Cardiac valvular abnormalities associated with use and cumulative exposure of cabergoline for hyperprolactinemia: the CATCH study

Amer Budayr, Thida C Tan, Joan C Lo, Jonathan G Zaroff, Grace H Tabada, Jingrong Yang, Alan S Go
BMC Endocrine Disorders 2020 February 19, 20 (1): 25

BACKGROUND: Whether lower dose cabergoline therapy for hyperprolactinemia increases risk of valvular dysfunction remains controversial. We examined valvular abnormalities among asymptomatic adults with hyperprolactinemia treated with dopamine agonists.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among adults receiving cabergoline or bromocriptine for > 12 months for hyperprolactinemia and had no cardiac-related symptoms. Cardiac valve morphology and function were assessed from transthoracic echocardiograms at the study visit (except for two participants) with evaluation performed blinded to type and duration of dopamine agonist received.

RESULTS: Among 174 participants (mean age 49 ± 13 years, 63% women) without known structural heart disease before starting therapy, 62 received only cabergoline, 63 received only bromocriptine, and 49 received both. Median cabergoline use was 2.8 years in cabergoline only users and 3.2 years for those exposed to both cabergoline and bromocriptine; median bromocriptine use was 5.5 years in bromocriptine only users and 1.1 years for those exposed to both cabergoline and bromocriptine. Compared with bromocriptine only users (17.5%), regurgitation of ≥1 valve was more common for cabergoline only (37.1%, P = 0.02) but not for combined exposure (26.5%, P = 0.26). Compared with bromocriptine only exposure (1.6%), regurgitation of ≥2 valves was more common for cabergoline only (11.3%, P = 0.03) and combined exposure (12.2%, P = 0.04). Cabergoline only users had higher age-sex-adjusted odds for ≥1 valve with grade 2+ regurgitation compared to bromocriptine only users (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.3-7.5, P = 0.008), but the association for combined exposure to cabergoline and bromocriptine was not significant (aOR 1.7, 95%CI:0.7-4.3, P = 0.26). Compared to bromocriptine only, age-sex-adjusted odds of ≥2 valves with grade 2+ regurgitation were higher for both cabergoline only (aOR 8.4, 95% CI:1.0-72.2, P = 0.05) and combined exposure (aOR 8.8, 95% CI:1.0-75.8, P = 0.05). Cumulative cabergoline exposure > 115 mg was associated with a higher age-sex adjusted odds of ≥2 valves with grade 2+ regurgitation (aOR 9.6, 95%CI:1.1-81.3, P = 0.04) compared to bromocriptine only.

CONCLUSIONS: Among community-based adults treated for hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline use and greater cumulative cabergoline exposure were associated with a higher prevalence of primarily mild valvular regurgitation compared with bromocriptine. Research is needed to clarify which patients treated with dopamine agonists may benefit from echocardiographic screening and surveillance.

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