Four patients with salt-losing congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) who had stopped mineralocorticoid therapy for several years, showed raised plasma concentrations of 17OH-progesterone and plasma renin activity, despite adequate glucoticoid therapy. One patient was able to reduce urinary sodium excretion when the sodium intake was restricted. Another patient who was a salt-loser, developed signs of an adrenal crisis when salt deprived. In comparison, one nonsalt-loser and 2 normal subjects decreased urinary sodium excretion in response to sodium restriction. The addition of fludrocortisone (100 micrograms) to usual maintenance doses of glucocorticoid, resulted in normal levels of plasma 17OH-progesterone and plasma renin activity in all 4 salt-losers. Two female salt-losers, with raised plasma testosterone concentrations, began menstruating when their plasma testosterone concentrations returned to normal after treatment with fludrocortisone. It is recommended that salt-losing CAH patients should be given mineralocorticoid, in addition to glucocorticoid therapy, at least until adult life.
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