Prolactin levels and examination with breast ultrasound or mammography

Adv Ther. 2008 Jan;25(1):59-66. doi: 10.1007/s12325-008-0002-5.


Objective: Stresses including surgery, exercise, nipple stimulation, and chest wall injury such as mechanical trauma, burns, surgery, herpes zoster of thoracic dermatomes, hypoglycaemia and acute myocardial infarction cause significant elevation of prolactin levels. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the changes in prolactin level during mammography and ultrasonographic examination.

Materials and methods: Seventy-four premenopausal (mean age, 32.1+/-7.3 y) and 81 post-menopausal women (mean age, 48.3+/-8.9 y) were enrolled into the study. Premenopausal women were evaluated with ultrasound (Senographe 600 T [General Electric]) and post-menopausal women were examined with mammography (Mammomat 3000 [Siemens]). Blood samples for prolactin were taken prior to ultrasound or mammography and 15, 30 and 45 min after ultrasound or mammography.

Results: Mean baseline serum prolactin level was 7.2+/-0.9 ng/ml in premenopausal women before ultrasound. Mean baseline serum prolactin level was 5.4+/-0.4 ng/ml in post-menopausal women before mammography. It was found that there were no significant changes in prolactin levels after ultrasound or mammography (P > 0.05). Mean levels of baseline prolactin were statistically significant higher in premenopausal than in post-menopausal women (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Mammography and ultrasonographic examination have no acute effect on serum prolactin levels in either group. There is no need to wait before measuring the prolactin level after mammographic or ultrasonographic breast examination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary*


  • Prolactin