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Back to Endocrine Diseases

Hyperprolactinaemia

Hyperprolactinaemia is the term given to having too high levels of prolactin in the blood. (Normal levels are less than 580 mIU/L for women, and less than 450 mIU/L for men.)

Causes

One cause of hyperprolactinaemia is the presence of the biologically inactive macroprolactin in the serum. This can show up as high prolactin in some types of tests, but is asymptomatic. Another cause of hyperprolactinaemia is a prolactinoma, a pituitary gland tumor.

Symptoms and signs

Hyperprolactinaemia is a common cause of menstrual problems in women, and high levels of prolactin can cause gynecomastia (breast enlargement) in men. It can also cause galactorrhea.

The hormone prolactin is downregulated by dopamine and is upregulated by estrogen.

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