Objective: To assess the frequency of hyperprolactinemia and its possible clinical significance in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Concentrations of prolactin (PRL) were determined in 63 consecutive patients with SLE by an immunoradiometric assay. Antinuclear antibodies, anti-DNA, ribonucleoprotein, Sm, Ro, La, and anticardiolipin antibodies were determined by standard techniques. PRL concentrations were correlated with SLE clinical and serological activity.
Results: Elevated serum concentration of PRL (> 20 ng/ml) were found in 10 of 63 (15.9%) patients [21 to 57 ng/ml, mean (SD) 35.6 (13.4)]. No direct correlation between PRL levels and clinical disease activity of SLE was found (Pearson correlation r = -0.186, NS). In addition, hyperprolactinemia was not associated with serological activity.
Conclusion: Mild hyperprolactinemia is present in a subset of patients with SLE but its clinical significance is still uncertain.