Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome is failure of the adrenal gland due to bleeding into the gland.
This condition is caused by severe infection with meningococcus bacteria or other severe infection from bacteria, such as:
- Group B streptococcus
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- S. pneumoniae
- Staphylococcus aureus
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.
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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.
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