Saturday, November 10, 2007

hyperpigmentation after pregnancy

A 29 year old female presents to your office after noticing increased skin pigmentation over the last four months in winter. She's also noticed dizzyness and a ten pound weight loss. She delivered her first baby four months ago. The delivery was complicated by excessive blood loss, and she lost consciousness for a brief period after the delivery. Review of systems is notable for decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting, and feeling thirsty. She has also been unable to breastfeed her baby since she is unable to form breast milk. Her blood pressure in the office is 100/70, while blood pressure from last year was 120/80. After ordering a basic metabolic panel, it's significant for a sodium of 130 and a potassium of 5.2.
What is the patient's most likely condition?
A) Conn's Syndrome
B) Pheochromocytoma
C) Addison's disease
D) Secondary adrenal insufficiency
E) Hashimoto's thyroiditis
What is the next immediate step?
A) IV Fluids
B) Hydrocortisone
C) CT Abdomen
D) Renal Ultrasound
E) Aspirin
What is the name of her pregnancy related condition?
A) Eclampsia
B) Preeclampsia
C) Sheehan's syndrome
D) Hemochromatosis
Answer: This recently pregnant patient with hyperpigmentation, syncope, and hypotension most likely has secondary adrenal insufficiency. Other supporting information include his hyponatremia and hyperkalemia. Addrenal insufficiency requires immediate action including IV fluids and hydrocortisone. She likely has Sheehan's syndrome from postpartum hemorrhage and hypotension. This is likely causing her inablility to breastfeed also. She should be interviewed further for endocrine abnormalities.

1. Brochert, Adam. Crush Step 2. 2nd. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, 2003.
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