, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 299–306 | Cite as

High prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures in women with prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas

  • Gherardo Mazziotti
  • Tatiana Mancini
  • Marilda Mormando
  • Ernesto De Menis
  • Antonio Bianchi
  • Mauro Doga
  • Teresa Porcelli
  • Pier Paolo Vescovi
  • Laura De Marinis
  • Andrea Giustina


Hyperprolactinemia may cause bone loss but data on fractures are scanty. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of vertebral fractures in women with prolactin (PRL)-secreting adenoma. In this cross-sectional study, 78 women (median age 45.5 years, range: 20–81) with PRL-secreting pituitary adenoma (66 with microadenoma and 12 with macroadenoma) and 156 control subjects, with normal PRL values and with comparable age to patients with hyperprolactinemia, were evaluated for vertebral fractures by a morphometric approach and for bone mineral density (BMD) by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at lumbar spine. Vertebral fractures were shown in 25 patients with PRL-secreting adenoma (32.6%) and in 20 controls (12.8%, P < 0.001). Fractured patients were significantly older (P < 0.001) and had lower BMD T-score (P < 0.001), longer duration of disease (P < 0.001), higher serum PRL (P = 0.004) and lower serum IGF-I (P < 0.001) values as compared to patients who did not fracture. The prevalence of vertebral fractures was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in post-menopausal women with PRL-secreting adenoma as compared to pre-menopausal patients. Fractures occurred more frequently (P = 0.01) in patients with untreated hyperprolactinemia versus patients treated with cabergoline. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that duration of disease maintained a significant correlation with vertebral fractures (odds ratio 1.16, C.I. 95% 1.02–1.33) even after correction for age, menopausal status, treatment with cabergoline, BMD, serum IGF-I and serum PRL values. Hyperprolactinemia is associated with high prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures in women with PRL-secreting adenoma.


Fracture Prolactin Bone metabolism Pituitary adenoma Osteoporosis 



Study partially supported by MIUR, EULO and Centro Ricerca Sull’Osteoporosi-University of Brescia.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gherardo Mazziotti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tatiana Mancini
    • 3
  • Marilda Mormando
    • 4
  • Ernesto De Menis
    • 5
  • Antonio Bianchi
    • 4
  • Mauro Doga
    • 1
  • Teresa Porcelli
    • 1
  • Pier Paolo Vescovi
    • 2
  • Laura De Marinis
    • 4
  • Andrea Giustina
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Endocrine Section, Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medicine“Carlo Poma” HospitalMantuaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine and Medical SpecialitiesSan Marino HospitalSan MarinoItaly
  4. 4.Pituitary Unit, Division of EndocrinologyCatholic University of RomeRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of MedicineGeneral Hospital of MontebellunaTrevisoItaly
  6. 6.Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of BresciaMontichiariItaly

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