A Delayed Presentation of Post-Partum Cardiomyopathy

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A 39 year old female presented to the Emergency Department with a two week history of worsening shortness of breath and cough. She had no past medical history with no regular medication and was eight weeks post-partum. This had been an uncomplicated pregnancy (P2G2) and normal delivery. She was initially referred to the Acute Medical Unit as a bilateral pneumonia and had been treated with IV antibiotics and IV fluids. During post-take ward round her inflammatory markers were noted to be unremarkable and further history revealed progressive orthopnoea with examination features suggesting heart failure. Chest X-ray revealed cardiomegaly, bilateral opacities and upper lobe diversion in keeping with this diagnosis. A bedside echo was performed showing severely impaired biventricular function with severe mitral regurgitation.


PLAX with colour doppler demonstrating MR


A4C with colour doppler demonstrating severe MR

A4C with colour doppler demonstrating TR

A4C CW showing MR

She was managed with loop-diuretics and nitrates and was referred to cardiology who commenced ACEI and B-blockers. She has been making an excellent recovery and follow up imaging has demonstrated an excellent improvement in ventricular function.

Chris Duncan

Chris Duncan

Dr Chris Duncan is a Registrar in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. He is the co-editor and web designer for Ultrasound for the Generalist.
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