Affiliated to European Society of Endocrinology

Morbo di Addison

Objective: This clinical practice guideline addresses the diagnosis and treatment of primary adrenal
insufficiency....
.....
Conclusions: We recommend diagnostic tests for the exclusion of primary adrenal insufficiency in all patients with indicative clinical symptoms or signs. In particular, we suggest a low diagnostic (and therapeutic) threshold in acutely ill patients, as well as in patients with predisposing factors. This is also recommended for pregnant women with unexplained persistent nausea, fatigue, and hypotension. We recommend a short corticotropin test (250 g) as the “gold standard” diagnostic tool to establish the diagnosis. If a short corticotropin test is not possible in the first instance, we recommend an initial screening procedure comprising the measurement of morning plasma ACTH and cortisol levels. Diagnosis of the underlying cause should include a validated assay of autoantibodies against 21-hydroxylase. In autoantibody-negative individuals, other causes should be sought. We recommend once-daily fludrocortisone (median, 0.1 mg) and hydrocortisone (15–25 mg/d) or cortisone acetate replacement (20 –35 mg/d) applied in two to three daily doses in adults. In children, hydrocortisone (8 mg/m2 /d) is recommended. Patients should be educated about stress dosing and equipped with a steroid card and glucocorticoid preparation for parenteral emergency administration. Follow-up should aim at monitoring appropriate dosing of corticosteroids and associated autoimmune diseases, particularly autoimmune thyroid disease.


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