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  1. Abstract Although human cultures stimulated with dexamethasone suggest that the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activates stress erythropoiesis, the effects of GR activation on erythropoiesis in vivo remains poorly understood. We characterized the phenotype of a large cohort of patients with Cushing’s Disease, a rare condition associated with elevated cortisol levels. Results from hypercortisolemic patients with active Cushing’s were compared with those obtained from eucortisolemic patients after remission and from non-diseased volunteers. Active Cushing’s patients exhibit erythrocytosis associated with normal hemoglobin F levels. In addition, their blood contained elevated numbers of the GR-induced CD163+ monocytes and a unique class of CD34+ cells expressing CD110, CD36, CD133 and the GR-target gene CXCR4. When cultured, these CD34+ cells generated similarly large numbers of immature erythroid cells in the presence and absence of dexamethasone, with raised expression of the GR-target gene GILZ. Of interest, blood from Cushing’s patients in remission maintained high numbers of CD163+ monocytes and, although their CD34+ cells had a normal phenotype, these cells were unresponsive to added dexamethasone. Collectively, these results indicate that chronic exposure to excess glucocorticoids in vivo leads to erythrocytosis by generating erythroid progenitor cells with a constitutively active GR. Although remission rescues the erythrocytosis and the phenotype of the circulating CD34+ cells, a memory of other prior changes is maintained in remission. From https://haematologica.org/article/view/haematol.2021.280542
  2. First of its kind CME webinar on #CushingsDisease for #endocrinologists and other clinicians treating patients with #Cushings Aug. 2, 2022 / PRZen / HAZLET, N.J. — In this CME Webinar, #endocrinology experts in the management of #CushingsDisease will describe best practices for the diagnosis and treatment to improve long-term outcomes for patients.. For more information SPEAKERS: Maria Fleseriu, MD Professor of Medicine and Neurological Surgery Oregon Health & Science University Irina Bancos, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Mayo Clinic Voxmedia LLC gratefully acknowledges the educational donation provided by Recordati Rare Diseases, Inc. This educational activity is intended for #endocrinologists and other clinicians who manage patients with cushing’s disease. Voxmedia LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Voxmedia LLC designates this webinar activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Nurse practitioners may participate in this educational activity and earn a certificate of completion as AANP accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ through its reciprocity agreements. The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. For additional CME activities and online cme courses visit CMEPlanet. #endocrinologist #EndocrinePractice #Cushings #Cushing #ThinkCushings #CushingsAwarenessDay #pituitary #TheEndoSociety #ENDO2022 Follow the full story here: https://przen.com/pr/33469903 Read more: https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/cme-webinar-best-practices-for-the-management-of-individuals-with-cushings-disease#ixzz7bN6UUAQa
  3. MaryO'Note: I found this article very simplistic. What do you think? This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle. Imagine the heart-pounding rush of adrenaline you’d get while bungee jumping or zip lining — that’s what Angela Yawn felt all the time before receiving her diagnosis. In a span of six years, the 49-year-old gained 52 kg (115 lbs) and suffered from joint swelling, headaches, skin redness and a racing heart. “I would put my hand on my chest because it made me feel like that’s what I needed to do to hold my heart in,” Yawn, who lives in Griffin, U.S., told Today. “I noticed it during the day, but at night when I was trying to lie down and sleep, it was worse because I could do nothing but hear it beat, feel it thump.” Yawn recalled being the most frustrated with the weight gain, as she’d put on 1 kg (2 lbs) a day while only eating 600 calories. “I was going crazy,” she said. After dozens of doctors couldn’t piece together her seemingly unrelated symptoms, Yawn sought out the help of an endocrinologist in February 2021. Blood tests and an MRI confirmed that Yawn had a tumour in her pituitary gland — a small, pea-sized organ at the base of the brain — that caused the gland to release excess adrenocorticotropic hormones. As a result, she became inundated with cortisol, a steroid the body releases in response to danger or stress. This combination of factors led to her diagnosis — Cushing’s disease. Read on to learn more about Cushing’s disease, signs and symptoms as well as how it can be prevented. What is Cushing’s disease? “Cushing’s disease is a rare but serious condition that is caused by a pituitary tumour," a specialist from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) pituitary team tells Yahoo Canada. "The gland releases excessive adrenocorticotropic hormones and cortisol into the blood over a long period of time. It’s a hormonal disorder that is sometimes called hypercortisolism, and you will need to see an endocrinologist or someone who specializes in hormonal-related diseases to confirm your diagnosis and to help you receive proper care.” Cushing’s disease is not the same as Cushing’s syndrome, which refers to elevated levels of cortisol in the blood and is much more common than Cushing’s disease. Unlike the disease, Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by taking medications that have cortisol such as prednisone, asthma inhalers and joint steroid injections. Who is at risk for Cushing’s disease? Cushing’s disease is incredibly rare, resulting in only 10 to 15 new cases per million people in the United States each year, according to UCLA Health. “It’s most commonly found in people between the ages of 20 and 50, and affects about three times more women than men,” the UCLA source, who asked not to be named, says. “However, you might be more at risk if you have high blood pressure, if you’re overweight or if you have type 2 diabetes.” What are the signs and symptoms of Cushing’s disease? Although each person may have a unique combination of symptoms, patients typically experience changes to their physical appearance, according to Mayo Clinic. “It’s very common to see rapid weight gain, red cheeks and bruising of the skin,” the UCLA source says. “I’ve also seen patients with generalized fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat and loss of vision.” “The symptoms can seem random or unrelated, which is why it can be so hard to diagnose,” they add. To establish if you have the disease, your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Generally, the first step in diagnosing Cushing's disease is determining the state of excess cortisol in the blood. Afterwards, an MRI will determine if a pituitary tumour is visible. If you have symptoms of Cushing’s disease, you should make an appointment to see a doctor or endocrinologist. How is Cushing’s