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A mother’s heartache: peripartum cardiomyopathy

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F T Leong, Department of Cardiology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK; L O Hughes, Department of Cardiology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, UK; Correspondence to: Dr Fong Leong, F.T.Leong{at}

A 35 year old white woman presented with chest pain and breathlessness 10 days following an elective caesarean section. This was her second pregnancy, which had proceeded to term without complications. Up until then, she had been completely fit and well. Her ECGs were found to be abnormal, and the ultrasound study of her heart gave serious cause for concern.

This interactive case report charts the evolution of the patient’s clinical course and provides concise and up-to-date literature reviews on two cardiac conditions that share a predilection for women in the peripartum period.

The purpose of this interactive case presentation is to illustrate:

  • The diagnosis of peripartum cardiomyopathy

  • The investigation, management, and prognosis of the condition

  • The risk of subsequent pregnancy

  • The diagnosis of spontaneous coronary artery dissection

  • The potential complications of the condition

  • The management options for spontaneous coronary artery dissection

This interactive case history is hosted on BMJ Learning—the best available learning website for medical professionals from The BMJ Group.

To access the interactive case, please use [Take this module on BMJ Learning] link from the online article content box or table of contents.


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