Heart & Blood Condition

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Condition


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE CARDIOMYOPATHY DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is cardiomyopathy during pregnancy?

Cardiomyopathy is a set of diseases in which the heart muscle (myocardium) has difficulty contracting with enough force to pump blood through the body, when the difficulty cannot be explained by an underlying condition, such as heart valve problems or high resistance to blood flow in arteries. As a result, there is a low ejection fraction, meaning that an abnormally low amount of blood is pumped from the ventricles compared to how much blood is in the ventricles prior to the contraction. If this gets progressively worse, it becomes a situation known as heart failure. Cardiomyopathy can happen for a variety of reasons, leading to various subtypes of cardiomyopathy outside of pregnancy, the main ones being dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM). All of these subtypes of cardiomyopathy, of course, could complicate pregnancy. However, there is also cardiomyopathy specific to pregnancy, a type of DCM called peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) or postpartum cardiomyopathy, which can develop during the final weeks of pregnancy and up to approximately five months after you give birth.


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