It has been hypothesized that prolactin may act on the immune system. It has been suggested that prolactin may act on the immune system and may be implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, as mild hyperprolactinemia has been found in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
We tested the hypothesis that prolactin may act on the immune system and induce the development of autoimmune thyroiditis.
We followed up for 28 years, 18 patients with prolactinoma and 2 patients with hyperprolactinemia. Within the patient population studied 10 patients were men and 10 were women. The patients were aged 3768 years. Within the patient population 10 patients had a macroprolactinoma, 8 had a microprolactinoma. Surgery was used for the management of 2 patients, while all others were treated by the administration of dopamine agonists.
Within the patient population studied 2 patients had pituitary deficiency and were taking thyroxine, 2 had primary hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto thyroiditis and 2 had autoimmune Hashimoto thyroiditis, being euthyroid. The rest of the patients were euthyroid at diagnosis and remained euthyroid during follow up.
Long-term hyperprolactinemia observed in patients with prolactinoma does not appear to be related to the development of autoimmune thyroid disease, specifically autoimmune thyroiditis or thyroiditis Hashimoto.
30 Apr - 04 May 2011
European Society of Endocrinology