Acute adrenal insufficiency is a rare but potentially life-threatening event during the perioperative period. The usual manifestations of an acute adrenal crisis can mimic common postoperative complications and a high index of suspicion is required for the diagnosis. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can be lifesaving. We present the case of a 65-year-old man who, after a partial nephrectomy, developed acute adrenal insufficiency, which remained undiagnosed in the postoperative period, eventually leading to cardiac arrest. This case highlights the need for perioperative physicians to have a watchful eye for diagnosing and treating this uncommon yet lethal condition.
From the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Accepted for publication June 6, 2018.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address correspondence to Kunal Karamchandani, MD, FCCP, Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, H187, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Dr, Hershey, PA 17033. Address e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.