oa Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in South Africa - An unusual coexistence of Addison's disease and phaeochromocytoma : case study

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9677
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1009



The adrenal gland consists of two endocrine tissues of different embryological origin, namely the primarily steroid-producing adrenocortical tissue, and the catecholamine-producing chromaffin cells. Adrenal catecholamines and steroids are important regulators of the stress response, immune function, blood pressure and energy homeostasis. Chromaffin cells regulate steroid hormone release by the adrenal cortex. Steroids induce catecholamine production in the medulla. Consequently, disorders of the adrenal cortex have been shown to affect chromaffin cell function and vice versa.

We report on a patient with an unusual combination of Addison's disease and phaeochromocytoma, whose initial presentation was adrenocortical failure. After replacement therapy for adrenocortical failure, a clinical presentation of phaeochromocytoma emerged.

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