Prolactinomas | Endocrine Surgery | JAMA | JAMA Network
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JAMA Patient Page
January 12, 2021


Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2021;325(2):195. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3744

Prolactinomas are a type of benign (noncancerous) tumor of the pituitary gland that produces excess prolactin, a hormone.

The pituitary gland is located inside the skull, below the brain, and releases many types of hormones that affect the activity of other organs, including reproductive organs. One of these hormones, prolactin, is secreted by the lactotroph cells of the pituitary gland. Prolactinomas arise from uncontrolled replication of these lactotroph cells and are the most common type of pituitary tumor.

When prolactin is secreted in large amounts, it can cause a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms differ depending on the age and sex of an individual.