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Clinical Features and Medical Treatment of Male Prolactinomas

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Background. Prolactinomas found in male patients show distinct clinical features compared to those in female patients, which may warrant a different treatment strategy.

Method. To clarify their clinical features and to evaluate the treatment results, specifically the results of surgical treatment and non-surgical treatment solely with oral bromocriptine, we retrospectively reviewed our experience in male prolactinoma cases.

Findings. From 1988 to 1998, we had 184 pituitary adenoma patients, and thirteen of those were male patients with a pure prolactinoma. Of the thirteen patients, eight underwent transsphenoidal surgery followed by oral bromocriptine (surgical group), and five were treated solely with bromocriptine or terguride (non-surgical group). In both groups, the visual symptoms and signs resolved after the treatment, and the serum prolactin levels were normalised with minimal maintenance dose of bromocriptine. Notably, improvement of the visual symptom in the three non-surgically treated patients was observed within a week following the bromocriptine administration.

Interpretation. Although surgery would continue to play an important part of treatment in some cases with a large tumour, our experience suggests that drug treatment without surgery can be a safe and effective option in the management of male prolactinoma patients.

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Asano, S., Ueki, K., Suzuki, I. et al. Clinical Features and Medical Treatment of Male Prolactinomas. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 143, 465–470 (2001).

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