for females ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Hilary Shapiro, MD



The study will enroll 200 women newly diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy within 5 months postpartum in a randomized placebo controlled trial of bromocriptine therapy to evaluate its impact on myocardial recovery and clinical outcomes. Given that bromocriptine prevents breastfeeding, an additional 50 women with peripartum cardiomyopathy excluded from the trial due to a desire to continue breastfeeding but meeting all other entry criteria will be followed in an observational cohort.

Official Title

Randomized Evaluation of Bromocriptine In Myocardial Recovery THerapy for Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (REBIRTH)


The study will enroll 200 women newly diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy within 5 months postpartum in a randomized trial of bromocriptine therapy to evaluate its impact on myocardial recovery. All women will have an assessment of LVEF demonstrating an LVEF < or = 0.40 within 4 weeks prior to consent. The women in the breastfeeding cohort will have a qualifying LVEF < 0.40 within 8 weeks prior to consent. At entry they will then have an assessment of LVEF by echocardiogram which will be repeated at 6- and 12-months post study entry. Subjects in the randomized trial will be randomized to standard medical therapy for heart failure plus placebo or standard therapy plus 8 weeks of bromocriptine (2.5 mg twice daily for 2 weeks then once 2.5 mg daily for 6 weeks). Women receiving bromocriptine not currently on anticoagulation will also receive prophylactic anticoagulation with rivaroxaban 10 mg once daily for 8 weeks.

Primary analysis will compare LVEF at 6 months post entry in the women receiving standard therapy plus bromocriptine to those on standard therapy plus placebo (controlling for initial baseline LVEF). Secondary endpoints will analyze the LVEF in both treatment groups at 12 months post randomization. In addition, subjects will be followed for up to 3 years post randomization and survival free from a major event (cardiac transplantation or durable LVAD implantation) and survival free from heart failure hospitalization will be compared by treatment group.

The benefits of bromocriptine are theoretically related to suppression of prolactin secretion. Breastfeeding increases prolactin levels, and whether continued breastfeeding will impact myocardial recovery in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy remains unknown. As bromocriptine prevents breastfeeding, women who want to continue breastfeeding are excluded from the randomized trial. Up to 50 women meeting all other criteria but excluded from REBIRTH due to an intent to continue to breastfeed will be enrolled in an observational cohort. They will receive standard therapy with no additional intervention and will have the same follow up and assessment of myocardial recovery by echocardiogram at 6- and 12-months post entry as women in the randomized trial.

Blood will be obtained at entry for DNA banking, and analysis of serum, and whole blood RNA . Additional serum and whole blood RNA will be banked at 1-, 3-, and 6-months post randomization. This investigation will evaluate the impact of bromocriptine therapy on the levels of intact 23 kilodalton (kDa) prolactin and the 16 kDa prolactin fragment, as well as microRNA (miR) 146a. The biomarker analysis will also be performed in the observational cohort of women excluded due to continued breast feeding. The impact of these biomarkers on outcomes in both the treatment and control groups as well as the observational cohort excluded due to breastfeeding will be examined.

A core laboratory will analyze all echocardiograms. In addition to quantifying the LVEF at entry, 6 months and 12 months post entry, the core will evaluate global longitudinal strain (LGS) and remodeling (LV volumes) at entry as predictors of outcome and drug response. They will also evaluate the impact of therapy on LGS and LV volumes at 6- and 12-months post randomization.


Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, Postpartum, Cardiomyopathies, Bromocriptine, Rivaroxaban, Guideline Directed Medical Therapy for Heart Failure (GDMT)


You can join if…

Open to females ages 18 years and up

  1. Presentation with a new diagnosis of peripartum cardiomyopathy
  2. Post-delivery and within the first 5 months post-partum.
  3. Clinical assessment of an LVEF < or =0.40 within 4 weeks of consent for randomized control trial
  4. Clinical assessment of an LVEF < or =0.40 within 8 weeks of consent for breastfeeding cohort
  5. Age > or = 18.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Previous diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, valvular disease or congenital heart disease (with the exception of women with a history of peripartum cardiomyopathy with complete recovery and a documented LVEF > 0.55 prior to or in early pregnancy)
  2. Refractory hypertension (Systolic >160 or Diastolic > 95) either at the time of enrollment or at the time of the qualifying LVEF.
  3. Postpartum women currently breastfeeding and planning to continue.
  4. Evidence of coronary artery disease (>50% stenosis of major epicardial vessel or positive non-invasive stress test)
  5. Previous cardiac transplant
  6. Current durable LVAD support
  7. Currently requiring support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  8. Current history of alcohol or drug abuse
  9. Chemotherapy or chest radiation within 5 years of enrollment

    10. Evidence of ongoing bacterial septicemia 11. Medical, social or psychiatric condition which limit the ability to comply with



  • University of California San Diego accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92037-7411 United States
  • University of California Irvine Health accepting new patients
    Orange California 92868 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Dennis M. McNamara, MD, MS
Phase 4 Cardiomyopathy Research Study
Study Type
Expecting 250 study participants
Last Updated