Objective: Most studies on treatment of microprolactinoma have focused on clinical and biochemical outcome rather than on functional and mental well-being. We evaluated this topic in female patients with microprolactinoma, because other pituitary adenomas are associated with decreased quality of life.
Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study.
Patients and methods: To assess the impact of treatment for microprolactinoma on subjective well-being, quality of life was investigated in 55 female patients (mean age 45 ± 10 years), treated for microprolactinoma in our center, using four validated, health-related questionnaires: Short-Form-36 (SF-36), Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Patient outcomes were compared with those of 183 female controls with equal age distributions.
Results: Anxiety and depression scores were increased when compared with controls for all subscales as measured by HADS, and fatigue for all but one subscale as measured by MFI-20. Patients treated for microprolactinoma had worse scores on social functioning, role limitations due to physical problems (SF-36), energy, emotional reaction, and social isolation (NHP) when compared with control subjects. Important independent predictors of quality of life were reproductive status and anxiety and depression scores according to the HADS.
Conclusion: Quality of life is impaired in female patients treated for microprolactinoma, especially due to increased anxiety and depression. These increased anxious and depressive feelings might be due to possible effects of hyperprolactinemia on the central nervous system. Failure to recognize this association may adversely affect patient–doctor relationships.