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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.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2018
  • Update Date: 07/30/2018