Pituitary tumor apoplexy: a review

Rita N Nawar, Dima AbdelMannan, Warren R Selman, Baha M Arafah
Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 2008, 23 (2): 75-90
Pituitary tumor apoplexy is an uncommon syndrome resulting often spontaneously from hemorrhage or infarction of a pre-existing pituitary adenoma. As the primary event involves the adenoma, the syndrome should be referred to as pituitary tumor apoplexy and not as pituitary apoplexy. The sudden increase in sellar contents compresses surrounding structures and portal vessels, resulting in sudden, severe headache, visual disturbances, and impairment in pituitary function. Initial management of patients with pituitary tumor apoplexy includes supportive therapy (intravenous fluids and corticosteroids), following which many patients exhibit clinical improvement. Because those patients can be effectively managed with supportive measures, many who remain clinically and neurologically unstable might benefit from urgent surgical decompression by an experienced neurosurgeon. All patients presenting with this syndrome require long-term follow-up to treat any residual tumor and/or pituitary dysfunction. Close interaction between members of the management team is necessary for optimal patients' outcome.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.