How to investigate and treat: headache and hyperprolactinemia.


:Hyperprolactinemia is a condition characterised by an increase of prolactin blood levels (more than 100-200 ng/ml). It is the most common endocrine disorder of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The clinical characteristics of the headache-hyperprolactinemia-hypophyseal-adenoma association are discussed, the various diagnostic and treatment possibilities are explored and the etiology of the headache is considered in the light of several pathogenetic possibilities. We present two cases. (1) A 35-year-old woman suffering from chronic tension-type headache interspersed with occasional episodes of migraine without aura (as defined by the International Headache Society criteria). She had also suffered menstrual cycle alterations since the age of 16. At the age of 30 she developed amenorrhea with hyperprolactinemia. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans revealed a median-left intrasellar mass. Treatment with cabergoline resulted in complete resolution of both types of headache and the menstrual cycle and prolactin levels returned to normal. The therapy also reduced the volume of the tumour. (2) The second case relates to a 47-year-old man who had been suffering from tension-type headaches for almost 3 months. The patient had never previously suffered from headaches. CT and MRI scans showed a large sellar and suprasellar lesion with raised serum prolactin levels. Treatment with cabergoline had significantly reduced the prolactin levels and had also improved the patient's headaches. High-resolution CT, with and without contrast, or MRI is necessary to visualise microprolactinomas (and other sellar lesions) and confirm the diagnosis.


Curr Pain Headache Rep


Bussone G,Usai S,Moschiano F




Has Abstract


2012-08-01 00:00:00












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