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Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Fatal pneumococcal Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome
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Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome is adrenal gland failure due to bleeding into the adrenal gland. It is caused by severe meningococcal infection or other severe, bacterial infection. Symptoms include acute adrenal gland insufficiency, and profound shock.[1] Most patients with this condition are children, although adults may rarely be affected.[2] It is deadly if not treated immediately.[1]

Last updated: 1/8/2010


  1. Vorvick L, Vyas JM. Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2009; Accessed 1/8/2010.
  2. Tritos NA. Adrenal Hemorrhage. eMedicine. 2008;
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