Peripartum cardiomyopathy

Cardiol Rev. 2006 Jan-Feb;14(1):35-42. doi: 10.1097/01.crd.0000174805.68081.f7.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare cardiac disorder associated with high rates of mortality that occurs during the peripartum period. PPCM is recognized as a distinct entity, separate from preexisting cardiomyopathies that are worsened by the stressors of pregnancy. To date, its etiology is unknown, although several theories are under investigation in an effort to provide more information regarding available treatment options. A multidisciplinary review of PPCM held by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in conjunction with the Office of Rare Disease of the National Institutes of Health, in April 1997 reviewed the current knowledge and developed recommendations for areas of further research and education about PPCM. Since then, there have been some promising research testing hypotheses regarding the etiology of PPCM and advancements in possible treatment options. However, despite these efforts, knowledge and treatment recommendations about PPCM are still generally unchanged, whereas mortality rates remain high. This article attempts to provide an updated, comprehensive review about PPCM and draw attention to areas in need of further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies* / drug therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies* / epidemiology
  • Cardiomyopathies* / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / etiology
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate


  • Cardiovascular Agents