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Peripartum cardiomyopathy Dr. Akram Al- Khadra MBBS, FRCPC, FAHA.

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Presentation on theme: "Peripartum cardiomyopathy Dr. Akram Al- Khadra MBBS, FRCPC, FAHA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peripartum cardiomyopathy Dr. Akram Al- Khadra MBBS, FRCPC, FAHA

2 Introduction Heart failure during pregnancy was recognized as early as 1849 First described as a distinctive form of cardiomyopathy only in the 1930s In 1971, Demakis described 27 patients with the disease and named the syndrome peripartum cardiomyopathy

3 Introduction The European Society of Cardiology recently defined peripartum cardiomyopathy as a form of dilated cardiomyopathy that presents with signs of heart failure in the last month of pregnancy or within 5 months of delivery

4 Introduction It occurs in 1 in every 2,289 live births in the United States The rate varies in other populations: it is highest in Haiti, with 1 case in 300 live births

5 Introduction Early reports: death rate was nearly 50% in USA More recent reports: 0-5% Earlier reports likely represented publication bias

6 What are the causes?

7 1.Myocarditis 2.Cardiotropic viral infections 3.Chimerism 4.Apoptosis and inflammation 5.Other possible factors

8 1. Myocarditis Myocarditis has been found on endomyocardial biopsy of the right ventricle in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy The prevalence of myocarditis in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy ranged from 8.8% to 78% in different studies

9 1. Myocarditis The presence or absence of myocarditis alone does not predict the outcome of peripartum cardiomyopathy

10 2. Cardiotropic viral infections After a viral infection, a pathologic immune response might occur This is inappropriately directed against native cardiac tissue proteins, leading to ventricular dysfunction

11 2. Cardiotropic viral infections Bultmann found parvovirus B19, human herpes virus 6, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus DNA in endomyocardial biopsy specimens from 8 (31%) of 26 patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy

12 2. Cardiotropic viral infections Lyden and Huber found that mice developed worse myocarditis if they were experimentally infected with coxsackievirus and echovirus during pregnancy than if they were infected while not pregnant

13 3. Chimerism Cells from the fetus take up residence in the mother (or vice versa), sometimes provoking an immune response Serum from patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy has been found to contain autoantibodies in high titers, which are not present in serum from patients with idiopathic cardiomyopathy

14 3. Chimerism Most of these antibodies are against normal human cardiac tissue proteins The peripheral blood in these patients has a high level of fetal microchimerism

15 4. Apoptosis and inflammation Programmed cell death Experiments in mice suggest that apoptosis of cardiac myocytes has a role in peripartum cardiomyopathy Fas and Fas ligand are cell surface proteins that play a key role in apoptosis

16 4. Apoptosis and inflammation Study from South Africa, 100 patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy followed for 6 months. 15 patients died, and those who died had significantly higher plasma levels of Fas/Apo-1

17 5. An abnormal hemodynamic response During pregnancy: blood volume cardiac output afterload decreases because of relaxation of vascular smooth muscle Cause transient and reversible hypertrophy of the left ventricle to meet the needs of the mother and fetus

18 5. An abnormal hemodynamic response Cardiac output reaches its maximum at around 20 weeks of pregnancy The transient left ventricular systolic dysfunction during the third trimester and early postpartum period returns to baseline once the cardiac output decreases

19 6. Other possible factors Prolactin Relaxin Immune complexes Cardiac nitric oxide synthase Immature dendritic cells Cardiac dystrophin Toll-like receptors

20 WHO is AT RISK?

21 1.Multiparity 2.Advanced maternal age (although the disease can occur at any age, the incidence is higher in women over age 30) 3.Multifetal pregnancy 4.Preeclampsia 5.Gestational hypertension 6.African American race

22 Clinical Features

23 Diagnostic criteria 1.Cardiac failure developing in the last month of pregnancy or within 5 months of delivery 2.No identifiable cause of the cardiac failure 3.No pre-existing heart disease before the last month of pregnancy 4.An ejection fraction of less than 45%, or the combination of an M-mode fractional shortening of less than 30% and an end- diastolic dimension greater than 2.7 cm/m 2

24 17% of cases were diagnosed antepartum and 83% postpartum The mean age at diagnosis was 28 ± 6 years Left ventricular function almost completely normalized in 51% of surviving patients Interestingly, the left ventricular ejection fraction normalized only in 23% of an African cohort

25 Symptoms Dyspnea, dizziness, pedal edema, and orthopnea The dyspnea during normal pregnancy is thought to be due to 1.hyperventilation caused by the effects of progesterone, 2.also due to pressure on the diaphragm from the growing uterus

26 Symptoms Peripheral edema occurs in approximately two-thirds of healthy pregnant women If swelling and other heart failure symptoms develop suddenly in an otherwise normal pregnancy, this should prompt further investigation Pulmonary edema

27 Thromboembolism Hemoptysis and pleuritic chest pain may be presenting symptoms of pulmonary embolism

28 Cardiac arrhythmias Cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest have also been reported

29 A latent form A latent form of peripartum cardiomyopathy without significant clinical signs and symptoms has been reported

