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WHO Classification of Tumours
Prolactin producing adenoma
Pituitary gland


Prolactin producing adenoma is a benign pituitary tumour producing prolactin (PRL), originating from the prolactin adenohypophysial cell
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Ronald A. DeLellis, Ricardo V. Lloyd, Philipp U. Heitz, Charis Eng
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumors of Endocrine Organs
IARC Press: Lyon 2004


PRL producing adenoma, the most common neoplasm of the anterior pituitary [[268]], is associated with hyperprolactinemia. Serum PRL levels usually parallel tumour size. Pretreatmentserum PRL levels in men exceed those in women at least in part because these neoplasms are usually larger in men

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Ma W, Ikeda H, Yoshimoto T (2002)
Clinicopathologic study of 123 cases of prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas with special reference to multihormone production and clonality of the adenomas.
Cancer 95: 258-66

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Nishioka H, Haraoka J, Akada K, Azuma S (2002)
Gender-related differences in prolactin secretion in pituitary prolactinomas.
Neuroradiology 44: 407-10

. Women typically present at a younger age and tend to have microadenomas. Giant PRL producing adenomas and carcinomas are described almost exclusively in men
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Delgrange E, Trouillas J, Maiter D, Donckier J, Tourniaire J (1997)
Sex-related difference in the growth of prolactinomas: a clinical and proliferation marker study.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82: 2102-7


PRL producing adenomas may be asymptomatic or cause of reproductive and sexual dysfunction. In women, minor elevations in PRL levels with alterations in the secretion of gonadotropins may cause amenorrhea and galactorrhea. In men, the symptoms are usually reduced libido, sexual impotence and abnormal semen

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Iglesias P, Bernal C, Villabona C, Castro JC, Arrieta F, Díez JJ (2012)
Prolactinomas in men: a multicentre and retrospective analysis of treatment outcome.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 77: 281-7


The mortality is very low since dopamine agonists and surgical treatments stop further growth in most cases. Clinical criteria for a good prognosis are the normalization of the serum PRL levels after medical or surgical therapy

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Webster J, Page MD, Bevan JS, Richards SH, Douglas-Jones AG, Scanlon MF (1992)
Low recurrence rate after partial hypophysectomy for prolactinoma: the predictive value of dynamic prolactin function tests.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 36: 35-44

. In rare cases, PRL producing adenomas invade into surrounding tissues.
The etiology of PRL producing adenomas is unknown.