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Correspondence: Dr Kok-Han Chee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is an uncommon form of congestive heart failure, affecting obstetric patients around the time of delivery. The epidemiology of PPCM is infrequently reported. This study was undertaken to define the prevalence, presentation and outcome of PPCM among women giving birth in a teaching hospital in Malaysia.
Methods A retrospective case record analysis was conducted on all patients admitted and diagnosed with PPCM at the University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2009. All deliveries were undertaken in the same hospital.
Results A total of 12 patients were diagnosed with PPCM during the ten-year study period. The prevalence of PPCM was 2.48 in 100,000 (1 in 40,322) live births. Nine women were diagnosed with PPCM within five months of delivery. Three women had twin pregnancies. There was one death in the group (mortality rate 8.3%). The mean left ventricular ejection fraction at the time of diagnosis was 28.9% ± 8.5% (range 15%–40%). Following the index event, left ventricular function normalised in six of the nine patients (66.7%) who underwent subsequent echocardiography one year later. All patients were treated with standard heart failure therapy. Two patients with normalised left ventricular function had subsequent pregnancies – one pregnancy was terminated at seven weeks and the other patient delivered uneventfully at full term.
Conclusion PPCM is uncommon. The outcome in our series was favourable, with 66.7% of patients with PPCM recovering their left ventricular function. The mortality rate was 8.3%.
Keywords: epidemiology, heart failure, peripartum cardiomyopathy, pregnancy
Singapore Med J 2013; 54-28-31; http://dx.doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2013007
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