Patient-Centered Focused Review| Volume 365, ISSUE 1, P104-108, January 2023

Bilateral adrenal hemorrhage: A rare presentation of catastrophic anti-phospholipid syndrome

Published:August 28, 2022DOI:


      Catastrophic anti-phospholipid syndrome (CAPS) is characterized by microvascular thrombosis in multiple sites leading to multi-organ damage. It is a rare and fatal complication of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). We present a rare case of CAPS that presented with bilateral (b/l) adrenal hemorrhage making the diagnosis challenging in this otherwise rare disease. A 51-year-old female was initially admitted with abdominal pain and found to have bilateral adrenal hemorrhage. Patient had a fulminant disease course in which she had thrombotic manifestations involving multiple organ systems. This case was especially challenging as the patient's bilateral adrenal hemorrhage was the first manifestation of CAPS; the diagnosis of APS had to be made while treatment for presumed CAPS was emergently commenced for this life-threatening disease. Key to managing this condition is having a high index of suspicion for the diagnosis in patients presenting with multi-organ failure and multiple thromboses and hemorrhage.

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