Desmopressin is Promising Alternative in Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease

Bilateral inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) — a procedure that uses desmopressin to determine levels of ACTH hormone from veins that drain from the pituitary gland, is a sensitive way to diagnose patients with Cushing’s disease and find tumors, a Chinese study shows.

The study, “Tumour Lateralization in Cushing’s disease by Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling with desmopressin,” appeared in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.

Cushing’s disease is characterized by excessive production of the adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland. ACTH is the hormone that causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.

Currently, pituitary imaging is insufficient to confirm a Cushing’s diagnosis. This is because 70 percent of pituitary adenomas in Cushing’s are microadenomas, which are physically very small. As a result, 40 percent of Cushing’s patients are reported as being healthy.

This means that a Cushing’s diagnosis requires a combination of techniques including clinical symptoms, imaging methods and endocrinological assays that include measures of serum cortisol and ACTH levels.

IPSS determines ACTH levels from veins that drain from the pituitary gland. ACTH levels are then compared to ACTH levels in blood. Higher levels in the pituitary gland indicate a pituitary tumor.

IPSS can also be used to determine tumor lateralization, which refers to which side of the pituitary gland the tumor is located on. The test is 69 percent accurate.

Doctors administer IPSS along with corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulation. IPSS with CRH is considered the gold standard for preoperative diagnosis of Cushing’s, with a diagnostic sensitivity (or true positive rate) of 95 percent and specificity (or true negative rate) of 90 to 95 percent. Unfortunately, the high cost and limited availability of CRH make it impractical for many patients.

Desmopressin has been used to replace CRH to stimulate ACTH secretion for IPSS, and prior studies have shown that desmopressin’s sensitivity is comparable to that of CRH.

Researchers at Peking Union Medical College in Beijing conducted a retrospective analysis of their experience using desmopressin-stimulated IPSS to determine its diagnostic value for Cushing’s and its predictive value for tumor lateralization.

Researchers analyzed 91 Cushing’s patients who either had negative findings on the MRI imaging of the pituitary or negative high-dose dexamethasone suppression tests, which is another method of evaluation. All patients underwent IPSS with desmopressin, followed by pituitary surgery to extract the tumor.

Of the 91 patients tested, 90 patients had confirmed Cushing’s. And of these, 89 had positive IPSS findings, which led to a sensitivity of 98.9 percent for this test. One patient out of 91 who did not have Cushing’s also underwent this test, which led to a negative IPSS result and a specificity of 100 percent.

Researchers also determined tumor lateralization in patients who were ultimately diagnosed with Cushing’s and underwent surgery. Results of the IPSS showed a 72.5 percent concordance between the results from the IPSS and the surgery.

Therefore, IPSS with desmopressin is a comparable approach to IPSS with CRH for the diagnosis of Cushing’s. It also demonstrates moderate accuracy in determining the location of tumors.

“Like many medical centers in China, we currently have no supply of CRH, while desmopressin is readily available,” researchers concluded. “Moreover, desmopressin is cheaper than CRH. As our data and other studies indicate, IPSS with desmopressin yielded comparable outcomes to IPSS with CRH. Therefore, desmopressin-stimulated IPSS might serve as a possible alternative to CRH-stimulated IPSS.”

From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2017/11/14/ipss-desmopressin-alternative-method-diagnosis-cushings-disease/

Topical Steroid Use in Psoriasis Patient Leads to Severe Adrenal Insufficiency

This article is written live from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 2017 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. MPR will be reporting news on the latest findings from leading experts in endocrinology. Check back for more news from AACE 2017.

 

At the AACE 2017 Annual Meeting, lead study author Kaitlyn Steffensmeier, MS III, of the Dayton Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Dayton, OH, presented a case study describing a patient “who developed secondary adrenal insufficiency secondary to long-term topical steroid use and who with decreased topical steroid use recovered.”

The patient was a 63-year-old white male with a 23-year history of psoriasis. For 18 years, the patient had been applying Clobetasol Propionate 0.05% topically on several areas of his body every day. Upon presentation to the endocrine clinic for evaluation of his low serum cortisol, the patient complained of a 24-pound weight gain over a 2-year period, feeling fatigued, as well as facial puffiness.

