Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2005 Aug;90(2):161-6.

Unrecognized peripartum cardiomyopathy in Haitian women.

Author information

Department of Adult Medicine, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, Deschapelles, Haiti.



Haitian women have a high relative incidence of clinical presentation with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM): an incidence estimated at one case per three hundred live births, a ten-fold occurrence compared to American women. Our objective has been to test the hypothesis that some Haitian women may have a forme fruste of PPCM while still without clinical symptoms.


A preliminary case-control study was conducted at the Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS), Deschapelles, Haiti, in which 25 apparently healthy postpartum women, without cardiovascular symptoms and with a normal cardiovascular clinical examination, were selected from a consecutive list of obstetrical deliveries and screened by echocardiography for left ventricular dysfunction.


Four out of 25 patients (16%) had asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction that subsequently evolved towards either improvement or deterioration. Supporting evidence for the existence of asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction or forme fruste PPCM is presented. A hypothetical schema of the pathophysiology of PPCM explains how a latent phase of variable duration may exist prior to onset of detectable clinical heart failure.


Screening Haitian women during the last month of pregnancy or in the early postpartum period may help to detect asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction. Early detection and treatment of PPCM in a known high risk population could lead to improvements in maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center