Pregnant and Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM)

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Pregnant and Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM)

Submitted by Dr T on July 10, 2011 – 8:02am

Hello. I am 38 weeks pregnant and last week I went into the hospital for severe dehydration and they were all set to let me go, but the on call resident said she didn’t like the way my heart sounded and ordered an EKG/ECG…
Before this test was ordered I have been seen by a cardiologist in January because I had irregular heart palpitations… The cardiologist then said I had sinus tachycardia and that my LV was a little over worked but he said that he wasn’t worried that he was positive it was due to the stress of the pregnancy and that it would resolve itself after the baby was born. Then a few days ago when they did the EKG/ECG they found that I have a LBBB and the cardiologist on call demanded I stay over night and they had me on a tele monitor for 2 days, then they did an echo and I was told that my LV was working at EF 30-35%… They were all puzzled because I am asymptomatic and I don’t fit into any of the known risk factors… great bp, no family history, healthy… Is there anyway this could be due to the pregnancy or even possible the dehydration? My heart feels fine, but they have me on a beta blocker, bp meds (to take strain of my heart), and 1 other cardiac muscle pill… Any advice or thoughts? The baby will be here soon and the cardiologist are for c section, whereas the OBs feel it will put too much fluid and stress on my heart. Thanks so much.

Your doctors must be concerned about Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM).

Read more here:

If true, PPCM puts not only you, but also your baby at risk, and you both need to be monitored through this period that may extend beyond your pregnancy.
When it comes to treatment, cardiologists are much better at judging your cardiac risks than your OBs, and I would trust their judgment. However, you just started therapy and I would hold off making a final decision till you are due (get cardiac ECHOs).

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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