An uncommon cause of anaemia: Sheehan's syndrome

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2010 Dec;122(23-24):717-9. doi: 10.1007/s00508-010-1480-4. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


Ischemic pituitary necrosis due to severe postpartum haemorrhage called Sheehan's syndrome is a rare cause of hypopituitarism in the western world, but much more common in developing countries. A 45-year-old female patient being a war refugee from Chechnya with severe anaemia and fatigue was diagnosed at our outpatient department with Sheehan's syndrome after severe postpartum haemorrhage and emergency hysterectomy 15 years ago. Panhypopituitarism was adequately treated with substitution of hydrocortisone, thyroxine and transdermal oestrogen which resulted in haemoglobin increase to nearly normal levels and symptoms improved immediately. Severe anaemia caused by panhypopituitarism shows the importance of the hormonal system for erythropoiesis. Clinical and basic scientific evidence indicates thyroidal hormones to be the main cause.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / diagnosis*
  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Anemia / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / complications*
  • Hypopituitarism / diagnosis*
  • Hypopituitarism / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome