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Hypoaldosteronism in three sibs due to 18-dehydrogenase deficiency.
  1. W Hamilton,
  2. A E McCandless,
  3. J T Ireland,
  4. C E Gray


    Three sibs all presented in the early neonatal period with a salt-losing syndrome. The salt-losing form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia was diagnosed and appropriate treatment with glucocorticosteroids, mineralocorticosteroids, and additional dietary salt started. Although early life was maintained with difficulty, with age all 3 children required decreasing amounts of replacement steroids to maintain normal plasma electrolyte balance. They were reinvestigated at the ages of 15 years and 8 years (twins), when cortisol synthesis and metabolism proved normal, but aldosterone synthesis was blocked by deficiency of 18-dehydrogenase. Rational treatment of these cases of a salt-losing syndrome in which aldosterone synthesis alone is blocked due to lack of the enzyme 18-dehydrogenase requires the administration of a mineralocorticosteroid drug only. Since deoxycorticosterone (acetate or pivalate) requires intramuscular administration, as life-long therapy oral fludrocortisone is preferable. Although fludrocortisone has glucocorticoid activity, the "hydrocortisone equivalent" effect of the small dosage used was unlikely to inhibit either pituitary corticotrophin or growth hormone production.

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