What Is Frommel-Chiari Syndrome?
Frommel-Chiari Syndrome is an extremely rare pathological condition involving the endocrine glands seen in females usually in the postpartum period when they start producing abnormally high amounts of breast milk. This is associated with lack of ovulation and irregular or even complete absence of menstrual periods.
The symptoms may last for abnormally long time, lasting more than six months up to a year after the delivery of the child. As a result of an aberrant hormonal cycle the size of the uterus gets decreased or atrophied. While some cases of this condition resolve on their own there are some cases where treatment is required for Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
What Are The Causes Of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome?
The root cause of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome is not yet known but researchers believe that it might be related to an abnormality in the thalamus or the pituitary gland. Some studies suggest development of microadenomas as a result of hormones linked to the pregnancy as being the cause of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
In majority of the cases, the abnormality in the hormones get back to normal and the symptoms fade away within a year of their onset caused due to Frommel-Chiari Syndrome. Additionally, some studies have also suggested usage of contraceptive pills also to be a cause of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
What Are The Symptoms Of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome?
The primary symptom of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome is overproduction of breast milk after delivery of the child. Another symptom associated with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome is irregular or in some cases even absence of menstrual periods.
Absence of ovulation is also something that is associated with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome. There are no symptoms associated with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome before the birth of the child or during the entire pregnancy period.
Normally these symptoms fade away with time and within a span of six months up to a year the patient may be completely normal; however, the menstrual periods may not be regularized for a longer period of time due to Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
Some of the other symptoms associated with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome include emotional lability, anxiety, back pain, vision disturbances, pain in the abdomen, headaches. Loss of muscle tone in the uterus is also seen in females affected for a long time with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
How Is Frommel-Chiari Syndrome Treated?
In some cases, females with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome tend to have an abnormally high level of prolactin in the blood along with low levels of estrogen.
Thus medications may be required to bring those levels back to normal. The most preferred medication to bring the prolactin levels back to normal is bromocriptine.
With normalization of the prolactin levels, the menstrual cycles come back to normal and other symptoms associated with Frommel-Chiari Syndrome also tend to fade away. In some cases, the patient may not even require treatment and the hormone levels come back to normal and the symptoms go away on their own.
In cases where the symptoms do not go away despite treatment then periodic monitoring is required by way of imaging studies in the form of CT and MRI scan to look for signs of a pituitary tumor as a result of Frommel-Chiari Syndrome.
- National Organization for Rare Disorders – Frommel-Chiari Syndrome: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/frommel-chiari-syndrome/
- Endotext – Prolactin Disorders: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278993/
- Healthline – Prolactinoma: https://www.healthline.com/health/prolactinoma
- Verywell Health – Pituitary Tumors and Hyperprolactinemia: https://www.verywellhealth.com/prolactinoma-3970976
- Cleveland Clinic – Prolactinoma: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14553-prolactinoma
- MedlinePlus – Prolactin Blood Test: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/prolactin-blood-test/