Apoplexy is a medical term that refers to a cerebral hemorrhage or other sudden neurological impairment.
Pituitary apoplexy occurs when a pituitary adenoma either spontaneously hemorrhages or grows in such a way as to compress and cut off its own blood supply, resulting in tumor cell death, bleeding, and acute swelling.
The hemorrhage- or necrosis-induced swelling can compress the:
Pituitary apoplexy is a medical emergency and can be fatal if untreated. With treatment, however, the prognosis is good.
Surgery is performed after medical stabilization. At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for pituitary apoplexy is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) to remove the tumor and decompress the area.
The physician will ask about symptoms, which often are sudden and severe. These may include:
Pituitary apoplexy can be diagnosed by imaging studies such as head CT and MRI, along with lab studies to evaluate electrolyte, glucose, and pituitary hormone levels.
Once the person has been medically stabilized, surgery is usually a required treatment to decompress the constricted areas and remove the tumor.
Pituitary apoplexies can be directly accessed through the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This approach allows doctors to:
The remaining pituitary gland is explored carefully to check for other lesions, and all abnormal tissue is removed.
How can we help you?
Schedule anappointment >
Ask a question >
Request our expertopinion >
1-877-986-9862(within the U.S.)
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com