Day #10 Addisons versus Conn’s Syndrome
Addison’s disease is caused by an autoimmune mediated destruction of the body’s adrenal cortex. This leads to deficiencies of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. Other causes of primary adrenal insufficiency include polyglandular autoimmune syndrome, TB, adrenal hemorrhage, and additional infections. ACTH stimulation acts as a confirmatory test. Treatment is corticoid replacement.
Conn’s syndrome is a unilateral adrenal adenoma which causes hyperaldosteronism. Labs show hypokalemia, mild hypernatremia and increased aldo/plasma renin activity. CT/MRI aids in the diagnosis. Treatment includes adrenalectomy and spironolactone.