Pregnancy outcomes in women with dilated cardiomyopathy

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Dec 29;55(1):45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.08.036.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine adverse outcomes during pregnancy in women with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and to compare their cardiac outcomes with those of nonpregnant women with DCM.

Background: Women with DCM are at risk for complications during pregnancy, but few studies have examined outcomes in this specific population.

Methods: This was a substudy of a larger prospective cohort study of outcomes in women with heart disease. Maternal cardiac, obstetric, and fetal outcomes in pregnancy in women with DCM were examined. For comparison, cardiac outcomes in nonpregnant women with DCM (n = 18) matched by age and left ventricular (LV) systolic function were examined. A matched-pair survival analysis was used to compare groups.

Results: Thirty-six pregnancies in 32 women with DCM were included. Thirty-nine percent (14 of 36) of the pregnancies were complicated by at least 1 maternal cardiac event. In the multivariate analysis, moderate or severe LV dysfunction and/or New York Heart Association functional class III or IV (p = 0.003) were the main determinants of adverse maternal cardiac outcomes during pregnancy. In the subset of women with moderate/severe LV dysfunction, 16-month event-free survival was worse in pregnant women compared with nonpregnant women (28 +/- 11% vs. 83 +/- 10%, p = 0.02). The adverse neonatal event rate was highest among women with obstetric and cardiac risk factors (43%).

Conclusions: In pregnant women with DCM the risk of adverse cardiac events is considerable, and pre-pregnancy characteristics can identify women at the highest risk. Pregnancy seems to have a short-term negative impact on the clinical course in women with DCM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / epidemiology*