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Apoplexy

Definition

Apoplexy is bleeding into a cavity or organ. There are various forms of apoplexy, including:

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

Pituitary Gland

Pituitary Gland Male
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes    TOP

Apoplexy may be caused by:

  • Tumor growth
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Blood clot
  • Acute illness
  • Drastic changes in blood volume or blood pressure
  • Blood clotting disorders

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase your chances of apoplexy include:

  • Hormonal insufficiency
  • Previous surgery
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Injury
  • Severe blood loss during childbirth—Sheehan's syndrome

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bluish skin color
  • Fever
  • Loss of vision
  • Double vision
  • Confusion
  • Pain
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis    TOP

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

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

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Imaging tests assess bodily structures. These may include:

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Initial treatment will be done to stabilize you. After you have been stabilized, treatment options will be chosen based on the cause and location of your apoplexy. Options include:

  • Medications—to correct hormonal imbalances
  • Surgery—tumor removal if the tumor is the cause

Prevention    TOP

There are no current guidelines to prevent apoplexy.

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:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 8, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Last Updated: 6/4/2014

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