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BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Jul 18;2014. pii: bcr2014204005. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2014-204005.

Delayed diagnosis of Addison's disease: an approach to management.

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  • Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Ashton under Lyne, Lancs, UK.


Addison's disease accounts for the majority of cases of adrenal failure that are detected during hospital admissions. Unfortunately, prompt diagnosis of this condition is often delayed due to varied atypical manifestations and inadequate assessment at the time of presentation. We report a case of a 52-year-old woman who was detected to have hypotension during routine colonoscopy for evaluation of anaemia and progressive weight loss. During admission for evaluation of hypotension, she was also detected to have hyponatremia. Hyponatremia and hypotension failed to improve despite fluid resuscitation. Our endocrinological opinion was sought for and on further evaluation she was diagnosed with primary adrenal insufficiency. Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement therapy were eventually instituted, which was followed by restoration of blood pressure and normalisation of serum sodium levels.

2014 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

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