disease treated? In the last decade, treatment options have changed thanks to several breakthroughs in pituitary science. “Surgery to remove the tumour is normally the first treatment option. It’s minimally invasive, has a fairly high success rate and it’s the only long-term cure for Cushing’s disease at the moment,” explains the UCLA source. If surgery isn’t an option or doesn’t solve the problem, medication and radiation therapy are other ways to treat the disease. “No matter the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis, treating it requires an experienced specialist or team of doctors familiar with pituitary tumours,” the UCLA source adds. How can I prevent Cushing’s disease? “There’s no tried and true method of preventing the condition,” the source explains. “But if you’re at risk or if you think you have the disease, I always recommend having a doctor monitor your cortisol levels on a regular basis.” The UCLA source also recommends implementing healthy lifestyle changes that can help prevent high blood pressure. Examples include reducing stress, getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Adapted from https://ca.news.yahoo.com/what-is-cushings-disease-experts-warn-rare-serious-condition-120015725.html
  4. Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRNX) today announced positive results from the multiple-ascending dose (MAD) portion of a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study of CRN04894, the company's first-in-class, investigational, oral, nonpeptide adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) antagonist that is being developed for the treatment of Cushing’s disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and other conditions of excess ACTH. Following administration of CRN04894, results showed serum cortisol below normal levels and a marked reduction in 24-hour urine free cortisol excretion in the presence of sustained, disease-like ACTH concentrations. “The design of our Phase 1 healthy volunteer study allowed us to demonstrate CRN04894’s potent pharmacologic activity in the presence of ACTH levels that were in similar range to those seen in CAH and Cushing’s disease patients,” said Alan Krasner, M.D., Crinetics’ chief medical officer. “The observation of dose-dependent reductions in serum cortisol levels to below the normal range even in the presence of high ACTH indicates that CRN04894 was effective in blocking the key receptor responsible for regulating cortisol secretion. We believe this is an important finding that may be predictive of CRN04894’s efficacy in patients.” ACTH is the key regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis controlling adrenal activation. It is regulated by cortisol via a negative feedback loop that acts to inhibit ACTH secretion. This feedback loop is dysregulated in diseases of excess ACTH. In Cushing’s disease, a benign pituitary tumor drives excess ACTH secretion even in the presence of excess cortisol. While in CAH, an enzyme deficiency results in excess androgen synthesis without normal cortisol synthesis, allowing unchecked ACTH production and requiring lifelong glucocorticoid use. In both diseases, excess ACTH drives over-stimulation of the adrenal gland and leads to a host of symptoms including infertility, adrenal rest tumors, and metabolic complications in CAH and, in Cushing’s disease, symptoms include hypertension, central obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders and metabolic complications. To our knowledge, no other ACTH antagonists are currently in clinical development for diseases of ACTH excess such as Cushing’s disease or CAH. The 49 healthy adults evaluated in the multiple ascending dose portion of the Phase 1 study were administered 40, 60 or 80 mg doses of CRN04894, or placebo, daily for 10 days. After 10 days of dosing was complete, evaluable participants were administered an ACTH challenge to stimulate adrenal activation to disease relevant levels. Safety and pharmacokinetic data were consistent with expectations from the single-ascending dose cohorts in the Phase 1 study. There were no discontinuations due to treatment-related adverse events and no serious adverse events reported. Glucocorticoid deficiency was the most common treatment-related adverse event in the MAD cohorts. This was an expected extension of pharmacology given the mechanism of action of CRN04894. CRN04894 showed consistent oral bioavailability in the MAD cohorts with a half-life of approximately 24 hours, which is anticipated to support once-daily dosing. Participants in the MAD cohorts who were administered once nightly CRN04894 experienced a dose-dependent suppression of adrenal function as measured by suppression of serum cortisol production of 17%, 29% and 37% on average from baseline over 24 hours for the 40, 60 or 80 mg dosing groups respectively, (despite requirement for glucocorticoid supplementation in some of these subjects to prevent clinical adrenal insufficiency), compared to an average 2% increase in serum cortisol for individuals receiving placebo. The strong, dose-dependent suppression of serum and urine free cortisol was achieved despite ACTH levels in subjects in the 60 and 80 mg cohorts similar to those typically seen in patients with CAH and Cushing’s disease. Even when an additional exogenous ACTH challenge was administered on top of the already increased ACTH levels, cortisol levels remained below the normal range in subjects receiving CRN04894, indicating clinically significant suppression of adrenal activity. “Due to its central position in HPA axis, ACTH is the obvious target for inhibiting excessive stimulation of the adrenal in diseases of ACTH excess. Even though the field of endocrinology has known about its clinical significance for more than 100 years, we are not aware of any other ACTH antagonist that has entered clinical development. This is an important milestone for endocrinology and for our company.” said Scott Struthers, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Crinetics. “We are very excited to initiate patient studies in Cushing’s disease and CAH with CRN04894, which will be our third home-grown NCE to demonstrate pharmacologic proof-of-concept and enter patient trials.” Crinetics plans to present additional details of safety, efficacy, and biomarker results from the CRN04894 Phase 1 study at an endocrinology-focused medical meeting in 2022. Data Review Conference Call Crinetics will hold a conference call and live audio webcast today, May 25, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss results from the MAD cohorts of the Phase 1 study of CRN04894. To participate, please dial 1-877-407-0789 (domestic) or 1-201-689-8562 (international) and refer to conference ID 13730000. To access the webcast, click here. Following the live event, a replay will be available on the Events page of the Company’s website. About the CRN04894 Phase 1 Study Crinetics has completed enrollment of the 88 healthy volunteers in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1 study. Participants were divided into multiple cohorts in the single ascending dose (n=39) and multiple ascending dose (n=49) portions of the study. In both the SAD and MAD portions of the study, safety and pharmacokinetics were assessed. In addition, pharmacodynamic responses were evaluated before and after challenges with injected synthetic ACTH to assess pharmacologic effects resulting from exposure to CRN04894. From https://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Crinetics+Pharmaceuticals+(CRNX)+Reports+Positive+Top-line+Results+Including+Strong+Adrenal+Suppression+from+CRN04894+Phase+1+Study/20126484.html
  5. Published: May 15, 2022 (see history) DOI: 10.7759/cureus.25015 Cite this article as: Iturregui J, Shi G (May 15, 2022) Recurrent Metatarsal Fractures in a Patient With Cushing Disease: A Case Report. Cureus 14(5): e25015. doi:10.7759/cureus.25015 Abstract Cushing syndrome (CS) can result from excess exposure to exogenous or endogenous glucocorticoids. The most common endogenous cause of CS is an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma, known as Cushing disease (CD). Patients typically present with characteristics including truncal obesity, moon facies, facial plethora, proximal muscle weakness, easy bruising, and striae. Insufficiency fractures of the metatarsals are a rare presentation for CS. A 39-year-old premenopausal woman presented to the orthopedic outpatient clinic with recurrent metatarsal fractures and no history of trauma. A metabolic bone disease was suspected, and after further evaluation by endocrinology services, the CD was diagnosed. Surgical resection was performed, and pathology confirmed the presence of a pituitary adenoma. Multiple, recurrent, non-traumatic metatarsal fractures can be the initial presentation of CD in a premenopausal woman. Introduction Cushing syndrome (CS) is a rare clinical and metabolic disorder caused by excessive exposure to glucocorticoids. In the United States, an estimated 10 to 15 people per million population are affected by CS each year, while studies in Europe report an incidence of 0.7 to 2.4 per million people affected annually [1,2]. Furthermore, CS more commonly affects women [2]. Common characteristics of CS include truncal obesity, moon facies, proximal muscle weakness, fatigue, facial plethora, supraclavicular fullness, peripheral edema, weight gain, striae, easy bruising, acne, hirsutism, amenorrhea, dorsocervical "buffalo" hump, depression, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, and osteoporosis [1,3,4]. The most common cause of CS is exogenous glucocorticoid therapy. Meanwhile, endogenous cortisol hypersecretion commonly results from either an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma or a cortisol-secreting adrenal tumor. When CS is caused by a pituitary adenoma, this is referred to as Cushing disease (CD). CD is the most common endogenous cause of CS, accounting for 80-85% of cases [1,5]. Whether a patient’s CS is caused by exogenous or endogenous sources, excessive exposure to steroids can have deleterious effects on the bones, resulting in secondary osteoporosis. The decrease in bone mass and microarchitectural changes increase the risk of fragility fractures, with reported rates as high as 30-67% [6]. The most commonly reported fracture site in CS patients is the vertebrae; however, other reported fracture sites include the ribs, sternum, wrist, elbow, shoulder, pelvis, hip, femoral condyles, tibia, fibula, calcaneus, metatarsals, and phalanges [4,6-16]. There are reports of metatarsal fractures occurring in patients diagnosed with endogenous CS [3,6,7,16-19]. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no reports of multiple, recurrent, bilateral metatarsal fractures as the initial presentation in a pre-menopausal woman with CD. Here, we present a case of a premenopausal woman with recurrent metatarsal stress fractures who was diagnosed with CD after further evaluation. Case Presentation A 39-year-old premenopausal woman was evaluated by her primary care physician due to right foot pain after feeling a pop while walking. She reported swelling and some bruising along the lateral aspect of her foot. Her exercise regimen consisted of walking twice a week for 30 minutes at each session. She did not report any traumatic injuries to her foot. Imaging revealed a fifth metatarsal fracture (Figure 1). The patient was placed in a cast walker boot and referred to orthopedics for further evaluation. Orthopedic management included no weight bearing on her right foot and continuing using the cast walker boot or a postop shoe, with reevaluation in four weeks. Figure 1: Oblique radiograph of the right foot demonstrating a mildly displaced transverse fracture of the proximal fifth metatarsal (arrow). At the time of evaluation, the patient was 161.5 cm tall, weighed 101 kg, and had a BMI of 38.86 kg/m2. Her medical history included hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypothyroidism, obesity, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, and colon polyps. The patient reported a history of metatarsal fractures in her left foot in 2008, which healed slowly and without surgical intervention. She also underwent bunion and bunionette surgery on her left foot. Her medications included alprazolam, levothyroxine, lisinopril, bimatoprost, ergocalciferol, meloxicam, and ondansetron. She was a former smoker (2007-2010), a daily wine drinker, and had an active job working as a nurse. Her family history included lung cancer and alcohol abuse in her father; hypertension, hypothyroidism, and alcohol abuse in her mother; and osteoporosis and end-stage renal disease secondary to polycystic kidney disease in her sister. At the three-month follow-up visit, the fracture line remained clearly visible, and minimal callus had formed at the fracture site. Surgical fixation was recommended and performed four months after the fracture occurred. Six months after her right foot's fifth metatarsal fracture, she developed new-onset swelling and tenderness over the middle metatarsals dorsally in her right foot with no history of trauma. Radiographs demonstrated new second and third metatarsal neck fractures (Figure 2). Conservative management with a postop shoe for six weeks and re-evaluation was recommended. In the interim between her initial right foot fifth metatarsal fracture and the new right foot second and third metatarsal fractures, the patient was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type II, treated with a plant-based diet, hospitalized for urolithiasis, and diagnosed with depression. She was started on bupropion. Figure 2: Anteroposterior radiograph of bilateral feet demonstrating second and third metatarsal neck fractures of the right foot (arrows). Due to the recurrent metatarsal stress fractures with no associated trauma, the patient was referred to endocrinology for workup of metabolic bone disease. Her physical exam revealed no abnormalities, and her overall workup was negative. Bone mineral density results demonstrated osteopenia in the lumbar spine (T-score: -1.8) and left femoral neck (T-score: -1.0), and normal bone density in the left total hip (T-score: -0.80). Six months following her right foot's second and third metatarsal fractures, the patient developed right great toe and second toe swelling and bruising. Two months later, after trying supportive tennis shoes and reducing weightbearing on her right foot, she did not notice any improvement and sought orthopedic care. Radiographs revealed a new subacute fracture of the right second proximal phalanx (Figure 3). A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was ordered, which revealed a first metatarsal shaft stress fracture as well (Figure 4). She underwent conservative management with a Cam walker boot and was referred to endocrinology for re-evaluation for suspected endocrinopathy. Figure 3: AP radiograph of bilateral feet demonstrating a subacute fracture of the second proximal phalanx of the right foot (arrow). Figure 4: T1-weighted sagittal MRI of the right foot demonstrating a first metatarsal shaft stress fracture (arrow). At her endocrinology visit, a physical exam revealed some facial hair, frontal hair loss, and a significant dorsocervical and anterior cervical fat pad. A Cushingoid face shape, facial redness, acne, oligomenorrhea, incremental weight gain over the last decade, centripetal adiposity, easy bruising, and lower leg swelling were also reported. Bone mineral density results reported spine and hip Z-scores within the expected range for age, indicating no osteoporosis. Since she had features of hypercortisolism, labs to evaluate for Cushing syndrome were ordered. The 11:00 pm salivary cortisol levels were elevated to 173 ng/dL and 168 ng/dL in two samples. The 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test failed to suppress her cortisol levels, with an elevated cortisol value of 29 mcg/dL. The 24-hour urine-free cortisol level was elevated at 135 mcg/24 hours. These lab results confirmed a diagnosis of Cushing syndrome. Her ACTH was elevated at 86 pg/mL, which indicated an ACTH-dependent CS. Pituitary MRI demonstrated a 1.1 cm × 1.5 cm × 1.1 cm pituitary lesion, representing a pituitary macroadenoma (Figure 5). The patient underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal pituitary tumor resection with the goal of treating her Cushing disease and preventing further fragility fractures. Pathology evaluation confirmed a pituitary adenoma. Figure 5: T1-weighted coronal MRI of the pituitary demonstrating a 1.1 cm × 1.5 cm × 1.1 cm cystic sellar mass which represents a pituitary macroadenoma (arrow). Discussion This is a case of a 39-year-old woman who presented with recurrent metatarsal fractures with no history of trauma, raising suspicion of a metabolic bone disease. The patient also developed centripetal weight gain, glucose intolerance, kidney stones, depression/anxiety, and Cushingoid features. A laboratory workup performed by endocrinology services confirmed a diagnosis of ACTH-dependent CS. An MRI revealed a pituitary lesion which represented a pituitary macroadenoma, for which surgical resection was performed. Pathology confirmed a pituitary adenoma. The association of multiple, non-traumatic metatarsal fractures occurring in premenopausal women with endogenous CS has been reported in the literature [3,7,19]. However, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report presenting a premenopausal woman with multiple, recurrent metatarsal fractures as the initial manifestation of CD. Several mechanisms play a role in glucocorticoid-induced bone loss, which is more prominent in trabecular bone compared to cortical bone [3,4,6,8]. Normally, trabecular bone has a greater bone turnover rate than cortical bone. In the presence of excess glucocorticoids, trabecular bone has greater sensitivity to glucocorticoids and undergoes slower bone turnover. The most significant effects of excess glucocorticoids on bones are decreased osteoblast function and quantity, which explain the reduced trabecular bone turnover rate [4,10]. The proposed mechanisms for this are glucocorticoid-induced inhibition of osteoblast proliferation and genesis, as well as induction of osteoblast and osteocyte apoptosis [4,10,11]. Furthermore, glucocorticoids decrease bone protein synthesis (e.g., osteocalcin), type I collagen formation, and alkaline phosphatase activity [4]. Additional effects include greater bone resorption, inhibition of intestinal calcium absorption, inhibition of renal calcium reabsorption, and decreased secretion of gonadal steroids and growth hormones [8]. Glucocorticoids also induce protein catabolism, which can result in muscle weakness, decreased bone stimulation from weakened muscle contraction, and further bone loss and debility [4]. Multiple fragility fractures in the foot with no history of trauma or overuse are uncommon. When evaluating a patient with this presentation, secondary causes for these fractures need to be investigated. Differential diagnoses include osteoporosis, Charcot foot, multiple myeloma, celiac disease, avascular necrosis, and endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism, primary hyperparathyroidism, or CS, among others [3,6,7]. There is a high rate of fragility fractures due to secondary osteoporosis in CS patients, with the vertebrae being most commonly affected [6]. LiYeung and Lui [7] and Albon et al. [19] each reported a case of a pre-menopausal woman who initially presented with multiple metatarsal fractures secondary to an adrenal adenoma causing CS. In each case, the patient’s densitometry indicated osteoporosis. However, in our case and the case reported by Molnar et al. [3] of a pre-menopausal woman with multiple fractures due to CD (recurrent fractures were not reported), the bone densitometries performed did not indicate osteoporosis. The patients reported by LiYeung and Lui [7], Albon et al. [19], and Molnar et al. [3] did not demonstrate marked clinical characteristics of CS. In comparison to our patient, she did have multiple Cushingoid features upon her second evaluation by endocrinology. Furthermore, in all our cases, the patients were first evaluated for metatarsal fractures as the initial presentation, which resulted in a diagnosis of endogenous CS after further evaluation. Finally, early recognition and treatment of CS are important, as there is an increased risk of morbidity and mortality as the condition progresses [20]. In addition, the treatment of CS can reverse the bone loss that occurs with excess glucocorticoid exposure [4,10]. This case also highlights the importance of collaboration between physicians in the different branches of medicine. Conclusions Excess glucocorticoid exposure can have deleterious effects on the bones, increasing the risk for secondary osteoporosis and fragility fractures. There needs to be an index of suspicion for metabolic bone disease, including endogenous CS caused by CD, as the underlying etiology of multiple, recurrent, atraumatic metatarsal fractures in pre-menopausal women. Early diagnosis and management of CD can lower the risk of morbidity and mortality as well as reverse bone loss. References Guaraldi F, Salvatori R: Cushing syndrome: maybe not so uncommon of an endocrine disease. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012, 25:199-208. 10.3122/jabfm.2012.02.110227 Valassi E, Santos A, Yaneva M, et al.: The European Registry on Cushing's syndrome: 2-year experience. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011, 165:383-92. 10.1530/EJE-11-0272 Molnar V, Zekan P, Dušek T, Ivković A: Multiple metatarsal fractures: the first manifestation of Cushing’s disease—a case report. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2021, 111:10.7547/19-024 Han JY, Lee J, Kim GE, et al.: A case of cushing syndrome diagnosed by recurrent pathologic fractures in a young woman. J Bone Metab. 2012, 19:153-8. 10.11005/jbm.2012.19.2.153 Barahona MJ, Sucunza N, Resmini E, et al.: Deleterious effects of glucocorticoid replacement on bone in women after long-term remission of Cushing's syndrome. J Bone Miner Res. 2009, 24:1841-6. 10.1359/jbmr.090505 Papadakis G, Uebelhart B, Goumaz M, Zawadynski S, Rizzoli R: An unusual case of hypercortisolism with multiple weight-bearing bone fractures. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2014, 10:213-7. LiYeung LL, Lui TH: Bilateral adrenal adenoma presented as multiple metatarsal and phalangeal fractures. J Orthop Case Rep. 2015, 5:77-8. 10.13107/jocr.2250-0685.353 Trementino L, Appolloni G, Ceccoli L, Marcelli G, Concettoni C, Boscaro M, Arnaldi G: Bone complications in patients with Cushing's syndrome: looking for clinical, biochemical, and genetic determinants. Osteoporos Int. 2014, 25:913-21. 10.1007/s00198-013-2520-5 Abdel-Kader N, Cardiel MH, Navarro Compan V, Piedra Priego J, González A: Cushing's disease as a cause of severe osteoporosis: a clinical challenge. Reumatol Clin. 2012, 8:278-9. 10.1016/j.reuma.2011.11.004 Lee HJ, Je JH, Seo JH, Na YJ, Yoo HJ: Multiple spontaneous rib fractures in patient with Cushing’s syndrome. J Bone Metab. 2014, 21:277-82. 10.11005/jbm.2014.21.4.277 Poonuru S, Findling JW, Shaker JL: Lower extremity insufficiency fractures: an underappreciated manifestation of endogenous Cushing's syndrome. Osteoporos Int. 2016, 27:3645-9. 10.1007/s00198-016-3712-6 Belaya ZE, Hans D, Rozhinskaya LY, et al.: The risk factors for fractures and trabecular bone-score value in patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome. Arch Osteoporos. 2015, 10:44. 10.1007/s11657-015-0244-1 Tajika T, Shinozaki T, Watanabe H, Yangawa T, Takagishi K: Case report of a Cushing's syndrome patient with multiple pathologic fractures during pregnancy. J Orthop Sci. 2002, 7:498-500. 10.1007/s007760200087 Baron E, Sheinfeld M, Migdal EA, Hardoff R: Multiple pathologic fractures mimicking bone metastases in a patient with Cushing's syndrome. Clin Nucl Med. 1996, 21:506-8. 10.1097/00003072-199606000-00027 Bosch S, Bogaerts S: Pituitary adenoma presenting with bilateral calcaneal stress fracture: a case report. JOSPT Cases. 2021, 1:109-111. Kostoglou-Athanassiou I, Spiliotis G, Athanassiou L, Myriokefalitakis I: Cushing’s syndrome in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. Endocrine Abstracts. 2018, 56:106. 10.1530/endoabs.56.P106 Kaur K, Findling JW: Cushing’s disease. A Case-Based Guide to Clinical Endocrinology. Davies TF (ed): Humana Press, Totowa; 2008. 27-33. 10.1007/978-1-60327-103-5_3 Ontell FK, Shelton DK: Multiple stress fractures. An unusual presentation of Cushing's disease. West J Med. 1995, 162:364-6. Albon L, Rippin J, Franklyn J: “My feet are killing me!” An unusual presentation of Cushing’s syndrome. Endocrine Abstracts. 2003, 5:26. Nieman LK: Recent updates on the diagnosis and management of Cushing’s syndrome. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2018, 33:139-46. 10.3803/EnM.2018.33.2.139 From https://www.cureus.com/articles/91295-recurrent-metatarsal-fractures-in-a-patient-with-cushing-disease-a-case-report
  6. The LINC 4 study demonstrated superiority of Isturisa® (osilodrostat) over placebo in achieving cortisol normalisation during the 12-week, double-blind, randomised phase (77% vs 8%, P<0.0001). Isturisa provided rapid and sustained control of cortisol secretion in the majority of patients throughout the 48-week core phase of the study. PUTEAUX, France, March 29, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recordati Rare Diseases announce today the publication of positive results from the Phase III LINC 4 study of Isturisa in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.1 These data reinforce Isturisa as an effective and well-tolerated oral therapy for patients with Cushing’s disease. Isturisa is indicated in the EU for the treatment of adult patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome,2 a rare and debilitating condition of hypercortisolism that is most commonly caused by a pituitary adenoma (Cushing’s disease).3 The LINC 4 study augments the efficacy and safety data for Isturisa in patients with Cushing’s disease, confirming the results from the Phase III LINC 3 study. This study in 73 adults is the first Phase III study of a medical treatment in patients with Cushing’s disease to include an upfront, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled period during which 48 patients received Isturisa and 25 received placebo for the first 12 weeks, followed by an open-label period during which all patients received Isturisa until week 48; thereafter, patients could enter an optional extension phase. Key findings published in the manuscript entitled ‘Randomised trial of osilodrostat for the treatment of Cushing’s disease’ include:1 LINC 4 met the primary endpoint: Isturisa was significantly superior to placebo at normalising mUFC at the end of a 12-week randomised, double-blind period (77% vs 8%; P<0.0001). Effects of Isturisa were rapid. Over one-quarter of patients randomised to Isturisa achieved normal mUFC as early week 2 and 58% achieved control by week 5. The key secondary endpoint was also met, with 81% of all patients in the study having normal mUFC at week 36. Improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic parameters of Cushing’s disease, including blood pressure and blood glucose metabolism, were seen by week 12 and were maintained throughout the study. Physical features of hypercortisolism improved during Isturisa treatment, including fat pads, facial rubor, striae, and muscle wasting. Improvements were observed by week 12, with continued improvement throughout the study to week 48. Patient-reported QoL scores (CushingQoL and Beck Depression Inventory) also improved during Isturisa treatment. Isturisa was well tolerated in the majority of patients, with no unexpected adverse events (AEs). The most common AEs overall were decreased appetite, arthralgia, fatigue and nausea. "These results show convincingly that osilodrostat is an effective treatment for Cushing’s disease," said Peter J. Snyder MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Osilodrostat rapidly lowered cortisol excretion to normal in most patients with Cushing’s disease and maintained normal levels throughout the core phase of the study. Importantly, this normalisation was accompanied by improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic parameters, which increase morbidity and mortality in Cushing’s disease." "These compelling data build on the positive Phase III LINC 3 study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2020,4 demonstrating that Isturisa enables most patients with Cushing’s disease to gain rapid control of their cortisol levels, which in turn provides relief from a host of undesirable symptoms," said Alberto Pedroncelli, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs Lead, Global Endocrinology, Recordati AG. "Recordati Rare Diseases is committed to improving the lives of patients with this rare, debilitating and life-threatening condition. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to LINC 4 and the LINC clinical programme." "I had Cushing's disease for 8 years without being diagnosed," said Thérèse Fournier from L'association "Surrénales". "I was trapped in a vicious circle of missed diagnoses and worsening physical and psychological symptoms that became life-threatening. I lost everything – my job, my house, my partner, my friends – I was isolated. When I finally received my diagnosis, I was relieved because I knew the truth. Since my surgery, I have been learning to live again, enjoying the moments that make a life. I am still on the path to remission, but I feel deeply happy, even if I carry this journey that nobody can understand." About Cushing’s syndrome Cushing’s syndrome is a rare disorder caused by chronic exposure to excess levels of cortisol from either an exogenous (eg medication) or an endogenous source.5 Cushing’s disease is the most common cause of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome and arises as a result of excess secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone from a pituitary adenoma, a tumour of the pituitary gland.5,6 There is often a delay in diagnosing Cushing’s syndrome, which consequently leads to a delay in treating patients.7 Patients who are exposed to excess levels of cortisol for a prolonged period have increased comorbidities associated with the cardiovascular and metabolic systems, which consequently reduce QoL and increase the risk of mortality.3,6 To alleviate the clinical signs associated with excess cortisol exposure, the primary treatment goal in Cushing’s syndrome is to reduce cortisol levels to normal.8 About LINC 4 LINC 4 is a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, 48-week study with an initial 12-week placebo-controlled period to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Isturisa® in patients with Cushing’s disease. The LINC 4 study enrolled patients with persistent or recurrent Cushing’s disease or those with de novo disease who were ineligible for surgery; 73 randomised patients were treated with Isturisa® (n=48) or placebo (n=25).1 The primary endpoint of the study is the proportion of randomised patients with a complete response (mUFC ≤ULN) at the end of the placebo-controlled period (week 12). The key secondary endpoint is the proportion of patients with an mUFC ≤ULN at week 36.1,9 About Isturisa® Isturisa® is an oral inhibitor of 11β-hydroxylase (CYP11B1), which catalyses the final step of cortisol synthesis in the adrenal glands.2 Isturisa® is available as 1 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg film-coated tablets.2 Isturisa® is approved for the treatment of adult patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome in the EU and is now available in France, Germany, Greece and Austria.2 Isturisa® was granted marketing authorisation by the European Commission on 9 January 2020. For detailed recommendations on the appropriate use of this product, please consult the summary of product characteristics.2 References 1. Gadelha M, Bex M, Feelders RA et al. Randomised trial of osilodrostat for the treatment of Cushing's disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2022; dgac178, https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgac178. 2. Isturisa® summary of product characteristics. May 2020. 3. Ferriere A, Tabarin A. Cushing's syndrome: Treatment and new therapeutic approaches. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020;34:101381. 4. Pivonello R, Fleseriu M, Newell-Price J et al. Efficacy and safety of osilodrostat in patients with Cushing's disease (LINC 3): a multicentre phase III study with a double-blind, randomised withdrawal phase. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2020;8:748-61. 5. Lacroix A, Feelders RA, Stratakis CA et al. Cushing's syndrome. Lancet 2015;386:913-27. 6. Pivonello R, Isidori AM, De Martino MC et al. Complications of Cushing's syndrome: state of the art. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016;4:611-29. 7. Rubinstein G, Osswald A, Hoster E et al. Time to diagnosis in Cushing's syndrome: A meta-analysis based on 5367 patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020;105:dgz136. 8. Nieman LK, Biller BM, Findling JW et al. Treatment of Cushing's syndrome: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100:2807-31. 9. ClinicalTrials.gov. NCT02697734; available at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02697734 (accessed March 2021). Recordati Rare Diseases, the company’s EMEA headquarters are located in Puteaux, France, with global headquarter offices in Milan, Italy. For a full list of products, please click here: www.recordatirarediseases.com/products. Recordati, established in 1926, is an international pharmaceutical group, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (Reuters RECI.MI, Bloomberg REC IM, ISIN IT 0003828271), with a total staff of more than 4,300, dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Milan, Italy, Recordati has operations in Europe, Russia and the other C.I.S. countries, Ukraine, Turkey, North Africa, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, some South American countries, Japan and Australia. An efficient field force of medical representatives promotes a wide range of innovative pharmaceuticals, both proprietary and under license, in several therapeutic areas including a specialized business dedicated to treatments for rare diseases. Recordati is a partner of choice for new product licenses for its territories. Recordati is committed to the research and development of new specialties with a focus on treatments for rare diseases. Consolidated revenue for 2021 was € 1,580.1 million, operating income was € 490.2 million and net income was € 386.0 million. For further information: Recordati website: www.recordatirarediseases.com This document contains forward-looking statements relating to future events and future operating, economic and financial results of the Recordati group. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they depend on the occurrence of future events and circumstances. Actual results may therefore differ materially from those forecast as a result of a variety of reasons, most of which are beyond the Recordati group’s control. The information on the pharmaceutical specialties and other products of the Recordati group contained in this document is intended solely as information on the Recordati group’s activities and therefore, as such, it is not intended as medical scientific indication or recommendation, nor as advertising. View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220325005169/en/ Contacts Celine Plisson, MD Medical Affairs Director Telephone: +33(0)147739463 Email: PLISSON.C@recordati.com Related Quotes Symbol Last Price Change % Change REC Emles Real Estate Credit ETF 22.89 +0.13 +0.57% TRENDING 1. Oil Climbs After Two-Day Drop as Investors Assess Ukraine Talks 2. Stocks Fall, Oil Rises as Russia Concerns Return: Markets Wrap 3. Truckmaker MAN to shorten hours of up to 11,000 workers on Ukraine crisis 4. UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka suffers long power cuts as currency shortage makes fuel scarce 5. 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  7. by Valentina Guarnotta, Francesca Di Gaudio and Carla Giordano 1 Department of Health Promotion, Maternal-Infantile Care, Excellence Internal and Specialist Medicine “G. D’Alessandro” [PROMISE], Section of Endocrine Disease and Nutrition, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy 2 Biochemistry Head CQRC Division (Quality Control and Biochemical Risk), Department of Health Promotion, Maternal-Infantile Care, Excellence Internal and Specialist Medicine “G. D’Alessandro” [PROMISE], University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Academic Editor: Edgard Delvin Nutrients 2022, 14(5), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14050973 Abstract Background: The primary objective of the study was to assess serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] values in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD), compared to controls. The secondary objective was to assess the response to a load of 150,000 U of cholecalciferol. Methods: In 50 patients with active CD and 48 controls, we evaluated the anthropometric and biochemical parameters, including insulin sensitivity estimation by the homeostatic model of insulin resistance, Matsuda Index and oral disposition index at baseline and in patients with CD also after 6 weeks of cholecalciferol supplementation. Results: At baseline, patients with CD showed a higher frequency of hypovitaminosis deficiency (p = 0.001) and lower serum 25(OH)D (p < 0.001) than the controls. Six weeks after cholecalciferol treatment, patients with CD had increased serum calcium (p = 0.017), 25(OH)D (p < 0.001), ISI-Matsuda (p = 0.035), oral disposition index (p = 0.045) and decreased serum PTH (p = 0.004) and total cholesterol (p = 0.017) values than at baseline. Multivariate analysis showed that mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) was independently negatively correlated with serum 25(OH)D in CD. Conclusions: Serum 25(OH)D levels are lower in patients with CD compared to the controls. Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with mUFC and values of mUFC > 240 nmol/24 h are associated with hypovitaminosis D. Cholecalciferol supplementation had a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and lipids. Keywords: glucocorticoid; hypercortisolism; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; cholecalciferol 1. Introduction Vitamin D is the precursor of a hormone with pleiotropic effects. Its deficiency has been largely investigated and shown to be associated with many complications including diabetes mellitus, adrenal insufficiency, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and other endocrinopathies [1,2,3]. Vitamin D, also known as cholecalciferol, is first formed in the skin by the photolysis of 7-dehydrocholesterol and after hydroxylated in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. It is further transformed in the kidney into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) (calcitriol) that is the active form [4]. Cushing’s disease (CD) is characterized by a cortisol excess due to autonomous pituitary ACTH secretion. Patients with CD show many comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, obesity, osteoporosis/osteopenia and infections that contribute to increasing the mortality risk for these patients [5,6,7,8,9,10,11]. Indeed, GCs are key regulators of intermediary metabolism promoting hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenosis and on lipid metabolism favouring the deposition of fat to the upper trunk and the face [12]. They stimulate water diuresis, glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow and these effects result in arterial hypertension and atherosclerosis. GCs reduce bone remodelling, augment urinary calcium excretion and decrease the intestinal calcium absorption. In addition, they act on immune and hematological systems inhibiting the secretion of interleukins and increasing the red blood cell count, respectively [12]. An interesting relationship exists between glucocorticoids (GCs) and vitamin D values [13,14,15,16]. Indeed, exogenous steroid therapy has been reported to be associated with vitamin deficiency [13]. The mechanism by which GCs reduce 25(OH)D levels is not direct, but indirect, regulating vitamin D receptor expression in many tissues and cells [17,18]. Some authors have shown that treatment with dexamethasone in mice was associated with a decrease in 1α-hydroxylase which is involved in the conversion from 25(OH)D3 to the active metabolite 1,25(OH)2D3 and an increase in 24-hydroxylase, able to break down the active form of calcitriol, in inactive, reducing circulating 25(OH)D levels [19]. In a clinical setting, controversial data have been reported on GCs effects on serum 1,25(OH)2D concentrations [20,21,22,23]. A likely reason for these discrepancies might be the marked heterogeneity of the studied groups. Some of these studies were performed in humans [23,24,25,26], and others in animal models [27,28], but only a few studies were conducted in subjects with endogenous hypercortisolism. Low serum 25(OH)D levels have significant skeletal and extra-skeletal consequences such as myopathy, high risk of fractures and also affect the immune system and metabolism. All of these systems are impaired in patients with hypercortisolism and a vitamin D deficiency may provide a further aggravation of CD comorbidities. Indeed, it may cause a reduced intestinal calcium absorption resulting in secondary hypocalcemia and hyperparathyroidism leading to a bone demineralization. Its deficiency can contribute to obesity and metabolic syndrome due to the lack of antiadipogenic effect of vitamin D and to cardiovascular disease by a deregulation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, cardiac contractility and increase in cytokine release [29]. In the end, vitamin D deficiency causes impaired insulin sensitivity and immune system [30]. The discrepancies that emerge in the above-mentioned studies suggest a need to investigate the role of 25(OH)D in patients with CD. Therefore, the primary objective of the study was to evaluate serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with CD, compared to a control group matched for age, BMI and gender, and search for a possible correlation with the degree of hypercortisolism. The secondary objective was to evaluate the response to a course of 150,000 U of cholecalciferol on metabolic and hormonal parameters 6 weeks after the administration in patients with CD. 2. Materials and Methods 2.1. Subjects and Study Design Fifty patients with active CD, 43 of them women (86%) and 7 of them men (20%) (mean age 50.9 ± 17.4 years; mean duration of disease 32.5 ± 22.4 years), followed from January 2016 to December 2020, by the Endocrinology of the University of Palermo, were included in the current study. Clinical practice guidelines and a recent consensus statement were used to diagnose CD [31,32]. We recruited a control group matched for age, BMI and gender in the same temporal period. It was composed of 48 patients, 33 women (82.5%) and 7 men (17.5%) (mean age 48.5 ± 13.4 years) were evaluated by our team for a suspicion not biochemically confirmed of Cushing’s syndrome (CS). In all patients, we evaluated phenotypic characteristics including moon face, facial rubor, dorsal fat pad or buffalo hump, defined as a fatty tissue deposit between the shoulders, purple striae, defined as wide, reddish-purple streaks, and myopathy defined as muscle weakness at the proximal level. We also assessed cardiovascular, metabolic and bone comorbidities. