What is the goal of therapy for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Thomas A Wilson, MD; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

The goal of therapy for adrenal hyperplasia is the replacement of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid to prevent signs of adrenal insufficiency and to prevent the accumulation of precursor hormones that cause virilization. Adequate glucocorticoid replacement should prevent excessive concentrations of ACTH from stimulating the adrenal glands to produce abnormal concentrations of adrenal androgens that result in further virilization. In the growing child with adrenal insufficiency, long-term glucocorticoid replacement must be balanced to prevent symptoms of adrenal insufficiency while still allowing the child to grow at a normal rate and prevent symptoms of glucocorticoid excess. The dosage must be tailored to each patient. The recommended hydrocortisone starting dose is 8-10 mg/m2/day divided in 2-3 doses, but the general average maintenance dosage is 10-25 mg/m2/day of hydrocortisone PO divided in 2-3 doses.


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