Valvular heart disease in Parkinson's disease treated with ergot derivative dopamine agonists



Valvular heart disease, associated with ergot derivative dopamine agonists, has been reported in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). There are few comparative studies on the frequency, severity, and dose dependency of valvular disease associated with ergot derivatives. We analyzed these factors in 58 PD patients who were taking ergot derivatives (22 were taking bromocriptine and 36 were taking pergolide) and compared them with 20 age-matched controls based on the two-dimensional echocardiographic findings. Aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valvular thicknesses, as well as tenting areas and tenting distance of the mitral valve were measured. We also assessed the correlation between the cumulative or daily doses of ergot derivatives and each valvular parameter. There was no significant increase in the frequency of valvulopathy in the PD patients taking bromocriptine or pergolide. We identified a positive correlation between the daily dose of pergolide and the tenting area of the mitral valve (r = 0.385; P = 0.020). However, other valvular parameters were not found to correlate with the age, disease duration, treatment duration, or dosage of medication. Our study failed to uncover definitive harmful effects of ergot derivative dopamine agonists on cardiac valves; this is considering the relatively lower daily doses than other reported cases. To establish a dosage dependency with valvulopathy, a more detailed study with higher doses of ergot derivatives for longer duration of treatment may be needed. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society