A 44-year-old woman reported several weeks of fatigue, somnolence, pain in the large joints, nausea, and decreased appetite. She had also noted an unintentional 11-kg weight loss over a period of 6 months. She had a remote history of amenorrhea, but she was presently menstruating regularly. She was taking no medications, with the exception of acetaminophen as needed for knee pain. The diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency (AI) was considered. Serum cortisol level after adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) stimulation was abnormal. Because her plasma ACTH level was not increased, a diagnosis of secondary AI (due to deficiency in ACTH) was made. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain performed to exclude the presence of a sellar or suprasellar mass showed reduction in size of the pituitary gland and an increased cerebrospinal fluid content within the sella, consistent with a partially empty sella. The patient’s symptoms improved rapidly with hydrocortisone therapy but during follow-up, the dose of hydrocortisone was found to be excessive. Important differences exist between primary and secondary AI, and the diagnosis of secondary AI may be challenging. The therapy of AI should be carefully tailored to the requirements of the individual patient.
*Although CRH in the hypophyseal portal system cannot be measured, it is likely increased.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 32
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.