Surgical Treatment of Prolactionams - Our Experience

Živko Gnjidić, Nenad Kudelić, Tomislav Sajko, Maša Malenica, Darko Stipić, Krešimir Rotim


The dilemma of whether to apply surgical or drug treatment to prolactinomas has been ongoing for the past 30 years. The aim of this study is to compare the early postoperative values of prolactin (PRL)  in two groups of patients with prolactinomas: those who underwent primary surgical-treatment, and those who underwent surgery after a dopamine agonist (DA) therapy. We present the results of surgical treatment on a series of 161 patients with prolactinomas. Surgery was the primary treatment in 65 patients, while 96 patients had surgery following a long-term treatment with a DA. All surgically treated prolactinomas were operated in the standard  transsphenoidal,  microsurgical approach. The criteria for hyperprolactinemia remission was a PRL level under 25 ng/ml. Early normalization of PRL was achieved in 92% of those patients who underwent primary surgical-treatment, yet it was achieved in only 42% of patients who were operated on after receiving a long-term drug treatment with a DA. The highest prevalence of postoperative normalization of PRL was achieved in a group of patients with microadenomas who were primarily operated on (98%). The worst results in postoperative normalization of PRL were found in the group of patients with macroadenomas who received a long-term drug treatment with a DA first. These results show our surgical experience in treating prolactinomas. Using surgical treatment, the best clinical outcome was acieved with  microprolactinomas and intrasellar, well-confined macroprolactinomas. Nevertheless, we stress the need of an individualized approach and recommend treatment in multidisciplinary centres for pituitary diseases. 


prolactinoma; transsphenoidal; microsurgical, dopamine agonists; hyperprolactinemia; prolactinoma surgery

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