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Heart Failure in Pregnant Women: Is it Peripartum Cardiomyopathy?

Dennis, A.T.

Obstetric Anesthesia Digest: March 2016 - Volume 36 - Issue 1 - p 16
doi: 10.1097/01.aoa.0000479488.72590.f7
Epidemiologic Reports, Surveys

(Anesth Analg. 2015;120:638–643)

Heart disease is a leading cause of maternal death in pregnancy. Anesthesiologists are often involved in the resuscitation and care of pregnant women with heart failure; it is therefore important they have a solid understanding of the main causes, presentations, diagnoses, and treatments of the disorder. This review focuses on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a serious but rare cause of heart disease in pregnancy, that is, diagnosed when all other possible causes have been excluded. It occurs in around 1 in 2000 pregnant women, with no known etiology. If untreated, the rate of mortality ranges from 9% to 50% and the rate of morbidity from 36% to 77%.

Department of Anaesthesia, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville, Vic, Australia

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