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TriStar Centennial Medical Center



Apoplexy is bleeding into a cavity or organ. There are various forms of apoplexy, including:

  • Adrenal apoplexy—bleeding into adrenal glands
  • Pituitary apoplexy—bleeding into the pituitary gland
Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland Male
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Apoplexy may be caused by:

  • Tumor growth
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Blood clot
  • Acute illness
  • Drastic changes in blood volume or blood pressure
  • Blood clotting disorders

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of apoplexy include:

  • Hormonal insufficiency
  • Previous surgery
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Injury
  • Severe blood loss during childbirth—Sheehan's syndrome


Symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bluish skin color
  • Fever
  • Loss of vision
  • Double vision
  • Confusion
  • Pain
  • Fatigue


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Imaging tests assess bodily structures. These may include:


Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Initial treatment will be done to stabilize you. After you have been stabilized, treatment options will be chosen based on the cause and location of your apoplexy. Options include:

  • Medications—to correct hormonal imbalances
  • Surgery—tumor removal if the tumor is the cause


There are no current guidelines to prevent apoplexy.

Revision Information

  • Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research

  • Pituitary apoplexy . UCLA Health System website. Available at: Accessed October 8, 2013.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.