Safety of DR-HC for adrenal insufficiency

Conventional treatment of adrenal insufficiency involves cortisol replacement therapy with twice- or thrice-daily oral hydrocortisone. Recently dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) administered once daily to provide high levels of cortisol during the morning, followed by a gradual decrease throughout the day is being used. This results in considerably lower cortisol exposure during the afternoon and evening compared with immediate-release thrice-daily hydrocortisone, thereby mimicking normal cortisol secretion more closely than conventional therapy.

Nilsson et al. conducted a study to evaluate the long-term safety of DR-HC and whether the difference in the incidence of adverse events persisted over time and if it was related to different levels of exposure to cortisol. They conducted a randomised, open-label, crossover trial of DR-HC or thrice-daily hydrocortisone for 3 months each (stage 1) followed by two consecutive, prospective, open-label studies of DR-HC for 6 months (stage 2) and 18 months (stage 3) at five university clinics in Sweden. The results of the study of the newly developed DR-HC showed that long-term maintenance treatment and rescue therapy was well tolerated up to 27 months of continuous treatment.

Read full article titled ‘Prospective evaluation of long-term safety of dual-release hydrocortisone replacement administered once daily in patients with adrenal insufficiency’ by Nilsson et al., European Journal of Endocrinology 171 pp 369 – 377, DOI: 10.1530/EJE-14-0327

Cushing Syndrome in Children: Growth after Surgical Cure

Cushing syndrome (CS) occurs only rarely in children, but when it does, it causes weight gain and stunting. In young children, adrenal tumors are usually the cause while in adolescents, pituitary tumors are more likely.

The September 2014 issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer examines growth patterns in 19 pediatric patients with ACTH-dependent CS (CD) and 18 patients with a form of ACTH-independent CS, micronodular adrenal hyperplasia (MAH). The researchers gathered data at the time of surgery and also followed up one year later.

Patients in the CD and the MAH groups had similar demographic characteristics, baseline heights and BMI scores before surgery. All patients experienced significant improvements in height and BMI after surgery. Patients with MAH, however, fared significantly better than those with CD and had better post-operative growth.

The researchers propose several reasons:

  • When ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma requires extensive surgical exploration, remaining pituitary cells often lose some of their function.
  • CD patients tend to be older and have consistent and increased glucocorticoid exposure; they develop vertebral fractures more often leading to compromised skeletal and overall growth potential. MAH patients often have cyclical CS, with intermittent hypercortisolism and an overall milder CS.
  • CD patients often need a longer-than-expected course of therapy with steroids after surgery, which alters metabolism and growth.
  • CD patients have been shown to have advance bone age because of ACTH-induced metabolic changes.

The authors indicate that CS patients are often considered for growth hormone therapy once the underlying problem is corrected. They remind clinicians that MAH patients are less likely to need growth hormone. They recommend close monitoring for CD patients, and early intervention with growth hormone if growth does not meet expectation. –

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Webinar: Hypothalamic Pituitary Dysfunction in Young Athletes with Head Injury (THI)

Don’t miss this great opportunity.
Join us tomorrow for a free webinar!

Date: October 23, 2014
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Hypothalamic Pituitary Dysfunction in Young Athletes with Head Injury (THI)
Presented by: Saad Sakkal, MD, FACP, FACE, FACPE
Director, Metabolic Care Center, Mason, Ohio

Traumatic brain Injury has been recently of great attraction to researchers, retired football players, and the public. But years before it is documented clinically the Hypothalamic pituitary Dysfunction symptoms appear at much earlier age and need more vigorous attention.

We present in this webinar the early symptoms and recognition of the syndrome from clinical perspective. Describe the Hypothalamic Dysfunction in its widest picture, its relation to Fibromyalgia/Chronic fatigue, and its present therapy available .

If you are unable to attend the live webinar, we will have it available on our website starting Monday. I will post a link when it is available.

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