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Peri-partum cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle weakness that occurs during or following pregnancy. Research suggests that many initial heart injuries including viruses, pregnancy and other unknown causes, can lead to a process of inflammation of the heart muscle which can weaken the heart and cause cardiomyopathy. Why this process occurs in women during pregnancy is not well understood and if it differs from those women who develop cardiomyopathy from a virus is unknown. This study has been proposed to look at genetic information (DNA) as well as the immune system (the body's response to fight off infections and/or viruses) to find possible causes for the heart muscle damage that occurs in peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Specific Aim 1: Evaluate systemic immune activation as the etiology of PPCM. We will determine a) the degree of immune activation in PPCM and b) the relationship of autoimmunity to left ventricular dysfunction and time course of myocardial recovery, in 100 women enrolled at 30 centers. Subjects will have blood drawn for assessment of autoantibodies, and cellular immune activation at presentation, 2 month and 6 month postpartum, and will have assessment of LVEF by transthoracic echo at presentation, 2 months, 6 months and 12 months post partum. This aim will explore the hypothesis that more prolonged activation of the cellular and/or humoral immune system is associated with greater likelihood of persistent chronic cardiomyopathy.
In addition this aim will determine genetic and clinical predictors of LV recovery, and evaluate racial differences in presentation, remodeling and recovery. This study will evaluate the echo parameters of dysynchrony, diastolic function, LV size and volumes to determine echo predictors of subsequent recovery. In addition racial differences in presentation, remodeling and recovery will be investigated.
Specific Aim 2: Investigate frequency of myocardial injury or inflammation on cardiac MRI and the ability of tissue characteristics to predict subsequent recovery of LVEF. Cardiac MRI with gadolinium enhancement will be performed in 50 subjects with PPCM from Aim 1 at presentation and repeated at 6 months post partum. We will test the hypothesis is that subjects with more extensive injury (defined as % myocardium with late gadolinium enhancement) will have less recovery at 6 months.
Specific Aim 3: Establish DNA and serum to facilitate future investigations of the pathogenesis of peripartum cardiomyopathy. All subjects enrolled will have DNA, RNA from peripheral blood and serum banked at entry. Serum will be repeated at 2 and 6 months post partum.
Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Prospective
University of Southern California
University of Pittsburgh
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:15:16-0400
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