Babies, children or adults with classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia could experience a life-threatening "adrenal crisis," meaning their adrenal glands aren't producing enough cortisol. An adrenal crisis can result in a seriously low level of sodium in the blood, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, low blood sugar levels and shock. People experiencing an adrenal crisis need immediate treatment.
Adrenal crisis does not occur in adults with the nonclassic form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Long-term complications of congenital adrenal hyperplasia may include:
Jan. 20, 2017
- Ongoing risk of adrenal crisis
- Sexual problems, such as pain during intercourse
- Kliegman RM. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2013.
- Melmed S, et al. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2013.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/endocrine_disorders_in_children/congenital_adrenal_hyperplasia.html?qt=congenital adrenal hyperplasia&alt=sh. Accessed Sept. 27, 2013.
- Speiser P, et al. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2010;95:4133.
- Frisen L, et al. Gender role behavior, sexuality, and psychosocial adaptation in women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to CYP21A2 deficiency. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2009;94:3432.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 7, 2013.
- Nieman LK, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of nonclassic (late-onset) congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 29, 2013.
- Li-Ng M, et al. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. First Consult. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2013.
- Witchel SF, et al. Prenatal treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia — Not standard of care. Journal of Genetic Counseling. 2012;21:615.
- Schober J, et al. Disorders of sex development: Summaries of long-term outcome studies. Journal of Pediatric Urology. 2012;8:616.
- Cheng TQ, et al. Treatment outcomes in congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Advances in Pediatrics. 2012;59:269.
- Nieman LK, et al. Treatment of classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 26, 2013.
- Chitty LS, et al. Prenatal development of disorders of sex development. Journal of Pediatric Urology. 2012;8:576.