A case of peripartum heart failure

Annalisa Vinci, Alida Caforio

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/cmi.v2i1.580


A 32-year-old woman was admitted in congestive heart failure (CHF) 3 days after delivery. She had no history of cardiovascular disease and impaired left ventricular Ejection Fraction (EF 35%). She underwent complete heart catheterisation, selective coronary angiography and right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy (EMB).Coronary arteries were normal and EMB revealed active virus negative myocarditis. Serum was positive for anti-heart autoantibodies (AHA). Thus myocarditis was classified as autoimmune and the patient was treated with immunosuppressive therapy, with clinical and hemodynamic improvement. At 27 months follow-up EMB showed healed myocarditis. Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare disorder in which left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure occur in the peripartum period in previously healthy women. The etiology is still unknown but a sizable proportion of patients may have an underlying organ-specific autoimmune myocarditis.


Peripartum cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; Myocarditis; Immunosuppressive therapy

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