Cushing’s appears to begin its cardiovascular effects during childhood

– Cushing’s disease may begin to exert its harmful cardiovascular effects quite early, a small pediatric study has found.

Children as young as 6 years old with the disorder already may show signs of cardiovascular remodeling, with stiffer aortas and higher aortic pulse-wave velocity than do age-matched controls, Hailey Blain and Maya Lodish, MD, said at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

“The study, which included 10 patients, is small, but we continue to add new patients,” said Dr. Lodish, director of the pediatric endocrinology fellowship program at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Ten more children are being added to the cohort now, and she and Ms. Blain, a former research fellow at NIH, intend to grow the group and follow patients longitudinally.

Cushing’s disease has long been linked with increased cardiovascular risk in adults, but the study by Dr. Lodish and Ms. Blain is one of the first to examine the link in children. Their findings suggest that early cardiovascular risk factor management should be a routine part of these patients’ care, Dr. Lodish said in an interview.

“It’s very important to make sure that there is recognition of the cardiovascular risk factors that go along with this disease. Elevated levels of cholesterol, hypertension, and other risk factors that are in these individuals should be ameliorated as soon as possible from an early age and, most importantly, physicians should be diagnosing and treating children early, once they are identified as having Cushing’s disease. And, given that we are not sure whether these changes are reversible, we need to make sure these children are followed very closely.”

Indeed, Dr. Lodish has reason to believe that the changes may be long lasting or even permanent.

“We are looking at these children longitudinally and have 3-year data on some patients already. We want to see if they return to normal pulse wave velocity after surgical cure, or whether this is permanent remodeling. There is an implication already that it may be in a subset of individuals,” she said, citing her own 2009 study on hypertension in pediatric Cushing’s patients. “We looked at blood pressure at presentation, after surgical cure, and 1 year later. A significant portion of the kids still had hypertension at 1 year. This leads us to wonder if they will continue to be at risk for cardiovascular morbidity as adults.”

Ms. Blaine, an undergraduate at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, worked on the study during a summer internship with Dr. Lodish and presented its results in a poster forum during meeting. She examined two indicators of cardiovascular remodeling – aortic pulse wave velocity and aortic distensibility – in 10 patients who were a mean of 13 years old. All of the children came to NIH for diagnosis and treatment of Cushing’s; as part of that, all underwent a cardiac MRI.

The patients had a mean 2.5-year history of Cushing’s disease Their mean midnight cortisol level was 18.8 mcg/dL and mean plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone level, 77.3 pg/mL. Five patients were taking antihypertensive medications. Low- and high-density lipoprotein levels were acceptable in all patients.

The cardiovascular measures were compared to an age-matched historical control group. In this comparison, patients had significantly higher pulse wave velocity compared with controls (mean 4 vs. 3.4 m/s). Pulse wave velocity positively correlated with both midnight plasma cortisol and 24-hour urinary free cortisol collections. In the three patients with long-term follow-up after surgical cure of Cushing’s, the pulse wave velocity did not improve, either at 6 months or 1 year after surgery. This finding echoes those of Dr. Lodish’s 2009 paper, suggesting that once cardiovascular remodeling sets in, the changes may be long lasting.

“The link between Cushing’s and cardiovascular remodeling is related to the other things that go along with the disease,” Dr. Lodish said. “The hypertension, the adiposity, and the high cholesterol all may contribute to arterial rigidity. It’s also thought to be due to an increase in connective tissue. The bioelastic function of the aorta may be affected by having Cushing’s.”

That connection also suggests that certain antihypertensives may be more beneficial to patients with Cushing’s disease, she added. “It might have an implication in what blood pressure drug you use. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors increase vascular distensibility and inhibit collagen formation and fibrosis. It is a pilot study and needs longitudinal follow up and additional patient accrual, however, finding signs of cardiovascular remodeling in young children with Cushing’s is intriguing and deserves further study.”

Neither Ms. Blain nor Dr. Lodish had any financial disclosures.

Delayed diagnosis, barriers to care increase morbidity in children with Cushing’s syndrome

Hispanic and black children diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome are more likely to present with higher cortisol measurements and larger tumor size vs. white children, according to study findings presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in Baltimore.

“Racial and socioeconomic disparities may contribute to the severity of disease presentation for children with Cushing’s [syndrome],” Alexandra Gkourogianni, MD, of the section on endocrinology and genetics at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and colleagues wrote. “Minority children from disadvantaged backgrounds present more frequently with comorbidities associated with longstanding [Cushing’s syndrome].”

Gkourogianni and colleagues analyzed data from 135 children treated for Cushing’s syndrome (transsphenoidal surgery) at the NIH between 1997 and 2015 (mean age, 13 years; 51% girls; 33% Hispanic or black). Researchers used a 10-point index for rating severity in pediatric Cushing’s syndrome based on predefined cutoffs; degree of hypercortisolemia, impaired glucose tolerance, and hypertension were graded on a 3-point scale (0-2); height, BMI z scores, duration of disease, and tumor invasion were graded on a 2-point scale (0-1).

