What is Pituitary Apoplexy?
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.
Pituitary apoplexy complications
The hemorrhage- or necrosis-induced swelling can compress the:
- Pituitary gland
- Optic nerves
- Nerves that control eye movement
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.