Presse Med. 2021 Dec;50(4):104080. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2021.104080. Epub 2021 Oct 21.


Hyperprolactinemia, defined by a level of serum prolactin above the standard upper limit of normal range, is a common finding in clinical practice and prolactinomas are the main pathological cause. Prolactinomas lead to signs and symptoms of hormone oversecretion, such as galactorrhea and hypogonadism, as well as symptoms of mass effect, including visual impairment, headaches and intracranial hypertension. Diagnosis involves prolactin measurement and sellar imaging, but several pitfalls are involved in this evaluation, which may difficult the proper management. Treatment is medical in the majority of cases, consisting of dopamine agonists, which present high response rates, with a very favorable safety profile. Major adverse effects that should be monitored consist of cardiac valvulopathy and impulse control disorders. Other treatment options include surgery and radiotherapy. Temozolomide may be used for aggressive or malignant carcinomas. Finally, pregnancy outcomes are similar to general population even when dopamine agonist treatment is maintained.

Keywords: Cabergoline; Dopaminergic agonists; Hyperprolactinemia; Impulse control disorder; Prolactinomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / etiology
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Galactorrhea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperprolactinemia / etiology
  • Hypogonadism / etiology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Prolactinoma* / complications
  • Prolactinoma* / diagnosis
  • Prolactinoma* / epidemiology
  • Prolactinoma* / therapy
  • Sella Turcica / diagnostic imaging
  • Temozolomide / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Prolactin
  • Temozolomide