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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 56

of 'Peripartum cardiomyopathy: Treatment and prognosis'

Effects of subsequent pregnancy on left ventricular function in peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Sutton MS, Cole P, Plappert M, Saltzman D, Goldhaber S
Am Heart J. 1991;121(6 Pt 1):1776.
Pregnancy has been discouraged in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) to avoid the risk of precipitating recurrent or progressive left ventricular dysfunction. We assessed left ventricular size and contractile function using echocardiography in four PPCM patients prior to pregnancy, during the third trimester, and a mean of 6 weeks postpartum. Left ventricular mean diameters at end diastole and at end systole prior to pregnancy (5.2 +/- 0.3 and 3.0 +/- 0.2 cm, respectively) did not change during pregnancy (5.2 +/- 0.3 and 3.1 +/- 0.2 cm). Similarly, left ventricular fractional shortening did not alter significantly during pregnancy or postpartum. Furthermore, no patient developed any symptoms or signs of left ventricular failure. All patients had normal babies, including one who had twins. We conclude that PPCM patients whose left ventricular function returns to normal may undertake further pregnancy with a normal fetal outcome and a low risk of recurrent left ventricular dysfunction.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Womens' Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.