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Apoplexy

Definition

Apoplexy is bleeding into an organ or loss of blood flow to an organ. For example,

  • Adrenal apoplexy: Bleeding into the adrenal glands
  • Pituitary apoplexy: Bleeding into the pituitary gland

Apoplexy refers to stroke symptoms that occur suddenly. Such symptoms occur due to bleeding into the brain. It can also occur by a blood clot in a brain blood vessel. Conditions such as subarachnoid hemorrhage or stroke are sometimes called apoplexy.

Functional apoplexy is when a person appears to be having stroke-like symptoms. However, there is no brain defect.

References

Goldstein LB. Approach to cerebrovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 406.

Sharma AN, Levy DL. Thyroid and adrenal disorders. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 128.


Review Date: 1/10/2016
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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