Most Subclinical Cushing‚Äôs Patients Don‚Äôt Require Glucocorticoids After Adrenalectomy

Patients with subclinical hypercortisolism, i.e., without symptoms of cortisol overproduction, and adrenal incidentalomas recover their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function after surgery faster than those with Cushing’s syndrome (CS), according to a study.

Moreover, the researchers found that an HPA function analysis conducted immediately after the surgical removal of adrenal incidentalomas ‚ÄĒ adrenal tumors discovered by chance in imaging tests ‚ÄĒ could identify patients in need of glucocorticoid replacement before discharge.

Using this approach, they found that most subclinical patients did not require treatment with hydrocortisone, a glucocorticoid taken to compensate for low levels of cortisol in the body, after surgery.

The study, ‚ÄúAlterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function immediately after resection of adrenal adenomas in patients with Cushing‚Äôs syndrome and others with incidentalomas and subclinical hypercortisolism,‚ÄĚ was published in¬†Endocrine.

The HPA axis is the body’s central stress response system. The hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) that acts on the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), leading the adrenal gland to produce cortisol.

As the body’s defense mechanism to avoid excessive cortisol secretion, high cortisol levels alert the hypothalamus to stop producing CRH and the pituitary gland to stop making ACTH.

Therefore, in diseases associated with chronically elevated cortisol levels, such as Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal incidentalomas, there’s suppression of the HPA axis.

After an adrenalectomy, which is the surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands, patients often have low cortisol levels (hypocortisolism) and require glucocorticoid replacement therapy.

‚ÄúMost studies addressing the peri-operative management of patients with adrenal hypercortisolism have reported that irrespective of how mild the hypercortisolism was, such patients were given glucocorticoids before, during and after adrenalectomy,‚ÄĚ the researchers wrote.

Evidence also shows that, after surgery, glucocorticoid therapy is administered for months before attempting to test for recovery of HPA function.

For the past 30 years, researchers at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have withheld glucocorticoid therapy in the postoperative management of patients with ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas until there’s proof of hypocortisolism.

‚ÄúThe approach offered us the opportunity to examine peri-operative hormonal alterations and demonstrate their importance in predicting need for replacement therapy, as well as future recurrences,‚ÄĚ they said.

In this prospective observational study, the investigators extended their approach to patients with subclinical hypercortisolism.

‚ÄúThe primary goal of the study was to examine rapid alteration in HPA function in patients with presumably suppressed axis and appreciate the modulating impact of surgical stress in that setting,‚ÄĚ they wrote. Collected data was used to decide whether to start glucocorticoid therapy.

The analysis included 14 patients with Cushing’s syndrome and 19 individuals with subclinical hypercortisolism and an adrenal incidentaloma. All participants had undergone surgical removal of a cortisol-secreting adrenal tumor.

‚ÄúNone of the patients received exogenous glucocorticoids during the year preceding their evaluation nor were they taking medications or had other illnesses that could inÔ¨āuence HPA function or serum cortisol measurements,‚ÄĚ the researchers noted.

Glucocorticoid therapy was not administered before or during surgery.

To evaluate HPA function, the clinical team took blood samples before and at one, two, four, six, and eight hours after the adrenalectomy to determine levels of plasma ACTH, serum cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) ‚ÄĒ a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

Pre-surgery assessment of both groups showed that patients with an incidentaloma plus subclinical hypercortisolism had larger adrenal masses, higher ACTH, and DHEA-S levels, but less serum cortisol after adrenal function suppression testing with dexamethasone.

Dexamethasone is a man-made version of cortisol that, in a normal setting, makes the body produce less cortisol. But in patients with a suppressed HPA axis, cortisol levels remain high.

After the adrenalectomy, the ACTH concentrations in both groups of patients increased. This was found to be negatively correlated with pre-operative dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol levels.

Investigators reported that ‚Äúserum DHEA-S levels in patients with Cushing‚Äôs syndrome declined further after adrenalectomy and were undetectable by the 8th postoperative hour,‚ÄĚ while incidentaloma patients‚Äô DHEA-S concentrations remained unchanged for the eight-hour postoperative period.

Eight hours after surgery, all Cushing’s syndrome patients had serum cortisol levels of less than 2 ug/dL, indicating suppressed HPA function. As a result, all of these patients required glucocorticoid therapy for several months to make up for HPA axis suppression.

‚ÄúThe decline in serum cortisol levels was slower and less steep [in the incidentaloma group] when compared to that observed in patients with Cushing‚Äôs syndrome. At the 6th‚Äď8th postoperative hours only 5/19 patients [26%] with subclinical hypercortisolism had serum cortisol levels at ‚ȧ3ug/dL and these 5 were started on hydrocortisone therapy,‚ÄĚ the researchers wrote.

Replacement therapy in the subclinical hypercortisolism group was continued for up to four weeks.

Results suggest that patients with an incidentaloma plus subclinical hypercortisolism did not have an entirely suppressed HPA axis, as they were able to recover its function much faster than the CS group after surgical stress.

From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/10/11/most-subclinical-cushings-patients-dont-need-glucocorticoids-post-surgery-study/?utm_source=Cushing%27s+Disease+News&utm_campaign=a881a1593b-RSS_WEEKLY_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ad0d802c5b-a881a1593b-72451321

Adrenal myelolipoma(s) as presenting manifestation of subclinical Cushing‚Äôs disease (eutopic ACTH-dependent Cushing‚Äôs syndrome)

  1. Partha Pratim Chakraborty1,
  2. Shinjan Patra1,
  3. Sugata Narayan Biswas1,
  4. Rana Bhattacharjee2

+Author Affiliations


  1. 1Department of Medicine, Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore, West Bengal, India

  2. 2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, IPGME&R/SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Partha Pratim Chakraborty, docparthapc@yahoo.co.in
  • Accepted¬†5 August 2017
  • Published¬†16 August 2017

Summary

Primary adrenal myelolipomas, relatively rare benign tumours of the adrenal cortex are typically unilateral, hormonally inactive and asymptomatic, hence often diagnosed as ‚Äėadrenal incidentaloma‚Äô. Bilateral adrenal myelolipomas, in particular, may be associated with underlying endocrinopathies associated with elevated circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentration.

Subclinical cortisol hypersecretion, irrespective of its ACTH dependency, does not manifest typical clinical phenotype of hypercortisolemia, and thus termed subclinical Cushing’s syndrome.

In this article, hormonal evaluation in a middle-aged woman with diabetes, hypertension and incidentally discovered unilateral adrenal myelolipoma revealed underlying subclinical Cushing’s disease. Abdominal CT revealed another tiny focus in the contralateral adrenal gland, probably representing incipient myelolipoma.

From (you may buy the whole article at this link) http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2017/bcr-2017-221674.short?rss=1

Cushing’s Testing at NIH

Rank Status Study
1 Recruiting Study to Evaluate CORT125134 in Patients With Cushing’s Syndrome

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome
Intervention: Drug: CORT125134
2 Recruiting Cushing’s Disease Complications

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Disease
Intervention: Other: Exams and questionnaires
3 Recruiting The Accuracy of Late Night Urinary Free Cortisol/Creatinine and Hair Cortisol in Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnosis

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Intervention:
4 Recruiting Treatment for Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome

Condition: Endogenous¬†Cushing’s¬†Syndrome
Intervention: Drug: COR-003
5 Recruiting Saliva Cortisol Measurement as a Screening Test for Suspicious Cushings Syndrome in Children.

Condition: Cushings Syndrome
Intervention: Other: Children refered to the obesity clinic
6 Recruiting Safety and Efficacy of LCI699 for the Treatment of Patients With Cushing’s Disease

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Disease
Intervention: Drug: LCI699
7 Recruiting Treatment of Cushing’s Disease With R-roscovitine

Condition: Cushings Disease
Intervention: Drug: R-roscovitine
8 Recruiting A Study of ATR-101 for the Treatment of Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Interventions: Drug: ATR-101;   Drug: Placebos
9 Recruiting Evaluation of 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, Octreotide and F-DOPA PET Imaging in Patients With Ectopic Cushing Syndrome

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Interventions: Drug: F-DOPA PET Scan;   Drug: Mifepristone;   Drug: Ga-DOTATATE;   Drug: Octreoscan;   Other: CT, MRI
10 Not yet recruiting Endocrine Cardiomyopathy in Cushing Syndrome: Response to Cyclic GMP PDE5 inhibitOrs

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome¬†Cardiomyopathy
Intervention: Drug: Tadalafil
11 Recruiting Long-term Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Adrenalectomy in Subclinical Cushing’s Syndrome of Adrenal Incidentaloma

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Intervention: Procedure: surgery
12 Recruiting Long Term Safety and Efficacy of Pasireotide s.c. in Patients With Cushing’s Disease

