Clinical Outcomes for Peripartum Cardiomyopathy in North America: Results of the IPAC Study (Investigations of Pregnancy-Associated Cardiomyopathy)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Aug 25;66(8):905-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.06.1309.


Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) remains a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: This study sought to prospectively evaluate recovery of the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and clinical outcomes in the multicenter IPAC (Investigations of Pregnancy Associated Cardiomyopathy) study.

Methods: We enrolled and followed 100 women with PPCM through 1 year post-partum. The LVEF was assessed by echocardiography at baseline and at 2, 6, and 12 months post-partum. Survival free from major cardiovascular events (death, transplantation, or left ventricular [LV] assist device) was determined. Predictors of outcome, particularly race, parameters of LV dysfunction (LVEF), and remodeling (left ventricular end-diastolic diameter [LVEDD]) at presentation, were assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: The cohort was 30% black, 65% white, 5% other; the mean patient age was 30 ± 6 years; and 88% were receiving beta-blockers and 81% angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. The LVEF at study entry was 0.35 ± 0.10, 0.51 ± 0.11 at 6 months, and 0.53 ± 0.10 at 12 months. By 1 year, 13% had experienced major events or had persistent severe cardiomyopathy with an LVEF <0.35, and 72% achieved an LVEF ≥0.50. An initial LVEF <0.30 (p = 0.001), an LVEDD ≥6.0 cm (p < 0.001), black race (p = 0.001), and presentation after 6 weeks post-partum (p = 0.02) were associated with a lower LVEF at 12 months. No subjects with both a baseline LVEF <0.30 and an LVEDD ≥6.0 cm recovered by 1 year post-partum, whereas 91% with both a baseline LVEF ≥0.30 and an LVEDD <6.0 cm recovered (p < 0.00001).

Conclusions: In a prospective cohort with PPCM, most women recovered; however, 13% had major events or persistent severe cardiomyopathy. Black women had more LV dysfunction at presentation and at 6 and 12 months post-partum. Severe LV dysfunction and greater remodeling at study entry were associated with less recovery. (Investigations of Pregnancy Associated Cardiomyopathy [IPAC]; NCT01085955).

Keywords: heart failure; myocardial recovery; race; remodeling.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies / epidemiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / physiopathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Racial Groups
  • Stroke Volume
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult

Associated data