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Sanah Sadiq, Arnab Chowdhury
(Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Health System – Southwest Minnesota region, Mankato, MN, USA)
Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e930908
Sheehan syndrome (pituitary necrosis after postpartum hemorrhage) can present in various ways, depending on the hormones that are deficient. There may be a long delay to diagnosis of over a decade because symptoms are often vague and pituitary dysfunction progresses gradually. We describe a case of a patient with acute presentation of Sheehan syndrome 7 years after the obstetric event and with no clear precipitating event.
CASE REPORT: A 46-year-old woman with a history of hyperlipidemia and transaminitis came to the clinic for evaluation of hypotension and syncope. She had a history of longstanding anhedonia, fatigue, and postpartum hemorrhage 7 years previously and had undergone medical evaluations with her primary doctor with no cause found. Laboratory results showed anemia, central hypothyroidism, and adrenal insufficiency. A diagnosis of Sheehan syndrome was made.
CONCLUSIONS: Sheehan syndrome is a rare condition of progressive pituitary dysfunction, which can present with nonspecific symptoms and a myriad of laboratory abnormalities until an adrenal crisis is triggered years after the precipitating event. Screening patients for hypopituitarism by free thyroxine levels and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation testing is vital for determining whether hypopituitarism is the cause in the appropriate clinical scenario. Use of thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and morning cortisol testing alone will miss this diagnosis, and free thyroxine levels and ACTH stimulation testing are vital.
Keywords: Hormones, Hypopituitarism, Hypotension, Postpartum Hemorrhage, adrenal insufficiency