Ischemic pituitary apoplexy associated with the lupus anticoagulant

Jennifer A. Galvin, Gregory P. Van Stavern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report a case of ischemic pituitary apoplexy secondary to a hypercoagulable state following elective orthopedic surgery. Design: Observational case report. Methods: A 48-year-old Caucasian man underwent an uneventful, left-sided total hip replacement and corrective osteotomy of the proximal femur. Two days post-operative, he developed a frontal headache and blurred vision in both eyes. Results: Ophthalmic examination revealed right VIth cranial nerve palsy. Imaging studies indicated pituitary apoplexy with a large hypodense pituitary lesion with widening of the sella turcica. Laboratory findings included positive lupus anticoagulant, a normal prothrombin time (PT), and an elevated activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Five days after the initial symptoms, a transsphenoidal pituitary resection was performed. At a 6 months follow-up, the VIth nerve paresis was completely resolved. Conclusions: This case describes ischemic pituitary apoplexy associated with a pre-operatively elevated aPTT and positive lupus anticoagulant. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of atypical apoplexy concurrent with antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies following an uneventful surgery. The results we obtained on this patient suggest that an associated hypercoaguable state may increase the risk of thrombosis following elective orthopedic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-90
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2004


  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Lupus anticoagulant
  • Pituitary apoplexy


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