Benserazide and nomifensine in the diagnosis of prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas

A. E. Pontiroli, G. Loda, A. Roggia, P. Scagliola, L. Falsetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benserazide, an inhibitor of dopa-decarboxylase, stimulates prolactin (Prl) release in normal women and in puerperae; nomifensine, a dopaminergic drug able to release dopamine and to inhibit its re-uptake at the post-synaptic level inhibits Prl release in the same subjects. Similar modifications of Prl release are evident in selected cases of non-tumoral hyperprolactinaemia, while neither drug modifies Prl release in patients with a Prl-secreting pituitary adenoma. The aim of our study was to compare the effect of these drugs in patients with a Prl-secreting pituitary adenoma, in patients with 'functional' hyperprolactinaemia and in patients with minor abnormalities of sellar tomography. Neither drug modified Prl release in patients with macro- or microadenomas; several patients in the remaining groups failed to respond to one or both tests, the concordance between the two tests averaging 75%. Patients responding to both tests, to one test or to neither test showed progressively higher basal Prl levels. Since benserazide and nomifensine can indicate the presence of a pituitary adenoma earlier than sellar tomography, our results indicate that patients with no Prl response, to one or to both tests probably harbour a pituitary adenoma which cannot yet be revealed by sellar tomography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalActa Endocrinologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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