Adrenal failure and Cerebral Edema
Acute adrenal crisis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough cortisol. This is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys. The adrenal gland consists of 2 parts. The outer portion, called the cortex, produces cortisol. This is an important hormone for controlling blood pressure. The inner portion, called the medulla, produces the hormone adrenaline (also called epinephrine). Both cortisol and adrenaline are released in response to stress.
Cortisol production is regulated by the pituitary gland. This is a small gland behind the nose and under the brain. The pituitary gland releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This is a hormone that causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
Adrenal crisis occurs when:
The adrenal gland is damaged due to, for example, Addison disease or other adrenal gland disease, and surgeryThe pituitary gland is injured and cannot release ACTHAdrenal insufficiency is not properly treated
Symptoms and signs of adrenal crisis can include any of the following:
Abdominal pain or flank pain
Confusion, loss of consciousness, or coma
Dizziness or light-headedness
Loss of appetite
Low blood pressure
Rapid heart rate
Rapid respiratory rate
Slow, sluggish movement
Unusual and excessive sweating on face or palms
Shock may occur if treatment is not provided early, and it can be life threatening.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
Cerebral edema rarely occurs with Addison disease and is most likely secondary to hyponatremia. - KA Myers - 2010
Cerebral oedema has rarely been reported in adrenal insufficiency. - REJ Besser - 2014