CSF rhinorrhoea following treatment with dopamine agonists for massive invasive prolactinomas

King S. Leong, Patrick M. Foy, Andrew C. Swift, Steve L. Atkin, David R. Hadden, Ian A. MacFarlane

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OBJECTIVE: The management of CSF rhinorrhoea following dopamine agonist (DA) treatment for invasive prolactinomas is difficult and there is no clear consensus for its treatment. Our objective was therefore to investigate the different treatments for this condition. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: We examined the case notes of five patients with invasive prolactinomas and CSF rhinorrhoea following DA treatment. The different ways in which this complication had been managed is detailed along with a review of the literature. RESULTS: Five patients aged 24-67 years (3 male) with massive invasive prolactinomas (serum prolactin 95000-500000 mU/l) eroding the skull base were treated with dopamine agonists (3 bromocriptine, 1 cabergoline and 1 both). CSF rhinorrhoea developed in all patients between 1 week and 4 months after commencing dopamine agonist treatment. In two patients (cases 1 and 4), CSF rhinorrhoea ceased within a few days of stopping bromocriptine but restarted when treatment was resumed. One of these (case 4), a 67-year-old woman had no further treatment and CSF leakage stopped completely. She died of unrelated medical problems 3 years later. In one patient staphylococcus aureus meningitis and pneumocephalus developed as a complication of CSF rhinorrhoea. Three patients had endoscopic nasal surgery to repair the fistula using muscle grafts, and to decompress the pituitary tumour, with success in two. One patient had intracranial surgery and dural repair, which was successful in sealing the leak. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that surgery as soon as is feasible is the treatment of choice for the repair of a CSF leak following dopamine agonist treatment. An additional strategy is the withdrawal of dopamine agonist to allow tumour re-growth to stop the leak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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