Pituitary Innovation and Teaching

Prolactinoma

Video transcript

Speaker: Dr. Michael Cusimano

Prolactin is a hormone that is normally produced when a woman is pregnant and it allows the breast milk to come down when the baby cries. If there is a excessive growth of the in the pituitary gland that produces this prolactin hormone, person will develop what’s called a prolactinoma. And in women often the cardinal sign is that their period will stop, or it may become very irregular and they may develop breast milk. And they may not be able to conceive because the body has been fooled, kind of like it’s pregnant. And these would be the commonest kind of tumors.

In men we don’t have a great understanding of what prolactin does but some men do see sexual dysfunction or loss of sex drive. But very often the tumors in men that produce prolactin will grow to a fairly large size before they produce symptoms and the commonest way that men present with these tumors is with headaches and with pressure on the eye nerves that allow us to see, so they will be losing their vision. So those are the commonest ways that men present.

 

Page last updated: June 3, 2016