Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lancet. 2006 Aug 19;368(9536):687-93.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Author information

  • 1Soweto Cardiovascular Research Unit, Department of Cardiology, Chris-Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, P O Bertsham 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a disorder in which initial left ventricular systolic dysfunction and symptoms of heart failure occur between the late stages of pregnancy and the early postpartum period. It is common in some countries and rare in others. The causes and pathogenesis are poorly understood. Molecular markers of an inflammatory process are found in most patients. Clinical presentation includes usual signs and symptoms of heart failure, and unusual presentations relating to thromboembolism. Clinicians should consider PPCM in any peripartum patient with unexplained disease. Conventional heart failure treatment includes use of diuretics, beta blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Effective treatment reduces mortality rates and increases the number of women who fully recover left ventricular systolic function. Outcomes for subsequent pregnancy after PPCM are better in women who have first fully recovered heart function. Areas for future research include immune system dysfunction, the role of viruses, non-conventional treatments such as immunosuppression, immunoadsorption, apheresis, antiviral treatment, suppression of proinflammatory cytokines, and strategies for control and prevention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk