BPSU - Autoimmune Addison’s Disease in Children

Surveillance of autoimmune addison's disease commenced in July 2011 and concluded in July 2012. The study is being led by Dr Hima Bindu Avatapalle, winner of the Sir Peter Tizard Bursary 2009-10.

Back to the BPSU

Bindu Photo compressed.JPG

Lead investigator 

Dr Hima Bindu Avatapalle Clinical Research Fellow
Dept of Paediatric Endocrinology
Manchester Children’s Hospital
M13 9WL.

Tel: 01617012586
Email: bindu.avatapalle@cmft.nhs.uk


  • The most common cause of severe adrenal insufficiency in children, now known as Addison’s disease, is autoimmune. In this condition the body’s own immune system attacks the adrenal glands and destroys them.
  • People suffering from Addison's disease are also at increased risk of other organ-specific autoimmune diseases, e.g. of the thyroid gland.
  • If untreated the condition is life threatening and unfortunately it is not always spotted early enough. Though it is now more than 150 years since it was first described, the disease remains under diagnosed, leading to unnecessary morbidity and mortality.
  • Autoimmune Addison’s disease in children is an uncommon but potentially lethal condition.
  • We intend to undertake a 13-month study to evaluate a rare condition with important clinical relevance. The current incidence of autoimmune Addison’s disease in UK (under 16 yrs) will be identified. Clinical presentation and diagnostic strategies will be analysed and reported in scientific literature. Variations in emergency management will be highlighted (for instance provision of emergency injectable treatment, steroid card and ambulance cover).                                            

Duration: July 2011 -  July 2012 (13 months)

Funding: Sir Peter Tizard Bursary

Ethical approval: This study has been approved by West London REC (Ref: 11/LO/0581) and has been granted Section 251 NIGB permission under reference: ECC 6-02 (FT4/BPSU)/2011.

Study Contact Details: Dr Jerry Wales

Further information