Serum prolactin measurement is used to evaluate pituitary, amenorrhea, lactation, infertility and hypogonadism tumors and to monitor the treatment of prolactin-producing tumors.
Prolactin (PRL), like growth hormone (GH), is secreted by the anterior pituitary lobe and its secretion is controlled by the hypothalamus. Prolactin is responsible for the development of breast tissues and the initiation and maintenance of lactation. Determination of prolactin levels is used in conjunction with other tests to: determine the cause of amenorrhea and galactorrhea, determine the cause of headaches and vision disorders, to diagnose infertility and erectile dysfunction in men, for the for the diagnosis of infertility in women, in the diagnosis of prolactinoma, in the evaluation of the function of the anterior pituitary lobe (along with other hormones) and finally in the monitoring of prolactinoma therapy and the detection of relapses. Hyperprolactinemia often results in loss of libido, galactorrhea, oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea and infertility in women before menopause. In men it causes libido loss, impotence, infertility and hypogonadism. In postmenopausal and pre-menopausal women as well as men, it can also cause muscle mass decline and osteoporosis.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Acromegaly, Addison's disease, amenorrhea, neurogenic anorexia, breast stimulation / palpitations, chronic renal failure, Cushing's syndrome, ectopic tumors, endometriosis, exercise, lactorrhea, hyperthyroidism,hypothyroidism, hysterectomy, lactation, pituitary tumors, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy, sleep, stress. Drugs that may increase prolactin levels: Antipsychotics, cimetidine, chlomipramine, cocaine, danazole, enalapril, furosemide, insulin, levetolol, megestroline, methyldopa, metoclopramide
- Decrease: Gynecomastia, hair loss, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, pituitary infarction, pituitary necrosis. Drugs that may reduce prolactin levels: Antiepileptic, bromocriptine, calcitonin, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, estrogen, finasteride, levodopa, metoclopramide, morphine, nifedipine, octreotide
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.