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BMJ. 2019 Jan 30;364:k5287. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k5287.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Author information

1
Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.
2
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
3
Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare, often dilated, cardiomyopathy with systolic dysfunction that presents in late pregnancy or, more commonly, the early postpartum period. Although the condition is prevalent worldwide, women with black ancestry seem to be at greatest risk, and the condition has a particularly high incidence in Nigeria and Haiti. Other risk factors include pre-eclampsia, advanced maternal age, and multiple gestation pregnancy. Although the complete pathophysiology of peripartum cardiomyopathy remains unclear, research over the past decade suggests the importance of vasculo-hormonal pathways in women with underlying susceptibility. At least some women with the condition harbor an underlying sarcomere gene mutation. More than half of affected women recover systolic function, although some are left with a chronic cardiomyopathy, and a minority requires mechanical support or cardiac transplantation (or both). Other potential complications include thromboembolism and arrhythmia. Currently, management entails standard treatments for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, with attention to minimizing potential adverse effects on the fetus in women who are still pregnant. Bromocriptine is one potential disease specific treatment under investigation. In this review, we summarize the current literature on peripartum cardiomyopathy, as well as gaps in the understanding of this condition and future research directions.

PMID:
30700415
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.k5287

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: none.

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