Evidence for hyperprolactinemia in migraineurs: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Ali Noori-Zadeh
  • Morvarid Karamkhani
  • Ali Seidkhani-NahalEmail author
  • Afra Khosravi
  • Shahram Darabi
Original Article



One of the hypothalamus-pituitary axis hormones which may play a crucial role in pathophysiology of migraine is prolactin which is secreted from anterior pituitary gland and synthesized by various immune system cells as well. Whether prolactin blood levels can affect the migraine pathogenesis is an open question. Therefore, investigating prolactin circulatory levels in migraineurs may pave the way to underpin the mechanisms of migraine pathophysiology at biochemical levels. In the current investigation, the prolactin blood levels in the migraine subjects were investigated using systematic review and meta-analysis.


Using online and specialized biomedical databases including Google Scholar, Medline, Pubmed, Pubmed Central, Embase, and Scopus, without the beginning date restriction until Feb 2019, the systematic review retrieved 11 publications in this systematic review after fulfilling for the inclusion and exclusion criteria. For heterogeneity, extent calculation statistical testing was applied. In the present study, the levels of circulatory prolactin in migraineurs assessed using standardized mean difference (SMD) as the effect size.


Q quantity and I2% statistic index showed a high heterogeneity in the 13 selected publications (188.370 and 92.568, respectively) and random-effects model was chosen for further analyses. The meta-analysis on a total number of 460 migraineurs and 429 healthy controls found that the weighted pooled SMD for the effects of prolactin blood concentrations on migraine pathogenesis was as follows: SMD = 1.435 (95% confidence interval, 0.854–2.015).


The current investigation presents evidence that prolactin blood levels are higher in migraineurs than healthy subjects.


Prolactin Migraine Pain Pituitary Aura 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The present study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Ilam University of Medical Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Allied Medical SciencesIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of HealthIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Immunology, Faculty of MedicineIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  5. 5.Cellular and Molecular Research CenterQazvin University of Medical ScienceQazvinIran

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