Munson Health
 
Adrenal Crisis

Back to Document

by McCoy K

(Acute Adrenocortical Insufficiency)

 

Causes

Adrenal crisis may be caused by:
  • Rapid withdrawal from steroid therapy
  • Sepsis—a bloodstream infection
  • Surgical stress
  • Injury to the adrenal gland or surgical removal of adrenal gland
  • Damage to pituitary gland from hemorrhage (bleeding), infarction, surgery, or trauma
  • Thyroid hormone replacement in someone with adrenal insufficiency
 

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chances of developing adrenal crisis include:
  • Septic shock
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Chronic or frequent use of steroid medications
  • Tuberculosis or other granulomatous diseases
  • History of multiple autoimmune glandular diseases
  • HIV
  • Anti-coagulation therapy
 

RESOURCES

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
http://www.aace.com

Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service
http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
http://www.caep.ca

Canadian Institute for Health Information
http://www.cihi.ca

 

References


Adrenal crisis causes death in some people treated with human growth hormone. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/creutz/alert.htm. Published September 24, 2012. Accessed June 4, 2014.


Adrenal insufficiency and Addison's disease. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service website. Available at: http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/addison/addison.aspx. Updated May 14, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2014.


Adrenal insufficiency in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 16, 2013. Accessed June 4, 2014.


Omori K, Nomura K, et al. Risk factors for adrenal crisis in patients with adrenal insufficiency. Endocrine J. 2003; 50:745-752.


Thomas Z: an update on the diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency and the use of corticotherapy in critical illness. Ann Pharmacotherapy. 2007:41:1456-1465


Todd GRG, Acerini CL, et al. Survey of adrenal crisis associated with inhaled corticosteroids in the United Kingdom. Arch. Dis Child. 2002; 87:457-461.

 

Revision Information