Apoplexy is bleeding into an organ or loss of blood flow to an organ. For example,
- Adrenal apoplexy -- bleeding into the adrenal glands
- Pituitary apoplexy -- bleeding into the pituitary gland
Apoplexy most often refers to stroke symptoms that occur suddenly. Such symptoms occur due to bleeding into the brain. It can also occur by a blood clot in a brain blood vessel. Conditions such as subarachnoid hemorrhage or stroke are sometimes called apoplexy.
Functional apoplexy is when a person appears to be having stroke-like symptoms. However, there is no brain defect.
Goldstein LB. Approach to cerebrovascular diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 378.
Thiessen MEW. Thyroid and adrenal disorders. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 117.
Review Date 1/29/2022
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.