Prolactin-Secreting Tumors

  • C. R. Kannan
Part of the Clinical Surveys in Endocrinology book series (CSED, volume 1)


Prolactin-secreting tumors are the most frequently encountered pituitary disorders in clinical practice. The realization that nearly 40% of so-called nonse- cretory and functionless pituitary tumors actually contain prolactin was an exciting one.1 This realization in conjunction with the development of a sensitive immunoassay for prolactin, the emergence of high-quality computed tomography (CT), and the discovery of dopamine agonist drugs has resulted
Table 75

Spectrum of Hyperprolactinemia


Serum prolactin (ng/ml)


Idiopathic hyperprolactinemia

↑ mild (<100)↑ ↑(100–300)

CT negative; no lesions in the pituitary or hypothalamus; benign, often self-limited course; does not progress into tumors


↑ ↑ (100–300)

Tumors <1 cm by CT No impairment in pituitary function; does not usually progress to microadenomas; negligible chances of enlargement during pregnancy


↑ ↑ ↑ >300

Tumors > cm by CT May impair pituitary function and often causes chiasmal compression

Invasive prolactinomas

↑ ↑ ↑ (500–2000)

Tumor >1 cm wit extension Often impairs pituitary function and often causes chiasmal compression


Variably ↑

Large nonsecretory tumor (negative staining for prolactin), with pressure on hypothalamicpituitary stalk. Interruption of dopamine transport elevates PRL

in a remarkably rapid growth in the understanding of prolactin-related disorders.


Pituitary Adenoma Pituitary Tumor Secondary Amenorrhea Bromocriptine Treatment Bromocriptine Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. R. Kannan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of MedicineCook County HospitalChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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