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.
- Cardiac valvulopathy regression
- Drug discontinuation
- Ergot-derived dopamine agonists
- Parkinson disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)