What is pediatric adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease)?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Kimberly Tafuri, DO; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

Adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease) can be classified as primary, which occurs when the adrenal gland itself is dysfunctional, or secondary, also called central adrenal insufficiency, which occurs when a lack of secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus or of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary leads to hypofunction of the adrenal cortex. [1] See the image below.

Regulation of the adrenal cortex. ACTH = adrenocor Regulation of the adrenal cortex. ACTH = adrenocorticotropic hormone; CRF = corticotropin-releasing factor; neg. = negative.

Adrenal insufficiency can further be classified as congenital or acquired (see Etiology).


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