Withdrawal of Long-Term Cabergoline Therapy for Tumoral and Nontumoral Hyperprolactinemia

Annamaria Colao, Antonella Di Sarno, Paolo Cappabianca, Carolina Di Somma, Rosario Pivonello, Gaetano Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Whether the withdrawal of treatment in patients with nontumoral hyperprolactinemia, microprolactinomas, or macroprolactinomas is safe and effective has been unclear. We performed an observational, prospective study of cabergoline (a dopamine-receptor agonist) withdrawal in such patients. METHODS: The study population included 200 patients - 25 patients with nontumoral hyperprolactinemia, 105 with microprolactinomas, and 70 with macroprolactinomas. Withdrawal of cabergoline was considered if prolactin levels were normal, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed no tumor (or tumor reduction of 50 percent or more, with the tumor at a distance of more than 5 mm from the optic chiasm, and no invasion of the cavernous sinuses or other critical areas), and if follow-up after withdrawal could be continued for at least 24 months. RESULTS: Recurrence rates two to five years after the withdrawal of cabergoline were 24 percent in patients with nontumoral hyperprolactinemia, 31 percent in patients with microprolactinomas, and 36 percent in patients; with macroprolactinomas. Renewed tumor growth did not occur in any patient; in 10 female patients (22 percent) and 7 male patients (39 percent) with recurrent hyperprolactinemia, gonadal dysfunction redeveloped. In all diagnostic groups, prolactin levels at the time of recurrence were significantly lower than at diagnosis (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2023-2033
Number of pages11
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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