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Acute Headache in Pregnancy 

Acute Headache in Pregnancy
Chapter:
Acute Headache in Pregnancy
Author(s):

M. Angela O’Neal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190609917.003.0020
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date: 22 September 2017

The case illustrates the characteristics of pituitary apoplexy. This anatomy of the pituitary, which predisposes to the condition, is described. The most common clinical feature is headache. Visual disturbance related to optic chiasm or optic nerve involvement is also common. Pituitary apoplexy is a neuroendocrine emergency. The most important hormone involved is adrenocorticotropic hormone, ACTH. However, there are often multiple hormonal deficiencies: growth hormone, hypothyroidism, and hypogonadotropic deficiency. A high prolactin level may reflect a prolactinoma or be due to hypothalamic inhibition. Diabetes insipidus (DI) is also common. The most urgent issue in treating pituitary apoplexy is prompt assessment of fluid and electrolyte imbalance and the replacement of corticosteroids.

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