Many women with pregnancy-related cardiomyopathy do well

4th April 2016

Doctors in America believe they may have found a way to predict which women with pregnancy-related cardiomyopathy are likely to suffer more seriously.

This type of cardiomyopathy, called peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), affects women in the last months of pregnancy or soon after the birth.   Some women make a complete recovery while others need a heart transplant or occasionally die.

Now researchers say they have found a way to evaluate individual women’s risk of serious events, using a biomarker called galectin-3.

When looking at women who suffered the most serious events, they found the protein galectin-3 was markedly raised.

The study, by Dr Kate Groh and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, looked at how well 100 women with PPCM did.  The results are due to be presented to the American College of Cardiology’s 65th scientific sessions today (Monday, 4 April).

The 100 women were enrolled in the study at 30 medical centres within 13 weeks of giving birth.  The researchers measured their galectin-3 levels in serum and tracked how well then did over one year.

They compared them with healthy women and women with acute dilated cardiomyopathy.  They found that galectin-3 levels were higher in women who had the most serious heart related events.

“Tracking these levels could predict patients’s risks, the researchers concluded.

See more details here