, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 290–295 | Cite as

Brain and optic chiasmal herniation following cabergoline treatment for a giant prolactinoma: wait or intervene?

  • Labrini PapanastasiouEmail author
  • Stelios Fountoulakis
  • Theodora Pappa
  • Konstantinos Liberopoulos
  • Dimosthenis Malliopoulos
  • Athina Markou
  • George Piaditis
Case report



Dopamine agonists (DA) are the treatment of choice in patients with macroprolactinomas. Brain and optic chiasm herniation are unusual complications following treatment with DA.


We present a case of a giant prolactinoma complicated by visual deterioration following cabergoline treatment. A 42-year-old man was admitted with seizures, right visual loss and visual defect in the upper left temporal quadrant. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) identified a giant adenoma, which proved to be a prolactinoma, compressing the optic chiasm and extending into the suprasellar region. Treatment with cabergoline was initiated resulting in improvement in visual fields, tumor shrinkage and prolactin level decrease. Five months later and despite tumor reduction, a deterioration of his visual fields was observed. The second MRI revealed brain and optic chiasmal herniation into the pituitary sella. Cabergoline dose was reduced and surgical resection of the adenoma along with untethering of the optic nerve was performed leading to improvement of the visual defects.


This report describes a rare case of brain and optic chiasmal herniation attributed to DA therapy for a macroprolactinoma. It is important for clinicians to examine visual fields and promptly identify any visual deterioration in patients with macroprolactinomas receiving DA treatment.

Key words

Brain herniation Cabergoline Giant prolactinoma Optic chiasmal herniation Visual deterioration 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Labrini Papanastasiou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stelios Fountoulakis
    • 1
  • Theodora Pappa
    • 1
  • Konstantinos Liberopoulos
    • 2
  • Dimosthenis Malliopoulos
    • 1
  • Athina Markou
    • 1
  • George Piaditis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes CenterAthens General Hospital “G. Gennimatas”AthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyGeneral Hospital of Athens “G. Genimatas”AthensGreece

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