acute adrenocortical insufficiency
Definition: severe adrenocortical insufficiency when an intercurrent illness or trauma causes an increased demand for adrenocortical hormones in a patient with adrenal insufficiency resulting from disease or use of relatively large amounts of similar hormones as therapy; characterized by nausea, vomiting, hypotension, and frequently hyperthemia, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, and hypoglycemia; can be fatal if untreated. Death results from fulminant inflammation and/or circulatory collapses (shock).
Synonym(s): addisonian crisis, adrenal crisis, Bernard-Sergent syndrome
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