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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(1-2):147-8.

Delayed diagnosis of adrenal hypoplasia congenita in a patient with a new mutation in the NR0B1 gene.

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Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland.


Determining the precise cause of adrenal insufficiency occurring in infancy is of critical importance for both the correct management of affected children and the provision of correct genetic advice to their families. We report a case of a 24-year-old, male patient bearing a new mutation in the DAX1 gene. The patient was born at term, from a healthy pregnancy. Adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed in the fourth week of life with a salt-wasting syndrome, but it was mistakenly believed to be secondary to congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). On hydrocortisone substitution, the child continued to develop normally, but the diagnosis of CAH was questioned, which led to an episode of an abrupt withdrawal of hydrocortisone substitution and subsequently caused a reoccurrence of a life-threatening salt-wasting syndrome. Owing to close follow-up, the patient's gonadal axis deficiency was promptly identified, which allowed an assisted but successful onset of puberty. We proposed the diagnosis of adrenal hypoplasia congenita (AHC) in this patient and identified a hemizygous mutation (c.1130delAinsGT, p.E377GfsX12) in exon 1 of the NR0B1 gene. To our knowledge, the detected mutation has not been described previously (HGMD Professional 2010.4, Human Gene Mutation Database, Biobase, Beverly, MA, USA). It leads to a frameshift, a premature stop codon, and, most likely, non-sense-mediated decay of the mutant mRNA. In this case, close patient follow-up minimized the detrimental consequences of an incorrect diagnosis. Nevertheless, it highlights the importance of the early precise diagnosis of patients with AHC.

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