Diagnosis and treatment of primary adrenal insufficiency: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline

Stefan R. Bornstein, Bruno Allolio, Wiebke Arlt, Andreas Barthel, Andrew Don-Wauchope, Gary D. Hammer, Eystein S. Husebye, Deborah P. Merke, M. Hassan Murad, Constantine A. Stratakis, David J. Torpy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

402 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This clinical practice guideline addresses the diagnosis and treatment of primary adrenal insufficiency. Participants: The Task Force included a chair, selected by The Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee of the Endocrine Society, eight additional clinicians experienced with the disease, a methodologist, and a medical writer. The co-sponsoring associations (European Society of Endocrinology and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) had participating members. The Task Force received no corporate funDing or remuneration in connection with this review. Evidence: This evidence-based guideline was developed using the GraDing of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system to determine the strength of recommendations and the quality of evidence. Consensus Process: The evidence used to formulate recommendations was derived from two commissioned systematic reviews as well as other published systematic reviews and studies identified by the Task Force. The guideline was reviewed and approved sequentially by the Endocrine Society's Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee and Clinical Affairs Core Committee, members responDing to awebposting, and the Endocrine Society Council. At each stage, the Task Force incorporated changes in response to written comments. Conclusions: We recommend diagnostic tests for the exclusion of primary adrenal insufficiency in all patients with indicative clinical symptoms or signs. In particular, we suggest a low diagnostic (and therapeutic) threshold in acutely ill patients, as well as in patients with predisposing factors. This is also recommended for pregnant women with unexplained persistent nausea, fatigue, and hypotension. We recommend a short corticotropin test (250g) as the "gold standard" diagnostic tool to establish the diagnosis. If a short corticotropin test is not possible in the first instance, we recommend an initial screening procedure comprising the measurement of morning plasma ACTH and cortisol levels. Diagnosis of the underlying cause should include a validated assay of autoantibodies against 21-hydroxylase. In autoantibody-negative individuals, other causes should be sought. We recommend once-daily fludrocortisone (median, 0.1 mg) and hydrocortisone (15-25 mg/d) or cortisone acetate replacement (20-35 mg/d) applied in two to three daily doses in adults. In children, hydrocortisone (8 mg/m2/d) is recommended. Patients should be educated about stress dosing and equipped with a steroid card and glucocorticoid preparation for parenteral emergency administration. Follow-up should aim at monitoring appropriate dosing of corticosteroids and associated autoimmune diseases, particularly autoimmune thyroid disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-389
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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    Bornstein, S. R., Allolio, B., Arlt, W., Barthel, A., Don-Wauchope, A., Hammer, G. D., Husebye, E. S., Merke, D. P., Murad, M. H., Stratakis, C. A., & Torpy, D. J. (2016). Diagnosis and treatment of primary adrenal insufficiency: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101(2), 364-389. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-1710