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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Cardiomyopathy & Pregnancy

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 Tracy - Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:04 pm

What is the current thinking on the effect of pre-existing dilated cardiomyopathy on pregnancy? My cardiologist tells me with an EF of 55% and only slight heart enlargement and stable echos over 8 years I am safe to get pregnant. Today, a neonatologist tells me what I have is equal to peripartum cardiomyopathyand I would have a 50% mortality rate. (A study by Urania Magriples, MD from New Haven, CT says I would be safe.) Who and what to believe is the question!!! I need more information before deciding to give up...or go ahead.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:53 pm

User avatar Dear Tracy,

During pregnancy, the female's body undergoes several physiologic changes, of which are changes of the circulation and the cardiovascular system. These changes pause a stress on the heart. There is also a load on the heart during labor and even after delivery of the placenta for a limited period of time.

With your history, i think i will agree with your cardiologist.

But you have to remember that there is nothing without risk and there is no 100% guaranty. You have to know and fully understand what are the risks that pregnancy carry in your case, and you and only you should decide whether or not the gains outweigh the risks and whether you (and your other family members if you wish) are ready to take those risks.

If you decide to go for it, then you will have to be followed up during pregnancy very strictly, there are medications that you will have to stop before getting pregnant like the captopril.

During labor, i am not sure what your ob/gyn decide whether or not to have a c/s versus normal delivery, but if you have a normal delivery, the stage where you push the baby out has to be shortened and after delivery of the placenta you have to be watched for fluid overload. i would prefer also that labor takes place in a hospital where there is ample experience with patients like yourself, cardiac patients going through labor.

Good luck.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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