Researchers found that midnight cortisol measurements were higher among Hispanic and black children vs. white children (23.3 µg/dL vs. 16 µg/dL; P = .019), as were tumor sizes (mean 6.3 mm vs. 3.3 mm; P = .016). Height standard deviation score was more severely affected in black and Hispanic children (–1.6 vs. –1.1; P = .038), and mean Cushing’s syndrome score for Hispanic and black children was higher vs. white children (4.5 vs. 3.8; P = .033).

Researchers found that median income had an independent correlation with Cushing’s syndrome score in univariate regression analysis for covariates of socioeconomic status and demographics (P = .025). Multivariable regression analysis using race, prevalence of obesity, estimated income, access to pediatric endocrinologist, age and sex confirmed that race, along with lower socioeconomic status and older age, were predictors of a higher Cushing’s syndrome score (P = .002).

“We speculate that delayed diagnosis, barriers to access to care and poorer quality health care for these underserved patients may contribute to presentation at a later age and increased morbidity,” the researchers wrote. “Additional research is needed to identify potential modifiable factors that may improve care for these patients.” – by Regina Schaffer

Reference:

Gkourogianni A, et al. Poster #445. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting; April 30- May 3, 2016; Baltimore.

Disclosure: Endocrine Today was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures.

From http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/adrenal/news/online/%7Be79d7c84-d539-4a04-a548-882b9f4caadd%7D/delayed-diagnosis-barriers-to-care-increase-morbidity-in-children-with-cushings-syndrome

Pituicytoma and Cushing’s Disease in a 7-Year-Old Girl: A Mere Coincidence?

Paola Cambiaso, Donato Amodio, Emidio Procaccini, Daniela Longo, Stefania Galassi, Francesca Diomedi Camassei, Marco Cappa

Download PDF

Abstract

Pituicytoma is a tumor extremely rare in childhood, with only 4 cases reported in literature. It is thought to arise from the specialized glial elements called “pituicytes.” The association of pituicytoma and Cushing’s disease (CD) has been described only once so far, in an adult patient.

A 7-year-old girl was referred for clinical signs of hypercortisolism, and a diagnosis of CD was made. MRI revealed 2 pathologic areas in the pituitary gland. The patient underwent surgery, with microscopic transsphenoidal approach, and a well-circumscribed area of pathologic tissue was identified and removed. Surprisingly, histologic and immunohistochemical study provided unequivocal evidence of pituicytoma. No pituitary adenoma could be identified.

For persistent hypercortisolism, the patient necessitated transsphenoidal endoscopic reintervention and 2 other lesions were removed. By immunohistological examination, these lesions were confirmed to be corticotropin-secreting adenoma. Unfortunately, there was no postoperative decrease in corticotropin and cortisol levels, and the patient underwent bilateral laparoscopic adrenalectomy.

Considering that we report a second case of association of pituicytoma and corticotropin-secreting adenoma, that CD is infrequent, and pituicytoma is extremely rare in childhood, the coexistence of these 2 tumors should not be considered a mere coincidence. To date, there is no conclusive evidence about the origin of these different subtypes of pituitary tumors. This case supports the hypothesis that these tumors share a common progenitor cell, which could be the folliculostellate cell.

View Full Text

Paediatric cyclical Cushing’s disease due to corticotroph cell hyperplasia

Cushing’s disease is very rare in the paediatric population. Although uncommon, corticotroph hyperplasia causing Cushing’s syndrome has been described in the adult population, but appears to be extremely rare in children.

Likewise, cyclical cortisol hypersecretion, while accounting for 15 % of adult cases of Cushing’s disease, has only rarely been described in the paediatric population. Here, we describe a very rare case of a 13-year old boy with cyclical cortisol hypersecretion secondary to corticotroph cell hyperplasia. The case is that of a 13-year old boy, presenting with a long history of symptoms and signs suggestive of hypercortisolism, who was found to have cyclical ACTH-dependent hypercortisolism following dynamic pituitary testing and serial late-night salivary cortisol measurements.

The patient underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal resection of the pituitary. Early surgical remission was confirmed by undetectable post-operative morning plasma cortisol levels.

Histology and immunocytochemistry of the resected pituitary tissue showed extensive corticotroph cell hyperplasia.

Conclusion: This report describes a rare case of cyclical Cushing’s disease secondary to corticotroph hyperplasia in a paediatric patient. This highlights the challenging and varied nature of Cushing’s disease and its diagnosis, and the need to keep a differential diagnosis in mind during the diagnostic process.

Author: E. Noctor S. Gupta T. Brown M. Farrell M. Javadpour C. Costigan A. Agha
Credits/Source: BMC Endocrine Disorders 2015, 15:27

From http://7thspace.com/headlines/510543/paediatric_cyclical_cushings_disease_due_to_corticotroph_cell_hyperplasia.html

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. –

See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/articles/Cushing-Syndrome-in-Children-Growth-after-Surgical-Cure

%d bloggers like this: