Thirty women with prolactin (PRL)-secreting adenomas underwent selective adenomectomy via a transsphenoidal route. All had abnormal sella polytomes or visual fields, amenorrhea with low basal serum gonadotropin levels despite decreased serum estradiol concentrations, and elevated basal serum PRL levels with blunted PRL response to neuroendocrine stimulation tests (thyrotropin-releasing hormone, levodopa, chlorpromazine, and hypoglycemia). Of 17 patients with microadenomas, 14 (82.4%) were cured and three (17.6%) improved. None were unchanged or worse. Three (60%) of five patients with larger, but still intrasellar tumors, had normalization of PRL levels, return of menses, and resolution of galactorrhea. The patients with tumors extending out of the sella did not fare as well. Overall, 21 (70%) were cured, six (20%) improved, two (6.7%) were unchanged, and the condition of one (3.3%) became worse. All preoperative neurologic deficits resolved. Postoperative complications were minimal with no neurologic morbidity. When tumors are small, surgical results are excellent with minimal risk.
(JAMA 242:158-162, 1979)