Hyperprolactinaemia

Hyperprolactinaemia (Forbes-Albright syndrome) is the excessive production of the hormone prolactin by the pituitary gland in the centre of the brain. Prolactin is the hormone, which is responsible for breast milk production. The disease may be due to underactive ovaries or testes, or more commonly a tumour in the pituitary gland. Uncommonly, it may be due to side effects of some drugs or an underactive thyroid gland.

Abnormal milk production by the breasts occurs in both women (much more commonly) and men, and women usually stop their menstrual periods. The blood level of prolactin is increased, and a pituitary gland tumour can be detected by a CT scan. The disease is controlled by the drugs bromocriptine or quinagolide, while surgery or radiotherapy to the pituitary gland can be used to treat a tumour.

Hyper = excessive or in excess
Prolactin = a hormone
Aemia = blood

Prolactin regulation Image by Procedureready (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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