Prolactinomas are the most common hormone-secreting pituitary tumors. It is a noncancerous (benign) pituitary tumor that produces a hormone called prolactin. This results in too much prolactin in the blood. These occur most commonly in people under age 40. They are about five times more common in women than in men, but are rare in children. Larger tumors are more common in men. They tend to occur at an older age. The tumor can grow to a large size before symptoms appear.
Pathophysiology: Tumor formation is due to neoplastic transformation of anterior pituitary lactotrophs, resulting in excess synthesis and secretion of prolactin (PRL). Linkage to aryl hydrocarbon-interacting protein gene (AIP) mutation has been identified in some families with prolactinoma and in childhood-onset pituitary adenomas.
Symptoms: When prolactin levels get increased there will be no periods, milk production will occur (infrequent in men), loss of axillary and pubic hair and Small gonads, gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction (in males). When there is mass effect then, bitemporal hemianopsia (due to pressure on optic chiasm), vertigo, nausea, vomiting are the symptoms.