How is pediatric adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease) treated?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Kimberly Tafuri, DO; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Patients with adrenal insufficiency are generally hypovolemic and may be hypoglycemic, hyponatremic, or hyperkalemic. Initial therapy consists of intravenously administered saline and dextrose. Potassium is generally not needed in acute situations, especially in patients with primary adrenal insufficiency, who are often hyperkalemic.

Glucocorticoid replacement is required in all forms of adrenal insufficiency. Mineralocorticoid replacement is required only in primary adrenal insufficiency, because aldosterone secretion is reduced in primary adrenal insufficiency but not in central adrenal insufficiency.

No surgical management is needed in most cases of adrenal insufficiency.

See also Addison Disease (Adrenal Insufficiency).

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