Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Apr;22(2):341-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2007.08.002. Epub 2007 Sep 21.


Hyperprolactinaemia is a frequent cause of reproductive problems encountered in clinical practice. A variety of pathophysiological conditions can lead to hyperprolactinaemia; therefore, pregnancy, drug effects, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome should be excluded before investigating for prolactin-secreting pituitary tumours. Prolactinomas are mainly diagnosed in women aged 20-40 years. They present with clinical features of hyperprolactinaemia (galactorrhoea, gonadal dysfunction), and more rarely with large tumours, headache and visual field loss due to optic chiasm compression. Medical therapy with dopamine agonists is the treatment of choice for both micro- and macroprolactinomas. Tumour shrinkage and restoration of gonadal function are achieved in the majority of cases with dopamine agonists. A trial of withdrawal of medical therapy may be considered in many patients with close follow-up. Pituitary surgery and radiotherapy currently have very limited indications. Pregnancies in patients with prolactinomas need careful planning and close monitoring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperprolactinemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperprolactinemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperprolactinemia / etiology*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Prolactinoma / complications
  • Prolactinoma / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists