Chapter 175 Sheehan’s Syndrome
Description: Sheehan’s syndrome is characterized by loss of pituitary function resulting from damage or necrosis that occurs through anoxia, thrombosis, or hemorrhage. When associated with pregnancy, it is called Sheehan’s syndrome; when unrelated to pregnancy it is called Simmonds disease.
Causes: Anoxia, thrombosis, or hemorrhage that results in damage or necrosis of the pituitary gland. (The exact mechanism of pituitary damage is unknown.)
• Adrenal insufficiency (the degree of pituitary damage and resultant loss is highly variable; as a result, the reduction of adrenal and thyroid hormone production seen is also variable, from slight to virtually complete loss)
• Postpartum failure of lactation and loss of pubic and axillary hair (lactation following delivery virtually precludes pituitary necrosis)