Systematic review of pregnancy in women with inherited cardiomyopathies

Eur J Heart Fail. 2011 Jun;13(6):584-94. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfr040. Epub 2011 Apr 11.


Pregnancy exposes women with inherited cardiomyopathies to increased risk for heart failure and arrhythmias. In this paper, we review the clinical course and management of pregnant women with the following inherited cardiomyopathies: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. We also discuss peripartum cardiomyopathy. Pregnancy is generally well tolerated in asymptomatic patients with inherited cardiomyopathies. However, worsening of the clinical condition can occur during pregnancy, despite intensive medical treatment. If prior cardiac events, poor functional class (New York Heart Association class III or IV), or advanced left ventricular systolic dysfunction are present, the risk of maternal cardiac complications during pregnancy are markedly increased. The postpartum condition is generally no worse than the antepartum condition, but no long-term follow-up studies have been reported. Preconception evaluation and counselling are important aspects of managing women with inherited cardiomyopathies. Genetic counselling and DNA testing should be offered to all women following the diagnosis of an inherited cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular*