Peripartum cardiomyopathy. A role for cardiac stress determinants other than pregnancy?

Journal Article (Review)

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a syndrome of undetermined etiology whose most common initial symptoms are those of congestive heart failure. The syndrome carries a five-year mortality estimated at 40%. Single noxious factors, such as viral infection, have been proposed as direct precipitants of this syndrome, but none have been conclusively linked to it. The cases of two patients with identifiable cardiac stress factors who developed peripartum cardiomyopathy are presented here: one with sepsis complicated by disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and severe anemia, and a second with an otherwise normal pregnancy who engaged in strenuous aerobic exercise throughout the last trimester. A review of previously published cases reveals the frequent association of multiple nonspecific cardiac stress factors that may predispose women to peripartum cardiomyopathy. Various cardiac stress factors may act synergistically with the stress of pregnancy to precipitate peripartum cardiomyopathy in susceptible women.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stamler, J; Horowitz, SF; Goldman, ME; Matza, D; Machac, J

Published Date

  • September 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 285 - 289

PubMed ID

  • 2529436

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2529436

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-2507


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States