Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 Oct;20(7):812-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Sudden death in custody due to pituitary apoplexy during long restriction in a sitting position: a case report and review of the literature.

Author information

  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China.


Pituitary apoplexy is an uncommon clinical emergency arising from hemorrhage into or infarction of a pituitary adenoma. The most common presentation is sudden headache, visual field defects and signs of hypopituitarism. It usually occurs in the age group from 20 to 50 years and affects more male than female. Sudden death due to pituitary apoplexy without common symptoms is rarely reported. Here, we described a scarcely-reported case of sudden death in custody caused by pituitary apoplexy resulting from stress-induced hemorrhage of gonadotroph adenoma, a kind of pituitary adenoma, without common clinical symptoms. In this case, a 49-year-old man was restrained in a sitting position for 4 days and died unexpectedly. At autopsy, external examination showed free of trauma. Destruction of bony structure and a circumscribed pituitary tumor were observed in sella turcica. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were particular positive for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), thus clarifying the presence of a pituitary gonadotroph adenoma. We provide the case description and a short review of pituitary apoplexy and pituitary adenoma as a rare cause of sudden death.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.


Forensic pathology; Gonadotroph adenoma; Pituitary apoplexy; Restrictive position

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Write to the Help Desk