Progressive trabecular osteopenia in women with hyperprolactinemic amenorrhea

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Sep;75(3):692-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem.75.3.1517356.


Reductions in cortical and trabecular bone mass have been documented in young women with hyperprolactinemic amenorrhea. It is unknown whether trabecular osteopenia is progressive or reversible with treatment of hyperprolactinemia. In addition, it is not known whether clinical or hormonal variables can predict trabecular bone density (BD) changes. Therefore, we investigated prospectively trabecular BD by computed tomography in 52 hyperprolactinemic women and 41 controls. The mean follow-up interval was 1.8 +/- 0.1 (SEM) yr. Patient groups were defined as follows: group 1, amenorrhea during the entire study; group 2, restoration of menses during the study by treatment of hyperprolactinemia; group 3, regular menses despite hyperprolactinemia, with no history of prior amenorrhea; group 4, history of prior amenorrhea, but menses restored with treatment of hyperprolactinemia before study entry; and group 5, oligomenorrhea. Groups 1, 2, and 4 had significant (P = 0.0006) initial spinal osteopenia [mean BD 141 +/- 7 (SEM), 144 +/- 9, and 151 +/- 5 mg/cc K2HPO4, respectively] compared with controls or with group 3 (170 +/- 4 and 173 +/- 8 mg/cc K2HPO4, respectively). Group 5 had an initial mean BD which was midway between that of the amenorrheic and eumenorrheic women (156 +/- 13 mg/cc K2HPO4). Group 1 had a significant (P = 0.04) decrease in mean BD to 132 +/- 8 mg/cc K2HPO4 over 1.7 +/- 0.2 yr, with BD in 42% of the group more than 2 SD below the control mean at the final study point. The mean BD in group 2 increased to 155 +/- 9 mg/cc K2HPO4, approaching significance (P = 0.07) when compared with the initial BD. Five of the nine patients in this group (56%) had an increase in BD greater than the variation expected for the computed tomography technique. However, 44% of the group 2 patients had a spinal BD which remained more than 1 SD below the normal mean. There was no change in BD in the other groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / complications*
  • Amenorrhea / metabolism
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperprolactinemia / complications*
  • Hyperprolactinemia / drug therapy
  • Hyperprolactinemia / metabolism
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values


  • Hormones