Evaluation of bromocriptine in the treatment of acute severe peripartum cardiomyopathy: a proof-of-concept pilot study

Sliwa, K. et al. (2010) Evaluation of bromocriptine in the treatment of acute severe peripartum cardiomyopathy: a proof-of-concept pilot study. Circulation, 121(13), pp. 1465-1473. (doi:10.1161/circulationaha.109.901496) (PMID:20308616)

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Background— Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a potentially life-threatening heart disease that occurs in previously healthy women. We identified prolactin, mainly its 16-kDa angiostatic and proapoptotic form, as a key factor in PPCM pathophysiology. Previous reports suggest that bromocriptine may have beneficial effects in women with acute onset of PPCM.

Methods and Results— A prospective, single-center, randomized, open-label, proof-of-concept pilot study of women with newly diagnosed PPCM receiving standard care (PPCM-Std; n=10) versus standard care plus bromocriptine for 8 weeks (PPCM-Br, n=10) was conducted. Because mothers receiving bromocriptine could not breast-feed, the 6-month outcome of their children (n=21) was studied as a secondary end point. Blinded clinical, hemodynamic, and echocardiographic assessments were performed at baseline and 6 months after diagnosis. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed 4 to 6 weeks after diagnosis in PPCM-Br patients. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics, including serum 16-kDa prolactin levels and cathepsin D activity, between the 2 study groups. PPCM-Br patients displayed greater recovery of left ventricular ejection fraction (27% to 58%; P=0.012) compared with PPCM-Std patients (27% to 36%) at 6 months. One patient in the PPCM-Br group died compared with 4 patients in the PPCM-Std group. Significantly fewer PPCM-Br patients (n=1, 10%) experienced the composite end point of poor outcome defined as death, New York Heart Association functional class III/IV, or left ventricular ejection fraction <35% at 6 months compared with the PPCM-Std patients (n=8, 80%; P=0.006). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed no intracavitary thrombi. Infants of mothers in both groups showed normal growth and survival.

Conclusions— In this trial, the addition of bromocriptine to standard heart failure therapy appeared to improve left ventricular ejection fraction and a composite clinical outcome in women with acute severe PPCM, although the number of patients studied was small and the results cannot be considered definitive. Larger-scale multicenter and blinded studies are in progress to test this strategy more robustly.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMurray, Professor John
Authors: Sliwa, K., Blauwet, L., Tibazarwa, K., Libhaber, E., Smedema, J.P., Becker, A., McMurray, J., Yamac, H., Labidi, S., Struman, I., and Hilfiker-Kleiner, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Journal Name:Circulation
Publisher:American Heart Association
ISSN (Online):1524-4539
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