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Christina Lee Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Leah Hirschman Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Teresa York Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Paula Newton Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Summary

Neonatal adrenal hemorrhage (NAH) occurs in up to 3% of infants and is the most common adrenal mass in newborns. The most common presentation of NAH is an asymptomatic palpable flank mass which resolves over time without intervention. In rare cases, NAH can present as hemorrhage, shock, or adrenal insufficiency. This case describes a preterm infant born with severe anemia in the setting of bilateral adrenal hemorrhages with resulting adrenal insufficiency. The infant was successfully treated with blood transfusions and steroids. This is a unique presentation of NAH as it was bilateral, presented with severe anemia, and resulted in prolonged adrenal insufficiency.

Learning points

  • Consider adrenal hemorrhage for cases of severe anemia at birth.

  • Adrenal insufficiency is a rare complication of adrenal hemorrhage.

  • Adrenal recovery can take months, if not years.

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