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

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

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

Symptoms

Problems may be:

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

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

These tests may be done to look for signs of apoplexy:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Pictures may be taken. This can be done with:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to stabilize the body. Other treatments will depend on the cause site of the apoplexy. For example:

  • Medicine to correct hormonal imbalances
  • Surgery to remove a tumor that is causing problems

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this problem.

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 October 20, 2020.

Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 10/20/2020