n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Electrocardiographic predictors of peripartum cardiomyopathy : cardiovascular topics




To identify potential electrocardiographic predictors of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM).

This was a case-control study carried out in three hospitals in Kano, Nigeria. Logistic regression models and a risk score were developed to determine electrocardiographic predictors of PPCM.
A total of 54 PPCM and 77 controls were consecutively recruited after satisfying the inclusion criteria. After controlling for confounding variables, a rise in heart rate of one beat/minute increased the risk of PPCM by 6.4% ( = 0.001), while the presence of ST-T-wave changes increased the odds of PPCM 12.06-fold ( < 0.001). In the patients, QRS duration modestly correlated ( = 0.4; < 0.003) with left ventricular dimensions and end-systolic volume index, and was responsible for 19.9% of the variability of the latter (2 = 0.199; = 0.003). A risk score of ≥ 2, developed by scoring 1 for each of the three ECG disturbances (tachycardia, ST-T-wave abnormalities and QRS duration), had a sensitivity of 85.2%, specificity of 64.9%, negative predictive value of 86.2% and area under the curve of 83.8% ( < 0.0001) for potentially predicting PPCM.
In postpartum women, using the risk score could help to streamline the diagnosis of PPCM with significant accuracy, prior to confirmatory investigations.


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