Update on prolactinomas. Part 2: Treatment and management strategies

Anni Wong, Jean Anderson Eloy, William T. Couldwell, James K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The authors present an update on the various treatment modalities and discuss management strategies for prolactinomas. Prolactinomas are the most common type of functional pituitary tumor. Effective hyperprolactinemia treatment is of great importance, due to its potential deleterious effects including infertility, gonadal dysfunction and osteoporosis. Dopamine agonist therapy is the first line of treatment for prolactinomas because of its effectiveness in normalizing serum prolactin levels and shrinking tumor size. Though withdrawal of dopamine agonist treatment is safe and may be implemented following certain recommendations, recurrence of disease after cessation of the drug occurs in a substantial proportion of patients. Concerns regarding the safety of dopamine agonists have been raised, but its safety profile remains high, allowing its use during pregnancy. Surgery is typically indicated for patients who are resistant to medical therapy or intolerant of its adverse side effects, or are experiencing progressive tumor growth. Surgical resection can also be considered as a primary treatment for those with smaller focal tumors where a biochemical cure can be expected as an alternative to lifelong dopamine agonist treatment. Stereotactic radiosurgery also serves as an option for those refractory to medical and surgical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6090
Pages (from-to)1568-1574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Bromocriptine
  • Cabergoline
  • Dopamine agonist
  • Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Prolactinomas
  • Radiosurgery


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