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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448


ZAMORA, Adrián; MARTINEZ, Paola  and  BAYONA, Hernán. Pituitary tumor apoplexy. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2015, vol.40, n.3, pp.249-253. ISSN 0120-2448.

Pituitary tumor apoplexy is an infrequent condition resulting from infarction and/or spontaneous bleeding from a pre-existing pituitary adenoma. This entity requires the prior existence of an adenoma in order to be named as pituitary tumor apoplexy, otherwise, it should be named pituitary apoplexy. The sudden increase in pressure of the sella turcica's contents results in a clinical syndrome characterized by headache (which can be "thunderclap headache"), visual disturbances and hypopituitarism. Diagnosis is not always straight forward and requires high clinical suspicion in addition to magnetic resonance imaging and measurement of serum pituitary hormones. Treatment is mainly based on supportive measures (intravenous fluids and steroids) and surgical decompression in those cases with no response to medical treatment and progressive neurological impairment. We report the case of a patient with a previously unknown pituitary adenoma presenting as a tumor apoplexy. (Acta Med Colomb 2015; 40: 249-253).

Keywords : pituitary apoplexy; pituitary adenoma; thunderclap headache; diplopia; pituitary hemorrhage; hypopituitarism; adrenal insufficiency; leuprolide; painful ophthalmoplegia.

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