Beneficial Effects of High Doses of Cabergoline in the Treatment of Giant Prolactinoma Resistant to Dopamine Agonists: A Case Report with a 21-Year Follow-Up
Introduction: Prolactinomas are pituitary tumors with a very low prevalence in childhood and adolescence compared to adulthood. This condition is preferentially treated with dopamine agonists. Resistance to these drugs is rare. Case Report: We describe the case of a boy diagnosed with macroadenoma at the age of 9 and followed up for 21 years. He did not fully respond to treatment with dopamine agonists. His initial prolactin level was 2,400 ng/mL (in males, normal values are <16.0 ng/mL) and never normalized. At the last assessment, his prolactin level was 21.5 ng/mL, recorded after 21 years of treatment with the dopamine agonist cabergoline at a dose as high as 4.5 mg per week. Although the prolactin level remained elevated throughout the follow-up period, the patient never presented a low testosterone level and had normal pubertal development. An MRI of the sella turcica showed that the tumor became progressively cystic and disappeared, but a normal pituitary gland was observed. The pituitary gland retained its normal functions despite a partially empty sella. Discussion: Long-term treatment with high doses of cabergoline may cause cystic degeneration of a prolactinoma considered to be resistant to this treatment, but we cannot rule out the possibility that this outcome represents the natural development of the tumor.
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