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Gender effects on cardiac valvular function in hyperprolactinaemic patients receiving cabergoline: a retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: Ergot-derived dopamine agonists are associated with increased risk of valvular dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. The risk of valvular disease associated with lower doses of cabergoline used to treat prolactinomas remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is an association of cabergoline and valvular function in patients with hyperprolactinaemia according to gender.

DESIGN: Case-record retrospective study.

SETTING: Outpatient neuroendocrine clinical centre at a tertiary care hospital.

STUDY PARTICIPANTS: One hundred patients (48 men and 52 women) with hyperprolactinaemia who had an echocardiogram while receiving cabergoline for at least 6 months.

CONTROLS: One hundred controls (48 men and 52 women) selected from Massachusetts general hospital (MGH) database of echocardiograms without clinically significant findings, matched to patients for age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and hypertension.


RESULTS: There were no significant differences in valvular function in patients compared with controls. However, women patients had a higher prevalence of mild tricuspid regurgitation (TR) than female controls (15.4%vs. 1.9%, P = 0.03). Among men only, patients had more trace TR than controls (68.8%vs. 45.8%, P = 0.02). The mild valvular regurgitation in patients was not clinically significant and did not correlate with dose, duration or cumulative dose.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall cabergoline was not associated with valvulopathy. However, subdivided by gender, hyperprolactinaemic men and women had higher prevalence of trace or mild TR, respectively, compared with gender matched controls. There may be gender differences in valvular dysfunction associated with cabergoline. Longer term, larger studies are necessary to evaluate definitively an effect of cabergoline on valvular function in hyperprolactinaemic patients.

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