Hyperprolactinemia in Acromegaly is Related to Prolactin Secretion by Somatolactotroph Tumours
The aim of this study is to assess differences in patient characteristics, tumour characteristics and hormone levels between acromegalic patients with and without hyperprolactinemia. 44 patients of the University Hospital of Brussels, Belgium with acromegaly who were diagnosed between January 2007 and July 2018 were included in this study. Nineteen patients were classified in the hyperprolactinemia group and 25 patients were classified in the normoprolactinemia group. No significant differences between acromegalic patients with and without hyperprolactinemia were found in age at diagnosis, gender, presence of hyperprolactinemia symptoms, insulin-like growth factor 1, growth hormone and testosterone levels, tumour volume, tumour invasiveness, immunohistochemistry of growth hormone and prolactin, Ki-67 index and mitotic index. However, for a cut-off of 10% of prolactin-positive cells, there was a trend towards a higher percentage of prolactin-positive tumours in hyperprolactinemia patients (p=0.054) and higher mean prolactin level in case of positive prolactin immunostaining (p=0.007)). In our study there were no differences in characteristics between acromegaly patients with hyper- and normoprolactinemia. An association between the serum prolactin level and the positivity of prolactin immunohistochemistry of the adenoma tissue was found. The absence of a difference in tumour volume between patients with hyper- and normoprolactinemia suggests that the hyperprolactinemia is likely to be caused by the co-secretion of growth hormone and prolactin by the tumour. Finally, for the first time, the cut-off of 10% of prolactin cells was validated for the diagnosis of somatolactotroph tumours in acromegaly.
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