[Correlation of serum prolactin and cortisol values with paroxysmal disorders of epileptic and non-epileptic origin and their clinical value]

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 1993 Nov;61(11):363-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-999106.
[Article in German]


In 95 patients (44 women and 51 men, aged 14 to 86 yrs., average 44.9 yrs.) the serum levels of prolactin, cortisol and uric acid were investigated 30, 60 and 120 min after seizure-like events. There were 53 fits of epileptic aetiology (EE), mainly tonic-clonic, and 42 attacks of non-epileptic aetiology (NEE). The uric acid of the epileptic patients 30 min postictally revealed significantly higher ratings (p < 0.05) compared to the control group (n = 36), but not compared to the NEE group. Serum cortisol was significantly higher after all investigated disturbances without differences in the EE and NEE group. After epileptic and non-epileptic attacks prolactin was significantly (p < 0.05) elevated in comparison to the baseline. The increase of 3 times the amount of the individual baseline and at the same time exceeding the range of reference were found in 73% of the epileptic and only in 7% of the non-epileptic patients. As hypothesis to the postictal prolactin rise we discuss disturbances in the neurotransmitter equilibrium within the hypothalamic-hypophyseal axis. We regard prolactin as a biochemical marker, which is a valuable aid in the differential diagnosis of epileptic and non-epileptic fits.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / physiopathology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Uric Acid
  • Prolactin
  • Hydrocortisone