Prolactin-secreting adenomas: Surgical results and long-term follow-up

G. Maira, C. Anile, L. De Marinis, A. Barbarino

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Transsphenoidal surgery is an efficacious treatment for patients with prolactin (PRL)-secreting adenomas, even if disrupted pituitary-hypothalamic relationships may persist and/or a recurrence of the PRL-secreting tumor can occur. In this paper, we analyze the long-term follow-up of 119 consecutively treated women who underwent transsphenoidal microsurgery for PRL-secreting adenomas. Apparent total removal of the tumor was achieved in 98 patients who had enclosed tumors (58 with Grade-I tumors and 40 with Grade II). In the remaining patients, the removal was considered partial. Persistent normal basal PRL levels were achieved in 61 patients who had apparent total removal of the adenoma (44 with Grade I tumors and 17 with Grade II). Of the remaining 37 patients in whom surgical removal of the adenomatous tissue was thought to be total, 30 had persistant nonevolutive, high PRL levels ranging from 21 to 196 ng/ml, without clinical and radiological signs of tumor regrowth, and 7 with PRL levels ranging from 56 to 560 ng/ml had a recurrence of the PRL-secreting tumor. These data seem to indicate that a slightly elevated postsurgical PRL value does not imply that tumoral tissue is still present. Nontumoral conditions (i.e., a secondary empty sella) could induce functional hyperprolactinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-743
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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