Clinical, endocrine, roentgenographic, and immune characterization of hyperprolactinemic women

A. E. Pontiroli, L. Falsetti, G. Bottazzo

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Seventy-one hyperprolactinemic women were analyzed for medical history, gonadotropin and ovarian hormone levels, and prolactin (PRL) responsiveness to benserazide. Sellar tomography was then performed on a yearly basis for 3 years in all women, computerized coronal and saggital tomography in 54 of them. Under basal conditions, 30 women had roentgenographic evidence of pituitary adenoma; at the end of the follow-up period, such evidence was seen in 44. Amenorrhea, steady PRL levels, a low LH/FSH ratio, a longer duration of the disease, and low serum progesterone levels were more common in women with a final diagnosis of pituitary adenoma than in those with a persistently normal sella. The benserazide test for PRL release had yielded abnormal results since the beginning in all the 44 women with final roentgenographic evidence of pituitary adenoma, and in about half of the patients with persistently normal aspect of the sella; autoantibodies towards the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, and gastric parietal cells were found in 3, 2, and 3 patients, respectively. No autoantibodies towards the adrenal gland or the islets of Langerhans were ever found in any cases. These data show that a fair proportion of hyperprolactinemic women have a (micro)adenoma, which becomes apparent over a relatively short period of time. Amenorrhea and steadily raised PRL levels are more common in these women. The benserazide test seems to be adequate for predicting which women will eventually develop a roentgenographically detectable adenoma. Autoimmunity does not seeem to be involved in the pathogenesis of hyperprolactinemia and/or pituitary adenoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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