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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Sep;18(9):921-4.

Reversible weight gain and prolactin levels--long-term follow-up in childhood.

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Paediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Paediatrics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


In adult patients weight gain is a frequent complaint of hyperprolactinaemia and it has been associated with a high prevalence of obesity. Normalization of prolactin (PRL) levels result in weight loss. The nature of this link is poorly defined. In this report we describe a 14 year-old female with primary amenorrhea and persistent progressive weight gain. The patient's height, weight and BMI were 152 cm, 70 kg, and 30.3 kg/m2, respectively. Basal hormonal investigation showed normal free thyroxin, TSH, IGF-I, cortisol and ACTH values. Serum PRL level was very high (16,278 mIU/l; normal range 63-426 mIU/l). Magnetic resonance imaging scan showed the presence of a pituitary microadenoma. Treatment with the non-selective dopamine agonist pergolide caused a significant reduction of serum PRL concentration with a remarkable decrease of body weight. During follow-up, repeat MRI scan revealed disappearance of the microadenoma. The reduction of the daily dose of pergolide was associated with an increase of serum PRL with significant weight gain. A further reduction of body weight was subsequently observed with an increase of pergolide dosage. Serum PRL measurement may be useful as part of the endocrine work-up of obese children with a history of unexplained recent weight gain, especially if associated with pituitary-gonadal axis dysfunction. The relationship between PRL secretion and weight change needs to be examined in prospective larger studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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