Serial four chamber cineloops of a potential heart donor with hemodynamic instability. Left upper panel Normal LV function before brain death. Right upper panel. Takotsubo-like LV dysfunction immediately after subarachnoid hemorrhage and brain death: echocardiographically detected left ventricular systolic dysfunction excludes this heart from transplant according to standard criteria. Left lower panel Reduction of end-systolic volume and improved systolic thickening. One day after early and aggressive hormonal treatment, including triiodothyronine, vasopressin, insulin and methylprednisolone with improvement of heart function. Right lower panel. Two days after hormonal treatment the heart definitively normalized, was retrieved and was successfully transplanted. An additional movie file shows this in more detail [see Additional file 1].