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An Update on Addison's Disease


Abstract

Addison's disease - the traditional term for primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) - is defined as the clinical manifestation of chronic glucocorticoid- and/or mineralocorticoid deficiency due to failure of the adrenal cortex which may result in an adrenal crisis with potentially life-threatening consequences. Even though efficient and safe pharmaceutical preparations for the substitution of endogenous gluco- and mineralocorticoids are established in therapy, the mortality in patients with PAI is still increased and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is often reduced.PAI is a rare disease but recent data report an increasing prevalence. In addition to the common "classical" causes of PAI like autoimmune, infectious, neoplastic and genetic disorders, other iatrogenic conditions - mostly pharmacological side effects (e. g., adrenal haemorrhage associated with anticoagulants, drugs affecting glucocorticoid synthesis, action or metabolism and some of the novel anti-cancer checkpoint inhibitors) are contributing factors to this phenomenon.Due to the rarity of the disease and often non-specific symptoms at least in the early stages, PAI is frequently not considered resulting in a delayed diagnosis. Successful therapy is mainly based on adequate patient education as a cornerstone in the prevention and management of adrenal crisis. A focus of current research is in the development of pharmacokinetically optimized glucocorticoid preparations as well as regenerative therapies.

Abstract

Addison's disease - the traditional term for primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) - is defined as the clinical manifestation of chronic glucocorticoid- and/or mineralocorticoid deficiency due to failure of the adrenal cortex which may result in an adrenal crisis with potentially life-threatening consequences. Even though efficient and safe pharmaceutical preparations for the substitution of endogenous gluco- and mineralocorticoids are established in therapy, the mortality in patients with PAI is still increased and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is often reduced.PAI is a rare disease but recent data report an increasing prevalence. In addition to the common "classical" causes of PAI like autoimmune, infectious, neoplastic and genetic disorders, other iatrogenic conditions - mostly pharmacological side effects (e. g., adrenal haemorrhage associated with anticoagulants, drugs affecting glucocorticoid synthesis, action or metabolism and some of the novel anti-cancer checkpoint inhibitors) are contributing factors to this phenomenon.Due to the rarity of the disease and often non-specific symptoms at least in the early stages, PAI is frequently not considered resulting in a delayed diagnosis. Successful therapy is mainly based on adequate patient education as a cornerstone in the prevention and management of adrenal crisis. A focus of current research is in the development of pharmacokinetically optimized glucocorticoid preparations as well as regenerative therapies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 February 2019
Deposited On:16 Jan 2019 14:19
Last Modified:28 Feb 2019 02:04
Publisher:Georg Thieme Verlag
ISSN:0947-7349
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1055/a-0804-2715
PubMed ID:30562824

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