30 Preeclampsia should be excluded Preeclampsia should be excluded on the basis of history and physical examination, as its management is different Preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks of gestation Characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches, and changes in vision

31 Delayed diagnosis Delayed diagnosis may be associated with higher rates of illness and death Symptoms of heart failure can be difficult to differentiate from those of late pregnancy Physicians should consider peripartum cardiomyopathy in any peripartum patient with unexplained symptoms

32 Management of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

33 Heart failure treatment during pregnancy Welfare of the fetus is always considered along with that of the mother Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and ARBs are contraindicated in pregnancy because they can cause birth defects

34 The teratogenic effects occur particularly in the second and third trimester, with fetopathy characterized by fetal hypotension, oligohydramnios- anuria, and renal tubular dysplasia

35 Drugs proven to be safe and are the mainstays of medical therapy of heart failure during pregnancy Digoxin, beta-blockers, loop diuretics, drugs that reduce afterload such as hydralazine and nitrates

36 After delivery, the treatment is identical to that for nonpregnant women with dilated cardiomyopathy

37 Anticoagulation treatment During pregnancy, the risk of thromboembolic complications increases due to higher concentrations of coagulation factors II, VII, VIII, and X, and of plasma fibrinogen The risk may persist up to 6 weeks postpartum

38 Anticoagulation treatment Cases of arterial, venous, and cardiac thrombosis have been reported in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy

39 Anticoagulation treatment Patients with evidence of systemic embolism, with severe left ventricular dysfunction or documented cardiac thrombosis, should receive anticoagulation Anticoagulation should be continued until a return of normal left ventricular function is documented

40 Guidelines “warfarin is probably safe during the first 6 weeks of gestation, but there is a risk of embryopathy if the warfarin is taken between 6 and 12 weeks of gestation.” is “relatively safe” during the second and third trimesters but must be stopped and switched to a heparin several weeks before delivery

41 Anticoagulation treatment Warfarin can cause spontaneous fetal cerebral hemorrhage in the second and third trimesters

42 Unfractionated heparin or low- molecular-weight heparin can be used during pregnancy

43 Cardiac transplantation

44 Patients with severe heart failure despite maximal drug therapy need cardiac transplantation to survive and to improve their quality of life However, fewer than 3,000 hearts are available for transplantation worldwide per year Therefore, ventricular assist devices are indicated as a bridge to transplantation

45 Patients with symptomatic ventricular arrhythmias should be considered for defibrillator implantation

46 New treatments

47 Pentoxifylline improved outcomes, left ventricular function, and symptoms when added to conventional therapy Intravenous immunoglobulin improved the ejection fraction in several studies and also markedly reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines, namely thioredoxin.

48 Immunosuppressive therapy does not yet have a fully proven role, but it could be considered in patients with proven myocarditis Bromocriptine drugs that inhibit prolactin secretion may represent a novel therapy for peripartum cardiomyopathy

49 Other proposed therapies Calcium channel antagonists, Statins Monoclonal antibodies Interferon beta Immunoadsorption Therapeutic apheresis Cardiomyoplasty

50 How long to treat? Patients who recover normal left ventricular function at rest or with low- dose dobutamine can be allowed to taper and then discontinue heart failure treatment in 6 to 12 months

51 Natural Course

52 Had a good prognosis, with a 94% survival rate at 5 years Return of heart size to normal within 6 months 54% recover normal left ventricular function

53 Prognostic factors

54 Troponin T. measured 2 weeks after the onset of peripartum cardiomyopathy predicts LV function at 6 th months QRS duration of 120 ms or more is a predictor of death

55 Factors predicting normalization of left ventricular function: 1.Initial left ventricular end-diastolic dimension of 5.5 cm or less 2.Left ventricular ejection fraction greater than 30%

56 Risk of persistent left ventricular dysfunction: 1.Left ventricular ejection of less than 30% 2.Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension greater than 5.6 cm 3.Left ventricular thrombus 4.African American race

57 In contrast, in Haiti, the death rate was 15.3% during a mean followup of 2.2 years, and only about 28% had regained normal left ventricular function at 6 months


59 Even after full recovery of left ventricular function, subsequent pregnancies carry a risk of relapse of peripartum cardiomyopathy

60 Recommendations for further pregnancies If left ventricular function has recovered fully, subsequent pregnancy is not contraindicated If left ventricular function has not recovered at all, the risk is high, and subsequent pregnancy is not recommended

61 If left ventricular function has recovered partially then perform dobutamine stress echocardiography Normal response, allow pregnancy Abnormal response, risk is moderate, pregnancy not allowed

62 Take home messages

63 Heightened suspicion is important when a pregnant woman presents with signs of heart failure Standard heart failure therapy should be started in postpartum patients with this disease

64 Pregnant women should not receive angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, or warfarin in 1 st trimester because of potential teratogenic effects

65 An initial left ventricular end-diastolic dimension less than 5.5 cm, a left ventricular ejection fraction greater than 30%, and a low cardiac troponin level may predict a better outcome Subsequent pregnancies carry a high risk of relapse, even in women who have fully recovered left ventricular function

66 Thank you

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