A number of patients with ACTH unresponsiveness resulting in glucocorticoid deficiency with normal mineralocorticoid activity have been described. This could be due to an inherited defect within the adrenal gland causing primary unresponsiveness to ACTH or to an inherited progressive degenerative process. The association of achalasia, lack of lacrimation, and glucocorticoid deficiency in two pairs of siblings with normal mineralocorticoid activity has been recently reported. Our case describes an 8.8-yr-old female with glucocorticoid insufficiency, partial mineralocorticoid deficiency, achalasia, and evidence of decreased lacrimation. Sodium depletion produced hyponatremia, and she was unable to increase her plasma aHosterone levels sufficiently, although PRA was markedly elevated. Our case may be part of a progressive degenerative process, possibly affecting both the autonomic nerve structures and the adrenal gland, leading not only to glucocorticoid deficiency but also to abnormal mineralocorticoid secretion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical