Schmidt first described this condition in patients with both Addison's disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but now is used to refer to any combination of
- adrenal insufficiency
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- gonadal failure
Diabetes mellitus is a common association.
The condition has an adult onset. Tests detect endocrine organ specific antibodies. Other diseases with an autoimmune basis - sprue, vitiligo, myasthenia gravis, pure red cell aplasia and antibody mediated immunoglobulin A deficiency may be present. The condition most commonly affects females and is thought to have a genetic basis.
Many of the component endocrine disorders are associated with certain HLA antigens - especially HLA-B8 and HLA-Dw3.
Treatment is restricted to provision of hormone replacement.