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Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome WFS or hemorrhagic adrenalitis is a disease of the adrenal glands most commonly caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. The infection leads to massive hemorrhage into one or usually both adrenal glands.
It is characterized by overwhelming bacterial infection meningococcemia, low blood pressure and shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation DIC with widespread purpura, and rapidly developing adrenocortical insufficiency. WFS is the most severe form of meningococcal septicemia.
The onset of the illness is nonspecific with fever, rigors, vomiting, and headache. Soon a rash appears; first macular, not much different from the rose spots of typhoid, and rapidly becoming petechial and purpuric with a dusky gray color.
Low blood pressure hypotension is the rule and rapidly leads to septic shock.
The cyanosis of extremities can be impressive and the patient is very prostrated or comatose. In this form of meningococcal disease, meningitis generally does not occur.
Orvostudomny A kiadvny megjelenst a Sapientia Alaptvny s dr. Kolozsvr [Cluj-Napoca]: Scientia, Bocskay Istvn II. Matekovits Gyrgy III.
There is hypoglycemia with hyponatremia and hyperkalemia, and the ACTH stimulation test demonstrates the acute adrenal failure.