Treatment and therapeutic strategies for pituitary apoplexy in pregnancy: a case series

Yuya Kato, Yoshikazu Ogawa, Teiji Tominaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pregnancy is a known risk factor for pituitary apoplexy, which is life threatening for both mother and child. However, very few clinical interventions have been proposed for managing pituitary apoplexy in pregnancy. Case presentation: We describe the management of three cases of pituitary apoplexy during pregnancy and review available literature. Presenting symptoms in our case series were headache and/or visual disturbances, and the etiology in all cases was hemorrhage. Conservative therapy was followed until 34 weeks of gestation, after which babies were delivered by cesarean section with prophylactic bolus hydrocortisone supplementation. Tumor removal was only electively performed after delivery using the transsphenoidal approach. All three patients and their babies had a good clinical course, and postoperative pathological evaluation revealed that all tumors were functional and that they secreted prolactin. Conclusions: Although the mechanism of pituitary apoplexy occurrence remains unknown, the most important treatment strategy for pituitary apoplexy in pregnancy remains adequate hydrocortisone supplementation and frequent hormonal investigation. Radiological follow-up should be performed only if clinical symptoms deteriorate, and optimal timing for surgical resection should be discussed by a multidisciplinary team that includes obstetricians and neonatologists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number289
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • Lactotroph cell adenoma
  • Pituitary apoplexy
  • Pregnancy
  • Transsphenoidal surgery


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