ABSTRACT: Aim: Recent accumulated evidence suggests that prolactin is an important immunomodulator and may have a role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Our aim was to assess the frequency of hyperprolactinemia in women with SLE and to evaluate its correlation with disease activity.Method: Plasma prolactin levels were measured in 35 women with SLE and 60 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Disease activity was assessed using the SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI). Patients with a score > 10 were considered active. In patients and controls prolactin levels were determined by immunoradiometric assay (IRMA).Results: The prolactin level was higher in SLE than in the control group: 28.5% of SLE patients versus 3.3% of controls had high prolactin levels. Patients with active disease had a trend to higher mean prolactin levels than inactive patients. SLE was active in 90% of hyperprolactinemic patients. In normoprolactinemic patients active disease was found only in 36% of patients. A statistically significant correlation was found between prolactin levels and SLE disease activity index.Conclusion: This study shows that moderate hyperprolactinemia is present in a subset of patients with SLE and that it is related to increased disease activity and major organ involvement.
APLAR Journal of Rheumatology. 10/2006; 9(3):227 - 231.