Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PC), an uncommon cause of peripartum heart failure, is defined as a cardiomyopathy presenting in the last trimester of pregnancy or the first 6 months postpartum, without evidence of preexisting cardiovascular disease. The etiology of PC and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) remains uncertain. Several reports have addressed possible differences in clinical presentation and prognosis between these groups. A relatively high incidence of myocarditis has been recently reported in patients with PC, raising the possibility that this may represent a distinct difference between this condition and IDC. A retrospective review of endomyocardial biopsy specimens from 34 patients fulfilling the criteria for a diagnosis of PC was therefore performed to further evaluate this finding. Results indicate a lower incidence of myocarditis (8.8%, 3 of 34) than that reported in other studies. This incidence was comparable to that found in an age- and sex-matched control population undergoing transplantation for IDC (9.1%, 2 of 22). Factors that may influence the diverse range in the reported incidence of myocarditis are discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PD58800012
View details for PubMedID 8059728