Assessment of bleeding disorders in Sheehan's syndrome: are bleeding disorders the underlying cause of Sheehan's syndrome?
ABSTRACT Sheehan's syndrome (SS) is an adenopituitary insufficiency caused by hypovolemia secondary to excessive blood loss during or after childbirth. However, the mechanism of postpartum hemorrhage and ischemia is not clear. We aimed to evaluate the bleeding disorders among patients with SS, in comparison with healthy controls. In addition, we investigated underlying causes in postpartum hemorrhage that begin the event. The present study was conducted at the Dicle University School of Medicine. Forty-eight patients with SS and 50 age-matched female healthy controls were included. Biochemical and hormonal variables were measured, as was platelet function by means of closure times (PFA-100 testing using collagen plus epinephrine and collagen plus ADP), von Willebrand factor (vWF) level, prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), international normalized ratio (INR), and coagulation factors. Although PT and INR were significantly higher in patients with SS (both P<0.01), aPTT and levels of fibrinogen, vWF, and factors II, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII did not differ significantly. Closure times with collagen/epinephrine and collagen/ADP also did not differ significantly between patients with SS and control patients. The nonspecific etiology and presence of excessive postpartum hemorrhage in patients with SS suggest that coagulation disorders may play a role in their predisposition to bleeding. The increased PT and INR noted might implicate bleeding diathesis as the underlying etiology, although no significant decreases were noted in factor levels. Further studies are needed to elucidate this complex mechanism of this disorder.