Laboratory analysis found that the patient’s random serum cortisol and ACTH levels were low (0.2µg/dL and <1.1pg/mL, respectively). According to the study authors, “the labs were indicative of secondary adrenal insufficiency.” Additionally, a pituitary MRI “showed a 2mm hypoenhancing lesion within the midline of the pituitary gland consistent with Rathke’s cleft cyst versus pituitary microadenoma.”

The patient was initiated on 10mg of hydrocortisone in the morning and 5mg in the evening and was instructed to decrease the use of his topical steroid to one time per month. For the treatment of his psoriasis, the patient was started on apremilast, a phosphodiesterase-4 enzyme (PDE4) inhibitor, and phototherapy.

After 2.5 years, the patient had a subnormal response to the cosyntropin stimulation test. However, after 3 years, a normal response with an increase in serum cortisol to 18.7µg/dL at 60 minutes was obtained; the patient was then discontinued on hydrocortisone. Additionally, a stable pituitary tumor was shown via a repeat pituitary MRI.

The study authors explained that, although secondary adrenal insufficiency is not commonly reported, “one study showed 40% of patients with abnormal cortisol response to exogenous ACTH after two weeks of topical glucocorticoids usage.” Another meta-analysis of 15 studies (n=320) revealed 4.7% of patients developing adrenal insufficiency after using topical steroids. Because of this, “clinicians need to be aware of potential side effects of prolong topical steroid use,” added the study authors.

For continuous endocrine news coverage from the AACE 2017 Annual Meeting, check back to MPR’s AACE page for the latest updates.

From http://www.empr.com/aace-2017/topical-steroid-psoriasis-clobestasol-propionate/article/654335/

Scalp Hair Cortisol Accurate in Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnosis

Scalp hair cortisol measurement is an accurate first-line diagnostic test for Cushing’s syndrome in adults and offers several advantages over other first-line diagnostic procedures, according to findings published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

“[Hair cortisol content] has practical advantages over currently used diagnostic tests, since sample collection can easily be performed in an outpatient setting and is not dependent on patient adherence to sampling instructions,” Elisabeth F. C. van Rossum, MD, PhD, professor at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues wrote. “Furthermore, [hair cortisol content] measurement offers retrospective information about cortisol levels over months of time in a single measurement, thereby potentially circumventing the limitations posed by the variability in cortisol secretion in endogenous [Cushing’s syndrome].”

Van Rossum and colleagues analyzed data from 43 patients with confirmed endogenous Cushing’s syndrome and 35 patients with suspected Cushing’s syndrome in whom diagnosis was excluded after testing (patient controls), all evaluated between 2009 and 2016 at an endocrinology outpatient clinic at Erasmus MC. Adults from a previously published validation study served as healthy controls (n = 174). Researchers measured scalp hair samples, 24-hour urinary free cortisol, serum cortisol and salivary cortisol, and used Pearson’s correlation to determine associations between hair cortisol content and first-line screening tests for Cushing’s syndrome.

Hair cortisol content was highest in patients with Cushing’s syndrome (geometric mean, 106.9 pg/mg; 95% CI, 77.1-147.9) and higher compared with both healthy controls (mean, 8.4 pg/mg; 95% CI, 7-10) and patient controls (mean, 12.7 pg/mg; 95% CI, 8.6-18.6). Using healthy controls as the reference population, researchers found that the optimal cutoff for diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome via hair cortisol content was 31.1 pg/mg; sensitivity and specificity were 93% and 90%, respectively (area under the curve = 0.958). Results were similar when using patient controls as the reference population, according to the researchers.

Hair cortisol content was correlated with urinary free cortisol (P < .001), serum cortisol (P < .001) and late-night salivary cortisol (P < .001). In addition, in two patients with ectopic Cushing’s syndrome, researchers observed a gradual rise in hair cortisol content in the 3 to 6 months before disease diagnosis.

