What is the role of prolactin assays in the evaluation of epileptic seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Historically, prolactin levels obtained shortly after a seizure (within 20 min) have been used to assess the etiology (epileptic or nonepileptic) of a spell. levels are typically elevated 3- or 4-fold, and elevations are more likely to occur with generalized tonic-clonic seizures than with other seizure types. However, not only has the considerable variability of prolactin levels precluded routine clinical use of such testing, but a baseline prolactin level is often obtained the next day at the same time as when the seizure first occurred, which makes the testing more cumbersome.

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