Peripartum cardiomyopathy: Predictors of recovery and current state of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator use

Jayasree Pillarisetti, Ashok Kondur, Anas Alani, Madhu Reddy, Madhuri Reddy, James Vacek, Carl P. Weiner, Edward Ellerbeck, Theodore Schreiber, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objectives The purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of left ventricular (LV) recovery in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) and to record rates of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) use. Background PPCM is a rare, life-threatening disease. The use of ICDs has not been clearly understood in this patient group. Identification of the predictors of persistent LV dysfunction can help select patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. Methods A retrospective study was conducted at 2 academic centers between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2012. Clinical and demographic variables and delivery records of patients with a diagnosis of PPCM (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision code 674.5) were reviewed. Improvement in LV function was noted from echocardiography reports. Results The total sample comprised 100 patients, of whom 55% were African Americans, 39% were Caucasians, and 6% were Hispanic, with a mean age of 30 ± 6 years. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at diagnosis was 28 ± 9%. Forty-two percent of patients showed improvement in LVEF over a mean duration of 33 ± 21 months. Postpartum diagnosis (hazard ratio: 3.0; p = 0.01) and Caucasian/Hispanic race (hazard ratio: 2.2; p = 0.01) were predictors of improvement in LVEF. Only 7 of the 58 patients (12%) who did not have improvement in their LVEF had an ICD implanted. There were 11 deaths, with a trend toward higher mortality in those who did not display improved LV function (15% vs. 5%; p = 0.1). Conclusions More than one-third of women with PPCM improve LV function with delayed recovery noted in the majority of these patients. Caucasians and those diagnosed in the postpartum period appear to be the most likely to recover. The rate of ICD implantation for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in this patient group is low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2831-2839
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number25 PART A
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiomyopathy
  • implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • peripartum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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