Assessing the future risks of subsequent pregnancies in peripartum cardiomyopathy

Heart Fail Rev. 2022 May;27(3):779-784. doi: 10.1007/s10741-021-10075-z. Epub 2021 Jan 12.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a myocardial disease process which occurs in young women either in late pregnancy or the early postpartum period. Due to the young age of women effected by this disease, many of these patients elect to pursue a subsequent pregnancy after their initial diagnosis. Currently, echocardiography is used to better elucidate the cardiovascular risks these young patients face when undergoing a subsequent pregnancy; however, the most accurate modality to determine these risks is debatable. In this review, we explore the current literature regarding the use and accuracy of resting transthoracic echocardiography, exercise stress echocardiography, and dobutamine stress echocardiography in risk stratification of a subsequent pregnancy in a patient with peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Keywords: Cardiomyopathy; Dobutamine stress echocardiography; Exercise stress echocardiography; PPCM; Peripartum cardiomyopathy; Prognosis; SSP; Stress echocardiography; Subsequent pregnancy; Systolic heart failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies* / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Peripartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Puerperal Disorders* / diagnosis