Introduction. Stiff ears appear to be a warning sign for adrenal insufficiency. This remarkable and rare sign has not been described to present in adrenal insufficiency in the setting of critical care.Case presentation. We present the case of a 68-year-old Caucasian male who underwent a thymoma resection and suffered from preoperative weight loss and lack of strength. The perioperative phase was characterised by hypotension and sputum stasis due to muscle weakness, which caused two readmissions to the intensive care unit. His physical examination showed two fully rigid auricles. In retrospect, our patient suffered from secondary adrenal insufficiency and hypogonadism.Conclusions: The bilateral rigid auricles appeared to be a warning sign for adrenal insufficiency. This remarkable sign is easily checked, and should prompt a higher index of suspicion towards adrenal insufficiency and other hormonal deficiencies.

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doi.org/10.1186/1752-1947-8-302, hdl.handle.net/1765/90642
Journal of Medical Case Reports
Department of Intensive Care

Koning, M.V, & Struijs, A. (2014). Adrenal insufficiency presenting as bilateral rigid auricles: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-302