Sudden death in custody due to pituitary apoplexy during long restriction in a sitting position: a case report and review of the literature.J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 Oct; 20(7):812-5.JF
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.