Vol 81, No 7 (2010)
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New onset Addison’s disease presenting as prolonged hyperemesis in early pregnancy

Krzysztof Lewandowski, Piotr Hincz, Mariusz Grzesiak, Agata Cajdler-Łuba, Ireneusz Salata, Jan Wilczyński, Andrzej Lewiński
Ginekol Pol 2010;81(7).

Abstract

Abstract A 32-year old Caucasian was admitted at 14 weeks of gestation with hypotension and weight loss. Family members noted that she appeared “tired” prior to pregnancy. Past medical history included primary hypothyroidism treated with thyroxine (100μg/day). She had a healthy daughter aged 2.5 years who had been born small for gestational age. At about 8 weeks of gestation she started to vomit several times a day. She was treated with antiemetics and intravenous fluids. Following discharge she remained nauseated, weak and lightheaded and lost about 8 kg of weight. After readmission she appeared ill and dehydrated, BMI 16.6 kg/m2, BP 90/60 mmHg supine, 70/50mmHg upright (with faint-like sensation), normal heart sounds, chest clinically clear, abdomen soft and not tender. Investigations revealed severe hyponatraemia (sodium 112mmol/L), normal potassium level 4.3mmol/L, normal renal function, TSH 1.31μIU/mL (reference range (RR): 0.27-4.2), freeT4 1.99ng/dL (RR: 0.93-1.7), freeT3 3.29pg/mL (RR: 2.57-4.43), anti-TPO antibodies 467IU/mL (RR: <34)). She was hyperpigmented, hypotensive and hyponatraemic despite rehydration. Cortisol & ACTH, followed by a 250μg short Synacthen test were requested and revealed peak cortisol response of 17nmol/L (RR: above 550nmol/l) as well as high baseline ACTH (969pg/mL, RR: 0-46pg/mL). She was started on hydrocortisone and felt tremendously better. A diagnosis of Addison’s disease was made (in view of hypothyroidism as a part of Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome type II). She was discharged on hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone replacement. Further during her pregnancy there was about twoweek foetal growth delay. She, however, delivered a healthy female infant at 36 weeks of gestation. Conclusions: New onset Addison’s disease is rare in pregnancy, but may present with prolonged vomiting and weight loss. Therefore adrenal failure should be included in the differential diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum.

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