Long-Term Follow-Up of Primary Medical Versus Surgical Treatment of Prolactinomas in Men: Effects on Hyperprolactinemia, Hypogonadism, and Bone Health

Lukas Andereggen, Janine Frey, Robert H Andres, Marwan El-Koussy, Jürgen Beck, Rolf W Seiler, Emanuel Christ
World Neurosurgery 2017, 97: 595-602

OBJECTIVE: In men with prolactinomas, impaired bone density is the principle consequence of hyperprolactinemia-induced hypogonadism. Although dopamine agonists (DAs) are the first-line approach in prolactinomas, surgery can be considered in selected cases. In this study, we aimed to investigate the long-term control of hyperprolactinemia, hypogonadism, and bone health comparing primary medical and surgical therapy in men who had not had prior DA treatment.

METHODS: This is a retrospective case-note study of 44 consecutive men with prolactinomas and no prior DAs managed in a single tertiary referral center. Clinical, biochemical, and radiologic response to the first-line approach were analyzed in the 2 cohorts.

RESULTS: Mean age at diagnosis was 47 years (range, 22-78 years). The prevalence of hypogonadism was 86%, and 27% of patients had pathologic bone density at baseline. The primary therapeutic strategy was surgery for 34% and DAs for 66% of patients. Median long-term follow-up was 63 months (range, 17-238 months). Long-term control of hyperprolactinemia required DAs in 53% of patients with primary surgical therapy, versus 90% of patients with primary medical therapy (P = 0.02). Hypogonadism was controlled in 73% of patients. The prevalence of patients with pathologic bone density was 37% at last follow-up, with no differences between the 2 therapeutic cohorts (P = 0.48).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite control of hyperprolactinemia and hypogonadism in most patients independent of the primary treatment modality, the prevalence of impaired bone health status remains high, and osteodensitometry should be recommended.

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