Dysregulation of circadian rhythms following prolactin-secreting pituitary microadenoma

Katy Borodkin*, Liat Ayalon, Hanna Kanety, Yaron Dagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A patient who developed an irregular sleep-wake pattern following prolactin-secreting pituitary microadenoma is described. The patient reported difficulties in sleep onset and awakening at the desired time, which caused major dysfunction in his daily life activities. Despite these difficulties, the sleep-related complaints of the patient remained unrecognized for as long as three yrs. Statistical analyses of the patient's rest-activity patterns revealed that the disruption of the sleep-wake circadian rhythm originated from a disharmony between ultradian (semicircadian) and circadian components. The circadian component displayed shorter than 24 h periodicity most of the time, but the semicircadian component fluctuated between longer and shorter than 12 h periods. Additionally, desynchrony in terms of period length was found in the tentative analyses of the rest-activity pattern, salivary melatonin, and oral temperature. While the salivary melatonin time series data could be characterized by a best-fit cosine curve of 24 h, the time series data of oral temperature was more compatible with 28 h best-fit curve. The rest-activity cycle during the simultaneous measurements, however, was best approximated by a best-fit curve of 21 h. The dysregulation of circadian rhythms occurred concomitantly, but not beforehand, with the onset of pituitary disease, thus suggesting an association between the two phenomena. This association may have interesting implications to the modeling of the circadian time-keeping system. This case also highlights the need to raise the awareness to circadian rhythm sleep disorders and to consider disruptions of sleep-wake cycle in patients with pituitary adenoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthT32MH018399


    • Actigraphy
    • Chronobiology
    • Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
    • Hyperprolactinemia
    • Melatonin
    • Pituitary Adenoma
    • Sleep


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