Recognizing and Intervening in Pituitary Apoplexy

Elizabeth Zink, MS, ACNP, CCRN, CNRN


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2005;5(4) 

In This Article


Pituitary apoplexy is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that, when rapidly identified and treated, results in positive outcomes in terms of survival and recovery of vision. Patients may present with pituitary apoplexy in a wide range of settings and in the absence of a pre-established history of pituitary disease. One of the major risk factors for pituitary apoplexy is a sudden change in pituitary blood flow. This may occur in a variety of situations, including surgical procedures with general anesthesia. Patients presenting with headache and visual field changes should be immediately and aggressively evaluated for intracranial pathology, including pituitary apoplexy.


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