Condition: Cushings Disease
Intervention: Drug: SOM230
13 Recruiting New Imaging Techniques in the Evaluation of Patients With Ectopic Cushing Syndrome

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Interventions: Drug: Pentetreotide;   Drug: 18-F-fluorodeoxyglucose;   Drug: (18F)-L-3,4-dihydroxyophenylalanine (18F-DOPA)
14 Not yet recruiting Targeting Iatrogenic Cushing’s Syndrome With 11ő≤-hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Inhibition

Condition: Iatrogenic¬†Cushing’s¬†Disease
Interventions: Drug: AZD4017 and prednisolone;   Drug: Placebo Oral Tablet and prednisolone
15 Not yet recruiting Assessment of Persistent Cognitive Impairment After Cure of Cushing’s Disease

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Disease
Intervention: Device: Virtual radial task in 3D
16 Recruiting Biomarker Expression in Patients With ACTH-Dependent Cushing’s Syndrome Before and After Surgery

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome
Intervention:
17 Recruiting Efficacy and Safety Evaluation of Osilodrostat in Cushing’s Disease

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Disease
Interventions: Drug: osilodrostat;   Drug: osilodrostat Placebo
18 Recruiting Effects of Metyrapone in Patients With Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome

Condition: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome
Intervention: Drug: metyrapone
19 Recruiting Adrenal Venous Sampling in Patients With Overt or Subclinical Cushings Syndrome, and Bilateral Adrenal Tumors

Condition: Cushing Syndrome
Intervention: Radiation: Adrenal venous sampling
20 Recruiting Glycemic Fluctuations in Newly Diagnosed Growth Hormone-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma and Cushing Syndrome Subjects

Condition: Pituitary Adenoma
Intervention: Device: continuous glucose monitoring
Rank Status Study
21 Recruiting Targeted Therapy With Gefitinib in Patients With USP8-mutated Cushing’s Disease

Conditions: Cushing’s¬†Disease; ¬† Corticotrophin¬†Adenoma
Intervention: Drug: Gefitinib
22 Recruiting Cardiac Steatosis in Cushing’s Syndrome

Conditions: Endocrine System Disease;   Cardiovascular Imaging
Intervention: Other: 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy and CMRI
23 Recruiting Study of Management of Pasireotide-induced Hyperglycemia in Adult Patients With Cushing’s Disease or Acromegaly

Conditions: Cushing’s¬†Disease; ¬† Acromegaly
Interventions: Drug: Pasireotide s.c.;   Drug: Sitagliptin;   Drug: Liraglutide;   Drug: Insulin;   Drug: Pasireotide LAR;   Drug: Metformin
24 Recruiting Study of Efficacy and Safety of Osilodrostat in Cushing’s Syndrome

Conditions: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome; ¬† Ectopic¬†Corticotropin¬†Syndrome; ¬† Adrenal¬†Adenoma; ¬† Adrenal¬†Carcinoma; ¬† AIMAH; ¬† PPNAD
Intervention: Drug: Osilodrostat
25 Recruiting Effects of Hormone Stimulation on Brain Scans for Cushing s Disease

Condition: Pituitary Neoplasm
Intervention: Drug: Acthrel
26 Recruiting Does Serum-DXM Increase Diagnostic Accuracy of the Overnight DXM Suppression Test in the Work-up of Cushing’s Syndrome?

Conditions: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome; ¬† Adrenal¬†Incidentalomas; ¬† Alcoholism; ¬† Obesity
Intervention:
27 Recruiting Adrenalectomy Versus Follow-up in Patients With Subclinical Cushings Syndrome

Condition: Adrenal Tumour With Mild Hypercortisolism
Intervention: Procedure: Adrenalectomy
28 Recruiting Study of Adrenalectomy Versus Observation for Subclinical Hypercortisolism

Conditions: Hypercortisolism;   Cushing Syndrome
Interventions: Procedure: Adrenalectomy;   Other: Observation
29 Not yet recruiting Dynamic Hormone Diagnostics in Endocrine Disease

Conditions: Adrenal Insufficiency;   Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia;   Cushing Syndrome;   Growth Hormone Deficiency;   Acromegaly;   Primary Hyperaldosteronism
Intervention: Other: 27 hour subcutaneous fluid sampling
30 Recruiting An Investigation of Pituitary Tumors and Related Hypothalmic Disorders

Conditions: Abnormalities; ¬† Craniopharyngioma; ¬† Cushing’s¬†Syndrome; ¬† Endocrine¬†Disease; ¬† Pituitary¬†Neoplasm
Intervention:
31 Recruiting Ga-68-DOTATOC -PET in the Management of Pituitary Tumours

Condition: Pituitary Tumours
Intervention: Procedure: Gallium-68 DOTATOC PET
32 Recruiting Efficacy of Mifepristone in Males With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Conditions: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus;   Insulin Resistance
Interventions: Drug: Mifepristone 600 mg daily;   Drug: Placebo
33 Recruiting Targeted Therapy With Lapatinib in Patients With Recurrent Pituitary Tumors Resistant to Standard Therapy

Conditions: Pituitary Adenomas;   Prolactinomas
Intervention: Drug: Lapatinib
34 Recruiting Mutations of Glucocorticoid Receptor in Bilateral Adrenal Hyperplasia

Condition: General Glucocorticoid Resistance
Intervention: Genetic: blood collection for mutation characterization
35 Recruiting Defining the Genetic Basis for the Development of Primary Pigmented Nodular Adrenocortical Disease (PPNAD) and the Carney Complex

Conditions: Cushing’s¬†Syndrome; ¬† Hereditary¬†Neoplastic¬†Syndrome; ¬† Lentigo; ¬† Neoplasm; ¬† Testicular¬†Neoplasm
Intervention:
36 Not yet recruiting Reduction by Pasireotide of the Effluent Volume in High-output Enterostomy in Patients Refractory to Usual Medical Treatment

Condition: Enterostomy
Interventions: Drug: Pasireotide;   Drug: Placebo
37 Recruiting Mifepristone for Breast Cancer Patients With Higher Levels of Progesterone Receptor Isoform A Than Isoform B.

Condition: Breast Cancer
Intervention: Drug: Mifepristone
38 Recruiting SOM230 Ectopic ACTH-producing Tumors

Condition: Ectopic ACTH Syndrome
Intervention: Drug: Pasireotide
39 Recruiting Decreasing Rates of Intraurethral Catheterization Postoperatively in Spine Surgery

Condition: Post-operative Urinary Retention
Interventions: Drug: Tamsulosin;   Drug: Placebo
40 Recruiting Adrenal Tumors – Pathogenesis and Therapy

Conditions: Adrenal Tumors;   Adrenocortical Carcinoma;   Cushing Syndrome;   Conn Syndrome;   Pheochromocytoma
Intervention:

Subclinical Cushing’s syndrome and cardiovascular disease

Guido Di Dalmazi and colleagues1 reported that in patients with adrenal incidentalomas and either stable mild hypercortisolism or worsening of cortisol hypersecretion, all-cause and cardiovascular disease-specific mortality was higher compared with in those with adrenal incidentalomas that did not secrete cortisol, after a mean follow-up of 7·5 years. Moreover, cortisol concentrations measured after dexamethasone-suppression test were associated with all-cause mortality independent of the presence of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Subclinical Cushing’s syndrome is the most common hormonal abnormality in patients with adrenal incidentalomas (prevalence 1‚ÄĒ29%).2¬†The proportion of adrenal incidentalomas that progress to subclinical Cushing’s syndrome is low (1¬∑7%) and most are lesions of 3 cm or larger.2¬†Progression to overt Cushing’s syndrome is controversial (because both spontaneous normalisation of hypersecretion and stable disease have been reported during follow-up) and spontaneous normalisation of hypersecretion has been reported in 50% of cases.2¬†Results of the study by Di Dalmazi and co-workers1¬†are important because they show, for the first time, that patients with subclinical Cushing’s syndrome are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality (mainly attributable to cardiovascular disease). The association of cortisol with all-cause mortality might also be attributable to its potential role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome.3
Findings of previous studies have shown an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in patients with subclinical Cushing’s syndrome, but data for optimum management are conflicting. Some criteria‚ÄĒsuch as large (>4‚ÄĒ6 cm) adrenal incidentalomas, features suggestive of malignancy (eg, heterogeneity, irregular shape, calcification or necrosis, invasion to adjacent tissues), or potentially lethal hormonal hypersecretion (ie, pheochromocytomas)‚ÄĒsupport the need for adrenalectomy. However, universal surgical management of patients with subclinical Cushing’s syndrome has not been accepted.2,¬†4¬†Uncertainty about the most effective management strategy for subclinical Cushing’s syndrome is attributable to the variable definitions used, and the small sample size and retrospective nature of most studies.4¬†Only one prospective study has been published so far showing that laparoscopic adrenalectomy is more beneficial than is conservative management for the normalisation or improvement of cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and obesity.5
Prospective studies and registries are needed to document the effect of different approaches on the incidence of cardiovascular disease events and mortality in patients with adrenal incidentalomas and subclinical Cushing’s syndrome. Until then, individualised treatment seems prudent. Surgical management of subclinical Cushing’s syndrome can be suggested in young patients (age <50 years) and in those with cardiovascular disease risk factors or bone disease associated with hypercortisolism that are of recent onset, difficult to control with drugs, or show progression over time.4
Another message from Di Dalmazi’s study1¬†is that hormonal deterioration might develop even after 4‚ÄĒ5 years, which most studies reported as a reasonable and safe follow-up.2¬†This possibility should be kept in mind for the management of patients with adrenal incidentalomas, especially if clinical signs of Cushing’s syndrome develop or if cardiovascular disease risk factors become evident or increase in severity (ie, hormonal hypersecretion).
We declare that we have no competing interests.

References

1¬†Di Dalmazi¬†G,¬†Vicennati¬†V,¬†Garelli¬†S, et al.¬†Cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with adrenal incidentalomas that are either non-secreting or associated with intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing’s syndrome: a 15-year retrospective study.¬†Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol¬†2014.¬†published online Jan 29¬†http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(13)70211-0.
2 Anagnostis P, Karagiannis A, Tziomalos K, Kakafika AI, Athyros VG, Mikhailidis DP. Adrenal incidentaloma: a diagnostic challenge. Hormones (Athens) 2009; 8: 163-184. PubMed
3 Anagnostis P, Athyros VG, Tziomalos K, Karagiannis A, Mikhailidis DP. Clinical review: The pathogenetic role of cortisol in the metabolic syndrome: a hypothesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009; 94:2692-2701. PubMed
4¬†Terzolo¬†M,¬†Pia¬†A,¬†Reimondo¬†G.¬†Subclinical Cushing’s syndrome: definition and management.¬†Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)¬†2012;¬†76:¬†12-18.¬†PubMed
5 Toniato A, Merante-Boschin I, Opocher G, Pelizzo MR, Schiavi F, Ballotta E. Surgical versus conservative management for subclinical Cushing syndrome in adrenal incidentalomas: a prospective randomized study. Ann Surg 2009; 249: 388-391. PubMed
a Division of Endocrinology, Police Medical Centre, Thessaloniki, 54 640, Greece
b Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Agios Pavlos General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
c Second Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
d Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Vascular Prevention Clinic) Royal Free Hospital Campus, University College London Medical School, University College London, London, UK

The Role of Adrenal Scintigraphy in the Diagnosis of Subclinical Cushing’s Syndrome and the Prediction of Post-surgical Hypoadrenalism

World J Surg. 2014 Mar 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Management of subclinical Cushing’s syndrome (SCS) remains controversial; it is not possible to predict which patients would benefit from adrenalectomy. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the role of adrenocortical scintigraphy (ACS) in the management of patients with SCS.

METHODS:

The medical records of 33 consecutive patients with adrenal “incidentaloma” and proven or suspected SCS who underwent¬†131I-19-iodocholesterol ACS between 2004 and 2010 were reviewed. Sixteen underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy (surgical group-S-group) and 17 were medically managed (medical group-M-group). Follow-up evaluation was obtained by outpatient consultation.

RESULTS:

Overall 25 patients (15 in the S-group and 10 in the M-group) had concordant unilateral uptake at ACS (ACS+). In the S-group, the mean follow-up duration was 30.9¬†¬Ī¬†16.1¬†months and, irrespective of the presence of hormonal diagnosis of SCS, in patients who were ACS+ adrenalectomy resulted in a significant increase in HDL cholesterol and decreases in body mass index, glycemia, and blood pressure (BP). One patient reduced antihypertensive medication and three others were able to discontinue it altogether. Prolonged postoperative hypoadrenalism (PH) occurred in 14 patients in the S-group. The overall accuracy in predicting PH was 93.7¬†% for ACS and 68.7¬†% for laboratory findings. In the M-group, the mean follow-up duration was 31.5¬†¬Ī¬†26.3¬†months and no patient developed overt Cushing’s syndrome, although ACS+ patients experienced a worsening in glycemia and diastolic BP.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adrenal scintigraphy seems the most accurate diagnostic test for SCS. It is able to predict the metabolic outcome and the occurrence of PH, identifying the patients who could benefit from adrenalectomy irrespective of hormonal diagnosis.

PMID:
24615601
[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24615601

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