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Cardiovasc J Afr. 2013 Jun 23;24(5):e4-7. doi: 10.5830/CVJA-2013-027.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy and familial dilated Cardiomyopathy: a tale of two cases.

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Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a form of pregnancyrelated heart failure that is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Most patients present with acute postpartal heart failure that otherwise resembles the clinical presentation of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). There is increasing recognition that PPCM may be due to genetic factors in a significant proportion of cases. There is evidence that at least 7% of cases of PPCM may be part of the spectrum of familial DCM. We report on two cases of PPCM, with relatives demonstrating familial DCM, both patients displaying autosomal dominant patterns of inheritance, and showing severe cardiomyopathy among proband and affected relatives. Family screening for familial DCM should be indicated in all cases of unexplained PPCM.

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