Pituitary microadenoma: diagnostic studies.Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1979 Jun; 10(6):583-94.CE
Forty-one women with oligo-menorrhoea and/or galactorrhoea were subjected to hypothalamic pituitary-thyroid testing in an attempt to establish the presence or absence of an underlying pituitary microadenoma. They were divided into two groups in accordance with the serum level of prolactin (PRL): Group I (N = 25, mean +/- SE 17.6 +/- 1.5 ng/ml) and Group II (N = 16, 102.8 +/- 29.7 ng/ml). The dynamic tests performed were a TRH test, a stimulation test with metoclopramide (MCP) and a suppression test with bromocriptine. The results of these tests were compared with those obtained in nine normal women and eleven patients with surgically proved pituitary microadenoma. Radiologically abnormal pituitary fossas were found in ten subjects from Group I and in fourteen from Group II. All patients were euthyroid. A persistently elevated serum TSH in response to TRH was observed in patients of Group II suggesting an hypothalamic abnormality and a progressive decrease in the 120-min use of serum T3 was noted with increasing evidence of the existence of a pituitary tumour. A negative correlation was found between the basal serum PRL and the rise of serum PRL with TRH. Patients from Group II showed a lower PRL response to MCP when compared to Group I and again a negative correlation between basal level of serum PRL and the change after MCP was observed. No clear difference in the 4-h response to bromocriptine was found between the different groups of subjects. In conclusion, none of the three tests analysed permitted us to establish which of the patients had an underlying pituitary microadenoma.