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Long-Term Cardiac Function After Peripartum Cardiomyopathy and Preeclampsia: A Danish Nationwide, Clinical Follow-Up Study Using Maximal Exercise Testing and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Background Long-term clinical studies of peripartum cardiomyopathy ( PPCM ) are few. We aimed to measure the long-term effect of PPCM on cardiac function in comparison with the long-term effects of severe preeclampsia and uncomplicated pregnancy. Methods and Results A nationwide Danish cohort of women diagnosed with PPCM from 2005 to 2014 ( PPCM group) were invited to participate in a clinical follow-up study including maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Matched women with previous severe preeclampsia (preeclampsia group) and previous uncomplicated pregnancies (uncomplicated pregnancies group) served as comparison groups. A total of 84 women with 28 in each group participated. Median time to follow-up after PPCM was 91 months. Most women (85%) in the PPCM group reported no symptoms of heart failure. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction in the PPCM group was normal at 62%, but significantly lower than in the preeclampsia group and the uncomplicated pregnancies group where mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 69% and 67%, respectively ( P<0.0001). Women in the PPCM group also had impaired diastolic function with reduced left ventricular peak filling rate, left atrial passive emptying volume, and left atrial passive emptying fraction. Maximal exercise capacity (peak VO 2) was also reduced in the PPCM group compared with the preeclampsia group and the uncomplicated pregnancies group, and PPCM , high body mass index, and low left ventricular ejection fraction independently predicted reduced peak VO 2. Only 1 woman with PPCM had late gadolinium enhancement. Conclusions Women generally recovered left ventricular ejection fraction and were asymptomatic 7 years after PPCM , but had subtle diastolic dysfunction on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and reduced peak VO 2. Focal myocardial fibrosis assessed with late gadolinium enhancement was, however, uncommon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Volume7
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)e008991
ISSN2047-9980
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018

ID: 56235581