Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy that presents with signs of heart failure in the last month of pregnancy or within five months of delivery. It is considered to be a relatively rare but a life-threatening cardiovascular complication of pregnancy among otherwise healthy women without a prior history of heart disease. In the last CEMACE report, six maternal deaths were attributed to PPCM. Risk factors include pre-eclampsia, hypertension, obesity, increased maternal age and parity, multiple gestation and severe anaemia.
We report three cases of PPCM from a District General Hospital, with a birth rate of 2400 births per year, which occurred over a period of six months. We will discuss clinical presentation, examination findings, investigations and management in these three cases. Multidisciplinary approach resulted in a good outcome in these women.
PPCM may not as rare as the literature suggests. Obesity and related risks, increasing maternal age and a better knowledge of the condition may have contributed to the rising incidence in the recent years. High index of suspicion in women at risk, familiarity with the signs and symptoms of PPCM and multidisciplinary input is paramount in the management of these cases.