Relaxin-2 and Soluble Flt1 Levels in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. Results of the Multicenter IPAC Study.

IPAC Investigators

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68 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study explored the association of vascular hormones with myocardial recovery and clinical outcomes in peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). Background: PPCM is an uncommon disorder with unknown etiology. Angiogenic imbalance may contribute to its pathophysiology. Methods: In 98 women with newly diagnosed PPCM enrolled in the Investigation in Pregnancy Associated Cardiomyopathy study, serum was obtained at baseline for analysis of relaxin-2, prolactin, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was assessed by echocardiography at baseline and 2, 6, and 12 months. Results: Mean age was 30 ± 6 years, with a baseline of LVEF 0.35 ± 0.09. Relaxin-2, prolactin, and sFlt1 were elevated in women presenting early post-partum, but decreased rapidly and were correlated inversely with time from delivery to presentation. In tertile analysis, higher relaxin-2 was associated with smaller left ventricular systolic diameter (p = 0.006) and higher LVEF at 2 months (p = 0.01). This was particularly evident in women presenting soon after delivery (p = 0.02). No relationship was evident for myocardial recovery and prolactin, sFlt1 or VEGF levels. sFlt1 levels were higher in women with higher New York Heart Association functional class (p = 0.01) and adverse clinical events (p = 0.004). Conclusions: In women with newly diagnosed PPCM, higher relaxin-2 levels soon after delivery were associated with myocardial recovery at 2 months. In contrast, higher sFlt1 levels correlated with more severe symptoms and major adverse clinical events. Vascular mediators may contribute to the development of PPCM and influence subsequent myocardial recovery. (Investigation in Pregnancy Associate Cardiomyopathy [IPAC]; NCT01085955).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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