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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 01

J Endocr Soc



Revisiting Pituitary Apoplexy.


Donegan D, Erickson D
J Endocr Soc. 2022 Sep 01; 6(9):bvac113.
PMID: 35928242.


Pituitary apoplexy (PA) is a rare clinical syndrome due to pituitary hemorrhage or infarction. It is characterized by the sudden onset of one or more of the following: severe headache, visual disturbance, nausea/vomiting, and or altered mental status. Most commonly, PA occurs in an underlying pituitary adenoma. The pathophysiology is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve elements of increased metabolic demand and/or compromise to the vasculature of the pituitary or pituitary tumor. Several risk factors have been described. Stabilization of the patient on presentation, replacement of hormonal deficiencies, and reversal of electrolyte abnormalities are the recommended initial steps in the management of patients with PA. Surgical decompression of the mass effect had been the recommended treatment for patients with PA; however, retrospective studies of patients with PA have demonstrated similar outcomes when a conservative approach is applied. This suggests that in highly selected clinical scenarios (mild visual deficit and improving symptoms), conservative management is possible. Further studies, however, are necessary to better stratify patients but are limited by the rarity of the condition and the acuity.