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  CARDIAC PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY 

Minerva Ginecologica 2010 April;62(2):129-36

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Peripartum cardiomyopathy

Ramaraj R.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA


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Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a life-threatening condition of unknown cause that occurs in previously healthy women during the peripartum period. It is characterized by left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and symptoms of heart failure which occurs between the last trimester of pregnancy and the first five months of the postpartum period. Recent reports show that the mortality rate in the United States due to PPCM is much lower than previously reported and the LV systolic function recovery rates are now >50%. This review identifies the possible causes of PPCM and ways to recognize and manage these patients. Patients with PPCM often present with heart failure and therefore standard treatment for heart failure is recommended. Depending on the recovery of ventricular function subsequent pregnancies carry a higher risk of relapse of PPCM.

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