Young adult patient with headache, fever and blurred vision
BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE
This case highlights the fact that acute pituitary apoplexy may be misdiagnosed due to being confused with other entities exhibiting similar symptoms, such as meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage.
A patient in his late 30s presented with sudden and severe frontal headache, fever, blurred vision, nausea, confusion, as well as oculomotor palsy (CN III) with partial ptosis of the left eyelid, dilated left pupil and left eye globe deviation inferiorly and laterally. The final diagnosis was acute pituitary apoplexy complicating a pituitary macroadenoma. In this setting, headache is usually present due to stretching and irritation of the dura mater, and fever due to meningeal irritation or upward expansion leading to hypothalamic dysfunction. Decreased visual acuity and defects in visual fields are caused by upward expansion, which compresses the optic chiasm. Ophthalmoplegia can also be observed due to lateral expansion with invasion of the cavernous sinus.
Medical professionals involved in emergency care should be aware of this clinical entity and collaborate with endocrinologists using a multidisciplinary team approach for prompt diagnosis and optimal treatment of such patients.
Key wordsApoplexy Headache Pituitary Macroadenoma Ophthalmoplegia