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J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2017 Dec 15;9(4):350-354. doi: 10.4274/jcrpe.4536. Epub 2017 May 22.

Hyperprolactinemia in Children with Subclinical Hypothyroidism.

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Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Department of Biochemistry, New Delhi, India.
Venkateshwar Hospital, Clinic of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorder, New Delhi, India.
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Department of Endocrinology, New Delhi, India.


Prevalence of hyperprolactinemia in children with subclinical hypothyroidism (ScH) is not known. This study aimed to determine the occurrence and predictors of hyperprolactinemia in euthyroid children and in children with ScH and overt primary hypothyroidism (OPH). Serum prolactin levels were estimated in consecutive children <18 years of age undergoing thyroid function evaluation and diagnosed to have normal thyroid function, ScH, or OPH. Children with pituitary adenomas, secondary hypothyroidism, multiple pituitary hormone deficiency, comorbid states, and drug-induced hyperprolactinemia were excluded. From the initially screened 791 children, hormonal data from 602 children who fulfilled all criteria were analyzed. Seventy-one (11.79%) of these had ScH, and 33 (5.48%) had OPH. Occurrence of hyperprolactinemia was highest in the OPH group (51.51%), followed by ScH (30.98%) and euthyroid children (4.41%) (p<0.001). Median (25th-75th percentiles) levels for prolactin in euthyroid, ScH, and OPH children were 13.3 (9.4-17.95), 19.15 (15.97-30.12), and 28.86 (17.05-51.9) ng/mL, respectively (p<0.001). In children, prolactin levels were comparable in males and females. An age-related increase in serum prolactin was noted in euthyroid children, which was statistically significant in post-pubertal (16-18 years) children. Area under the curve for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in predicting hyperprolactinemia in children was 0.758 (95% confidence interval: 0.673-0.829; p<0.001). TSH ≥4.00 mIU/L had a sensitivity of 69.4% and specificity of 77.6% in detecting hyperprolactinemia. Hyperprolactinemia is common in children with ScH and OPH. TSH ≥4.00 mIU/L has a good sensitivity and specificity in predicting hyperprolactinemia in children. More studies are needed to establish if hyperprolactinemia should be an indication for treating ScH in children.


Subclinical hypothyroidism; hyperprolactinemia; prolactin thyroid stimulating hormone.

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