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Untreated Addison's Disease Complicated by Pulmonary Congestion due to Left Ventricular Failure

GILBERT B. CUSHNER, M.D.; SANFORD F. ZAHLER, M.D.; and A. GORMAN HILLS, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(2):341-346. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-58-2-341
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Although dyspnea on mild exertion is sometimes present, signs of frank heart failure—pulmonary edema, venous distention, hepatomegaly, peripheral edema—are rarely seen in untreated patients with Addison's disease (1, 2); indeed, only one report observing this association has been found in the literature (3). A patient with severe, untreated panhypoadrenocorticism and associated heart disease due to rheumatic fever and coronary atherosclerosis has recently been observed in whom the dominant clinical features were cardiomegaly and pulmonary edema. The case demonstrates that pulmonary congestion due to left ventricular failure can complicate severe untreated Addison's disease and affords an "experiment of nature" which bears

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