Megaoesophagus in a patient with autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type II.
ABSTRACT Dysphagia and vomiting are frequently present in untreated Addison's disease. These non-specific symptoms may be due either to the metabolic disorder and myopathy or to disorders associated with Addison's disease. We describe a patient with autoimmune adrenal failure as a feature of autoimmune polyglandular syndrome (APS) type II. This patient was referred initially because of megaoesophagus. The association of megaoesophagus with Addison's disease or any of the three types of APS has not previously been described in humans. The association of megaoesophagus and adrenal failure, however, is known to occur in Allgrove's syndrome, a disease with primary manifestation in childhood characterized by adrenal failure, achalasia and alacrimia. Moreover, there are several reports on the association of megaoesophagus with adrenocortical insufficiency and other autoimmune endocrine diseases in dogs. Vomiting and dysphagia usually resolve with hormone substitution in patients with isolated Addison's disease. In our patient these symptoms disappeared in spite of the radiological persistence of megaoesophagus, which might have been overlooked if the diagnosis of Addison's disease had been made earlier. The occurrence of megaoesophagus might be more common than previously suspected and we suggest a systematic search for similar findings in other patients with autoimmune Addison's disease, even when minor dysphagia is present.
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