Adrenal insufficiency

Eystein S Husebye, Simon H Pearce, Nils P Krone, Olle Kämpe
Lancet 2021 January 20
Adrenal insufficiency can arise from a primary adrenal disorder, secondary to adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency, or by suppression of adrenocorticotropic hormone by exogenous glucocorticoid or opioid medications. Hallmark clinical features are unintentional weight loss, anorexia, postural hypotension, profound fatigue, muscle and abdominal pain, and hyponatraemia. Additionally, patients with primary adrenal insufficiency usually develop skin hyperpigmentation and crave salt. Diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency is usually delayed because the initial presentation is often non-specific; physician awareness must be improved to avoid adrenal crisis. Despite state-of-the-art steroid replacement therapy, reduced quality of life and work capacity, and increased mortality is reported in patients with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. Active and repeated patient education on managing adrenal insufficiency, including advice on how to increase medication during intercurrent illness, medical or dental procedures, and profound stress, is required to prevent adrenal crisis, which occurs in about 50% of patients with adrenal insufficiency after diagnosis. It is good practice for physicians to provide patients with a steroid card, parenteral hydrocortisone, and training for parenteral hydrocortisone administration, in case of vomiting or severe illness. New modes of glucocorticoid delivery could improve the quality of life in some patients with adrenal insufficiency, and further advances in oral and parenteral therapy will probably emerge in the next few years.

Full Text Links

We have located links that may give you full text access.


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

Trending 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"