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Sheehan syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Postpartum hypopituitarism
  • Postpartum panhypopituitarism
  • Postpartum panhypopituitary syndrome
  • Postpartum pituitary necrosis
  • Simmond's disease
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Sheehan syndrome, or postpartum hypopituitarism, is a rare complication of postpartum hemorrhage.[1][2][3] Severe blood loss during or after childbirth can deprive the body of oxygen and seriously damage the pituitary gland. This causes the gland to permanently lose its ability to function properly.[2][3] While some women have very few symptoms, Sheehan syndrome can lead to an adrenal crisis - a life-threatening shortage of the hormone cortisol.[3] Treatment involves lifelong hormone replacement therapy.[2][3]
Last updated: 2/23/2010


  1. Schrager S, Sabo L. J Am Board Fam Med. 2001; Accessed 2/23/2010.
  2. Vorvick L, Storck S. Sheehan syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; Accessed 2/23/2010.
  3. Sheehan's syndrome. 2009; Accessed 2/23/2010.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The offers an information page on Sheehan syndrome. You can access this information page by clicking on the above link.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Sheehan syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles