Complications of prolactinoma may include:

  • Vision loss. Left untreated, a prolactinoma may grow large enough to compress your optic nerve.
  • Hypopituitarism. With larger prolactinomas, pressure on the normal pituitary gland can cause dysfunction of other hormones controlled by the pituitary, resulting in hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and growth hormone deficiency.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis). Too much prolactin can reduce production of the hormones estrogen and testosterone, resulting in decreased bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
  • Pregnancy complications. During a normal pregnancy, a woman's pituitary gland enlarges and prolactin production increases. A woman who has a large prolactinoma and becomes pregnant may experience additional pituitary growth and associated signs and symptoms, such as headaches and changes in vision.

    If you have prolactinoma and you want to become or you already are pregnant, discuss the situation with your doctor because adjustments in your treatment and monitoring may be necessary.

Nov. 30, 2012

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