Sheehan's Syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The normal pituitary gland increases in volume during pregnancy, primarily as a result of estrogen-induced lactotroph hyperplasia. For this reason, the pituitary gland is susceptible to ischemic damage and necrosis in patients who experience severe postpartum hemorrhage. This entity, Sheehan's syndrome, is a rare occurrence in developed countries today, but still occurs occasionally. It is probably much more common in developing countries, where it could be a major cause of hypopituitarism. Patients can present with acute hypopituitarism in the postpartum period, or the diagnosis can be made decades after the event in patients who have had chronic, nonspecific symptoms. Classically, the presenting symptom is failure to lactate, but patients can present with a spectrum of clinical findings that reflect variable loss of anterior pituitary gland function. Overt diabetes insipidus is unusual in Sheehan's syndrome, although subtle defects in posterior pituitary function are common. The treatment of Sheehan's syndrome includes standard replacement therapy for hormone deficiencies. The long-term prognosis for patients who develop Sheehan's syndrome is permanent hypopituitarism, requiring lifelong therapy, although there are rare case reports of recovery of pituitary function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrinologist
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Hypopituitarism
Pituitary Gland
Lactotrophs
Postpartum Hemorrhage
Diabetes Insipidus
Anterior Pituitary Gland
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Recovery of Function
Developed Countries
Postpartum Period
Developing Countries
Hyperplasia
Lactic Acid
Estrogens
Necrosis
Pregnancy
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Pituitary necrosis
  • Sheehan's hypopituitarism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Sheehan's Syndrome. / Samuels, Mary.

In: Endocrinologist, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 25-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Samuels, Mary. / Sheehan's Syndrome. In: Endocrinologist. 2004 ; Vol. 14, No. 1. pp. 25-30.
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