Bromocriptine Improves Central Aortic Stiffness in Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes: Arterial Health Results From the BCQR-T1D Study

Hypertension. 2023 Feb;80(2):482-491. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.122.19547. Epub 2022 Dec 6.


Background: The presence of vascular dysfunction is a well-recognized feature in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D), accentuating their lifetime risk of cardiovascular events. Therapeutic strategies to mitigate vascular dysfunction are a high clinical priority. In the bromocriptine quick release T1D study (BCQR-T1D), we tested the hypothesis that BCQR would improve vascular health in youth with T1D.

Methods: BCQR-T1D was a placebo-controlled, random-order, double-blinded, cross-over study investigating the cardiovascular and metabolic impact of BCQR in T1D. Adolescents in the BCQR-T1D study were randomized 1:1 to phase-1: 4 weeks of BCQR or placebo after which blood pressure and central aortic stiffness measurements by pulse wave velocity, relative area change, and distensibility from phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging were performed. Following a 4-week washout period, phase 2 was performed in identical fashion with the alternate treatment.

Results: Thirty-four adolescents (mean age 15.9±2.6 years, hemoglobin A1c 8.6±1.1%, body mass index percentile 71.4±26.1, median T1D duration 5.8 years) with T1D were enrolled and had magnetic resonance imaging data available. Compared with placebo, BCQR therapy decreased systolic (∆=-5 mmHg [95% CI, -3 to -7]; P<0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (∆=-2 mmHg [95% CI, -4 to 0]; P=0.039). BCQR reduced ascending aortic pulse wave velocity (∆=-0.4 m/s; P=0.018) and increased relative area change (∆=-2.6%, P=0.083) and distensibility (∆=0.08%/mmHg; P=0.017). In the thoraco-abdominal aorta, BCQR decreased pulse wave velocity (∆=-0.2 m/s; P=0.007) and increased distensibility (∆=0.05 %/mmHg; P=0.013).

Conclusions: BCQR improved blood pressure and central and peripheral aortic stiffness and pressure hemodynamics in adolescents with T1D over 4 weeks versus placebo. BCQR may improve aortic stiffness in youth with T1D, supporting future longer-term studies.

Keywords: bromocriptine; hemodynamics; hypertension; pediatrics; stiffness.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bromocriptine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Vascular Stiffness* / physiology


  • Bromocriptine