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
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Causes

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

Factors that increase your chance of developing apoplexy include:
  • Hormonal insufficiency
  • Previous surgery
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Injury
  • Sheehan's syndrome—severe blood loss during childbirth

Symptoms

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

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
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

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Treatment

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

There is no known way to prevent apoplexy.

RESOURCES

Hormone Health Network
http://www.hormone.org

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

CANADIAN RESOURCES

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

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

References

Pituitary apoplexy . UCLA Health System website. Available at: http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=206. Accessed October 8, 2013.

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