Cushing’s Syndrome Etiology Affects Adrenal Function Recovery

The aim was to analyze the postsurgical duration of adrenal insufficiency of patients with Cushing’s disease (CD), adrenal CS and ectopic CS.

Design:

We performed a retrospective analysis based on the case records of 230 CS patients in our tertiary referral center treated from 1983 to 2014. The mean follow-up time was 8 years.

The probability of recovering adrenal function within a 5 years follow-up differed significantly between subtypes (p=0.001). It was 82 % in ectopic CS, 58 % in Cushing’s disease and 38 % in adrenal CS. In the total cohort with restored adrenal function (n=52) the median time to recovery differed between subtypes: 0.6 (IQR 0.03–1.1) years in ectopic CS, 1.4 (IQR 0.9–3.4) years in CD, and 2.5 (IQR 1.6–5.4) years in adrenal CS (p=0.002). In CD the Cox proportional-hazards model showed that the probability of recovery was associated with younger age (hazard ratio 0.896, 95% CI 0.822–0.976, p=0.012), independently of sex, BMI, duration of symptoms, and basal ACTH and cortisol levels. There was no correlation with length and extend of hypercortisolism or postoperative glucocorticoid replacement doses.

Conclusions:

Time to recovery of adrenal function is dependent on the underlying etiology of CS.

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