Journal of Human Reproductive Science
Home Ahead of Print Current Issue Archives
   Bookmark this page Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font size Increase font size    Users online: 1937

   Table of Contents     
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59

Bromocriptine or cabergoline induced pituitary apoplexy: Rare but life-threatening catastrophe

1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Neurosurgery, VHS Hospital, Taramani, Chennai, India
4 Department of Neurology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication28-Jun-2011

Correspondence Address:
Manish Singh
Department of Neurosurgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Dhanvantri Nagar, Puducherry - 605 006
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-1208.82367

Rights and Permissions


How to cite this article:
Singh P, Singh M, Cugati G, Singh AK. Bromocriptine or cabergoline induced pituitary apoplexy: Rare but life-threatening catastrophe. J Hum Reprod Sci 2011;4:59

How to cite this URL:
Singh P, Singh M, Cugati G, Singh AK. Bromocriptine or cabergoline induced pituitary apoplexy: Rare but life-threatening catastrophe. J Hum Reprod Sci [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jun 27];4:59. Available from:


Prolactin secreting pituitary tumor is one of the common causes of infertility in males and females. [1] Prolactin level is also high in non-prolactin secreting pituitary adenoma (e.g., growth hormone secreting) due to stalk effect. [2] Most of the prolactinomas can be managed medically with bromocriptine or cabergoline which are largely used as primary treatment for prolactinomas, as they help to normalize serum prolactin levels and induce reduction in the tumor size, promoting restoration of gonadal function, cessation of galactorrhea and improvement in visual defects in the majority of patients. [1],[2] Bromocriptine or cabergoline induced pituitary apoplexy is a life-threatening complication which is rare but well known. [2],[3],[4],[5] This condition is characterized by sudden onset of headache, visual loss or deterioration, meningismus, altered mental status, and rarely, even death. [1],[2] This pathology is caused by hemorrhagic necrosis of tumor or pituitary gland infarction, in which pituitary function is compromised, necessitating rapid administration of corticosteroids and endocrine evaluation. [1] Rapid surgical decompression is required if there is sudden constriction of visual fields, and/or rapid deterioration of acuity, or neurological deterioration due to hydrocephalus. [1],[2] These reports point toward the possibility of bromocriptine or cabergoline induced pituitary apoplexy, which should be kept in mind when a patient is neurologically deteriorating after starting these drugs. Careful follow-up is required when treatment with bromocriptine or cabergoline is attempted for prolactinoma in reproductive medicine clinic for infertility management in male and female patients.

   References Top

1.Greenberg MS Handbook of neurosurgery: Pituitary adenomas. Sixth edition, Thieme Medical Publishers: New York; 2006. p. 438-56.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Knoepfelmacher M, Gomes MC, Melo ME, Mendonca BB. Pituitary Apoplexy During Therapy with Cabergoline in an Adolescent Male with Prolactin-Secreting Macroadenoma. Pituitary2004:7: 83-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Shirataki K, Chihara K, Shibata Y, Tamaki N, Matsumoto S, Fujita T. Pituitary apoplexy manifested during a bromocriptine test in a patient with growth hormone and prolactin producing pituitary adenoma. Neurosurgery 1988;23:395-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Pinto G, Zerah M, Trivin C, Brauner R. Pituitary apoplexy in an adolescent with prolactin-secreting adenoma. Horm Res 1998;50:38-41.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Yamaji T, Ishibashi M, Kosaka K, Fukushima T, Hori T, Manaka S, et al. Pituitary apoplexy in acromegaly during bromocriptine therapy. Acta Endocrinol(Copenh.) 1981;98:171-7.  Back to cited text no. 5

This article has been cited by
1 Evaluation of the Sellar and Parasellar Regions
Chin, B.M. and Orlandi, R.R. and Wiggins, R.H.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Clinics of North America. 2012; 20(3): 515-543
2 Evaluation of the Sellar and Parasellar Regions
Brian M. Chin,Richard R. Orlandi,Richard H. Wiggins
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Clinics of North America. 2012; 20(3): 515
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Print this article  Email this article


    Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (342 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded158    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal