Hyperprolactinemia diagnosis in elderly men: a cohort of 28 patients over 65 years

Ilan Shimon, Dania Hirsch, Gloria Tsvetov, Eyal Robenshtok, Amit Akirov, Merav Fraenkel, Yoav Eizenberg, Dana Herzberg, Liat Barzilay-Yoseph, Anat Livner, Ilana Friedrich, Yossi Manisterski, Avraham Ishay, Uri Yoel, Hiba Masri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To characterize a cohort of elderly men with prolactinomas and their response to treatment. Methods: We have identified 28 elderly men diagnosed after the age of 65 with prolactinomas at seven different endocrine clinics in Israel. A retrospective electronic chart review identified a control group of 76 younger men with macroprolactinomas treated in one of the centers. Results: Mean age at diagnosis was 71.3 ± 5.6 (range 65–86) years, and current age 76.6 ± 7.5 years. Initial complaints leading to diagnosis included sexual dysfunction in 17 males (61%), headaches in two patients (7%), and visual abnormalities in two (7%). Three men presented with osteoporosis. Ten patients (36%) were diagnosed incidentally following brain imaging for unrelated reasons. Seventeen patients (61%) had macroadenoma, while eleven (39%) presented with a microadenoma or no visible adenoma. Mean prolactin (PRL) at presentation was 1594 (median 382; range 50–18,329) ng/ml. Testosterone was low in 21 men. Patients were treated with cabergoline (max dose, 1.1 ± 0.5 mg/week), except for one given bromocriptine; none required pituitary surgery or radiotherapy. Treatment normalized PRL in 24 patients, and in three men PRL suppressed to <2 ULN. Fifteen men normalized testosterone, three improved without normalization, and in three the normal baseline level increased. After a mean follow-up of 5.3 years, 14/15 patients harboring a macroadenoma showed significant adenoma shrinkage. Most patients reported improvement of low libido/erectile dysfunction. In the control group 60 men (79%) achieved PRL normalization. Conclusions: Elderly men with prolactinomas are diagnosed incidentally in 36% of cases. Long-term medical therapy is successful, achieving biochemical remission, adenoma shrinkage, and clinical improvement in almost all patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-661
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cabegoline
  • Elderly
  • Men
  • Prolactinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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