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Absence of major fibrotic adverse events in hyperprolactinemic patients treated with cabergoline

M Lafeber, A M E Stades, G D Valk, M J Cramer, F Teding van Berkhout, P M J Zelissen
European Journal of Endocrinology 2010, 162 (4): 667-75

BACKGROUND: Cabergoline, a dopamine agonist used to treat hyperprolactinemia, is associated with an increased risk of fibrotic adverse reactions, e.g. cardiac valvular fibrosis, pleuropulmonary, and retroperitoneal fibrosis.

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the prevalence and risk of fibrotic adverse reactions during cabergoline therapy in hyperprolactinemic and acromegalic patients.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a University Hospital.

PATIENTS: A total of 119 patients with hyperprolactinemia and acromegaly who were on cabergoline therapy participated in the study.

METHODS: All patients were requested to undergo a cardiac assessment, pulmonary function test, chest X-ray, and blood tests as recommended by the European Medicine Agency. Matched controls were recruited to compare the prevalence of valvular regurgitation. Cardiac valvular fibrosis was evaluated by assessing valvular regurgitation and the mitral valve tenting area (MVTa). The risk of pleuropulmonary fibrosis was assessed by a pulmonary function test, a chest X-ray, and if indicated, by additional imaging studies.

RESULTS: The prevalence of clinically relevant valvular regurgitation was not significantly different between cases (11.3%) and controls (6.1%; P=0.16). The mean MVTa was 1.27+/-0.17 and 1.24+/-0.21 cm(2) respectively (P=0.54). Both valvular regurgitation and the MVTa were not related to the cumulative dose of cabergoline. A significantly decreased pulmonary function required additional imaging in seven patients. In one patient, possible early interstitial fibrotic changes were seen. Lung function impairment was not related to the cumulative cabergoline dose.

CONCLUSION: Cabergoline, typically dosed for the long-term treatment of hyperprolactinemia or acromegaly, appears not to be associated with an increased risk of fibrotic adverse events.

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