Prolactin and autoimmunity: Hyperprolactinemia correlates with serositis and anemia in SLE patients

Hedi Orbach, Gisele Zandman-Goddard, Mona Boaz, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Howard Amital, Zoltan Szekanecz, Gabriella Szucs, Josef Rovensky, Emese Kiss, Andrea Doria, Anna Ghirardello, Jesus Gomez-Arbesu, Ljudmila Stojanovich, Francesca Ingegnoli, Pier Luigi Meroni, Blaz' Rozman, Miri Blank, Yehuda Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Evidence points to an association of prolactin to autoimmune diseases. We examined the correlation between hyperprolactinemia and disease manifestations and activity in a large patient cohort. Age- and sex-adjusted prolactin concentration was assessed in 256 serum samples from lupus patients utilizing the LIASON prolactin automated immunoassay method (DiaSorin S.p.A, Saluggia, Italy). Disease activity was defined as present if European Consensus Lupus Activity Measurement (ECLAM)2 or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI)4. Lupus manifestations were grouped by organ involvement, laboratory data, and prescribed medications. Hyperprolactinemia was presented in 46/256 (18%) of the cohort. Hyperprolactinemic patients had significantly more serositis (40% vs. 32.4%, p=0.03) specifically, pleuritis (33% vs. 17%, p=0.02), pericarditis (30% vs. 12%, p=0.002), and peritonitis (15% vs. 0.8%, p=0.003). Hyperprolactinemic subjects exhibited significantly more anemia (42% vs. 26%, p=0.02) and marginally more proteinuria (65.5% vs. 46%, p=0.06). Elevated levels of prolactin were not significantly associated with other clinical manifestations, serology, or therapy. Disease activity scores were not associated with hyperprolactinemia. Hyperprolactinemia in lupus patients is associated with all types of serositis and anemia but not with other clinical, serological therapeutic measures or with disease activity. These results suggest that dopamine agonists may be an optional therapy for lupus patients with hyperprolactinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Anemia Proteinuria
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Disease activity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prolactin
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Serositis
  • Sjögren's syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic sclerosis


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