Peripartum cardiomyopathy is defined by left ventricular dysfunction and development of cardiac failure without a known cause and occurring in the final month of pregnancy and up to 5 months postpartum. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is an important and steadily increasing cause of pregnancy-associated morbidity and mortality. The incidence of peripartum cardiomyopathy in the United States has been estimated recently as 1 in 2,230 births and approximately 1 in 1,000 births worldwide. The etiopathogenesis of peripartum cardiomyopathy remains elusive; however, it is generally thought to be from a two-hit hypothesis in which an underlying cardiomyocyte protein mutation results in apoptosis mediated by vascular and hormonal actions. Clinical recognition is integral to the management of this disease, because there must be careful exclusion of alternative etiologies. Although there are no disease-specific therapies, management of peripartum cardiomyopathy is based on treatment of heart failure and its symptoms, repressing neurohormonal responses, and preventing long-term sequelae. Ventricular function recovery and rates of recurrence of peripartum cardiomyopathy vary by ethnicity and geography. Mortality rates associated with peripartum cardiomyopathy range from 3% to 40%, depending on geographic location. In this review, normal cardiovascular adaptations in pregnancy are summarized and current evidence-based clinical management of the disease is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology