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MaryO

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  1. Urine Tests: These involve collecting urine, usually for periods of twenty-four hours at a time.

    Twenty-four Hour Urine:

    The doctor will give you a gallon collection jug, usually with boric acid in it. The instructions are usually printed on the side. Generally, you urinate first thing in the morning, as usual. after that, you collect the rest of the urine for the next 24 hours in the jug. The directions usually tell you to refrigerate the jug.

    Directions for the Twenty-four Hour Urine Test

    Physicians have always relied upon analysis of urine specimens in order to diagnosis and treat many disease processes. Twenty-four hour urine collections are often employed to estimate the production rates of various hormones. The accuracy of test results depends entirely on the accuracy of the urine collection technique. These instructions are provided as a guide to ensure that your 24-hour urine collection is obtained in a manner that will permit reliance upon the test results.

    Urine samples should be collected in a large cup, urine collection hat or other container and then poured into the large bottle. Do not try to urinate directly into the bottle. Void urine prior to bowel movements in order to avoid losing urine that might normally be passed during a bowel movement. Urine collection hats can usually be purchased at medical supply stores if not provided by your physician or lab. If you should have a bowel movement while urinating the urine collection hat should keep the urine clean if used correctly.

    Urine samples should be collected in a large cup or other container and then poured into the large bottle. Do not try to urinate directly into the bottle. Void urine prior to bowel movements in order to avoid losing urine that might normally be passed during a bowel movement.

    Some patients are asked to collect more than one consecutive 24-hour urine sample. If that is the case, you should complete the first collection as instructed. Then, begin the second collection by adding any urine made in the next 24-hours to the second bottle. You should not discard any urine when starting the second or any subsequent collections. Simply change bottles at the stop and start times after adding that last sample required to complete the previous collection.

    The bottles for some tests contain a weak acid as a preservative. Do not discard the acid. If you accidentally get acid or urine from the bottle on your skin or clothing, rinse the effected area immediately with plenty of cold water. Collection bottles must be refrigerated. This is best accomplished by using an ice chest, cooler, or if so inclined, your refrigerator.

    If you forget to collect all of the urine or perform the test improperly, discard the specimen and start again on another day. If the bottle contained an acid preservative, you will need to obtain a new bottle from the laboratory or your physician's office. Otherwise, you may reuse the bottle after rinsing it with distilled water.

    Finally, please remember to call your physician, medical provider or nurse if you have any questions about the proper collection of a 24-hour urine sample.

     

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  2. Cushing’s syndrome is a rare disorder that occurs when the body is exposed to too much cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the body and is also used in corticosteroid drugs. Cushing's syndrome can occur either because cortisol is being overproduced by the body or from the use of drugs that contain cortisol (like prednisone).

     

    Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands in response to the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by the pituitary. One form of Cushing’s syndrome may be caused by an oversecretion of ACTH by the pituitary leading to an excess of cortisol.

     

    Cortisol has several functions, including the regulation of inflammation and controlling how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Corticosteroids such as prednisone, which are often used to treat inflammatory conditions, mimic the effects of cortisol.

    Stay tuned for more basic info...

     

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  3. First published: 13 August 2021
     
     

    Abstract

    Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) causing ectopic Cushing's syndrome (ECS) are rare and challenging to treat. In this retrospective cohort study, we aimed to evaluate different approaches for bilateral adrenalectomy (BA) as a treatment option in ECS. Fifty-three patients with ECS caused by a NEN (35 females/18 men; mean ± SD age: 53 ± 15 years) were identified from medical records. Epidemiological and clinical parameters, survival, indications for surgery and timing, as well as duration of surgery, complications and surgical techniques, were collected and further analysed. The primary tumour location was thorax (n = 30), pancreas (n = 14) or unknown (n = 9). BA was performed in 37 patients. Median time from diagnosis of ECS to BA was 2 months (range 1–10 months). Thirty-two patients received different steroidogenesis inhibitors before BA to control hypercortisolaemia. ECS resolved completely after surgery in 33 patients and severe peri- or postoperative complications were detected in 12 patients. There were fewer severe complications in the endoscopic group compared to open surgery (p = .030). Posterior retroperitoneoscopic BA performed simultaneously by a two surgeon approach had the shortest operating time (p = .001). Despite the frequent use of adrenolytic treatment, BA was necessary in a majority of patients to gain control over ECS. Complication rate was high, probably as a result of the combination of metastatic disease and metabolic disorders caused by high cortisol levels. The two surgeon approach BA may be considered as the method of choice in ECS compared to other BA approaches as a result of fewer complications and a shorter operating time.

     

    1 INTRODUCTION

    Endogenous Cushing's syndrome (CS) has an estimated incidence of 0.2–5.0 per million people per year.1 In 5–10% of these, it is caused by ectopic secretion of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) or, in extremely rare cases, corticotrophin-releasing hormone, from a non-pituitary tumour.1, 2

    The treatment of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) with ectopic secretion of ACTH is challenging. Because of the rarity and heterogeneity of this condition, there is no established evidence-based recommendation.3 Most patients with ectopic Cushing's syndrome (ECS) have severe hypercortisolaemia leading to disrupted electrolyte and glucose levels, metabolic alkalosis, thrombosis and life-threatening infections, amongst many other manifestations. Initiation of oncological treatment is often delayed as a result of the consequences of high cortisol levels. A reduction of the cortisol level is crucial for survival and hypercortisolaemia and hypokalaemia are negative prognostic factors.4, 5 If radical surgery of the tumour is not possible because of metastatic disease, normo-cortisolaemia can be achieved either by medical treatment with steroidogenesis inhibitors (SI) or bilateral adrenalectomy (BA),6 and BA has also been considered a treatment option for patients with occult or cyclic ECS. In patients with metastatic neuroendocrine carcinomas, platinum-based chemotherapy may be applied as first-line action, combined by SI and/or followed by BA. Computed tomography-guided percutaneous adrenal ablation has been reported in several case reports as a possible therapeutic alternative for patients in whom medical treatment has failed and BA is not feasible,7-10 althhough more data is needed to recommend this method in daily practice.

    In the 1930s, transabdominal open access BA was introduced as a treatment option for uncontrolled cortisol secretion.11 Sixty years later, in the 1990s, laparoscopic methods were established12, 13 and are now considered as the gold standard for BA (except for adrenal carcinomas) because they result in less postoperative pain, a shorter hospitalisation time and faster recovery.14 Laparoscopic transperitoneal adrenalectomy (LTA) is the most frequently applied surgical method. However, posterior retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (PRA), introduced in 1995 by Walz et al,15 is gaining popularity.16 Using PRA compared to LTA offers a more direct approach to the adrenal glands, a shorter operating time (no need for reposition of the patient), less blood loss and faster recovery, and it aso has advantages for patients with obesity or a history of previous abdominal surgery.16 There are centres where PRA is performed by a two surgeon approach; thus, a simultaneous bilateral approach offers the possibility of decreasing the surgical time by up to 50% and reducing operative stress.17-19

    The present study aimed to evaluate BA as a treatment option for ECS, as well as the effects of different approaches on morbidity and mortality. We hypothesised that endoscopic surgery methods could be superior regarding complication rate, operating and hospitalisation time compared to open access surgery and also influence overall survival.

    2 MATERIALS AND METHODS

    2.1 Patients and data

    A cohort of 59 patients with ECS was identified retrospectively from medical records of 894 patients with NENs, referred to the Department of Endocrine Oncology, Uppsala University Hospital between 1984 and 2019. None of the patients had a small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) because these tumours are not treated at our centre and possibly have a different mechanism behind ACTH production compared to that of NENs. Furthermore, SCLCs have a much more severe course of disease compared to well differentiated NENs and including them in the present study could mask any results important for NEN clinical management. Six patients were from outside Sweden and were excluded from further analysis because of a lack of follow-up data; thus, in total, 53 patients were available for analysis. Diagnosis of ECS was confirmed by histopathological examination of tumour specimen (n = 48) together with the clinical and biochemical picture of ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome (elevated serum and urinary cortisol, high ACTH and pathological functional tests). In five patients where neither primary tumor, nor metastatic disease was found despite several PET examinations, including 68 Ga- DOTATOC-PET, 11C-5HTP-PET and 18FDG-PET in four of the five patients, ECS was confirmed on the basis of the clinical/biochemical picture and exclusion of pituitary origin by magnetic resonance imaging, as well as inferior sinus petrosus sampling.

    Epidemiological data, data on clinical parameters, survival, indication and duration of surgery, complications and surgical technique were extracted and further analysed.

    2.2 Surgery

    BA was performed either by an open access approach, LTA or PRA. PRA was performed either by one surgeon (PRA-1S) or by two surgeons operating on both sides simultaneously (PRA-2S). Some patients were operated twice (one adrenal at the time) and, for those patients, operating time was pooled from both surgeries, if both sessions were performed within 1 week. Cases where conversion from an endoscopic to an open access approach was made peroperatively were grouped as open access surgery in further analysis. Patients who died during the postoperative stage (within 30 days) were excluded from calculation of hospitalisation time.

    Postoperative complications were graded using the Clavien–Dindo classification where complications of Grade 1 are defined as “any deviation from the normal postoperative course without the need for pharmacological treatment or surgical, endoscopic and radiological interventions. Allowed therapeutic regimens are drugs as antiemetics, antipyretics, analgesics, diuretics and electrolytes and physiotherapy”.20 Because almost all patients had mild, Grade 1 postoperative complications (metabolic disturbances caused by hypercortisolaemia), this variable is not described. We defined complications up to Grade 2 as mild and Grade 3–5 as severe.

    2.3 Statistical analysis

    All parameters were analysed by descriptive statistics: normally distributed data as the mean ± SD, and data with skewed distribution and/or outliers were described as medians, accompanied by the 25th to 75th percentile ranges (Q1-Q3) or minimum-maximum (min-max). The defined event was death from any cause. Overall survival (OS) was defined as time from diagnosis of ECS or time of BA until date of death or, if the event was not found, censored at date of last observation, 31 December 2019. Kaplan-Meier plots were used for survival analysis and the log-rank test was used for comparison. Chi-squared was used for testing relationships between categorical variables. p < .05 was considered statistically significant. All statistical analyses were performed using IBM, version 27 (IBM Corp., Armonk, USA).

    3 RESULTS

    3.1 Studied patients

    ECS represented six% (n = 59) of NENs in our cohort. Six patients were excluded from further analysis, resulting in 53 ECS patients who were analysed; there were 35 females and 18 males with a mean ± SD age of 53 ± 15 years. The localisation of the primary NEN was thorax (n = 30), pancreas (n = 14) or unknown (n = 9). Histopathological staining for Ki-67 was available in 38 patients and Ki-67 was < 2% in five patients, 3–20% in 22 patients and > 20% in 11 patients. Patient characteristics are shown in Tables 1 and 2. Twenty-two patients (41.5%) in this cohort had concomitant hypersecretion of hormones other than ACTH from their tumour (5-HIAA, n = 10; calcitonin, n = 3; 5-HIAA + calcitonin, n = 2; glucagon, n = 3, gastrin, n = 2; growth hormone, n = 1; insulin + gastrin + vasointestinal peptide, n = 1).

    3.2 Surgery

    Adrenalectomy was performed in 37 patients (70%); 24 patients were operated at Uppsala University Hospital, nine at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and four at Umeå University Hospital. Median time from diagnosis of ECS to BA was 2 months (range 1–10 months). Median Ki-67 in patients who were operated within 2 months after ECS diagnosis was higher (Ki-67 18.5%) compared to those with BA performed later in the course of disease (Ki-67 9.5%), although the difference was not statistically significant (p = .085).

    Thirty-two (86%) patients received different SI prior to BA to control hypercortisolaemia. Eight of those were treated with chemotherapy as well in an attempt to reduce cortisol levels. The majority of patients was treated with ketoconazole, often in combination with other drugs (Table 3). Indications for BA in our cohort included (1) persistent hypercortisolaemia despite use of SI (n = 30); (2) BA as first choice of treatment to reduce cortisol levels (n = 5); and (3) no effect combined with severe side effects from SI including liver toxicity and severe leukopenia (n = 2). In 16 patients, BA was not performed as a result of (1) good control of ECS with SI (n = 4); (2) radical surgery of the primary tumour (n = 3); (3) good control of ECS with SI followed by radical surgery of the primary tumour (n = 5) and (4) the bad condition of the patient (n = 4).

    3.3 Survival analysis

    There was no operative mortality in this cohort. Four patients died within 1 month after adrenalectomy (on day 5, 16, 22 and 30, respectively) as a result of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and progression of NEN. At the end of the follow-up period, 14 patients were still alive and 39 had died.

    Median survival after BA was 24 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 7–41, min-max: 0–428) with a 5-year survival of 22%. Median follow-up time for all patients from time of ECS diagnosis was 26 (range 6–62) months and after BA was 19 (range 3–50) months. OS was longer in patients where ECS was treated by radical surgery of the primary tumour or where good biochemical control was achieved by SI compared to patients who underwent BA, 96 months (95% CI 0–206) vs 29 months (95% CI 7–51), respectively. However, this difference was not statistically significant (p = .086), most likely as a result of the small sample size. Multiple hormone secretion correlated with shorter OS after BA (p = .009; hazard ratio = 2.9; 95% CI= 1.3–6.7). There was no significant difference in OS after BA depending on localisation of primary tumour (thoracic NENs 24 months [95% CI = 8–40, min-max: 0–428], pancreatic NENs 19 months [95% CI = 0–43, min-max: 0–60], p = .319) or surgical approach (open access approach 24 months [95% CI = 1–47], endoscopic approach 19 months [95% CI = 1–37], p = .720).

    Median time from ECS diagnosis to BA was 2 months (range 1–10). Patients who underwent BA within 2 months after ECS diagnosis had shorter OS compared to those who were operated at a later stage: 6 months (95% CI = 0–18) and 45 months (95% CI = 3–86) respectively (p = .007). The former group had a slightly higher median Ki-67 level (18% vs 9%), lower potassium (2.7 mmol L-1 vs 3.0 mmol L-1) and higher hormone levels (ACTH 217 vs 120 ng mL-1, morning cortisol 1448 vs 1181 nmol L-1 and UFC 5716 vs 4234 nmol per 24 h) at diagnosis compared to those who were operated later in the course of disease.

    4 DISCUSSION

    The present study highlights new aspects of the advantages of an endoscopic approach of BA compared to open access surgery, regarding the incidence of severe complications graded using the Clavien-Dindo classification, as well as operation- and hospitalisation time. Our results indicate that PRA performed by two surgeons simultaneously is the method of choice for patients with ECS. However, despite these advantages, the endoscopic approach did not appear to improve overall survival.

    Recent Endocrine Society guidelines recommend SI as primary treatment for ECS in patients with occult or metastatic ECS followed by BA.6 Although the toxicity of SI in our cohort was low (n = 2; 6%), 32 patients (73%) had persistent hypercortisolaemia despite medical treatment and proceeded to BA. BA, especially with an endoscopic approach, with a short operating time and low complication risk, appears to play a major role in the appropriate management of hypercortisolaemia in ECS, where rapid reduction of cortisol levels is very important.

    Prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels, in combination with high risk for hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic SI side effects, increases morbidity and risk for severe complications, and often delays the start of oncological treatment. However, the trauma caused by surgery can also postpone initiation of chemotherapy.21 Therefore, a fast and minimally invasive surgical procedure appears to be a crucial factor for the better survival in ECS. The endoscopic approach is now considered as the gold standard for BA. Our study presents fewer severe complications, as well as shorter operating and hospitalisation times, when the endoscopic approach is compared with open surgery. In line with previous studies,19, 22 we observed a significantly shorter operating time when applying PRA compared to LTA because there is no need for repositioning of the patient during PRA. PRA-2S had the shortest operating time and should be considered as the best choice of surgical approach in ECS. This result ties well with previous studies reporting the median operating time to be between 43 and 157 min in PRA-2S, which is significantly shorter compared to LTA and PRA-1S.17-19

    The median time from diagnosis to BA was 2 months, which is consistent with a previous study.23 However, OS was significantly shorter in patients who were operated within 2 months after diagnosis of ECS in our cohort compared to those operated at a later stage. These early operated patients probably had a more aggressive clinical course of disease, as indicated by slightly higher median Ki-67, lower potassium and higher hormone levels at diagnosis, and they were operated as a result of more acute indications (without time to proper pre-treatment with SI) than the other group.

    In our previous report on patients with ACTH-producing NENs, multiple hormone secretion was identified as the strongest indicator of a worse prognosis.4 A similar pattern of results was observed in this cohort, showing that patients with NENs, with concomitant hypersecretion of other hormones than ACTH from their tumour, had a shorter OS after BA compared to those with ACTH hypersecretion only.

    As a result of the extremely high preoperative cortisol levels in ECS, the substitution therapy needed after successful BA may be challenging.21 Over-replacement of glucocorticoids may lead to higher morbidity24 and mortality, especially in patients with metastatic NENs, who often have impaired immune function because of oncological treatment. Many patients suffer from glucocorticoid withdrawal syndrome, despite adequate replacement therapy, and it can take ≥ 1 year to gain control over these symptoms.6 This frequently leads to high dosage of glucocorticoids. The Endocrine Society guidelines recommend glucocorticoid replacement with hydrocortisone, 10–12 mg m-2 day-1 in divided doses.6 If we assume that most of our patients have body surface area around 2 m2 or less, the daily hydrocortisone dose should not exceed 25 mg. However, 1 year after BA, only one patient received 25 mg of hydrocortisone daily, with the majority receiving 30 mg or more. One-third of the patients had residual arterial hypertension and diabetes 3 months after BA, probably partially depending on too high a dose of glucocorticoids.

    There was a higher complication rate in our cohort compared to other studies19, 25, 26 and five patients needed conversion from an endoscopic approach to open surgery. In particular, the outcome of BA in ECS has not previously been systematically evaluated27 because most of the reports include patients with various aetiologies of CS.19, 22, 23, 28, 29 In a systematic review of the literature published between 1980 and 2012 on BA in CS, Reincke et al23 identified 37 studies and ECS was present in 13% of the patients. There are only few papers focused on BA in ECS solely21, 25, 26, 30, 31 and only one has a cohort with > 50 patients (n = 54).26 Patients with ECS have almost always a more aggressive course and more severe metabolic disturbance than patients with other types of Cushing’s syndrome, which probably leads to higher risk for postoperative complications. Furthermore, multiple liver metastases, fibrotic processes in the abdomen as a result of previous surgery or large primary tumour in pancreas could be some of the factors influencing surgical outcome in ECS.

    The present study has several limitations. First, all data were collected retrospectively from patient records and not all the preferred parameters were available for all patients. Second, even if our cohort is one of the largest regarding studies on BA in ECS, the number of patients is too low for reliable statistical analysis. Finally, our study covered more than three decades, BAs were performed at different clinics and by different surgeons. Therefore, the data should be interpreted carefully.

    In conclusion, the present study is one of few reports focusing on BA in specifically NEN patients with ECS and includes one of the largest patient cohorts analysed in the field. PRA-2S can be considered as method of choice in ECS compared to other BA approaches. The aim is to avoid administrating too high a hydrocortisone replacement dosage postoperatively because this can worsen the metabolic disturbance. As a result of the rarity of the condition, multicentre studies are needed with large, prospective cohorts and standardised inclusion criteria, aiming to further improve our knowledge about the management of ECS.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    This study was funded by the Swedish Cancer Society (grant number CAN 18 0576), the Lions Foundation for Cancer Research at Uppsala University Hospital, Selanders Foundation and Söderbergs foundation at Uppsala University.

      CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

      The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

      AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS

      Ieva Lase: Conceptualisation; Data curation; Formal analysis; Investigation; Methodology; Visualisation; Writing – original draft; Writing – review & editing. Malin Grönberg: Formal analysis; Supervision; Visualisation; Writing – review & editing. Olov Norlén: Conceptualisation; Writing – review & editing. Peter Stålberg: Conceptualisation; Writing – review & editing. Staffan Welin: Conceptualisation; Supervision; Writing – review & editing. Eva Tiensuu Janson: Conceptualisation; Funding acquisition; Methodology; Supervision; Writing – review & editing.

      ETHICAL APPROVAL

      The need for informed consent was waived by the local ethics committee. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the local ethics committee, Regionala etikprövningsnämnden (EPN), in Uppsala, Sweden.

      PEER REVIEW

      The peer review history for this article is available at https://publons.com/publon/10.1111/jne.13030.

       

      The entire article, PDF, supporting tables and more can be found at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jne.13030

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    1. This article was originally published here

      J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Sep 3:dgab659. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab659. Online ahead of print.

      ABSTRACT

      CONTEXT: Confirming a diagnosis of Cushing’s disease (CD) remains challenging yet is critically important before recommending transsphenoidal surgery for adenoma resection.

      OBJECTIVE: To describe predictive performance of preoperative biochemical and imaging data relative to post-operative remission and clinical characteristics in patients with presumed CD.

      DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS, INTERVENTIONS: Patients (n=105; 86% female) who underwent surgery from 2007-2020 were classified into 3 groups: Group A (n=84) pathology-proven ACTH adenoma; Group B (n=6) pathology-unproven but with postoperative hypocortisolemia consistent with CD, and Group C (n=15) pathology-unproven, without postoperative hypocortisolemia. Group A+B were combined as Confirmed CD and Group C as Unconfirmed CD.

      MAIN OUTCOMES: Group A+B was compared to Group C regarding predictive performance of preoperative 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC), late night salivary cortisol (LNSC), 1mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST), plasma ACTH, and pituitary MRI.

      RESULTS: All groups had a similar clinical phenotype. Compared to Group C, Group A+B had higher mean UFC (p<0.001), LNSC(p=0.003), DST(p=0.06), ACTH(p=0.03) and larger MRI-defined lesions (p<0.001). The highest accuracy thresholds were: UFC 72 µg/24hrs; LNSC 0.122 µg/dl, DST 2.70 µg/dl, and ACTH 39.1 pg/ml. Early (3-month) biochemical remission was achieved in 76/105 (72%) patients: 76/90(84%) and 0/15(0%) of Group A+B versus Group C, respectively, p<0.0001. In Group A+B non-remission was strongly associated with adenoma cavernous sinus invasion.

      CONCLUSIONS: Use of strict biochemical thresholds may help avoid offering transsphenoidal surgery to presumed CD patients with equivocal data and improve surgical remission rates. Patients with Cushingoid phenotype but equivocal biochemical data warrant additional rigorous testing.

      PMID:34478542 | DOI:10.1210/clinem/dgab659

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    2. As of September 1, 2021, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected over 219 million and caused the deaths of over 4.5 million worldwide. Although COVID-19 has been traditionally associated with its ability to cause varied symptoms resembling acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), emerging scientific evidence has demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 causes much more damage beyond its effects on the upper respiratory tract.

      To this end, in a recent study published in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, the researchers discuss the extra-pulmonary manifestations of COVID-19.

      Risk factors for severe COVID-19

      It is now a well-known fact that the likelihood of people falling severely ill or dying from COVID-19 is increases if these individuals are obese, or have certain comorbidities like diabetes mellitus (DM), vitamin D deficiency, and vertebral fractures (VFs).

      Any abnormality in the pituitary gland may lead to metabolic disorders, impaired immunity, and a host of other conditions that also make the body susceptible to infections. Since such conditions are common in patients with COVID-19 as well, it has been hypothesized that there might be a relationship between COVID-19 and pituitary gland disorders.

      On the other hand, researchers have also observed that COVID-19 causes increased severity of pituitary-related disorders, and even pituitary apoplexy, which is a condition defined as internal bleeding or impaired blood supply in the pituitary gland. A group of Italian researchers has reviewed this bidirectional relationship between the pituitary gland abnormalities and COVID-19 in their study recently published in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.

      The link between pituitary gland abnormalities and COVID19

      The pituitary gland releases hormones that regulate and control some of the most important functions of the body like growth, metabolism, energy levels, bone health, mood swings, vision, reproduction, and immunity, to name a few. The inability of the pituitary gland to release one or more of these hormones is known as ‘hypopituitarism.’  Factors responsible for hypopituitarism include traumatic brain injury, pituitary adenomas (tumors), genetic mutations, as well as infiltrative and infectious diseases.

      Hypopituitarism can lead to severe cases of DM, growth hormone deficiency (GHD), abnormal lipid profile, obesity, arterial hypertension, and immune dysfunctions. Interestingly, similar consequences of COVID-19 have also been reported.

      SARS-CoV-2 infects the human body by binding to a special class of receptors known as the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. These receptors are located in the endothelial linings of most organs like the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, intestine, liver, and pancreas, among others. The main function of the ACE2 receptors is binding to specific target molecules to maintain the renin-angiotensin system that is crucial for regulating dilation of blood vessels, as well as maintain blood glucose levels, the immune system, and homeostasis.

      Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 binding to these ACE2 receptors facilitates the entry of this virus into all the organs that have these receptors, thus leading to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause widespread damage in the body. Upon entry into the pancreas, for example, SARS-CoV-2 can inhibit ß-cells function, which worsens hyperglycemia and increases the risk for acute diabetic complications.

      Similarly, the presence of ACE2 receptors in brain tissues may cause invasion into the pituitary gland and lead to pituitary apoplexy. The entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the brain can also cause neurological damage in infected patients, which may account for some of the common neurological complaints of COVID-19 including headaches, confusion, dysgeusia, anosmia, nausea, and vomiting.

      Study findings

      Hypopituitarism leading to metabolic syndrome has been scientifically linked to higher mortality in COVID-19 patients. In fact, the presence of a single metabolic syndrome component has been observed to double the risk of death by COVID-19. This risk was even higher among patients with DM and hypertension.

      There was also an increased incidence of VFs in COVID-19 patients with hypopituitarism. Hence, patients with DM, obesity, hypertension, and chronic inflammatory disease, are all at an increased risk of poor outcomes and death in COVID-19.

      Arterial hypertension is a common finding in adults with GHD, which is another consequence of hypopituitarism. Hypopituitarism also causes adrenal insufficiency, a condition that is primarily managed with glucocorticoids and hormonal replacement therapies.

      Notably, patients with COVID-19 are often treated for prolonged periods with high-dose exogenous glucocorticoids, which is a class of steroids that suppress some activities of the immune system. This treatment approach may result in suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary–adrenal axis that can lead to adrenal insufficiency.

      Hypogonadism is another aspect of pituitary insufficiency that predisposes patients, especially males, to COVID-19. Evidence shows that males with hypogonadism were more frequently affected by metabolic syndrome.

      Pituitary apoplexy, albeit rare, has also been linked to COVID-19, especially in patients with pituitary adenomas and those who are being treated with anticoagulant therapy. This may be because the pituitary gland becomes overstimulated during an infectious disease, which may increase pituitary blood demand and lead to sudden infarction precipitating acute apoplexy.

      This phenomenon has also been shown in patients suffering from infectious diseases that cause hemorrhagic fevers. Taken together, pituitary apoplexy complicates treatment and management procedures in COVID-19 patients.

      Despite the use of steroids in COVID-19 patients, there have been no contraindications for vaccination in such patients. However, those on extensive hormonal therapies need constant monitoring for best results.

      Implications

      The pituitary gland acts like a double-edged sword for COVID-19. On one end, hypopituitarism predisposes patients to metabolic disorders like DM, obesity, and VFs, all of which are known risk factors for COVID-19.

      On the other hand, COVID-19 may cause direct or indirect damage to the pituitary glands by entering the brain and inducing unfavorable vascular events – though evidence on this remains lesser in comparison to that of hypopituitarism. Ultimately, the researchers of the current study conclude that managing patients with hormonal insufficiencies optimally with steroids is likely to improve outcomes in severe COVID-19.

      Journal reference:
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    3. This article was originally published here

      J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 29:dgab557. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab557. Online ahead of print.

      ABSTRACT

      CONTEXT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a proinflammatory and prothrombotic condition, but its impact on adrenal function has not been adequately evaluated.

      CASE REPORT: A 46-year-old woman presented with abdominal pain, hypotension, and skin hyperpigmentation after COVID-19 infection. The patient had hyponatremia, serum cortisol <1.0 µg/dL, adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) of 807 pg/mL, and aldosterone ❤️ ng/dL. Computed tomography (CT) findings of adrenal enlargement with no parenchymal and minimal peripheral capsular enhancement after contrast were consistent with bilateral adrenal infarction. The patient had autoimmune hepatitis and positive antiphospholipid antibodies, but no previous thrombotic events. The patient was treated with intravenous hydrocortisone, followed by oral hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone.

      DISCUSSION: We identified 9 articles, including case reports, of new-onset adrenal insufficiency and/or adrenal hemorrhage/infarction on CT in COVID-19. Adrenal insufficiency was hormonally diagnosed in 5 cases, but ACTH levels were measured in only 3 cases (high in 1 case and normal/low in other 2 cases). Bilateral adrenal nonhemorrhagic or hemorrhagic infarction was identified in 5 reports (2 had adrenal insufficiency, 2 had normal cortisol levels, and 1 case had no data). Interestingly, the only case with well-characterized new-onset acute primary adrenal insufficiency after COVID-19 had a previous diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome. In our case, antiphospholipid syndrome diagnosis was established only after the adrenal infarction triggered by COVID-19.

      CONCLUSION: Our findings support the association between bilateral adrenal infarction and antiphospholipid syndrome triggered by COVID-19. Therefore, patients with positive antiphospholipid antibodies should be closely monitored for symptoms or signs of acute adrenal insufficiency during COVID-19.

      PMID:34463766 | DOI:10.1210/clinem/dgab557

      • Like 1
    4. friedman.png

      Dr. Friedman is getting a lot of emails on booster shots versus third shots. Third shots are for immuno-compromised patients that the FDA is recommending for a small group of patients The FDA also has the intention to soon make booster doses widely available to all healthy individuals. I am writing to clarify the difference between booster shots and third doses.

      Third Doses for Immuno-Compromised Patients
      The purpose of a third dose of mRNA vaccine is to give immuno-compromised patients the same level of protection that two doses provide someone who has a normal immune system.
      It is recommended that the following people get a third dose

      • Been receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
      • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
      • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
      • Been diagnosed with moderate or severe immunodeficiency conditions (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 
      • An advanced or untreated HIV infection
      • Been under active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (> 20 mg of prednisone or 100 mg of hydrocortisone) or other drugs that may suppress immune response

      Dr. Friedman thinks it is unlikely that any of his patients have these conditions.
      Patients with Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s, diabetes or thyroid disorders do not qualify.

      In contrast, a Booster Dose is for Patients With Healthy Immune Systems
      A booster dose—which is different from a third dose for immuno-compromised patients—is for healthy patients and is meant to enhance immunity and may protect against new variants of the virus. The Biden administration has announced that it intends to make booster doses available for people with healthy immune systems in September 2021, after they are authorized or approved by the FDA. This has not happened yet, but when it happens, Dr. Friedman would encourage his patients to get it.

      Dr. Friedman is expecting a booster shot against the Delta variant to be released in the fall of 2021 and would recommend that for his patients.
      Dr. Friedman wishes everyone to stay healthy.

      • Like 1
    5. Cushing disease is caused by tumour in the pituitary gland which leads to excessive secretion of a hormone called adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH), which in turn leads to increasing levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal glands and helps the body to deal with injury or infection.

      Increasing levels of cortisol increases the blood sugar and can even cause diabetes mellitus. However the disease is also caused due to excess production of hypothalamus corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) which stimulates the synthesis of cortisol by the adrenal glands. The condition is named after Harvey Cushing, the doctor who first identified the disease in 1912. Cushing disease results in Cushing syndrome.

      Cushing syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms developed due to prolonged exposure to cortisol. Signs and symptoms of Cushing syndrome includes hypertension, abdominal obesity, muscle weakness, headache, fragile skin, acne, thin arms and legs, red stretch marks on stomach, fluid retention or swelling, excess body and facial hair, weight gain, acne, buffalo hump, tiredness, fatigue, brittle bones, low back pain, moon shaped face etc. Symptoms vary from individual to individual depending upon the disease duration, age and gender of the patient.

      Get Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/14155

      Disease diagnosis is done by measuring levels of cortisol in patient’s urine, saliva or blood. For confirming the diagnosis, a blood test for ACTH is performed. The first-line treatment of the disease is through surgical resection of ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, however disease management is also done through medications, Cushing disease treatment market comprises of the drugs designed for lowering the level of cortisol in the body. Thus patients suffering from Cushing disease are prescribed medications such as ketoconazole, mitotane, aminoglutethimide metyrapone, mifepristone, etomidate and pasireotide.

      Cushing’s disease treatment market revenue is growing with a stable growth rate, this is attributed to increasing number of pipeline drugs. Also increasing interest of pharmaceutical companies to develop Cushing disease drugs is a major factor contributing to the revenue growth of Cushing disease treatment market over the forecast period.

      Current and emerging players’ focuses on physician education and awareness regarding availability of different drugs for curing Cushing disease, thus increasing the referral speeds, time to diagnosis and volume of diagnosed Cushing disease individuals.

      Growing healthcare expenditure and increasing awareness regarding Cushing syndrome aids in the revenue growth of Cushing’s disease treatment market. Increasing number of new product launches also drives the market for Cushing’s disease Treatment devices. However availability of alternative therapies for curing Cushing syndrome is expected to hamper the growth of the Cushing’s disease treatment market over the forecast period.

      For entire list of market players, request for Table of content here @ https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/toc/14155

      The Cushing’s disease Treatment market is segment based on the product type, technology type and end user

      Cushing’s disease Treatment market is segmented into following types:

      By Drug Type
      • Ketoconazole
      • Mitotane
      • Aminoglutethimide
      • Metyrapone
      • Mifepristone
      • Etomidate
      • Pasireotide
      By End User
      • Hospital Pharmacies
      • Retail Pharmacies
      • Drug Stores
      • Clinics
      • e-Commerce/Online Pharmacies

      Cushing’s disease treatment market revenue is expected to grow at a good growth rate, over the forecast period. The market is anticipated to perform well in the near future due to increasing awareness regarding the condition. Also the market is anticipated to grow with a fastest CAGR over the forecast period, attributed to increasing investment in R&D and increasing number of new product launches which is estimated to drive the revenue growth of Cushing’s disease treatment market over the forecast period.

      Depending on geographic region, the Cushing’s disease treatment market is segmented into five key regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Middle East & Africa (MEA).

      North America is occupying the largest regional market share in the global Cushing’s disease treatment market owing to the presence of more number of market players, high awareness levels regarding Cushing syndrome. Healthcare expenditure and relatively larger number of R&D exercises pertaining to drug manufacturing and marketing activities in the region. Also Europe is expected to perform well in the near future due to increasing prevalence of the condition in the region.

      Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR because of increase in the number of people showing the symptoms of Cushing syndrome, thus boosting the market growth of Cushing’s disease treatment market throughout the forecast period.

      Some players of Cushing’s disease Treatment market includes CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS, HRA Pharma, Strongbridge Biopharma plc, Novartis AG, etc. However there are numerous companies producing branded generics for Cushing disease. The companies in Cushing’s disease treatment market are increasingly engaged in strategic partnerships, collaborations and promotional activities to capture a greater pie of market share.

      The research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the market and contains thoughtful insights, facts, historical data, and statistically supported and industry-validated market data. It also contains projections using a suitable set of assumptions and methodologies. The research report provides analysis and information according to categories such as market segments, geographies, types, technology and applications.

      • Like 1
    6. rare-disease-1.png

      7625938c-256e-4600-a402-f79cdeffb482.png

      1) Visit RareVoiceAwards.org

      2) Review the 2021 RareVoice categories 

      3) Nominate an advocate who gave rare disease patients a voice on

      Capitol Hill and in state government in 2020 and 2021.

      4) Submit!

      The RareVoice Awards recipients are chosen by a committee from nominations received from the rare disease community. 

       

      58458699-5b27-4ebe-95c8-59c3fa049059.png

      Nominations close August 27th, 2021

      f44be179-31f0-427a-ae2c-62382e3272fc.png

      Federal Advocacy – Congressional Staff
      Honors congressional staffers who have worked to create and enact policies for the rare disease community

      Federal Advocacy – Patient/Organization
      Honors advocates or organizations that have worked to create and pass federal legislation

      State Advocacy – State Legislator
      Honors state legislators who have worked to create and enact policies for the rare disease community

      State Advocacy – Patient/Organization
      Honors advocates or organizations that have worked to create and pass state legislation

      Federal or State Advocacy by a Teenager
      Honors teen advocates that have advocated for state or federal legislation

      Diversity Empowerment - Patient/Organization
      Honors advocates or organizations that empowered diverse voices in advocacy

       Artist-to-Advocate
      Honors individuals who have utilized their artwork to advocate for federal or state legislation

      58458699-5b27-4ebe-95c8-59c3fa049059.png

      For information about sponsorship, please contact Elissa Taylor, etaylor@everylifefoundation.org

      bb630def-7240-457c-bd13-03df3f992d43.png
      64276c95-5f04-4e7d-94f7-6adee0bde99e.png

      EveryLife Foundation For Rare Diseases
      1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 500 | Washington, District of Columbia 20005
      202-697-7273 | info@everylifefoundation.org

      • Like 1
    7. SAN DIEGO, CA, USA I August 10, 2021 I Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRNX), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics for rare endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors, today announced positive preliminary findings from the single ascending dose (SAD) portion of a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study with CRN04894 demonstrating pharmacologic proof-of-concept for this first-in-class, investigational, oral, nonpeptide adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) antagonist that is being developed for the treatment of conditions of ACTH excess, including Cushing’s disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

      “ACTH is the central hormone of the endocrine stress response. Even though we’ve known about its clinical significance for more than 100 years, there has never been an ACTH antagonist available to intervene in diseases of excess stress hormones. This is an important milestone for the field of endocrinology and for our company,” said Scott Struthers, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Crinetics. “I am extremely proud of our team that conceived, discovered and developed CRN04894 this far. This is the second molecule to emerge from our in-house discovery efforts and demonstrate pharmacologic proof of concept. I am very excited to see what it can do in upcoming clinical studies.”

      The 39 healthy volunteers who enrolled in the SAD cohorts were administered oral doses of CRN04894 (10 mg to 80 mg, or placebo) two hours prior to a challenge with synthetic ACTH. Analyses of basal cortisol levels (before ACTH challenge) showed that CRN04894 produced a rapid and dose-dependent reduction of cortisol by 25-56%. After challenge with a supra-pathophysiologic dose of ACTH (250 mcg), CRN04894 suppressed cortisol (as measured by AUC) up to 41%. After challenge with a disease-relevant dose of ACTH (1 mcg), CRN04894 showed a clinically meaningful reduction in cortisol AUC of 48%. These reductions in cortisol suggest that CRN04894 is bound with high affinity to its target receptor on the adrenal gland and blocking the activity of ACTH. CRN04894 was well tolerated in the healthy volunteers who enrolled in these SAD cohorts and all adverse events were considered mild.

      “We are very encouraged by these single ascending dose data which clearly demonstrate proof of ACTH antagonism with CRN04894 exposure in healthy volunteers,” stated Alan Krasner, M.D., chief medical officer of Crinetics. “We look forward to completing this study and assessing results from the multiple ascending dose cohorts. As a clinical endocrinologist, I recognize the pioneering nature of this work and eagerly look forward to further understanding the potential of CRN04894 for the treatment of diseases of ACTH excess.”

      Data Review Conference Call
      Crinetics will hold a conference call and live audio webcast today, August 10, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the results of the CRN04894 SAD cohorts. To participate, please dial 800-772-3714 (domestic) or 212-271-4615 (international) and refer to conference ID 21996541. To access the webcast, please visit the Events page on the Crinetics website. The archived webcast will be available for 90 days.

      About the CRN04894-01 Phase 1 Study
      Crinetics is enrolling healthy volunteers in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1 study of CRN04894. Participants will be divided into multiple cohorts in the single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple ascending dose (MAD) phases of the study. In the SAD phase, safety and pharmacokinetics are assessed. In addition, pharmacodynamic responses are evaluated before and after challenges with injected synthetic ACTH to assess pharmacologic effects resulting from exposure to CRN04894. In the MAD phase, participants will be administered placebo or ascending doses of study drug daily for 10 days. Assessments of safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will also be performed after repeat dosing.

      About CRN04894
      Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is synthesized and secreted by the pituitary gland and binds to melanocortin type 2 receptor (MC2R), which is selectively expressed in the adrenal gland. This interaction of ACTH with MCR2 stimulates the adrenal production of cortisol, a stress hormone that is involved in the regulation of many systems. Cortisol is involved for example in the regulation of blood sugar levels, metabolism, inflammation, blood pressure, and memory formulation, and excess adrenal androgen production can result in hirsutism, menstrual dysfunction, infertility in men and women, acne, cardiometabolic comorbidities and insulin resistance. Diseases associated with excess of ACTH, therefore, can have significant impact on physical and mental health. Crinetics’ ACTH antagonist, CRN04894, has exhibited strong binding affinity for MC2R in preclinical models and demonstrated suppression of adrenally derived glucocorticoids and androgens that are under the control of ACTH, while maintaining mineralocorticoid production.

      About Cushing’s Disease and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
      Cushing’s disease is a rare disease with a prevalence of approximately 10,000 patients in the United States. It is more common in women, between 30 and 50 years of age. Cushing’s disease often takes many years to diagnose and may well be under-diagnosed in the general population as many of its symptoms such as lethargy, depression, obesity, hypertension, hirsutism, and menstrual irregularity can be incorrectly attributed to other more common disorders.

      Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) encompasses a set of disorders that are caused by genetic mutations that result in impaired cortisol synthesis with a prevalence of approximately 27,000 patients in the United States. This lack of cortisol leads to a loss of feedback mechanisms and results in persistently high levels of ACTH, which in turn causes overstimulation of the adrenal cortex. The resulting adrenal hyperplasia and over-secretion of other steroids (particularly androgens) and steroid precursors can lead to a variety of effects from improper gonadal development to life-threatening adrenal crisis.

      About Crinetics Pharmaceuticals
      Crinetics Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics for rare endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors. The company’s lead product candidate, paltusotine, is an investigational, oral, selective nonpeptide somatostatin receptor type 2 agonist for the treatment of acromegaly, an orphan disease affecting more than 26,000 people in the United States. A Phase 3 program to evaluate safety and efficacy of paltusotine for the treatment of acromegaly is underway. Crinetics also plans to advance paltusotine into a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of carcinoid syndrome associated with neuroendocrine tumors. The company is also developing CRN04777, an investigational, oral, nonpeptide somatostatin receptor type 5 (SST5) agonist for congenital hyperinsulinism, as well as CRN04894, an investigational, oral, nonpeptide ACTH antagonist for the treatment of Cushing’s disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and other diseases of excess ACTH. All of the company’s drug candidates are new chemical entities resulting from in-house drug discovery efforts and are wholly owned by the company.

      SOURCE: Crinetics Pharmaceuticals

      From https://pipelinereview.com/index.php/2021081178950/Small-Molecules/Crinetics-Pharmaceuticals-Oral-ACTH-Antagonist-CRN04894-Demonstrates-Pharmacologic-Proof-of-Concept-with-Dose-Dependent-Cortisol-Suppression-in-Single-Ascending-Dose-Port.html

      • Like 2
    8. An international panel reached consensus for pre- and postoperative endocrine testing to manage adults undergoing transsphenoidal surgery, including measurement of prolactin and insulin-like growth factor I levels for all pituitary tumors.

      In adults and children, transsphenoidal surgery represents the cornerstone of management for most large or functioning sellar lesions with the exception of prolactinomas, Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, an Endocrine Today Editorial Board Member, professor of medicine and neurological surgery and director of the Pituitary Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues wrote in Pituitary. Endocrine evaluation and management are an essential part of perioperative care; however, the details of endocrine assessment and care are not universally agreed on.

       

      “Perioperative management of patients undergoing pituitary surgery is fascinating, as it involves many specialties — endocrinology, neurosurgery and ENT — and patients also get discharged very quickly in some countries, such as the United States,” Fleseriu told Healio. “At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Physician Education Committee of the Pituitary Society, comprised of members from four continents, met to discuss a more streamlined process for workup before and after surgery for patients undergoing pituitary surgery. We have noticed big differences in management, but also some common themes, and decided to have a formal evaluation using a Delphi consensus and a much larger representation, with members from five continents.”

      Building consensus

      The task force behind the project, co-led by Nicholas A. Tritos, MD, DSc, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Pouneh K. Fazeli, MD, MPH, director of the neuroendocrinology unit and associate professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, created 35 questions and invited 55 pituitary endocrinologists to answer the questions in two Delphi rounds. Participants rated their extent of agreement with statements pertaining to perioperative endocrine evaluation and management, using a Likert-type scale.

      Strong consensus, defined as at least 80% of panelists rating their agreement as 6 to 7 on a scale from 1 to 7, was achieved for 24 of 35 items. Less strict agreement, defined as ratings of 5 to 7, was reached for 31 of 35 items.

      There were several significant findings, Fleseriu said.

      Despite uncertainty in previous guidelines, panelists reached consensus to measure serum IGF-I for all patients with pituitary tumors preoperatively to ensure proper diagnosis of growth hormone excess, Fleseriu said.

      “This is important because patients with GH-secreting adenomas do not always present with classic manifestations of acromegaly, require additional evaluation for comorbidities and postoperatively may benefit from further medical therapy or other adjuvant treatment,” Fleseriu said.

      Panelists also expressed agreement on preoperative administration of glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone replacement for patients with diagnosed deficiencies, as well as perioperative use of stress-dose glucocorticoid coverage for patients with known or suspected hypoadrenalism, but not for all patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery. Panelists also agreed on postoperative monitoring of serum sodium and cortisol and the use of desmopressin on-demand, required to control hypernatremia and/or polyuria, for patients with central diabetes insipidus.

      “Agreement was achieved on postoperative monitoring of endocrine function, including morning serum cortisol in patients with Cushing’s disease, as well as serum IGF-I in patients with acromegaly,” Fleseriu said.

      More research needed

      Panelists did not reach consensus for a minority of items, representing areas where further research is needed, including measuring serum prolactin in dilution for all patients with large macroadenomas, Fleseriu said.

      “Prolactin immunoassays can be susceptible to the ‘hook effect’ artifact, which may lead to substantial underreporting of prolactin values in sera containing very high prolactin concentrations, thus having important implications for patient management,” Fleseriu said. “Newer automated immunoassay platforms are likely to detect the hook effect; however, this may not be the case in older assays, which are still in use in many countries or laboratories. Therefore, especially when surgery is performed at an institution where automated assays are available to detect hook effect, yet patient workup has been carried out at an outside laboratory, additional lab workup might be needed. We envision this scenario can occur more often with the widespread use of telemedicine and endocrine testing being carried out at a distant laboratory.”

      Additionally, there was a lack of consensus regarding preoperative testing for hypercortisolism in all patients with an apparently nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma. “This might reflect concern about false-positive results of endocrine testing in some individuals,” Fleseriu said. “On the other hand, published data suggest that some patients with Cushing’s disease may lack typical symptoms and signs and can present with an incidentally found sellar mass.”

      Panelists did not reach consensus on items concerning preoperative medical therapy for patients with acromegaly or Cushing’s disease, potentially reflecting differences in practice among international centers, the clinical heterogeneity of patient populations, and ongoing uncertainties regarding the benefits of preoperative medical therapy.

      “Single-center clinical experience suggests that preoperative medical therapy may be helpful in patients with Cushing’s disease and severe acute psychiatric illness or sepsis,” Fleseriu said. “Studies on acromegaly have very discordant results.

      “With this study — the largest international Delphi consensus on perioperative management of patients undergoing pituitary surgery — we identified key steps in protocols which are ready to be implemented in most centers, especially for preoperative evaluation, sodium abnormalities and glucocorticoids administration postop,” Fleseriu said. “We have also highlighted several areas where need for more research is needed to optimize patients’ outcomes.”

      For more information:

      Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, can be reached at fleseriu@ohsu.edu; Twitter: @MariaFleseriu.

      From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20210810/experts-offer-recommendations-for-management-of-pituitary-tumors

       

      • Like 1
      1. Ahmed Saeed Mubarak Mohamed1, 
      2. Ahmed Iqbal2, 
      3. Suveera Prasad3, 
      4. Nigel Hoggard4, 
      5. Daniel Blackburn1
      1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Blackburn, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Department of Clinical Neurology, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK; d.blackburn@sheffield.ac.uk
       

      Abstract

      Cushing’s disease is a rare endocrine condition in which a pituitary corticotroph adenoma drives excess adrenal cortisol production, and is one cause of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. We present a young woman with 3 weeks of headaches and cognitive disturbance who subsequently developed florid psychosis requiring multiple admissions under neurology and psychiatry. Her clinical stigmata of hypercortisolism and biochemical abnormalities prompted an MR scan of the pituitary, which confirmed a pituitary microadenoma. Treatment with metyrapone and subsequent surgery led to complete recovery within 2 months. Cushing’s disease commonly causes neuropsychiatric symptoms and can present with psychosis. Diagnosing Cushing’s disease can be challenging, but with early diagnosis and treatment it has an excellent prognosis.

       
      • Like 1
    9.  

      image.png

       

      All of our country is very encouraged by the declining rates in both COVID-19 infections and death, due mostly to President Trump’s vaccine production and trial effort called Operation Warp Speed and President Biden’s vaccine distribution efforts. As of July 2021, The United States has administered 334,600,770 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 184,132,768 people had received at least one dose while 159,266,536 people are fully vaccinated. The pandemic is by no means over, as people are still getting infected with COVID-19 with the emergence of the Delta Variant. In fact, recently cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have gone up. In Los Angeles, the increased infection rate has led to indoor mask requirements.  The main reason that COVID-19 has not been eliminated is because of vaccine hesitancy, which is often due to misinformation propagated on websites and social media.  One of Dr. Friedman's patients gave him a link of an alternative doctor who gave multiple episodes of misinformation subtitled “Evidence suggests people who have received the COVID “vaccine” may have a reduced lifespan” about the COVID-19 vaccine that Dr. Friedman wants to address. Almost 30% of American say they will not get the vaccine, up from 20% a few months ago. 
       
      Statistics are that people who are vaccinated have a 1:1,000,000 chance of dying from COVID, while people who are unvaccinated have a 1:500 chance of dying from COVID.  I think most people would take the 1:1,000,000 risk.  Dr. Friedman has always been a proponent of the COVID-19 vaccine because he is a scientist and bases his decisions on peer-reviewed literature and not social media posts. As we are getting to the stage where the COVID-19 pandemic could end if vaccination rates increase, he feels that it is even more important for people to get correct information about the COVID-19 vaccine. 
       
      MYTH:  People are dying at high rates from the COVID-19 vaccine and the rates of complications and deaths are underreported.
      FACT:  The rates of complications and deaths from the vaccine are overreported.  It is a fact that when 200 million people get a vaccine, some of them will get blood clots, some of them will have a heart attack, some of them will have strokes, some of them will have optic neuritis and some will have Guillain-Barré syndrome.  These complications may not be due to the vaccine, but people remember that they got the vaccine recently.  Anti-vaccine websites seem to play up on this and give false information that COVID-19 complications are underreported and fail to note that there is no control group, so we do not know how many people would have gotten blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks if they did not get the vaccine.  For example, one anti-vaccine website highlighted a Tamil (Indian) actor Vivek, who died of a massive heart attack 5 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine and tried to make a case that the vaccine caused that.  Of course, the massive heart attack was due to years of buildup of cholesterol in his coronary arteries and had nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine.  In fact, the complications attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine occur less frequently in those vaccinated than unvaccinated. The only complication that seems to possibly be more common in people who get vaccinated is blood clots, and the rate of that is still quite low.  Overwhelmingly, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and safe.
       
      MYTH:  I had COVID-19 before.  I don't need a vaccine.  Natural immunity is better than a vaccine immunity.
      FACT:  Most studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are more effective, with longer-lasting immunity, than only having the COVID-19 infection.  The immunity after natural infection varies and may be quite minimal in patients who had mild COVID-19 and likely declines within a couple of months of infection.  In contrast, those who got the vaccine seem to have high levels of immunity even months after getting the vaccine.  The vaccine also protects against the COVID-19 variants.  If someone had one variant, it is unlikely that their natural immunity would protect them against other variants.
       
      MYTH:  The COVID-19 vaccine leads to spike proteins circulating in your body for months after the vaccine.
      FACT:  The mRNA from the vaccine, the spike protein that it generates, and all of the products of the COVID-19 vaccine are gone within hours, if not days, and do not hang around the body.
       
      MYTH:  There is likely to be long-term effects, including infertility effects, of the COVID-19 vaccine.
      FACT:  As the viral particles and proteins are gone within a couple hours to days and the vaccine only enters the cytoplasm and does not enter the DNA, it is very unlikely that there will be long-term effects.  So far, the clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine have not resulted in any detrimental effects, and it has been a year since the trials started.  Other vaccines have been used safely and do not give long-term side effects.  There is no reason to think that this vaccine would give long-term side effects, and we have not seen any evidence of long-term side effects currently. Pregnant women who received COVID-19 vaccines have similar rates adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes (e.g., fetal loss, preterm birth, small size for gestational age, congenital anomalies, and neonatal death) as with pregnant women who did not receive vaccines.
       
      MYTH:  People with autoimmune disease should not get the vaccine.
      FACT:  Persons with autoimmune disease are likely more susceptible to COVID-19, and they should especially get the vaccine.  People with preexisting conditions, including autoimmune diseases, have been shown to be give generally excellent immune responses to the vaccine, and it should especially be given to patients with Addison’s disease or Cushing's disease who may have higher rates of getting more severe COVID-19. In fact, the CDC as well Dr. Friedman recommends EVERYONE getting the vaccine, except 1) those under 12, 2) those who had an anaphylactic reaction to their first COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with AIDS, and those on immunosuppressive therapy for cancers, organ transplants and rheumatological conditions, may not be fully protected from vaccines and should be cautious (including wearing masks and social distancing), but still should get vaccinated.
       
      MYTH:  Patients with autoimmune diseases, and other conditions do not mount an adequate immune response to the vaccine and may even should get a booster shot.
      FACT:  The only patients that have been found not to have a good immune response to the vaccine is those with AIDS or on immunosuppressive drugs that are used in people with rheumatological diseases or transplants.  With these exception, patients appear to mount a good immune response to the vaccine regardless of their preexisting condition and do not need a booster shot.
       
      MYTH:  Why should I bother with the vaccine if it is going to require a booster shot?
      FACT:  It is unclear whether booster shots will be required or not.  Currently, the CDC and FDA do not recommend a booster shot, but Pfizer has petitioned the FDA to consider it and is starting more studies on whether a booster shot is effective.  It is currently believed that the vaccine retains effectiveness for months to years after it is given.
       
      MYTH:  We are almost at herd immunity now.  Why bother getting a vaccine?
      FACT:  We are not at herd immunity as people are still getting sick and dying from COVID-19.  Dr. Friedman recently lost to COVID-19 his 43-year old patient with obesity and diabetes at MLK Outpatient Center. There are pockets in the United States with low vaccine rates, especially in the South.  The vaccine is spreading among unvaccinated people, while the rate of spread among vaccinated people is quite low.  Approximately 98% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is important from a public health viewpoint for all Americans to get vaccinated. 
       
      MYTH:  There is nothing to be concerned with about the variants.
      FACT:  Especially the delta variant appears to be more contagious and aggressive than the other variants currently.  The vaccines do appear to be effective against the delta variant but possibly a little less so.  Variants multiply and can generate new variants only if they are infected into patients who are unvaccinated.  To end the emergence of new variants, it is important for all Americans to get vaccinated.
       
      MYTH:  I could just be careful, and I will not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
      FACT:  Thousands of people who were careful and got COVID-19 and either died from it or became extremely sick.  The best prevention against getting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
       
      MYTH:  I am young.  I do not have to worry about getting COVID.
      FACT:  Many young people have gotten sick and died of COVID-19 and also, they are contagious and can spread COVID-19 if they are not vaccinated.  Everyone, regardless of their age, as long as they are over 12, should get vaccinated. 
       
      MYTH:  If children under 12 are not vaccinated, the virus will still spread.
      FACT:  The FDA and CDC do not recommend the vaccine for those under 12.  They are very unlikely to get COVID-19 and are very unlikely to transmit it to others.  They are the one group that does not need to get vaccinated.
       
      MYTH:  COVID-19 vaccines are an experimental vaccine.
      FACT:  While it is true that the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines were granted emergency use authorization in December 2020 (Pfizer and Moderna) and Johnson and Johnson in February 2021. Both Pfizer and Moderna have petitioned the FDA for full approval, but by no means are these vaccines experimental. As mentioned, over 180 million Americans and many more worldwide have received the vaccine. This is more than any other FDA approved medication. Clinical trials are still ongoing and have enrolled thousands of people and Israel has monitored the effect of COVID-19 vaccines in 7 million Israelis. 
       
      MYTH:  The COVID-19 vaccine is a government plot to kill or injure people or a war against G-d.
      FACT:  Yeah right
       
      If you want the pandemic to end, please get vaccinated and encourage your friends and colleagues to get vaccinated. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, go to goodhormonehealth.com

      • Like 2
    10. Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2021, bvab109, https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab109
       

      Abstract

      Context

      Cushing syndrome (CS) is associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) even after surgical cure.

      Objective

      To characterize patient and provider perspectives on recovery from CS, drivers of decreased HRQOL during recovery, and ways to improve HRQOL.

      Design

      Cross-sectional observational survey.

      Participants

      Patients (n = 341) had undergone surgery for CS and were members of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation. Physicians (n = 54) were Pituitary Society physician members and academicians who treated patients with CS.

      Results

      Compared with patients, physicians underestimated the time to complete recovery after surgery (12 months vs 18 months, P = 0.0104). Time to recovery did not differ by CS etiology, but patients with adrenal etiologies of CS reported a longer duration of cortisol replacement medication compared with patients with Cushing disease (12 months vs 6 months, P = 0.0025). Physicians overestimated the benefits of work (26.9% vs 65.3%, P < 0.0001), exercise (40.9% vs 77.6%, P = 0.0001), and activities (44.8% vs 75.5%, P = 0.0016) as useful coping mechanisms in the postsurgical period. Most patients considered family/friends (83.4%) and rest (74.7%) to be helpful. All physicians endorsed educating patients on recovery, but 32.4% (95% CI, 27.3-38.0) of patients denied receiving sufficient information. Some patients did not feel prepared for the postsurgical experience (32.9%; 95% CI, 27.6-38.6) and considered physicians not familiar enough with CS (16.1%; 95% CI, 12.2-20.8).

      Conclusion

      Poor communication between physicians and CS patients may contribute to dissatisfaction with the postsurgical experience. Increased information on recovery, including helpful coping mechanisms, and improved provider-physician communication may improve HRQOL during recovery.

      Read the entire article in the enclosed PDF.

       

      bvab109.pdf

      • Like 2
    11. With the goal of reducing false positives for adrenal insufficiency (AI), scientists are recommending a new, more precise diagnostic cutoff of 14-15 μg/dL of serum cortisol, rather than the current 18 μg/dL.

      The new data were published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

      Among the 110 patients evaluated in the retrospective analysis, new cortisol cutoffs after adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation were identified when using several of the newer, more widely used diagnostic assays currently available, including Elecsys II (14.6 μg/dL), Access (14.8 μg/dL), and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (14.5 μg/dL).

      Bradley Javorsky, MD, an endocrinologist and researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, served as the study's first author. He recently discussed the findings with MedPage Today. The exchange has been edited for length and clarity.

      What was the key knowledge gap your study was designed to address?

      Javorsky: It is safe to say that most clinicians, including many endocrinologists -- not to mention practice guidelines and clinical information resources -- still regard 18 μg/dL as the cutoff for making the biochemical diagnosis of AI after ACTH stimulation testing. However, this cutoff was derived from older polyclonal immunoassays that are no longer being used in many institutions.

      Newer, more specific monoclonal immunoassays and LC-MS/MS are being used instead. With these more specific assays, one might expect the cutoffs to be lower.

      What was your finding?

      Javorsky: After ACTH stimulation, the cutoff values for the newer, more specific cortisol assays were indeed lower at 14-15 μg/dL.

      Although there was excellent correlation between the new and older assays, the results from the new assays were 22-39% lower than those found by the older and less-specific Elecsys I assay, hence the lowered threshold.

      Did anything surprise you about the study results?

      Javorsky: Baseline cortisol had to be very low (approximately <2 μg/dL) in order to be predictive of subnormal cortisol values. This underscores the observation that ACTH stimulation testing is not perfectly sensitive.

      What are the clinical takeaways from these results?

      Javorsky: To avoid false-positive ACTH stimulation testing results -- and by extension avoid over-treating patients with glucocorticoids -- clinicians should be aware of the cortisol assay used in their institution and the new cortisol cutoff when evaluating patients for adrenal insufficiency.

      It should also be reinforced that careful interpretation in the context of clinical history is still essential to making the correct diagnosis. Discordant results among different assays underscore the importance of clinical judgment from an experienced physician when diagnosing AI.

      What are the takeaways?

      Javorsky: I think it is important that laboratories make the type of cortisol assay used in their institution easily accessible to clinicians and strongly consider posting the new cortisol cutoff after ACTH stimulation testing when reporting results.

      Read the study here and expert commentary on the clinical implications here.

       

      Disclosures

      Javorsky reported being a consultant for Clarus Therapeutics and a research investigator for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

      • Like 1
    12. DEER PARK, Ill., June 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eton Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Nasdaq: ETON), the U.S. marketer of ALKINDI SPRINKLE®, a treatment for adrenocortical insufficiency in pediatric patients, today announced that it has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Crossject’s ZENEO® hydrocortisone needleless autoinjector, which is under development as a rescue treatment for adrenal crisis.

      “The ZENEO autoinjector is a revolutionary delivery system, and this product is a terrific strategic fit with our current adrenal insufficiency business. Patients, advocacy groups, and physicians in the adrenal insufficiency community have repeatedly expressed to us the need for a hydrocortisone autoinjector, so we are excited to be partnering with Crossject to bring this product to patients in need,” said Sean Brynjelsen, CEO of Eton Pharmaceuticals.

      Patrick Alexandre, CEO of Crossject, added: ‘‘We are proud to announce a sound commercial agreement for ZENEO® Hydrocortisone in the US and Canada with an American leader in adrenal insufficiency. ETON has successfully established strong relations with the patient communities and medical specialists that are its core focus. ZENEO® Hydrocortisone answers a medical need. This strong partnership will contribute to saving lives by bringing to patients and their families a modern autoinjection possibility.’’

      “We are delighted about Eton Pharmaceuticals' plans to partner with Crossject to bring this incredibly needed product to patients in the U.S.”, said Dina Matos, Executive Director of CARES Foundation, a leading North American advocacy foundation for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, the most common presentation of adrenal insufficiencies in children. “The challenge for patients and caregivers facing an adrenal crisis is serious; an easy-to-use needleless autoinjector of hydrocortisone will be a game changer for our patients. We welcome this advancement.”

      ZENEO® is a proprietary needleless device developed and manufactured by Crossject. The pre-filled, single-use device propels medication through the skin in less than a tenth of a second. The device’s compact form factor, simple two-step administration, and needle-free technology make it an ideal delivery system for emergency medications that need to be administered in stressful situations by non-healthcare professionals. Crossject holds more than 400 global patents on the device, including 24 issued in the United States that extend as far as 2037, and has successfully completed bioequivalence and human factor studies with the ZENEO device using various medications.

      Crossject has developed a proprietary, room-temperature stable liquid formulation of hydrocortisone to be delivered via the ZENEO device. ZENEO hydrocortisone is expected to be the first and only hydrocortisone autoinjector available for patients that require a rescue dose of hydrocortisone. Currently, injectable hydrocortisone is only available in the United States in a lyophilized powder formulation that must be reconstituted and manually delivered via a traditional syringe.

      Eton expects to submit a New Drug Application for the product to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2023 and plans to request Orphan Drug Designation. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 patients currently suffer from adrenocortical insufficiency and are at risk for adrenal crisis.

      Under the terms of the agreement, Crossject will receive development and regulatory milestone payments from Eton of up to $5.0 million, commercial milestones of up to $6.0 million, and a 10% royalty on net sales of the product. Crossject will be responsible for the management and expense of development, clinical, and manufacturing activities. Eton will be responsible for all regulatory and commercial activities.

      About Adrenal Crisis
      Patients with adrenal insufficiency can go into adrenal crisis if their cortisol levels are too low. Adrenal crisis is typically caused by missed doses of maintenance hydrocortisone, trauma, surgery, illness, fever, or major psychological distress. Signs of adrenal crisis include hyperpigmentation, severe weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, and confusion. It is estimated that approximately 8% of adrenal insufficiency patients will report an adrenal crisis in any given year and more than 6% of cases result in death.

      About Crossject
      Crossject (ISIN: FR0011716265; Ticker: ALCJ; LEI: 969500W1VTFNL2D85A65) is developing and is soon to market a portfolio of drugs dedicated to emergency situations: epilepsy, overdose, allergic shock, severe migraine and asthma attack. The company’s portfolio currently contains eight products in advanced stages of development, including 7 emergency treatments, 5 of which are intended for life-threatening situations. Thanks to its patented needle-free self-injection system, Crossject aims to become the world leader in self-administered emergency drugs. The company has been listed on the Euronext Growth market in Paris since 2014, and benefits from Bpifrance funding.

      About Eton Pharmaceuticals
      Eton Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an innovative pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing treatments for rare diseases. The company currently owns or receives royalties from three FDA-approved products, including ALKINDI® SPRINKLE, Biorphen®, and Alaway Preservative Free®, and has six additional products that have been submitted to the FDA.

      Company Contact:
      David Krempa
      dkrempa@etonpharma.com
      612-387-3740

      From https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/06/15/2247745/0/en/Eton-Pharmaceuticals-Acquires-U-S-and-Canadian-Rights-to-ZENEO-Hydrocortisone-Autoinjector.html

      • Like 1
    13. image.png

       

      Those who wish to gain practical tools for living optimally with rare diseases are encouraged to attend the annual Living Rare Living Stronger Patient and Family Forum, hosted by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and set this year for June 26-27.

      The conference brings together patients, families, healthcare professionals, and other supporters for learning, sharing, and connecting.

      Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the general sessions, breakout workshops, and networking will again be virtual. The sessions, which will offer perspectives from patients, caregivers, and the medical community, will air live and be recorded for later viewing. Throughout the forum, participants will be able to visit the exhibit hall and have peer meetings with other attendees.

      Also this year, the Rare Impact Awards will return as part of the program. That presentation, on June 28, honors individuals, organizations, and industry innovators for exceptional work benefitting the rare disease community.

      “The health and well-being of people living with rare diseases, their loved ones and those working to improve their lives continues to remain a top priority for all of us here at NORD,” the organization stated in its forum announcement.

      “The COVID-19 pandemic brought us new ways to engage with our community and our 2020 virtual program was the most successful forum to date! In 2021 we will continue to work hard to keep our community healthy and safe while engaging in this impactful program,” NORD said.

      Registration for the “patient-centric” event is $39 for patients, caregivers, students, and NORD patient organization representatives. The cost is $75 for professional advocates, people from academia, physicians, and government representatives, and $500 for NORD corporate council members. For pharmaceutical, insurance, or other representatives, registration is $650.

      As for the agenda, the opening discussion will be on “The Patient-Professional Partnership” and will include three stories on the close bond between patients and their care professionals.

      Breakout sessions for Saturday, June 26 will include “Coping with Grief and Anticipatory Grief,” “Shared Decision-Making with Your Care Team,” and “Working While Rare” as first offerings, followed by “Getting Involved in Clinical Research: Finding and Preparing for Clinical Trials,” “Navigating Insurance, Social Security Disability and Patient Assistance Programs,” and “The ABCs of Advocating for Your Child’s Education” in the second group of workshops.

      Those will be followed by a plenary discussion on the topic “Building Resilience in a Time of Unknowns.” The speakers will explore how patients coped while waiting for a diagnosis, how they are faring while waiting for new treatments, and how they have kept it together during the pandemic.

      June 27 will start with an opening plenary discussion titled “The Rare Sibling Experience.” Here, three siblings of rare disease patients will share their experiences, including how they became advocates.

      Breakout sessions on this day will include “Fighting Back and Fighting Forward Through Advocacy,” “Palliative Care: Debunking the Myths,” “Rare in the Family: Navigating the Roles of Patient, Parent, and Caregiver” in the first set of discussion groups. Later offerings that Sunday will include “Aging with a Rare Condition,” “Finding Your Community and Building Your Support Network,” and “The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity with Diagnosis and Treatment Access.”

      The closing plenary discussion, titled “Rare Breakthroughs Now and on the Horizon,” will cover the latest advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of rare diseases.

      Early this year, NORD put out a call out for individuals who were willing to share their real-life experiences with rare diseases at the conference. In all, including physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, the conference will feature some 55 speakers. Access to the virtual program will be provided via email the week of the event.

      • Like 1
    14. Wow, that's tough but thank you for being a concerned mom. 

      Does she know your family history?  Maybe talking about that would be a way in to discus symptoms and so on.

      Is she aware/concerned about any of the symptoms she's dealing with?

      If she doesn't live at home, perhaps she's already seeking medical attention but hasn't shared that with you to keep you from worrying.

      Please keep us posted on how this goes.

      Best of luck!

      • Like 1
    15. Abstract

      Purpose

      Bilateral adrenalectomy (BA) still plays an important role in the management of Cushing's disease (CD). Nelson’s syndrome (NS) is a severe complication of BA, but conflicting data on its prevalence and predicting factors have been reported. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of NS, and identify factors associated with its development.

      Data sources

      Systematic literature search in four databases.

      Study Selection

      Observational studies reporting the prevalence of NS after BA in adult patients with CD.

      Data extraction

      Data extraction and risk of bias assessment were performed by three independent investigators.

      Data synthesis

      Thirty-six studies, with a total of 1316 CD patients treated with BA, were included for the primary outcome. Pooled prevalence of NS was 26% (95% CI 22–31%), with moderate to high heterogeneity (I2 67%, P < 0.01). The time from BA to NS varied from 2 months to 39 years. The prevalence of NS in the most recently published studies, where magnet resonance imaging was used, was 38% (95% CI 27–50%). The prevalence of treatment for NS was 21% (95% CI 18–26%). Relative risk for NS was not significantly affected by prior pituitary radiotherapy [0.9 (95% CI 0.5–1.6)] or pituitary surgery [0.6 (95% CI 0.4–1.0)].

      Conclusions

      Every fourth patient with CD treated with BA develops NS, and every fifth patient requires pituitary-specific treatment. The risk of NS may persist for up to four decades after BA. Life-long follow-up is essential for early detection and adequate treatment of NS.

      Introduction

      Cushing´s disease (CD) is a rare disorder associated with excess morbidity and increased mortality [1, 2]. Previously, bilateral adrenalectomy (BA) was the mainstay treatment for CD. During the last decades, however, other treatment modalities have emerged, including pituitary surgery, radiotherapy and medical treatments. Despite this, BA is still considered when other treatment options have failed to achieve remission, or when a rapid relief of hypercortisolism is necessary [3].

      BA is considered to be a safe and effective treatment for CD [4], especially after the laparoscopic approach was introduced during the 1990s [5]. There are, however, significant drawbacks with BA, mainly the unavoidable chronic adrenal insufficiency, as well as the risk for Nelson’s syndrome (NS), i.e., growth of the remaining pituitary tumor and excessive production of ACTH, that may cause optic nerve or chiasmal compression and mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation [6].

      The prevalence of NS varies between studies, mainly due to a lack of consensus on the definition and diagnostic criteria for the syndrome [7, 8]. Previously published studies are also inconsistent as to whether factors such as previous radiotherapy, age at BA, gender and duration of CD, may affect the risk of developing NS. Furthermore, high ACTH concentrations after BA have been suggested as a risk factor for developing NS [9,10,11,12].

      Thus, the primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the prevalence of NS after BA for CD, both the total prevalence of NS as well the prevalence of NS requiring treatment with pituitary surgery and/or radiotherapy. The secondary aim was to investigate risk factors associated with development of NS.

      Methods

      A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) [13]. The PICO process was applied for the definition of the research question and eligibility criteria for the literature search. The protocol of this review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42020163918).

      Search strategy

      We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science on February 25th 2020, with no start date restriction, for relevant articles by using the following terms: “Cushing´s syndrome” or “Cushing´s disease” or “Hypercortisolism” or “Pituitary ACTH hypersecretion” or “corticotroph tumor” or “corticotroph tumors” or “corticotroph adenoma” or “corticotroph adenomas” or “corticotropinoma” or “corticotropinomas” or “corticotrophinoma” or “corticotrophinomas” or “ACTH pituitary adenoma” or “ACTH pituitary adenomas” or “adrenocorticotropin pituitary adenoma” or “adrenocorticotropin pituitary adenomas” AND “bilateral adrenalectomy” or “bilateral adrenalectomies” or “total adrenalectomy” or “total adrenalectomies”. A detailed description of the search strategy is given in the Supplementary. Also, references of the included studies and relevant review articles were checked manually for additional articles. A new search was performed on January 12th 2021, prior submission, to identify any new publications.

      Study selection and eligibility criteria

      Eligible studies were observational studies (cohort or cross-sectional studies) reporting the prevalence of NS in adult patients with CD treated with BA. Studies including only children (age < 18 years), review articles, letters, commentaries and meeting abstracts were excluded. Moreover, case reports, case-series and studies with a population of fewer than 10 cases were excluded. Also, studies written in languages other than English were not considered for inclusion.

      Data collection process and data extraction

      Titles and abstracts from all identified articles were screened for eligibility and further full-text assessment by three independent investigators (EP, MP, OR). Discrepancies were resolved through discussion and consensus. Duplicate articles and studies with overlapping populations were excluded. In the latter case, the publication with the largest population, more comprehensive information on relevant clinical variables and/or lowest risk of bias was included.

      Full-text assessment and data extraction were conducted independently by the same investigators as above. Data on the following predefined variables were extracted: first author, year of publication, region/hospital, study period, characteristics of the study population (number of patients, gender, follow-up, age at CD, age at BA, previous treatment with radiotherapy and/or pituitary surgery, ACTH concentrations at BA, MRI findings at CD and at BA), intervention (BA as primary or secondary treatment, remission status) and outcome (criteria for NS, number of patients with NS, age at NS, time from BA to NS, ACTH concentrations one year after BA, number of patients treated for NS, type of treatment; pituitary radiotherapy and/or pituitary surgery).

      One of the studies included in the meta-analysis is our nationwide Swedish study on CD [2]. Additional clinical data, not provided in the original publication, was retrieved and used in the current analysis (Table 1).

      Table 1 Characteristics of the included studies

      Risk of bias assessment

      The Newcastle–Ottawa Scale [14], modified to suit the current study, was used for assessment of risk of bias of all included studies. Three investigators (EP, MP, OR) assessed the studies independently, and any disagreements were resolved by discussion. Selection, comparability and outcome were assessed through predefined criteria. All studies that provided information on NS as outcome, and/or corticotroph tumor progression, were included, and the definition as well as the treatment of NS were recorded (Table 1 and Table S1). A clear definition of NS and information on treatment were considered to be two of the most important components of the quality assessment. We considered the definition of NS to be clear when it included either a new visible pituitary tumor or progression of a pituitary tumor remnant following BA, alone, or in combination with high ACTH concentrations and/or hyperpigmentation. Detailed description of the criteria for the risk of bias assessment is provided in the Supplementary file. Studies with an overall score ≥ 5 (max overall grade 😎 and a clear definition of NS, were considered to have a low risk of bias.

      Data synthesis and statistical analysis

      Primary endpoints were the prevalence of NS, as well as the prevalence of pituitary-specific treatment for NS. Descriptive data are presented as median (range or interquartile range; IQR). Meta-analysis was performed by using the meta package in R (version 4.0.3) [15]. Statistical pooling was performed according to random-effects model due to the clinical heterogeneity among the included studies [16]. For all analyses, indices of heterogeneity, I2 statistics and Cochrane’s Q test, are reported. For the primary outcomes we estimated pooled prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Statistical significance was defined as P < 0.05. The possibility of publication bias was assessed by visual inspection of funnel plots as well as with the Egger’s test [17].

      Sensitivity analyses were performed by excluding studies with an overall risk of bias < 5, and studies where information on diagnostic criteria for NS was lacking. By choosing the overall risk of bias < 5, all studies without adequate follow-up were also excluded (Table S2). Also, another sensitivity analysis was performed by including all studies reporting the number of patients with NS who received treatment for NS (Table 1).

      Subgroup analyses were performed to investigate factors that may affect the prevalence of NS, namely pituitary radiotherapy prior to BA, prophylactic pituitary radiotherapy, overall radiotherapy (prior to BA or prophylactic), pituitary surgery (transcranial or transsphenoidal surgery) prior to BA, and BA as primary or secondary treatment. For these outcomes, we estimated relative risks (RRs), or pooled prevalence, with 95% CIs. Also, in a subgroup analysis, the prevalence (with 95% CI) of NS and treatment for NS were estimated in studies where MRI was used at diagnosis and during follow-up.

      Uni- and bivariate meta-regression was used to investigate whether the prevalence of NS was influenced by median follow-up time or age at BA. The meta-analysis was performed by using the Metareg command in R. The estimated association is reported as β coefficient.

      Role of funding source

      The funding source had no role in the design and conduction of the study; i.e., collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

      Results

      Identification and description of included studies

      After removal of duplicates, 1702 articles were identified (Fig. 1). Three additional articles were found after checking the reference lists of identified articles and review papers. After reviewing titles, abstracts and full-text articles, 48 articles were considered eligible for further analysis. Of these, however, 11 articles were excluded due to overlapping or identical patient cohorts. Thus, 37 studies published between 1976 and 2020, were included in the current meta-analysis (Fig. 1). All studies had a retrospective observational design. Characteristics of the included studies are presented in Table 1. Two of the included studies had an overlapping cohort where one was used for the main outcome [18] and one [19] for the subgroup analyses on the influence of radiotherapy on the development of NS. An overview of risk of bias assessment of the eligible studies is provided in Table S2.

      Fig. 1
       

      figure1

      Flowchart of study selection

      In total, 1316 patients with CD treated with BA were included. The median follow-up after BA was 7 years (23 studies, range 3.3–22). Median age at BA in patients with NS was 31 years (13 studies, IQR 26–34). Median time from BA to the diagnosis of NS was 4 years (19 studies) with the shortest reported time being 2 months [20] and the longest 39 years [2]. At diagnosis of NS, hyperpigmentation was reported in 155 of 188 (82%) patients (19 studies) and chiasmal compression in 24 of 129 (19%) patients [11 studies].

      Prevalence of NS

      Thirty-six of 37 studies, with total 1316 patients with CD treated with BA, were included [2, 18, 20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53]. Reported prevalence of NS ranged from 4 to 60%. The mean pooled prevalence was 26% (95% CI 22–31%) with a moderate to high heterogeneity (I2 67%, P < 0.01) (Fig. 2). The Egger’s test was statistically significant (P = 0.01), but visual inspection showed no obvious asymmetry. The significant Egger’s test indicates publication bias, probably explained by the fact that case reports and cohorts with fewer than 10 participants were excluded (Fig. S1).

      Fig. 2
       

      figure2

      Forest plot showing individual studies and pooled prevalence of Nelson’s syndrome after bilateral adrenalectomy in patients with Cushing’s disease. *Additional data

      In a sensitivity analysis, excluding all studies with high risk of bias (overall score < 5) and no clear definition of NS, the pooled prevalence was 31% (95% CI 24–38%; I2 76%, 17 studies, 822 patients; P < 0.01) (Fig. S2). In a subgroup analysis, the prevalence of NS in studies where MRI was used at diagnosis and during follow-up was 38% (Fig. 3; 95% CI 27–50%; I2 71%, 7 studies, 280 patients; P < 0.01).

      Fig. 3
       

      figure3

      Forest plot showing individual studies using magnetic resonance imaging and pooled prevalence of Nelson’s syndrome after bilateral adrenalectomy in patients with Cushing’s disease

      Prevalence of treated NS

      The pooled prevalence of treatment for NS was 21% (95% CI 18–26%; I2 52%, P < 0.01) (Table 1; 29 studies with 1074 patients). Thus, the pooled prevalence was slightly lower, compared to the pooled prevalence of NS in total, as well as the heterogeneity (Fig. S3). The funnel plot showed no asymmetry and Egger’s test was not statistically significant, indicating low possibility of publication bias (Fig. S4). In a subgroup analysis, the prevalence of treated NS in studies where MRI was used at diagnosis and during follow-up was 25% (95% CI 17–35%; I2 61%, 7 studies; P = 0.02).

      The indication for treatment was progression of the pituitary tumor in 23 out of 28 patients (82%, five studies), optic chiasmal compression in 11 out of 91 patients (12%, 11 studies), while four patients out of 14 (one study) had both these indications for treatment. Twenty-six studies provided information on treatment modalities (pituitary surgery and/or radiotherapy). Seventy-three out of 201 patients with NS (36%) were treated with pituitary surgery, 86 (43%) with radiotherapy and 41 (20%) received both treatments.

      Radiotherapy

      Nineteen studies provided information on radiotherapy prior to BA. However, nine studies had no events and no patients in one of the arms (radiotherapy or no radiotherapy) (Table S3). Thus, ten studies were eligible for further estimation, showing that the risk for NS in patients treated with radiotherapy prior to BA was comparable to the risk in patients not treated with radiotherapy (RR 0.9, 95% CI 0.5–1.6; 10 studies with 564 patients) (Fig. 4).

      Fig. 4
       

      figure4

      Forest plot showing the RR (relative risk) and 95% CI for Nelson’s syndrome in patients treated with radiotherapy prior to bilateral adrenalectomy versus no radiotherapy. RR could not be calculated when there were no cases in the RTX or no RTX arms, and when no events in either arm. *Additional data. RTX, radiotherapy prior to bilateral adrenalectomy or prophylactic radiotherapy

      Thirteen studies provided information on prophylactic radiotherapy. However, only one study provided applicable data for calculating RR, thus subgroup analysis was not performed (Table S4). In that study [20], none of the seventeen patients who received prophylactic radiotherapy developed NS, while 11 of 22 patients without radiotherapy developed NS after a mean follow-up of 4.4 years (range 10–16 years).

      By using studies with information on either previous or prophylactic radiotherapy (11 studies with 603 patients; Table S5), the pooled RR was 0.8 (95% CI 0.5–1.5).

      Pituitary surgery prior to BA

      Of 21 studies with information on pituitary surgery prior to BA (Table S6), only ten provided information for estimation of RR. A pooled RR of 0.6 (10 studies with 430 patients; 95% CI 0.4–1.0) was found (Fig. 5), indicating that the risk for developing NS was not influenced by previous pituitary surgery.

      Fig. 5
       

      figure5

      Forest plot showing the RR (relative risk) and 95% CI for Nelson’s syndrome in patients treated with pituitary surgery prior to bilateral adrenalectomy versus no pituitary surgery. RR could not be calculated when there were no cases in the surgery or no surgery arms, and when no events in either arm. *additional data. Abbreviations: Surgery, pituitary surgery prior to bilateral adrenalectomy

      BA as primary or secondary treatment for CD

      Information on whether patients with NS were treated primarily with BA or not, was provided in ten and nine studies, respectively (Fig. S5 and S6). The pooled prevalence of NS was 26% (95% CI 20–33%) for patients treated primarily with BA and 22% (95% CI 15–31%) for patients who had been treated with pituitary surgery and/or radiotherapy prior to BA.

      ACTH concentrations one year after BA

      Four studies provided information on ACTH concentrations during the first year after BA [45, 49, 52, 53]. In a study by Assié et al. the median ACTH concentration in patients who developed NS was 301 pmol/L, compared to 79 pmol/L in patients without NS (upper range of limit; URL 13 pmol/L) [52]. The median ACTH concentration in a study by Cohen et al. was 105 pmol/L in the NS group compared to 18 pmol/L in patients without NS (P = 0.007) (URL 10 pmol/L) [49]. Also, in a study by Das et al., there was a statistically significant difference in ACTH concentrations one year after BA between patients with and without NS (110 vs 21 pmol/L respectively; P = 0.002) [53]. On the contrary, Espinosa-de-Los-Monteros et al.found no difference in ACTH concentrations between the patients with NS and those without NS [45]. Thus, three of four studies found that high ACTH concentrations one year after BA were associated with the development of NS. However, since the ACTH assays and the conditions when ACTH was collected were different in these studies (Table S7), further comparison or a meta-analysis on ACTH levels after BA was not considered feasible.

