Cerebral vascular accidents are caused by vasospasm when induced by preeclampsia or by dopamine agonists. However, six arteries nourish the pituitary and prevent against vasospasm-induced damage, which up until now has not been thought to occur. Bromocriptine was used to arrest lactation in a 31-year-old with secondary amenorrhea following preeclampsia and fetal demise at 28 weeks gestation. Tests and history revealed panhypopituitarism not associated with hemorrhage or mass infarction but instead caused by vasospasm. The present study is the first report of pituitary damage from a non-hemorrhagic, vaso-occlusive event in the literature. In keeping with Sheehan's and Simon's syndromes, we have named pituitary damage resulting from vaso-occlusion as Dahan's syndrome, and a literature review suggests that it may be a common and previously overlooked disorder.
Vasospasm can cause damage to the pituitary gland, although it was not previously believed to do so.
Preeclampsia and the use of a dopamine agonist, particularly in the peripartum state, may trigger vasospasm.
Vasospasm resulting from dopamine agonists may be a common cause of injury to the pituitary gland, and it may have been overlooked in the past.