Research Article

Effects of bromocriptine on pituitary tumour size.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 22 September 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:700
  1. A M McGregor,
  2. M F Scanlon,
  3. R Hall,
  4. K Hall


    In a prospective study designed to assess the influence of bromocriptine on pituitary tumour size 12 patients with pituitary tumours, eight of whom had suprasellar extensions, were treated for three months with 20 mg of bromocriptine daily after a gradual increase to this dose. The group comprised eight women and four men, five with prolactin-secreting adenomas, four with acromegaly, two with functionless adenomas, and one with Nelson's syndrome. All five patients with prolactin-secreting adenomas showed a reduction in pituitary tumour size as assessed by computerised tomography and metrizamide cisternography accompanied by a fall in prolactin concentrations and clinical and biochemical improvement in their hypopituitarism. One patient in this group had a visual-field defect before treatment, and this resolved. There was no radiological evidence of reduction in tumour size in the remaining seven patients, though this might refect the fairly short duration of treatment, particularly in view of the ancillary evidence of clinical, biochemical, and visual-field improvement in some of the patients. These results emphasise the potential value of bromocriptine in treating patients with large prolactinomas or recurrences of such tumours after previous chiasmal decompression and conventional external megavoltage irradiation on the pituitary.