A global perspective on the management and outcomes of peripartum cardiomyopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) remains a major contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. The disease is associated with various complications occurring mainly early during its course. Reported adverse outcomes include decompensated heart failure, thromboembolic complications, arrhythmias and death. We sought to systematically and comprehensively review published literature on the management, and outcome of women with PPCM across different geographical regions and to identify possible predictors of adverse outcomes.

Methods and results:

We performed a comprehensive search of relevant literature (2000 to June 2021) across a number of electronic databases. Cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies, as well as control arms of randomised controlled trials reporting on six- and/or twelve-month outcomes of PPCM were considered eligible (PROSPERO registration: CRD42021255654). Forty-seven studies (4875 patients across 60 countries) met the inclusion criteria. Haemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters were similar across all continents. All-cause mortality was 8.0% [95% CI 5.5-10.8, I2 =79.1%) at six months and 9.8% [95% CI 6.2-14.0], I2 =80.5%) at twelve months, respectively. All-cause mortality was highest in Africa and Asia/Pacific. Overall, 44.1% ([95% CI 36.1-52.2], I2 =91.7%) of patients recovered their LV function within six months and 58.7% ([95% CI 48.1-68.9], I2 =75.8%) within twelve months, respectively. Europe and North America reported the highest prevalence of LV recovery. Frequent prescription of beta-blocker, ACE-I/ARB and bromocriptine/cabergoline were associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality and better LV recovery.


We identified significant global differences in six- and twelve-month outcomes in women with PPCM. Frequent prescription of guideline-directed heart failure therapy was associated with better LV recovery and lower all-cause mortality. Timely initiation and up-titration of heart failure therapy should therefore be strongly encouraged to improve outcome in PPCM. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


complications; meta-analysis; mortality; outcomes; peripartum cardiomyopathy; systematic review.

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