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Hello everyone,

A friend of mine was recently looking on the internet about some of the symptoms that she is having and now she thinks that she might have peripartum cardiomyopathy. Well, she is almost sure that she has it but I honestly think that she is exaggerating. She wants to go and do some tests in order to know for sure but she doesn't know which tests should she do.

I'm here to ask if anyone knows which tests could she do in order to find out if she has paripartum cardiomyopathy, and in case it turns out that she does have this condition, tell me about the treatment options, as well.

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Hi Alan,

First off, is she pregnant or did she just give birth?

If she has any concerns she should see her doctor.  Simply listening to her heart and lungs can help determine if there is a problem.  A common symptom is a crackling noise as she breathes - due to fluid in the lungs.

Swollen ankles and distended neck veins can indicate a cardiac problem.  An EKG can also be ordered. 

Have her see her doctor.

Good luck.

 

 

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Hi Alan,

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is an uncommon form of heart failure that happens during the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after giving birth. Is your friend pregnant? If not, you can count this one out, her symptoms might mean that she has some other condition, most of heart conditions have similar symptoms.

This can be diagnosed during a physical exam, doctors will look for signs of fluid in the lungs. A stethoscope will be used to listen for lung crackles, a rapid heart rate, or abnormal heart sounds. An echocardiogram can detect the cardiomyopathy by showing the diminished functioning of the heart. 

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Hi guys,

They are right, Alan, this is a condition which only pregnant women have or women who just gave birth, if she is not one of these, she should forget about peripartum cardiomyopathy.

PPCM is diagnosed when three criteria are met, first would be that heart failure develops in the last month of pregnancy or within 5 months of delivery. The second would be that heart pumping function is reduced, with an ejection fraction (EF) less than 45% (measured by an echocardiogram). EF is how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction. And the third one would be that no other cause for heart failure with reduced EF can be found.
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Hi everyone,

Nobody seems to have wrote anything about the treatment options for this condition although since you didn't mention that your friend is pregnant, I'm guessing that she isn't and that she doesn't have this condition, but I'll tell you about the treatment options anyway.

The objective of peripartum cardiomyopathy treatment is to keep extra fluid from collecting in the lungs and to help the heart recover as fully as possible.  Many women recover normal heart function or stabilize on medicines. Angiotensin converting enzyme, or ACE, inhibitors, beta blockers, diuretics, digitalis, anticoagulants, these are all used in order to treat peripartum cardiomyopathy.

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Good day guys.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy sometimes can be very difficult to diagnose and to detect because of the symptoms of the heart failure. Sometimes it is really hard to tell that someone is dealing with it. Of course, there are some symptoms that you can pay attention to such as swelling in the feet and legs and shortness of breath, but unfortunately this can be sign of any disease.

Physical exams are good and they can diagnose this disease. Doctors will look for signs of fluids in your lungs.

I can’t talk about the treatment options because I don’t know any of them.

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Hi everyone,

Well, the treatment options are the ones that Adria wrote above, I believe that beta blockers and anticoagulants are mostly used as they showed the best results regarding this matter.

Like they said already, it can easily be diagnosed by a physical exam, by looking at the fluids in your lungs.

Now, is your friend pregnant, Alan? Or did she maybe give birth in the last five months? In case she didn't, I can already tell you that she doesn't have this condition. But in case she is pregnant or she did give birth in the last five months, then she should probably visit her doctor.

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Hello everyone. Immune modulatory therapy is one of the treatment options as well. It is given in the inflammatory nature of peripartum cardiomyopathy and the occasional appearance of myocarditis on endomycardial biopsy, immune modulatory therapy and immunosuppressive.

I was not so sure is this the correct information, but then I asked my friend who had this therapy. She told me that she doesn’t know how doctors diagnosed this disease in her case but she told me that this therapy so far is very successful for her. At the beginning it is hard to get used on it, but after a few weeks everything is just fine.

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Hi there everyone.

Well, peripartum cardiomyopathy has a lot of definitions. I know that is more common in women and especially in multiparous women. It has been reported even more often in twin gestations and in women who have preeclampsia. But, both of these conditions are usually associated with a lower serum oncotic pressure that can predispose to noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.

Diagnose can be determined in a couple of ways and it is determined by the classes of this disease. There are 4 classes of this disease as far as I know.

When doctors determine which class is in your case they will tell you what is your treatment option. 

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Hello people. My name is Clara and I am 34 years old. I was eight months pregnant when I found out that I am having peripartum cardiomyopathy. I went to see my doctor and he told me that there is nothing wrong with me and my baby. And the next month he told me that I am having this! It was diagnosed by classic physical exam and I was always wondering why they haven’t found this earlier. They gave me treatment with some pills but they were not so sure are those pills going to be OK for me and my baby. Tnx God that everything was OK with my baby. That was my biggest concern.

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