Addison’s disease presenting as shortness of breath and hypotension in early pregnancy

Avery Williams MD, Blair Buschmann MD, Afrina Rimu MD, Jennifer Phy DO


Background: Addison’s disease is an adrenal cortex disorder that is considered rare, and the pathophysiology is not well understood. There are very few cases reported during pregnancy.

Case: This patient is a 30-year-old previously healthy woman who presented to the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility clinic at 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant with shortness of breath. After further evaluation, she was noted to have symptoms that led to the differential diagnosis of Addison’s disease. The patient’s 21-hydroxylase antibody was positive, which along with other tests confirmed the diagnosis. The endocrinology consultant started the patient on hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone.

Conclusion: This case adds to the literature on the relatively infrequent association of pregnancy with Addison’s disease.

Keywords: Addison’s disease, pregnancy, management

Article citation: Williams W, Buschmann B, Rimu A, Phy J. Addison’s disease presenting as shortness of breath and hypotension in early pregnancy. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles 2022;10(45): 54–58
From: Departments of Internal Medicine (AR) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (AW, BB, JP), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
Submitted: 3/3/2022
Accepted: 9/26/2022
Conflicts of interest: none
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