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Item Value
Test Update Information Method changed from Siemens Centaur XP platform to Abbott Architect i2000 platform on 1/8/18. The Abbott Architect method reads approximately 23% higher than the Centaur method. Please note that the reference ranges have changed.

The Abbott assay standardization is traceable to the World Health Organization (WHO) Prolactin 3rd International Standard, (84/500).
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? No
Test code PROL
Test group Prolactin
Performed by China Basin Chemistry
In House Availability Thursday, Sunday (day shift)
Method Chemiluminescent Microparticle Immunoassay (Abbott Architect i2000)
Collection Instructions Because of circadian changes in prolactin secretion, with peaks at night and in the afternoon, specimens should be drawn at the same time of day for comparability, preferably after fasting overnight.

Medi-Cal Medical Necessity Policy (Medical Services Bulletin 307, Feb. 2000) applies.
Container type Gold top or Red top preferred.
Dark green or light green top acceptable.
Amount to Collect 1 mL blood
Sample type Serum
Preferred volume 0.3 mL serum
Min. Volume 0.15 mL serum
Processing notes Aliquot and freeze serum at -20C.
Units µg/L
Normal range Adult Reference Range (>= 18 years):

Female 4.3 - 30.0 ug/L
Male 3.6 - 18.0 ug/L

Adult reference range adopted from Abbott based on in-house verification studies of 23 male and 22 female (>18 years old) normal volunteers in the UCSF Laboratory.

Pediatric Reference Range:

Age Results
4 days - 29 days 12.6 - 212.8 ug/L
30 days - <1 year 6.3 - 113.7 ug/L
1 year - <18 years 4.2 - 23.0 ug/L

Pediatric reference ranges adopted from CALIPER Pediatric Reference Interval study performed on random samples using the Abbott Architect i2000 assay.
Stability Refrigerated 92-8C): 7 days
Frozen (-10C or cooler): 12 months

If testing will be delayed more than 24 hours, remove serum from clot, red blood cells or serum separator gel.

Avoid multiple freeze-thaw cycles.
Turn around times 1-3 days
Additional information Levels in newborns are > 10x those in adults. Levels in menstruating or post-menopausal women do not differ greatly from random levels in females.

Note-Prolactin immunoassays vary in sensitivity to the presence of macroprolactin (Reference 1). Macroprolactin, a high molecular weight aggregate of monomeric prolactin and immunoglobulin, is estimated to be present in 5-25% of hyperprolactinemic patients (Reference 1, 2). Although the precise biologic role of macroprolactin remains unclear, patients with hyperprolactinemia due to macroprolactin often respond to treatment with dopamine agonists (Reference 2). Clinicians should be aware that there may be inter-laboratory variation in reported values of prolactin due to the different sensitivities of commercial immunoassays to the presence of macroprolactin.

Assay for macroprolactin using the PEG precipitation procedure is available by sendout of 0.4 ml of serum to Quest (Test code: MACPRO).


1. Smith TP, Suliman AM, Fahie-Wilson MN, McKenna TJ. Gross variability in the detection of prolactin in sera containing big big prolactin
(macroprolactin) by commercial immunoassays. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Dec;87(12):5410-5.

2. Olukoga AO, Kane JW. Macroprolactinaemia: validation and application of the polyethylene glycol precipitation test and clinical characterization of the condition. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1999 Jul;51(1):119-26.
CPT coding 84146
LOINC code 2842-3
Last Updated 1/9/2018 4:07:27 PM
Entry Number 783
Lab Procedure Link Click here for Procedure
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