Peripartum cardiomyopathy: a global effort to find the cause and cure for the rare and little understood disease

Amy Li, K. Campbell, S. Lal, Y. Ge, A. Keogh, P. S. Macdonald, P. Lau, John Lai, W. A. Linke, J. Van der Velden, A. Field, B. Martinac, M. Grosser, Cristobal dos Remedios

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this review, we present our current understanding of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) based on reports of the incidence, diagnosis and current treatment options. We summarise opinions on whether PPCM is triggered by vascular and/or hormonal causes and examine the influence of comorbidities such as preeclampsia. Two articles published in 2021 strongly support the hypothesis that PPCM may be a familial disease. Using large cohorts of PPCM patients, they summarised the available genomic DNA sequence data that are expressed in human cardiomyocytes. While PPCM is considered a disease predominately affecting the left ventricle, there are data to suggest that some cases also involve right ventricular failure. Finally, we conclude that there is sufficient evidence to warrant an RNAseq investigation and that this would be most informative if performed at the cardiomyocytes level rather than analysing genomic DNA from the peripheral circulation. Given the rarity of PPCM, the combined resources of international human heart tissue biobanks have assembled 30 ventricular tissue samples from PPCM patients, and we are actively seeking to enlarge this patient base by collaborating with human heart tissue banks and research laboratories who would like to join this endeavour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
AGRF is supported by the Australian Government National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Initiative through Bioplatforms Australia. Medical Advances Without Animals (MAWA) provided essential infrastructure for the Sydney Heart Bank.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Gene mutation in cardiomyocytes
  • Heart failure in pregnancy
  • Peripartum cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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