Although suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis from chronic exogenous steroid use is the most common cause of secondary adrenal insufficiency, the possibility of hypopituitarism due to hypothalamic-pituitary disease must be considered. With acute hypopituitarism , other hormone deficiencies must be identified and treated in addition to treating adrenal insufficiency with corticosteroids. For instance, if a patient with panhypopituitarism due to Sheehan syndrome (postpartum pituitary infarction) is only treated for adrenal crisis, severe cardiovascular compromise from the untreated associated hypothyroidism likely occurs. Death can result if the hypothyroid state is not diagnosed.
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Adj), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Affiliate Research Professor, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program, School of Computational Sciences, George Mason University; Principal, C/A Informatics, LLC
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists , American College of Nutrition , American Society for Bone and Mineral Research , International Society for Clinical Densitometry , American College of Endocrinology , American College of Physicians , American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine , American Medical Informatics Association , Endocrine Society
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.