Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome

Fulminant meningococcemia - Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome; Fulminant meningococcal sepsis - Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome; Hemorrhagic adrenalitis

Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome (WFS) is a group of symptoms resulting from the failure of the adrenal glands to function normally as a result of bleeding into the gland.

Meningococcal lesions on the back

Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis invades the blood stream. Bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura) usually occurs and the tissue may die (become necrotic or gangrenous). If the patient survives, the areas heal with scarring.

Adrenal gland hormone secretion

The adrenal gland secretes steroid hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. It also makes precursors that can be converted to sex steroids (androgen, estrogen). A different part of the adrenal gland makes adrenaline (epinephrine). When the glands produce more or less hormones than required by the body, disease conditions may occur.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

Prevention