PURPOSE: Moderate hyperprolactinaemia (2-5 times upper limit of normal) occurring in a patient with a normal pituitary MRI is generally considered to be due to a lesion below the level of detection of the MRI scanner assuming macroprolactin and stress have been excluded. Most patients with mild-to-moderate hyperprolactinaemia and a normal MRI respond to dopamine agonist therapy. We present the rare case of a patient who had prolactin elevation typical of a prolactin-secreting pituitary macroadenoma,with a normal cranial MRI, and in whom the prolactin rose further with dopamine agonist treatment. Subsequent investigations revealed ectopic hyperprolactinaemia to a uterine tumor resembling ovarian sex cord tumor (UTROSCT) which resolved following tumor resection. Although mostly considered to be benign, the UTROSCT recurred with recurrent hyperprolactinaemia and intraabdominal metastases.
METHODS: We have systematically and critically reviewed existing literature relating to ectopic hyperprolactinaemia in general and UTROCST specifically.
RESULTS: Fewer than 80 cases of UTROSCTs have been reported globally of which about 23% have shown malignant behaviour. There are fewer than 10 cases of paraneoplastic hyperprolactinaemia originating from uterine neoplasms including one other case of ectopic hyperprolactinaemia to a UTROSCT.
CONCLUSIONS: Our case demonstrates the importance of screening for extracranial hyperprolactinaemia in the context of: (1) substantially raised prolactin (10× ULN) and (2) normal cranial MRI assuming macroprolactin has been excluded. The majority of extracranial ectopic prolactin-secreting tumors occur in the reproductive organs.