Mr Roger Hall,
The present status of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) was reviewed by four world experts. The two most striking features were that a probable pathology call mechanism has begun to emerge in the form of cleavage of prolactin to produce a sub-fraction that appears to have many damaging properties as far as the heart is concerned and that this can be blocked in mice by bromocriptine. Preliminary studies in humans suggest that bromocriptine is a valuable therapeutic agent but more rigorous studies are needed before its place is established. The second striking feature highlighted by the session was the lack of large carefully designed studies to determine the incidence and outcome and also the extent to which recovery of LV function occurs and the risk of recurrence and mortality in future pregnancies. The present consensus is that PPCM is more common in Afro-Caribbean patients with “hotspots” identified in Haiti and Nigeria. The relationship of PPCM to other forms of cardiomyopathy remains to be defined.
An update on peripartum cardiomyopathy
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