biochemistry, Wesleyan University, 1985
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan University, 1999

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: What have we learned?
    Chair, Plenary Session, World Congress of Cardiology, Melbourne, Australia (05/07/2014)
  • Stress and cardiovascular disease: Evidence for disease pathways
    Presentation, Harvard Catalyst Symposium on Stress and Health Disparities, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (10/17/2013)
    Mongan Institute for Health Policy
  • Hemodynamic Conundrums
    Moderator, Scientific Sessions, Los Angeles, CA (11/04/2012)
    American Heart Association
  • Stress Cardiomyopathy in 2012: An Evolving Paradigm
    Keynote Speaker, 3rd International Conference on Psychoneurocardiology, Heart & Mind: Psychogenic Cardiovascular Disease, Prato, Italy (09/05/2012)
  • New Mechanisms from Experimental Models
    Poster moderator, 61st Annual Scientific Session, Chicago, IL (03/25/2012)
    American College of Cardiology
  • Broken Heart Syndrome
    Presentation, Mace Braxton 2011 Cardiovascular Symposium, Salina, KS (11/18/2011)
    Salina Regional Health Center
  • Stress Cardiomyopathy: A Syndrome of Catecholamine Mediated Myocardial Stunning
    Presentation, 10th Symposium on Catecholamines and other Neurotransmitters in Stress, Smolenice, Slovakia (06/26/2011)
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