      Influence of age at BA and duration of follow-up on prevalence of NS

      In a meta-regression analysis, age at BA (β-coefficient = – 0.03, P = 0.4; Fig. 6) and median duration of follow-up (β-coefficient = 0.01, P = 0.7; Fig. S7) were not associated with prevalence of NS. After adjustment for follow-up, age at BA was still not associated with prevalence of NS (β-coefficient = -0.03, P = 0.4).

      Fig. 6
       

      figure6

      Bubble plot showing the influence of age at BA on the prevalence of Nelson’s syndrome. The bubble sizes are proportional to the weight of the studies in the meta-analysis. Coefficient estimate (β) and p value for the effect of age at BA are indicated by the regression line

      Discussion

      In this study we have for the first time evaluated the pooled prevalence of NS by using a meta-analysis on data from 36 studies, including more than 1300 patients with CD treated with BA. The overall prevalence of NS was 26% and the median time from BA to diagnosis of NS was 4 years, ranging from 0.2 to 39 years. The prevalence of patients requiring pituitary-specific treatment for NS was 21%. Furthermore, radiotherapy and pituitary surgery prior to BA, as well as age at BA, did not seem to affect the risk of developing NS.

      Various definitions have been used for NS over the past decades [12]. Historically, the diagnosis was based on clinical findings related to mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation and chiasmal compression, together with signs of an enlarged sella turcica on skull radiography [6]. Since then, the diagnosis of NS in most studies has been based on (i) radiological evidence of a pituitary tumor that becomes visible, or a progression of a preexisting tumor, (ii) “high” ACTH concentrations, and (iii) hyperpigmentation [54]. In the studies with the highest prevalence of NS [45, 46], the diagnosis was based on rising ACTH concentrations and an expanding pituitary mass, where 2 mm increment in tumor size on MRI was considered to be a significant growth. On the contrary, the criteria for NS in studies with the lowest prevalence were based on hyperpigmentation, often but not always combined with a pituitary tumor responding to radiotherapy and/or a radiographic evidence of pituitary tumor on skull radiography [21, 23]. Thus, the great variance in the prevalence of NS between studies can, at least partly, be explained by the different definitions of NS. Consequently, in an expert opinion published in 2010, it was suggested that the diagnosis of NS should be based on an elevated level of ACTH >500 ng/L (110 pmol/L) in addition to rising levels of ACTH on at least three consecutive occasions and/or an expanding pituitary mass on MRI or CT following BA [54]. Similarly, in a recently published expert consensus recommendation, based on a systematic review, it was suggested that NS should be defined as radiological progression or new detection of a pituitary tumor on a thin-section MRI [55]. Furthermore, the authors recommend active surveillance with MRI three months after BA, and every 12 months for the first 3 years, and every 2–4 years thereafter, based on clinical findings. The meta-regression of the current analysis did not show an association between median follow-up time and prevalence of NS. Nevertheless, NS occurred as early as 2 months [20], and up to 39 years after BA [2], supporting that life-long surveillance after BA is necessary for patients with CD.

      Active surveillance with MRI was more common in studies published during the last two decades. In fact, the use of MRI in recent studies resulted in earlier detection of a growing pituitary adenoma and, subsequently, contributed to a higher prevalence of NS. Namely, the seven studies including patients treated with BA after 1990 and using MRI reported higher prevalence of NS, both overall NS and treated NS.

      Whether factors such as pituitary radiotherapy affects the risk for development of NS has been evaluated in several studies. Some studies have shown that radiotherapy prior to BA, or administrated prophylactically, can prevent or delay the development of NS [20, 39]. On the contrary, other studies have not demonstrated a protective effect of radiotherapy prior to BA [18, 37] and, moreover, one study found an association with tumor progression [46]. Nevertheless, the current meta-analysis indicates that radiotherapy prior to BA does not decrease the risk of developing NS. Neither did previous pituitary surgery affect the risk for NS.

      Elevated ACTH concentrations during the first year after BA have been considered to be a strong predictor of NS [49, 52]. In fact, seven studies in the current analysis included cut-off levels for ACTH concentration, arbitrarily defined, for the diagnosis of NS [18, 25, 34, 36, 41, 45, 49]. Due to the different ACTH assays, and different conditions when ACTH was collected, no further analysis on ACTH levels was performed. Nevertheless, four studies [45, 49, 52, 53] reported ACTH concentrations one year after BA in both patients with and without NS. Three of these studies found that high ACTH concentrations one year after BA [49, 52, 53] were associated with pituitary tumor progression. Thus, these findings support the suggestion that ACTH should be monitored following BA in patients with CD [54, 55].

      The prevalence of treatment for NS (21%), and the heterogeneity index (52%), were slightly lower than in the analysis of total prevalence of NS (26%, I2 67%). The majority of the patients was treated with radiotherapy, followed by pituitary surgery and combination of pituitary surgery and radiotherapy. Today, surgical removal of the pituitary tumor is considered to be the first-line therapy of NS whereas radiotherapy is considered if surgery has failed or is not possible [12, 54, 56]. In a large multi-center study by Fountas et al., the 10-year progression-free survival rates after surgery alone, or with radiotherapy, for patients with NS was 80% and 81%, respectively [57]. In comparison, progression-free survival rate in patients who did not receive treatment was 51%. Reports on the efficacy of medical therapy for NS have shown inconsistent results [56].

      Strengths and limitations

      This is the largest systematic review, and the first meta-analysis, on NS published to date. However, some limitations have to be acknowledged. Most important are the different diagnostic methods used to detect NS, and the different definitions of the syndrome between the studies. The majority of the studies have used the combination of hyperpigmentation, high ACTH concentrations and radiological findings for the diagnosis of NS. Notwithstanding these common criteria, there were still differences in the cut-offs of ACTH levels, the use of different radiological modalities over time as well as the radiological definition of progress of pituitary tumors. Moreover, in some studies radiological findings were used solely or in combination with either hyperpigmentation and/or bitemporal hemianopsia, ACTH concentrations or response to treatment of NS. Furthermore, in several studies a clear definition of NS was not provided. Nevertheless, we consider our attempt to address the heterogeneity of the included studies, through systematic review, quality assessment, and sensitivity and subgroup analyses to be a strength.

      Conclusions

      The risk of NS after BA in patients with CD is considerable and may first become clinically evident many decades later. Thus, life-long close follow-up is necessary for an early detection of a growing pituitary tumor, and adequate treatment when needed. Although this meta-analysis did not find prior surgery or radiotherapy to be associated with risk of NS, the findings are based on a limited number of studies. Thus, in order to individualize the treatment for patients with CD, further studies are needed where these and other factors possibly associated with risk of NS are evaluated.

      Data availability

      The data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article or in the Supplementary file.

      Abbreviations

      CD:

      Cushing's disease

      BA:

      Bilateral adrenalectomy

      NS:

      Nelson’s syndrome

      ACTH:

      Adrenocorticotropic hormone

      RR:

      Relative risk

      MRI:

      Magnet resonance imaging

      CT:

      Computer tomography

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      Acknowledgements

      We would like to thank Therese Svanberg, librarian at the Medical Library at Sahlgrenska University Hospital for her expert assistance with the literature search.

      Funding

      Open access funding provided by University of Gothenburg. The study was financed by grants from the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the county councils, the ALF-agreement (ALFGBG-593301) and a grant from the Gothenburg Society of Medicine.

      Author information

      Affiliations

      1. Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 413 45, Gothenburg, Sweden

        Eleni Papakokkinou, Marta Piasecka, Dimitrios Chantzichristos, Daniel S. Olsson, Gudmundur Johannsson & Oskar Ragnarsson

      2. The Department of Endocrinology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Blå stråket 5, 413 45, Gothenburg, Sweden

        Eleni Papakokkinou, Marta Piasecka, Dimitrios Chantzichristos, Daniel S. Olsson, Gudmundur Johannsson & Oskar Ragnarsson

      3. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, 4053, Gothenburg, Sweden

        Hanne Krage Carlsen

      4. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden

        Per Dahlqvist

      5. Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden

        Maria Petersson, Katarina Berinder, Sophie Bensing, Charlotte Höybye & Henrik Falhammar

      6. Department of Endocrinology, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 76, Stockholm, Sweden

        Maria Petersson, Katarina Berinder, Sophie Bensing, Charlotte Höybye & Henrik Falhammar

      7. Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Uppsala University Hospital, and Department of Medical Sciences, Endocrinology and Mineral Metabolism, Uppsala University, 751 85, Uppsala, Sweden

        Britt Edén Engström

      8. Department of Endocrinology, Skåne University Hospital, University of Lund, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden

        Pia Burman

      9. Department of Endocrinology, Skåne University Hospital, 222 42, Lund, Sweden

        Cecilia Follin, David Petranek & Eva Marie Erfurth

      10. Department of Endocrinology and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 83, Linköping, Sweden

        Jeanette Wahlberg & Bertil Ekman

      11. Department of Internal Medicine, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, 702 81, Örebro, SE, Sweden

        Jeanette Wahlberg, Anna-Karin Åkerman & Erik Schwarcz

      Corresponding author

      Correspondence to Oskar Ragnarsson.

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      Papakokkinou, E., Piasecka, M., Carlsen, H.K. et al. Prevalence of Nelson’s syndrome after bilateral adrenalectomy in patients with cushing’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pituitary (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11102-021-01158-z

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      Keywords

      • Bilateral adrenalectomy
      • Cushing’s disease
      • Corticotroph adenoma
      • Nelson’s syndrome

      From https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11102-021-01158-z

      • Like 1
    16. Osilodrostat therapy was found to be effective in improving blood pressure parameters, health-related quality of life, depression, and other signs and symptoms in patients with Cushing disease, regardless of the degree of cortisol control, according to study results presented at the 30th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (ENVISION 2021).

      Investigators of the LINC 3 study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02180217), a phase 3, multicenter study with a double-blind, randomized withdrawal period, sought to assess the effects of twice-daily osilodrostat (2-30 mg) on signs, symptoms, and health-related quality of life in 137 patients with Cushing disease. Study endpoints included change in various parameters from baseline to week 48, including mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) status, cardiovascular-related measures, physical features, Cushing Quality-of-Life score, and Beck Depression Inventory score. Participants were assessed every 2, 4, or 12 weeks depending on the study period, and eligible participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to withdrawal at week 24.

      The median age of participants was 40.0 years, and women made up 77.4% of the cohort. Of 137 participants, 132 (96%) achieved controlled mUFC at least once during the core study period. At week 24, patients with controlled or partially controlled mUFC showed improvements in blood pressure that were not seen in patients with uncontrolled mUFC; at week 48, improvement in blood pressure occurred regardless of mUFC status. Cushing Quality-of-Life and Beck Depression Inventory scores, along with other metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, improved from baseline to week 24 and week 48 regardless of degree of mUFC control. Additionally, most participants reported improvements in physical features of hypercortisolism, including hirsutism, at week 24 and week 48.

      The researchers indicated that the high response rate with osilodrostat treatment was sustained during the 48 weeks of treatment, with 96% of patients achieving controlled mUFC levels; improvements in clinical signs, physical features, quality of life, and depression were reported even among patients without complete mUFC normalization.

      Disclosure: This study was sponsored by Novartis Pharma AG; however, as of July 12, 2019, osilodrostat is an asset of Recordati AG. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

      Visit Endocrinology Advisor‘s conference section for complete coverage from the AACE Annual Meeting 2021: ENVISION.

       

      Reference

      Pivonello R, Fleseriu M, Newell-Price J, et al. Effect of osilodrostat on clinical signs, physical features and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by degree of mUFC control in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD): results from the LINC 3 study. Presented at: 2021 AACE Virtual Annual Meeting, May 26-29, 2021.

      From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/conference-highlights/aace-2021/osilodrostat-improves-blood-pressure-hrqol-and-depression-in-patients-with-cushing-disease/

      • Like 2
    17. Wow, Letisia - your numbers are very high.  I'd definitely ask the endo about your numbers and the possibility of Cushing's.  If s/he blows you off please try to find another one.

      You said you were taking progesterone.  That can cause your cortisol numbers to go up but you need to talk to your doctor so s/he is aware of your concerns.

      What are your symptoms?  Your doctor needs to hear about those, too.  If you have "before" pictures, those can be really useful, especially if you've gained a lot of weight, gotten a buffalo hump, grown facial hair, etc.

      Best of luck to you and please keep up posted!  If you join these boards, you'll find lots of potentially helpful info already available to you.

      • Like 1
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