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Chronic primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease) is most commonly caused by the insidious autoimmune destruction of the adrenal cortex and is characterized by the presence of adrenal cortex autoantibodies in the serum. It can occur sporadically or in combination with other autoimmune endocrine diseases, that together comprise Type I or Type II autoimmune polyglandular syndrome (APS).
The microsomal autoantigen 21-hydroxylase (55 kilodalton) has been shown to be the primary autoantigen associated with autoimmune Addison disease. 21-Hydroxylase antibodies are markers of autoimmune Addison disease, whether it presents alone, or as part of Type I or Type II (APS).
Investigation of adrenal insufficiency
Aid in the detection of those at risk of developing autoimmune adrenal failure in the future
Positive results (> or =1 U/mL) indicate the presence of adrenal autoantibodies consistent with Addison disease.
Lipemic or grossly hemolyzed serum should not be used in this assay. Interpretation of test results requires consideration of other factors such as the clinical status of the patient, other test results, etc.
Reference values apply to all ages.
Tanaka H, Perez M, Powell M, et al: Steroid 21-hydroxylase autoantibodies: measurements with a new immunoprecipitation assay. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:1440-1446