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Is Adrenal Insufficiency a Rare Disease?
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
2016 (English)In: Frontiers of Hormone Research, ISSN 0301-3073, E-ISSN 1662-3762, Vol. 46, 106-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adrenal insufficiency (AI) is a potentially life-threatening condition and it is of utmost importance to identify and adequately manage affected individuals. Diagnosis is often delayed, probably partly because diseases of the adrenal or pituitary region that cause primary AI (PAI) or central AI are relatively rare conditions. However, iatrogenic AI, i.e. the physiological downregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and adrenal atrophy caused by glucocorticoid treatment for different inflammatory conditions is likely to be considerably more common. The type of glucocorticoid, dose and duration of treatment are factors to consider when trying to predict the risk of developing symptoms of AI. However, the considerable individual variation in the sensitivity for developing iatrogenic AI impedes prediction. In industrialized countries, autoimmune adrenalitis accounts for the majority of cases of PAI. Among children, genetic conditions - in particular congenital adrenal hyperplasia - need to be considered. Important risk groups for central AI are patients with tumours in the hypothalamic-pituitary region, moderate-to-severe traumatic head injury and patients who receive cranial radiotherapy or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 blockade treatment. Structured endocrine follow-up is essential in these groups. Health workers need to be attentive to these potentially fatal conditions and at-risk populations should be carefully informed about symptoms and signs of AI.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 46, 106-114 p.
National Category
Endocrinology and Diabetes
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127427DOI: 10.1159/000443870PubMedID: 27210825OAI: diva2:1045872
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-11 Last updated: 2016-12-15Bibliographically approved

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