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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nonpuerperal galactorrhea and hyperprolactinemia. Clinical findings, endocrine features and therapeutic responses in 56 cases.

The clinical and endocrine features, and the responses to different treatment modalities, were examined in 56 patients with galactorrhea and/or hyperprolactinemia after a two month to six year follow-up period. A pituitary adenoma was diagnosed in 17 patients. A prolactin-cell adenoma was identified histologically in eight patients. Other etiologic factors were myxedema (two patients), phenothiazine ingestion (six patients) and breast manipulation (four patients). In 27 patients, including three with abnormalities of the sella turcica, no causal factor was found, and their condition was labelled as dysfunctional in origin. Symptoms were preceded by childbirth in 11 patients and by estrogen-progestin contraception in 22; pituitary adenomas were discovered in both groups in approximately the same frequency (30%) as in the over-all study group. Aside from roentgenographic studies, as well as visual field perimetry in a few cases, a serum prolactin level above 100 ng/ml was the only indicator of a pituitary prolactin-cell adenoma. Prolactin-suppression tests (L-DOPA and 2alpha-Br-ergocryptine) were found to be of no value in discriminating between tumoral and dysfunctional conditions. No significant alterations in prolactin levels occurred after water loading irrespective of basal levels or the nature of the pathologic process. Selective pituitary tumor excision (eight patients) was followed by rapid normalization of prolactin levels and disappearance of clinical abnormalities. Conversely, after pituitary irradiation (eight patients), improvement tended to be slower. Treatment of infertility in those patients without an apparent organic lesion was more successful with 2alpha-Br-ergocryptine (three of three) than with clomiphene (two of seven). Pregnancies following the administration of drugs or after surgical treatment were uneventful. Since follow-up resulted in the early diagnosis of pituitary tumors from seven to 56 months after initial investigation, and since no diagnostic tools are currently available which help to discriminate between tumoral and dysfunctional conditions before abnormalities become evident on roentgenograms, prolonged observation of these patients remains essential.[1]


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