• Apoplexy

    Definition

    Apoplexy is bleeding into a cavity or organ. There are various forms of apoplexy, including adrenal apoplexy (bleeding into adrenal glands) and pituitary apoplexy (bleeding into the pituitary gland).
    Pituitary Gland
    Pituitary Gland Male
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    Causes

    Apoplexy may be caused by:
    • Expansion of a tumor
    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Blood clot
    • Limited venous drainage
    • Acute illness
    • Drastic changes in blood volume or blood pressure
    • Blood coagulation disorders

    Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your chance of developing apoplexy include:
    • Hormonal insufficiency
    • Previous surgery
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Injury

    Symptoms

    If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to apoplexy. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. Apoplexy can cause:
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Loss of vision
    • Double vision
    • Altered mental status
    • Shock
    • Pain
    • Fatigue

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Blood and urine tests will be done to look for signs of bleeding. Your doctor may also need images to look for areas of bleeding. Images may be taken with:

    Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Initial treatment will be done to stabilize you. Once 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

    The Hormone Foundation 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 December 31, 2012.

    Pituitary apoplexy. University of California, Los Angeles website. Available at: http://pituitary.ucla.edu/Pituitary/PituitaryDis%5F14.html . Accessed December 31, 2012.

    Revision Information

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