Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome is failure of the adrenal gland due to bleeding into the gland.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
This condition is caused by severe infection with meningococcus bacteria or other severe infection from bacteria, such as:
- Group B streptococcus
Rarely, Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome can be caused by the use of medications that promote blood clotting. Other causes include:
It is deadly if not treated right away.
Calling your health care provider:
Meurer WJ, Lavoie FW. Central nervous system infections. In: Marx JA, Hockberger Rs, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009: chap 107.
Maitra A. The endocrine system. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 24.
White PC. Adrenocortical insufficiency. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 569.
|Review Date: 1/26/2012|
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