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Adrenal cortical carcinoma
Primary adrenal insufficiency
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Multiple endocrine neoplasia
Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (NORD)
Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms
Androgen insensitivity syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Premature ovarian failure
Constitutional growth delay
Growth hormone deficiency
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (NORD)
Thyroglossal duct cyst
Thyroid eye disease (NORD)
Toxic multinodular goiter
Euthyroid sick syndrome
Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis
Adrenal insufficiency: Pathology review
Adrenal masses: Pathology review
Cushing syndrome and Cushing disease: Pathology review
Diabetes insipidus and SIADH: Pathology review
Diabetes mellitus: Pathology review
Hyperthyroidism: Pathology review
Hypopituitarism: Pathology review
Hypothyroidism: Pathology review
Multiple endocrine neoplasia: Pathology review
Neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal system: Pathology review
Parathyroid disorders and calcium imbalance: Pathology review
Pituitary tumors: Pathology review
Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer: Pathology review
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Prolactinoma - My Story
pituitary prolactinomas p. 333
dopamine agonists for p. 332
With prolactinoma, prolactin refers to the endocrine hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and -oma refers to a tumor.
So a prolactinoma is a benign tumor, or adenoma, of the pituitary gland that secretes excess prolactin.
Normally, the pituitary is a pea-sized gland, hanging by a stalk from the base of the brain.
It sits just behind the eyes near something called the optic chiasm, which is where the optic nerves cross.
The anterior pituitary, which is the front of the pituitary gland, contains a few different types of cells, and each of which secretes a different hormone.
One group of cells in the anterior pituitary are called lactotrophs and they secrete prolactin.
Prolactin stimulates breast milk production.
Another group of cells are the gonadotrophs and they secrete two gonadotropic hormones - luteinizing hormone, or LH, and follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, both of which stimulate the ovaries in women which make estrogen and stimulate the testes in men which make testosterone.
Prolactin release is controlled by something called the hypothalamus, which is a structure at the base of the brain just above the pituitary gland.
It makes two key hormones, thyrotropin-releasing hormone which increases prolactin release, and dopamine, which inhibits the prolactin release and actually overrides the stimulatory effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone.
That’s why dopamine is known as prolactin-inhibiting factor, and why it’s constantly released to prevent prolactin release in anyone that’s not pregnant.
A prolactinoma is a benign pituitary gland tumor that produces high levels of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin then suppresses the gonadotropin-releasing hormone resulting in symptoms like amenorrhea, galactorrhea, hypogonadism, gynecomastia, and erectile dysfunction in males. Treatment involves the use of dopamine agonist agents like bromocriptine which reduces the size of the tumor and lowers prolactin levels. In some cases, surgery or radiation therapy may also be required.
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