Valvular heart disease in patients taking pergolide

Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Dec;77(12):1280-6. doi: 10.4065/77.12.1280.


Objective: To determine whether an association exists between pergolide and valvular heart disease.

Patients and methods: Three patients with severe, unexplained tricuspid regurgitation were examined at our institution from September 2000 to April 2002. Echocardiography and histology of surgically explanted valves revealed abnormalities suggestive of carcinoid involvement, methysergide or ergotamine treatment, or use of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine. Carcinoid valvular heart disease was excluded. None of the patients had prior treatment with these drugs. All 3 patients were taking pergolide.

Results: Of the 3 patients, 2 had predominantly right-sided congestive heart failure. In all 3 patients, echocardiography showed unusual valve morphology, with severe tricuspid valve regurgitation. Significant left-sided valve regurgitation was noted in 2 patients. Histologic analysis revealed surface fibroproliferative lesions with preserved underlying valve architecture.

Conclusion: The echocardiographic and histopathologic features of these cases are strikingly similar to those associated with carcinoid-, ergot-, and fenfluramine-induced valve disease. An association between pergolide and valvular heart disease may therefore exist.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Pergolide / adverse effects*
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / chemically induced*
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / pathology
  • Ultrasonography


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Pergolide