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J Korean Med Sci. 2009 Aug;24(4):668-73. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2009.24.4.668. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

A prospective study on the incidence and predictive factors of relative adrenal insufficiency in Korean critically-ill patients.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the incidence and risk factors associated with relative adrenal insufficiency (RAI) in Korean critically-ill patients. All patients who were admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) of Samsung Medical Center between January 1, 2006 and April 30, 2007 were prospectively evaluated using a short corticotropin stimulation test on the day of admission. RAI was defined as an increase in the serum cortisol level of <9 microg/dL from the baseline after administration of 250 microg of corticotropin. In all, 123 patients were recruited and overall the incidence of RAI was 44% (54/123). The presence of septic shock (P=0.001), the Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II (P=0.003), the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (P=0.001), the mean heart rate (P=0.040), lactate levels (P=0.001), arterial pH (P=0.047), treatment with vasopressors at ICU admission (P=0.004), and the 28-day mortality (P=0.041) were significantly different between patients with and without RAI. The multivariate analysis showed that the SOFA score was an independent predictor of RAI in critically-ill patients (odd ratio=1.235, P=0.032). Our data suggest that RAI is frequently found in Korean critically-ill patients and that a high SOFA score is an independent predictor of RAI in these patients.


Adrenal Insufficiency; Critical Illness; SOFA Score

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