Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a condition when the heart becomes enlarged and weak during pregnancy. It occurs during the last month of pregnancy or within five months after delivery. The cause of peripartum cardiomyopathy is unknown. Women with peripartum cardiomyopathy have symptoms of heart failure. After pregnancy, the heart may returns to its normal size and function in some women, but a significant proportion of women continue to have poor heart function. Women without full recovery from peripartum cardiomyopathy have increased risk of complications in their subsequent pregnancies.
This condition is diagnosed by imaging of the heart by echocardiogram and/or cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Treatment would include standard medications for heart failure. In advanced cases, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) or a heart transplant maybe necessary.