Hyperprolactinemia was demonstrated in eight of nine patients with clinical evidence of pituitary tumors without acromegaly or Cushing syndrome. Hourly sampling for 24 hours disclosed elevation of serum prolactin concentrations, whereas, measurable serum growth hormone levels were found rarely. Although eight of these patients were hypersecreting prolactin, only four of them were lactating. Prolactin secretion was characterized by moderate hourly fluctuations of serum levels and absence or blunting of the normal sleep-related augmentation of secretion. Patients with the highest serum prolactin concentrations tended to have the largest pituitary tumors, as indicated by pneumoencephalography. In two patients followedup with serum prolactin determinations after treatment, a fall in serum prolactin concentrations correlated with clinical improvement. Future study will hopefully establish the value of serum prolactin determinations in following tumor growth before and after pituitary ablative therapy.
(Arch Intern Med 136:40-44, 1976)