What are the possible complications of 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

Hypotension, shock, hypoglycemia, and death are the primary complications of adrenal insufficiency. In addition, daily oral glucocorticoid therapy may provide iatrogenic suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis within 2 weeks. Effects can last for weeks to months, depending on the duration of exposure to pharmacologic doses of glucocorticoids. Complications of excessive glucocorticoids include the following:

  • Growth failure

  • Obesity

  • Striae

  • Osteoporosis

  • Muscle weakness

  • Hypertension

  • Hyperglycemia

  • Cataracts

Complications of excessive administration of mineralocorticoids include hypertension and hypokalemia.


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