Case report of a familial triple: a syndrome and review of the literature

Federica Gaiani, Pierpacifico Gismondi, Roberta Minelli, Giovanni Casadio, Nicola de'Angelis, Fabiola Fornaroli, Gian Luigi de'Angelis, Marco Manfredi
Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 May 29, 99 (22): e20474

RATIONALE: Triple-A syndrome, or Allgrove syndrome (AS), is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the alacrimia, achalasia, and adrenal insufficiency triad. Alacrimia usually starts at early infancy, while achalasia and adrenal insufficiency appear later during childhood or adulthood. Some patients may also present with the so-called Double-A syndrome (i.e., alacrimia and achalasia, or alacrimia and adrenal insufficiency); adrenal insufficiency usually represents a life-threatening event due to severe hypoglycemia. Many patients may also present other associated manifestations, such as neurological disorders. We describe, here, 2 sisters of non-consanguineous parents.

PATIENT CONCERNS: An 8-year-old girl was admitted to the Pediatric Care Unit of Parma after an episode characterized by seizure with loss of consciousness and generalized hypertonia lasting a few minutes. Her sister, a 6-year-old girl, presented with recurrent episodes of vomiting and failure to thrive.

DIAGNOSES: Both children were investigated by laboratory tests, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and imaging. The first patient had the complete triad of AS (alacrimia, achalasia, adrenal insufficiency), while the second one presented only alacrimia and achalasia. Both resulted from a mutation in the achalasia, addisonianism, alacrimia syndrome gene.

INTERVENTIONS: Both patients were treated with oral hydrocortisone for Addison disease, and with artificial tears in the first case. After many pneumatic endoscopic dilations and therapy with nifedipine, both patients underwent surgical Heller myotomy for achalasia.

OUTCOMES: A rapid and favorable recovery to normal diet and with improvement of growth parameters was obtained. These cases are also compared with the literature data, reported in a brief review.

LESSONS: AS is a rare multisystemic disorder. The longer diagnosis is delayed, the greater extent to which this syndrome may be life-threatening, mainly because of hypoglycemia due to adrenal insufficiency. In AS, the red-flag symptom of alacrimia should instigate investigation for achalasia, Addison disease, and achalasia, addisonianism, alacrimia syndrome gene mutation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"