Electrolyte metabolism of muscle in the salt-losing form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia

J Pediatr. 1975 Sep;87(3):400-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(75)80643-3.


The study of metabolism of muscle electrolyte in children with the salt-losing form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia reveals two types of alterations. After admission and during initial therapy with salt and desoxycorticosterone, the changes are typical of those seen in experimental animals with adrenalectomy and excessive replacement therapy. Discontinuation of the sodium supplement after three months of therapy resulted in a return of muscle electrolyte values to normal. During the period of poor growth common to these patients a different pattern was observed. Sodium and water accumulated without alteration in tissue potassium. The mechanism of this alteration is not clear; however, it is consistent with the known effects of excess cortisone on muscle composition. These observations permit the conclusion that at least two fractions of sodium are present in muscle fibers, that which exchanges potassium and that which is independent of potassium metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 17-Ketosteroids / urine
  • Adrenocortical Hyperfunction / metabolism*
  • Cortisone / therapeutic use
  • Desoxycorticosterone / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / deficiency
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Pregnanetriol / urine
  • Shock / therapy
  • Sodium / deficiency*
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / drug effects


  • 17-Ketosteroids
  • Pregnanetriol
  • Desoxycorticosterone
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Potassium
  • Cortisone