“Together with a straightforward sample collection procedure, this method may prove to be a convenient noninvasive screening test for [Cushing’s syndrome],” the researchers wrote. “Additionally, our results indicate that hair cortisol measurements provide clinicians a tool to retrospectively assess cortisol secretion in patients with [Cushing’s syndrome], months to years back in time. This also offers the opportunity to estimate the onset of hypercortisolism and thus the duration of the disease before diagnosis.” – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

From http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/adrenal/news/in-the-journals/%7B72da0183-e1a8-48cb-a1fd-332c7999beb5%7D/scalp-hair-cortisol-accurate-in-cushings-syndrome-diagnosis

Patients with ARMC5 mutations: The NIH clinical experience

Screenshot 2016-05-27 13.12.55

 

Adrenal Disorders

R Correa, M Zilbermint, A Demidowich, F Faucz, A Berthon, J Bertherat, M Lodish, C Stratakis

Summary: Researchers conducted this study to describe the different phenotypical characteristics of patients with armadillo repeat containing 5 (ARMC5) mutations, located in 16p11.2 and a likely tumor-suppressor gene. They determined that patients with bilateral adrenal enlargement, found on imaging tests, should be screened for ARMC5 mutations, which are associated with subclinical Cushing’s syndrome (CS) and primary hyperaldosteronism (PA).

Methods:

  • Researchers identified 20 patients with ARMC5 mutations (germline and/or somatic) who were enrolled in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) protocol.
  • They obtained sociodemographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiological data for all participants.

Results:

  • Three families (with a total of 8 patients) were identified with ARMC5 germline mutations; the rest of the patients (13/20) had sporadic mutations.
  • The male to female ratio was 1.2:1; mean age was 48 years and 60% of patients were African American.
  • Forty percent of patients were diagnosed with CS, 20% with subclinical CS, 30% with hyperaldosteronism, and 10% had no diagnosis.
  • The mean serum cortisol (8 am) and Urinary Free Cortisol were 13.1 mcg/dl and 77 mcg/24 hours, respectively.
  • Nearly all patients (95%) had bilateral adrenal enlargement found on CT or MRI.
  • Patients underwent the following treatments: Bilateral adrenalectomy (45%), unilateral adrenalectomy (25%), medical treatment (20%), and no treatment (10%).
  • ARMC5 mutations are associated with primary macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (PMAH) and are also seen in patients with PA, especially among African Americans.

From http://www.mdlinx.com/endocrinology/conference-abstract.cfm/ZZ37C4C5D3BF1A4FAE9C479A696660535B/57884/?utm_source=confcoveragenl&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_content=abstract-list&utm_campaign=abstract-AACE2016&nonus=0

Cushing’s disease recurrence predictive factors: Outcome analysis of patients in VANCOUVER over 30 years

Screenshot 2016-05-27 13.12.55

 

Pituitary Disorders/Neuroendocrinology

R Chen, J Levi, M Almalki, S Yi, M Johnson, E Ur

Summary: The objective of this study was to describe the management and outcomes of patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) in the Vancouver region over a 30-year period and to investigate the predictive factors of CD recurrence. Researchers found CD recurrence in 45.8% of patients who received initial transsphenoidal surgery (TSS), and that a post-operative serum cortisol level > 140nmol/L may be a positive predictor of recurrence in these patients.

Methods:

  • Researchers retrospectively reviewed the clinical charts from endocrinologists in Vancouver who provided consent to participate in this study.
  • Included in this study were 48 patients diagnosed with CD since 1985.

Results:

  • All 48 patients received initial TSS; the mean follow-up time was 11.73 (±6.98) years.
  • More than half of the patients (n=26, 54.2%) remained in remission, and 22 patients (45.8%) received subsequent interventions due to CD recurrence.
  • Second-line therapies included repeat TSS (40.9%), stereotactic radiotherapy (18.2%), and bilateral adrenalectomy (36.4%).
  • Among patients with disease recurrence, the average post-operative serum cortisol level was significantly higher (489.0 nmol/L vs 114.7nmol/L; P=0.003).
  • The positive predictive value for recurrence with post-operative serum cortisol > 140nmol/L was 76.5% (P=0.049), while serum cortisol < 140nmol/L had an 80% predictive value for non-recurrence (P=0.035).

From http://www.mdlinx.com/endocrinology/conference-abstract.cfm/ZZ37C4C5D3BF1A4FAE9C479A696660535B/57894/?utm_source=confcoveragenl&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_content=abstract-list&utm_campaign=abstract-AACE2016&nonus=0

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