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Cardiovasc Ther. 2011 Dec;29(6):404-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00169.x. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Regression of cardiac valvulopathy related to ergot-derived dopamine agonists.

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1
Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Istituti Clinici diPerfezionamento, Via Bignami 1, Milan, Italy. renzo.zanettini@icp.mi.it

Abstract

AIMS:

In a previous echocardiographic prevalence study we reported a significant increase in the frequency of heart valve regurgitation in patients with Parkinson's disease taking the ergot-derived dopamine agonists pergolide and cabergoline versus controls. We followed-up our original cohort of patients to ascertain whether valvulopathy regressed after discontinuation of treatment and/or its incidence increased over time.

METHODS:

Prospective follow-up of 101 patients treated with ergot-derived dopamine agonists included in the prevalence study: 53 given pergolide and 48 cabergoline (64% male; 66.4 ± 8.7 years of age, 11.5 ± 5.9 years of disease, 21.8 ± 5.9 months of follow-up); 55 stopped treatment while 46 continued. The main outcomes measures, were: echocardiographic quantification of regurgitant valve disease, abnormal leaflet, or cusp thickening and measurement of mitral valve tenting area.

RESULTS:

Valve abnormalities regressed in about one third of patients with significant multivalvular and in about half of the patients with monovalvular regurgitation who withdrew; no progression was observed in remaining patients. Patients continuing ergot-derived dopamine agonists showed progression of cardiac valvulopathy: seven new cases with three to four regurgitation grade of any valve occurred during follow-up; this regarded also patients who had been on pergolide for many years.

CONCLUSION:

Owing to the persistence of risk of heart valve damage over time and the lack of its mid-term reversibility in many patients, we believe that pergolide and cabergoline should be prescribed only when therapeutic alternatives with a better risk/benefit ratio are unavailable and the patient has access to echocardiography.

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