Potential role of serum prolactin measurement in the diagnosis of late posttraumatic seizures: A case report

Flora M. Hammond, Stuart A. Yablon, Catherine A. Bontke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic seizures are an important medical complication after traumatic brain injury. However, the diverse clinical presentation of posttraumatic seizures, combined with the cognitive and behavior deficits frequently seen in this patient population, can make the diagnosis of posttraumatic seizures particularly challenging. Electroencephalography and imaging studies are often abnormal and nonspecific. It has been reported that serum prolactin levels frequently rise after epileptic seizures. This case report describes the use of prolactin measurement to confirm two suspected posttraumatic seizure episodes in a 42-yr-old male with severe traumatic brain injury. Each episode lasted less than 1 min and involved conspicuously altered postural tone and respiratory pattern, followed by a change in verbal and motor responsiveness. No rhythmic extremity movements were observed. Diagnostic evaluation included electroencephalography and imaging studies, which demonstrated nonspecific abnormalities. Serum prolactin levels obtained within 20 to 40 min were markedly elevated and two to three times greater than the baseline level. The use of prolactin levels in the diagnosis of posttraumatic seizures is reviewed, accompanied by discussion of pertinent aspects of normal and abnormal states of prolactin secretion and regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-306
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Posttraumatic Seizure
  • Prolactin
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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