Prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas are one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Prolactin plays an important role in lactation and is involved in producing some of the normal mammalian breeding and maternal behaviors. Elevated serum prolactin concentrations can adversely affect the reproductive cycle in females by inhibiting the normal lutenizing hormone surge that stimulates ovulation. A 17-year-old western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) presented with low fertility and hyperprolactinemia. An MRI confirmed a pituitary mass and treatment was initiated with cabergoline. Following 8 mo of treatment, mass size decreased and serum prolactin was within normal limits. The gorilla began to engage in normal breeding behavior, and within 6 mo of completing treatment, was pregnant. Hyperprolactinemia, secondary to presumed microprolactinoma, may be more common among breeding-age gorillas than is currently diagnosed and in humans is an easily diagnosed and treatable condition.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4