Heart failure in young women related to pregnancy is called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM) or pregnancy-associated cardiomyopathy (PAC). PPCM occurs all over the world and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality. PPCM has no discrimination to age, race or to heritages. Even women in PERFECT health can develop PPCM. Peripartum Cardiomyopathy is a pregnancy induced heart failure that can be cured durning pregnancy. If untreated the condition worsens and peaks right after delivery. Most PPCM pregnancies are untreated. This is why the death rate is almost as high as Cancer solely due to lack of awareness to the public, the medical wheelhouse and within the medical communities globally. There is a practical solution to this serious life threatening problem. The cure, "Raise The Standard Screening, Testing and Labs" with Implementing, The Pro B-Type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro BNP- BPN ) & (EKG) Echocardiograms as mandatory treatments of care durning and after to all pregnancies. Early diagnosis saves lives! The objective treatment is to keep extra fluid from accumulating in the lungs & to help the heart recover as fully as possible. PPCM is usually misdiagnosed as Preeclampsia & Gestational Diabetes. PPCM is approximately 1 in 2000 pregnancies globally, out of 900 pregnancies 700 are PPCM in the United States. There are approximately 3000 new cases each year in the USA. Thanks to increasing understanding of the causes and treatment of PPCM, mortality rates have decreased from over 30 % to current rates under 1%… Despite that, PPCM remains one the top 5 silent killers of new mothers in the USA.This is unacceptable! One of the leading causes of PPCM appears to be an imbalance of proteins coming from the placenta, producing a cardio-toxic “angiogenic imbalance”, leading to heart failure and death. It is possible to predict who is at higher risk of developing PPCM by measuring these proteins in the blood. PPCM prevention depends upon funding so that promising new treatments can be identified and verified as effective, leading to full recovery and making relapse in subsequent pregnancies much less likely-even preventable in the first place. IPAC researchers believe that no mother should die from PPCM & mothers should fully recover if treated. This goal is within our reach; but we need everyones’ support to manage this healthy pregnancy movement and save families & lives. Woman have been giving birth since the beginning of time, enough girls have suffered and died. We should not be just in the early stages of this awareness. We fight the fight to be herd for others that no longer have a voice.
A leading research study group in North America, IPAC (Investigations of Pregnancy-Associated Cardiomyopathy), funded by the United States National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institution of Health (NIH), has documented improving full recovery levels of PPCM to greater than 90 % of victims when diagnosis can be made in the stage with less severe heart failure. IPAC’s work continues and is expanding its study from 30 to 50 medical centers in the USA and Canada, directed by Dr. Dennis M. McNamara, Cardiologist, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Again, we believe that no mother should die from PPCM and that all PPCM mothers should fully recover. This goal is within our reach; but we need your help."
IPAC investigations have demonstrated that there are no adverse effects of breastfeeding on recovery from PPCM. However, some who treat PPCM feel that it is absolutely mandatory to stop breastfeeding if one has PPCM; and to use bromocriptine-inhibition of prolactin, particularly in those who have more severe systolic dysfunction at diagnosis. At the same time, others who treat PPCM realize that the use of bromocriptine in a peripartum setting is potentially dangerous; (7-9) and also realize that truly controlled, randomized studies of PPCM subjects with both “use” and “non-use” of bromocriptine are still needed. (10) Whenever bromocriptine is used it is important to also use anti-coagulation treatment in order to help avoid the thrombotic/embolitic complications of its use. Adequately controlled studies should be done to clarify the role of prolactin metabolites in the development of PPCM. One of the IPAC goals is to carry out such a study. But that type of investigation would not even be a priority issue if PPCM could be diagnosed at an earlier stage. (11) We would never have to face the issue of “use” compared to “non-use” of the prolactin hormone inhibition by treatment with bromocriptine if we could diagnose PPCM with an initial LVEF above 35 %. In that situation, almost all, if not all, subjects would recover using standard recommended heart failure treatment.
This is an example of what can happen with late diagnosis: (4 months postpartum) of PPCM.
We continue to advocate for more awareness of the possibility for PPCM to develop and making an earlier diagnosis, even a prenatal diagnosis:
J Pak Med Assoc. 2019 Aug;69(8):1216-1218.
A case of peripartum cardiomyopathy presenting as bilateral acute limb ischaemia and gangrene.
Ashraf A1, Zahid S2, Ahmad Z2, Zia Ur Rehman A3, Faheem M1.
Department of Cardiology, Medical Teaching Institution, Khyber Teaching Hospital.2Medical Teaching Institution, Khyber Teaching Hospital.3Final Year Medical Student,
Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a condition of unknown etiology that presents as heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction in the last of month of pregnancy and up to six months after giving birth. PPCM predisposes towards thrombo-embolism and an acute limb ischaemia can be a manifestation of this disease. We present a case of a 23-year-old lady presenting an acute lower limb ischaemia four months post-partum. Doppler ultrasound showed bilateral femoral emboli and cardiac ECHO showed a 24% ejection fraction. Amputation was performed on both limbs, below her right knee and above her left knee. The patient was started on heart failure medication and her symptoms improved with diuretic therapy, confirming the diagnoses of PPCM. It is important to recognize acute limb ischaemia as a rare manifestation of PPCM, as a timely diagnosis and effective treatment of the disease can improve the prognosis. We believe this is the first case to be reported in medical literature from Pakistan of a patient presenting PPCM with bilateral acute limb ischaemia and gangrene.
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