Valvular heart disease and the use of dopamine agonists for Parkinson's disease

Renzo Zanettini, Angelo Antonini, Gemma Gatto, Rosa Gentile, Silvana Tesei, Gianni Pezzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Ergot-derived dopamine receptor agonists, often used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, have been associated with an increased risk of valvular heart disease. METHODS: We performed an echocardiographic prevalence study in 155 patients taking dopamine agonists for Parkinson's disease (pergolide, 64 patients; cabergoline, 49; and non-ergot-derived dopamine agonists, 42) and 90 control subjects. Valve regurgitation was assessed according to American Society of Echocardiography recommendations. The mitral-valve tenting area was also measured and used as a quantitative index for leaflet stiffening and apical displacement of leaflet coaptation. RESULTS: Clinically important regurgitation (moderate to severe, grade 3 to 4) in any valve was found with significantly greater frequency in patients taking pergolide (23.4%) or cabergoline (28.6%) but not in patients taking non-ergot-derived dopamine agonists (0%), as compared with control subjects (5.6%). The relative risk for moderate or severe valve regurgitation in the pergolide group was 6.3 for mitral regurgitation (P=0.008), 4.2 for aortic regurgitation (P=0.01), and 5.6 for tricuspid regurgitation (P=0.16); corresponding relative risks in the cabergoline group were 4.6 (P=0.09), 7.3 (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 4 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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