Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Apoplexy

Definition

Apoplexy is bleeding into a cavity or organ. There are a few forms of apoplexy, such as:

  • Adrenal apoplexy—bleeding into the adrenal glands
  • Pituitary apoplexy—bleeding into the pituitary gland

Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland Male

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Causes ^

Apoplexy may be caused by:

  • A tumor
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Blood clot
  • An illness
  • Changes in blood volume or blood pressure
  • Problems with blood clotting

Risk Factors ^

Factors that may raise your chances of apoplexy are:

  • Lack of hormones
  • Prior surgery
  • Bleeding problems
  • Injury
  • Severe blood loss during childbirth

Symptoms ^

You may have:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Belly pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bluish skin color
  • Fever
  • Problems seeing
  • Confusion
  • Pain
  • Tiredness

Diagnosis ^

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Pictures may be taken. This can be done with:

Treatment ^

Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. At first, your condition will be stabilized. Next, treatment will based on the cause and site of your apoplexy. You may have:

  • Medicines—to correct hormonal imbalances
  • Surgery—removing a tumor if that is the cause

Prevention ^

Apoplexy can’t be prevented.

RESOURCES:

Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society
http://www.hormone.org

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
http://www.ninds.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Institute for Health Information
https://www.cihi.ca

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Pituitary apoplexy . UCLA Health System website. Available at: http://pituitary.ucla.edu/pituitary-apoplexy. Accessed July 30, 2018.

Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD  Last Updated: 7/30/2018