What are the physical exam findings in Addison disease?

Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • Author: George T Griffing, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Physical examination in long-standing cases most often reveals increased pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes, with or without areas of vitiligo.

  • Patients show evidence of dehydration, hypotension, and orthostasis.

  • Female patients may show an absence of axillary and pubic hair and decreased body hair. This is due to loss of the adrenal androgens, a major source of androgens in women.

  • Addison disease caused by another specific disease may be accompanied by clinical features of that disease.

  • Calcification of the ear and costochondral junctions is described but is a rare physical finding.


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