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A patient is hyperprolactinaemic if the serum concentration of prolactin is elevated.
Hyperprolactinaemia may be
- physiological, due to:
- pathological, due to for example:
- a prolactinoma or other cerebral tumour
- ectopic prolactin synthesis
What level of prolactin is significant?(1)
- mildly increased prolactin levels (400-600mu/L) may be physiological and
asymptomatic but higher levels are usually pathological
- should be repeated to confirm hyperprolactinaemia
- very elevated levels (above 5,000mu/L) usually imply a prolactin-secreting
Note that reference ranges vary between laboratories.
- prolactin secretion varies with time, resulting in serum levels being 2-3
times higher at night than during the day. The levels of prolactin in normal
individuals also tend to rise in response to physiological stimuli, including
sleep, exercise, pregnancy and surgical stress (2)
- most patients with a prolactinoma are women
- reliance on a single, non-rested prolactin value may lead to over-diagnosis
of hyperprolactinaemia. A resting sample should be considered with random
values <2,000 mU/L (94 ng/mL) (3)
Last edited 07/2018