INTRODUCTION: Hyperprolactinemia is the most common endocrine disorder of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis resulting from over secretion of prolactin (PRL). The presence of biologically inactive PRL isoform macroprolactin (MPRL) in the serum causes interference in the PRL immunoassay, resulting in erroneously high PRL results. The presence of MPRL in the serum can be detected by simple, inexpensive and routine polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation method. In this study; the incidence of MPRL in hyperprolactinemic sera, and the clinical symptoms and signs of hyper / macroprolactinemic patients will be evaluated.
METHODS: Data of 73 hyperprolactinemic patients were obtained from the Laboratory Information System and file screenings were made for the demographic, clinical charactreristics and findings of the patients
RESULTS: Macroprolactinemia was detected in 13.7 % of patients with hyperprolactinemia. Serum PRL, PRL % recovery, diluted PRL % recovery values of macroprolactinemic patients after PEG precipitation were significantly lower than those of hyperprolactinemic patients (p < 0.0001). While there was no significant difference in the percentage of infertility and headache cases in hyperprolactinemic and macroprolactinemic patients, the percentages of oligo / amenorrhoea, galactorrhoea, radiological findings (pituitary adenomas) were significantly higher in hyperprolactinemic patients (p < 0.0001).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Measurement of serum MPRL levels by routine PEG precipitation in hyperprolactinemic patients may be very effective in avoiding unnecessary tests and treatments during diagnosis process and follow-up of patients.