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Fatal Addison’s disease in a teenager
  1. S K Suvarna
  1. Dr S K Suvarna, Department of Histopathology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK; s.k.suvarna{at}

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I write to report a case of fatal Addison’s disease in a teenager. Relatives described a 1-week history of non-specific symptoms (tiredness, nausea, malaise) preceding the death in this 18-year-old student, so the possibility of a viral infection was considered. He was found dead at home one morning. The case was referred as potential sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).

The autopsy was macroscopically unremarkable except for difficulty in clearly defining adrenal tissue with the naked eye. Some congestion of fatty tissues immediately above the kidneys was noted; the entire area on both sides was retained for histological examination. …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Parental consent obtained.