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Long-term bromocriptine therapy may restore the inhibitory control of prolactin release in some patients with pathological hyperprolactinemia


While bromocriptine is effective in controlling hyperprolactinemia, it is not known if bromocriptine therapy can restore the abnormal regulation of prolactin (PRL) release found in patients with pathological hyperprolactinemia. We report 15 hyperprolactinemic patients treated for a mean duration of 5.5 +/- 0.6 years (mean +/- SE) in whom stimulation tests to assess PRL control mechanisms [thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) and metoclopramide] were performed before and at least one month after withdrawal of bromocriptine therapy. The basal PRL level after withdrawal of bromocriptine therapy was significantly lower (p less than 0.001) than that before therapy. All patients had blunted PRL stimulatory responses to TRH and metoclopramide (% delta 16.0 +/- 5.6%) before treatment. After withdrawal of bromocriptine, PRL responses to stimulatory tests were significantly improved in seven patients (termed 'responders', % delta 376 +/- 55%) but remained unchanged in eight patients (termed 'non-responders', % delta 9.2 +/- 3.0%). Basal PRL levels were significantly lower (p less than 0.01) in responders (290 +/- 35 mIU/l) than in non-responders (10360 +/- 6790 mIU/l). Four of the responders have maintained normoprolactinemia and normal stimulated PRL responses for 15 months to three years following cessation of bromocriptine therapy and appear to be in remission. Favourable factors amongst the responders were the female sex, absence of a macroadenoma, and a pre-treatment PRL level below 3000 mlU/l. PRL stimulation tests performed before therapy could not predict which patients would respond. No relationship was found between duration of therapy, or age at presentation, and improvement after bromocriptine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Type Journal
ISBN 0004-8291 (Print)
Authors Ho, K. Y.;Smythe, G. A.;Compton, P. J.;Lazarus, L. :
Publisher Name Aust N Z J Med
Published Date 1985-01-01
Published Volume 15
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 213-9
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version