Predicting Cardiac Events in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

Peripartum cardiomyopathy, a dangerous heart condition that can present in the last month of pregnancy, can lead to major cardiac events. Researchers have found a way to evaluate risk using a biomarker, galectin-3.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a dangerous heart condition that can present in the last month of pregnancy, can lead to major cardiac events including death. Researchers have found a way to evaluate risk using a biomarker, galectin-3.

In a study to be presented April 4 at the American College of Cardiology 65th Scientific Session & Expo in Chicago, IL, Kate Elizabeth Groh and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, reported on 100 women with PPCM.

All were enrolled at 30 participating study centers within 13 weeks of giving birth.

The researchers measured galectin-3 levels in serum and tracked outcomes over one year.

They found galectin-3 is markedly elevated in these women compared to controls, healthy non-peripartum wom en, and women with non-peripartum acute dilated cardiomyopathy.

Galectin-3 levels were higher in subjects with major cardiovascular events.

Tracking these levels could predict patients' risk, they concluded. "Galectin-3 is elevated in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy and high levels appear to predict major cardiovascular events," they wrote in an abstract.