Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

CONTEXT: Macroprolactinomas (MPRLs) may result in nonsurgical (spontaneous or dopamine agonist induced) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea; however, the incidence of and mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of nonsurgical rhinorrhea and identify biochemical, radiological, and histopathological factors associated with leakage. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective review of MPRL patients (n = 114) was compared with patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFA) (n = 181) seen over a 19-yr period (1985-2004). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of CSF rhinorrhea, factors predictive of leakage, and differential expression of candidate markers of invasiveness were measured. RESULTS: Nonsurgical CSF rhinorrhea occurred in 8.7% of MPRLs (10 of 114) [2.6% spontaneous (three of 114), 6.1% dopamine agonist induced (seven of 114)], whereas no NFAs developed nonsurgical rhinorrhea. There was a clear male preponderance in MPRLs with nonsurgical rhinorrhea (males to females, 9:1, P = 0.008). Dopamine agonist resistance was more frequent in MPRLs with rhinorrhea than with MPRLs without rhinorrhea [30% (n = 10) vs. 5% (n = 104) P = 0.003]. Baseline prolactin levels, rate of prolactin decline in response to dopamine agonists, and tumor volume at diagnosis did not predict CSF leakage. Candidate markers of invasiveness, specifically the protease-activated receptor 1 and e-cadherin expression scores and tumor macrophage density, were not significantly different between groups; MPRL+CSF rhinorrhea (n = 6), MPRL without CSF rhinorrhea (n = 9), and NFAs (n = 9). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of nonsurgical CSF rhinorrhea in MPRL patients (8.7%) is higher than expected. Dopamine agonist resistance is more common in MPRLs with CSF rhinorrhea; however, whether this is a mechanistic relationship requires further study. Protease-activated receptor 1 expression, e-cadherin expression, and macrophage infiltration rates do not distinguish tumors with from those without CSF rhinorrhea.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





3829 - 3835


Adenoma, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Tumor, Cadherins, Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Incidence, Macrophages, Male, Matrix Metalloproteinase 9, Middle Aged, Pituitary Neoplasms, Prolactin, Prolactinoma, Radiography, Receptor, PAR-1, Retrospective Studies, Sex Distribution