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Eur J Heart Fail. 2012 May;14(5):526-9. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfs031. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Unexpected and rapid recovery of left ventricular function in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy: impact of cardiac resynchronization therapy.

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Service de Cardiologie, Pôle Cardio-vasculaire et Pulmonaire, Hôpital Cardiologique, CHRU Lille, Lille Cedex, France.


Aim Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare cause of dilated cardiomyopathy responsible for heart failure toward the end of pregnancy, which can lead to chronic heart failure in 50% of cases. In this short report, we assessed the benefit of cardiac resynchronization in patients with PPCM and chronic systolic dysfunction despite optimal medical treatment.


For the last 10 years, we managed eight patients diagnosed with PPCM. Two of them presented severe systolic dysfunction, and medical treatment resulted in limited improvement from 10% to 25% and from 25% to 28% despite optimal treatment for 9 and 6 years, respectively. These two patients were porposed to receive an implantatable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Six months after ICD-CRT treatment, we observed a significant improvement in systolic function from 25% to 45% and 28% to 50%, respectively, and positive remodelling with reduction of left ventricular end-diastolic volume from 216 to 144 mL and from 354 to 105 mL, which represent a 34% and a 70% reduction, respectively.


Physicians in charge of patients with PPCM should offer the opportunity of CRT for patients whose cardiac function has not significantly improved under standard medical treatment.

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