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Adrenal Insufficiency: Definition & Etiology

by Carlo Raj, MD
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    Adrenal Gland pathology: Here, we’ll take a look at adrenal insufficiency and the various causes. Normal adrenal, a cartoon of… take a little section of that adrenal gland and you blow it up and you’ll find the cells to be perfectly aligned and in proper organization. A very common cause of adrenal gland destruction would be autoimmune disease resulting in what’s known as Addison’s. Remember that Addison’s is a primary adrenal insufficiency, this is an adrenal gland, but this time around, our cartoon here on your right column is showing you an amplified version of a adrenal tissue in which we see antibody, autoimmune disease, literally, autoimmune disease in which it’s attacking the cells of the adrenals causing complete annihilation of the adrenals thus resulting in Addison’s a.k.a. primary adrenal insufficiency. What else may cause Addison’s? Well, what about TB? Tuberculosis may result in destruction of your adrenal or you might have granulomatous formation. If you have infections resulting in maybe Waterhouse–Friderichsen in which there is acute haemorrhage into the adrenal gland causing complete destruction of it and so, therefore, Addison’s. You can have iron overload, maybe your patient has an HFE gene that chromosome abnormality called hereditary hemochromatosis or perhaps has major, major type of anaemia or severe anaemia such as beta thalassemia major and therefore, warrants from the tender age of, let’s say, six months or even younger upon or with transfusion for 20 years taking such transfusions may result in iron overload or secondary hemochromatosis. And hemochromatosis causing damage to many, many, many, many organs including your heart, including the pancreas, including the skin or maybe perhaps, as shown here in the picture exaggerated, iron overload. So, our topic is primary adrenal insufficiency. Autoimmune, it could be a part of and is part of what’s known as...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Adrenal Insufficiency: Definition & Etiology by Carlo Raj, MD is from the course Adrenal Gland Disorders.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Tuberculosis
    2. Autoimmunity
    3. Iron overload
    4. Adrenal infarction
    5. Viral destruction of adrenal tissue
    1. Adrenal glands, pancreas, and thyroid
    2. Adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pancreas
    3. Adrenal glands, thyroid, and gonads
    4. Adrenal glands, thymus, and pancreas
    5. Adrenal glands, thalamus, and pancreas
    1. Exogenous steroid administration
    2. Hemochromatosis
    3. Sarcoidosis
    4. AIDS
    5. Amyloidosis
    1. Exogenous steroid administration
    2. Hyperthyroidism
    3. Decreased levels of cortisol
    4. Sarcoidosis
    5. Iron overload

    Author of lecture Adrenal Insufficiency: Definition & Etiology

     Carlo Raj, MD

    Carlo Raj, MD


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