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was based on National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP ATP III) criteria, while the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and prediabetes were based on the American Diabetes Association (ADA, Arlington, VA, USA) criteria [33,34]. Among patients with diabetes mellitus (18 out of 50), 16 were treated with metformin alone, while 2 were treated with a combination of metformin and GLP-1 agonist receptors. Metformin and GLP-1 agonist receptors were discontinued 24 h and 2 weeks before metabolic evaluations, respectively, to avoid any interference with metabolic parameters. Diabetic patients were on good metabolic control (HbA1c ≤ 7%). Both CD patients and the controls were naïve to cholecalciferol. In CD and the controls, BMI and waist circumference (WC), fasting serum lipids (total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (TG), HbA1c, glycaemia, insulinaemia, albumin corrected calcium, phosphorus and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were assessed. To avoid seasonal influences, serum 25(OH)D levels were only assayed between winter and spring seasons (November–April). We evaluated urinary free cortisol (UFC) as the mean of three 24 h urine collections (mUFC), cortisol after a low dose of dexamethasone suppression test and plasma ACTH. We defined patients with mild hypercortisolism when mUFC levels not exceeding twice the upper limit of normal (ULN), moderate hypercortisolism by a level of mUFC more than 2 to 5 times the ULN and severe hypercortisolism by a mUFC level more than 5 times the ULN, as previously reported [35]. As defined by the Endocrine Society guidelines, we considered 25(OH)D deficiency for values < 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L), insufficiency as levels of 20–30 ng/mL (50–75 nmol/L) and sufficiency for values ≥ 30 ng/mL (≥75 nmol/L) [36]. In addition, severe 25(OH)D deficiency was defined by levels < 10 ng/mL (<25 nmol/L) [37]. As markers of insulin sensitivity, we calculated the homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) [38], and in 32 patients with CD and in 40 controls who had no previous diagnosis of diabetes, we also evaluated the Matsuda index of insulin sensitivity (ISI-Matsuda) [39], the oral disposition index (DIo) [40] and the area under the curve for insulin (AUC2h insulinemia) and glucose (AUC2h glycaemia). At the baseline visit, we assessed patients’ lifestyle habits: physical activity level, balanced diet (consumption of dairy products, meat, coffee, soft drinks), exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, smoking status and alcohol use. We excluded patients with adrenal-dependent hypercortisolism, pregnancy, taking oral contraceptives, liver or renal disease, cholecalciferol supplementation within 3 months before the study, malabsorption syndrome and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (solarium and sunscreen usage). Patients with CD received an oral load dose of cholecalciferol of 150,000 UI [41,42] and biochemical parameters (metabolic and hormonal) were assayed 6 weeks after administration. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Policlinico Paolo Giaccone hospital. All patients signed a written informed consent. 2.2. Assays Biochemical parameters were measured by standard methods (Modular P800, Roche, Milan, Italy), as previously reported [9]. Hormonal parameters were measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA, Elecsys, Roche, Milan, Italy) following the manufacturer’s instructions, as previously reported [9]. Mean UFC was measured by mass spectrometry, as previously reported [35]. Normal values for hormonal markers were defined as follows: ACTH 2.2–14 pmol/L and UFC 59–378 nmol/24 h. 2.3. Statistical Analysis We used statistical Packages for Social Science SPSS version 19 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) for data analysis. The normality of quantitative variables was tested with the Shapiro–Wilk test. We calculated mean ± SD for continuous variables and rates and proportions for categorical variables. The differences between paired continuous variables (CD vs. controls) were analysed using one-way ANOVA. We used univariate Pearson correlation to evaluate the relations with the outcome parameters. For those variables which were significant at univariate correlation, we performed multiple linear regression analysis to identify independent predictors of the dependent variable 25(OH)D. A p-value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to investigate the diagnostic ability of significantly associated risk factors to predict 25(OH)D deficiency. The ROC curve is plotted as sensitivity versus 1-specificity. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was estimated to measure the overall performance of the predictive factors for serum 25(OH)D deficiency. 3. Results At baseline, patients with CD had a higher frequency of arterial hypertension (p = 0.009), osteoporosis/osteopenia (p = 0.002), hypercholesterolemia (p = 0.002), diabetes mellitus (p = 0.026), myopathy (p < 0.001), facial rubor (p = 0.005), buffalo hump (p = 0.002) and hypovitaminosis deficiency (p = 0.001) than the controls (Table 1). Table 1. Comorbidities of patients with CD and controls at baseline. By contrast, the controls had a higher frequency of vitamin D sufficiency (p = 0.004). Patients with CD also had higher WC (p = 0.031), PTH (p = 0.003), glycaemia (p = 0.010), HbA1c (p = 0.004), total cholesterol (p < 0.001), LDL cholesterol (p = 0.002), ACTH (p < 0.001), mUFC (p = 0.001), cortisol after a low dose of dexamethasone suppression test (p = 0.001) and lower 25(OH)D (p < 0.001), ISI-Matsuda (p = 0.007) and DIo (p = 0.003) than the controls (Table 2). Table 2. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters of patients with CD and controls at baseline. Six weeks after cholecalciferol treatment, patients with CD showed increased serum calcium (p = 0.017), 25(OH)D (p < 0.001), ISI-Matsuda (p = 0.035), DIo (p = 0.045) and a decrease in PTH (p = 0.004) and total cholesterol (p = 0.017) levels than at baseline (Table 3). Table 3. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters at baseline and 6 weeks after cholecalciferol supplementation in patients with CD. Considering the degree of hypercortisolism, in patients with severe hypercortisolism we observed 25(OH)D deficiency in 73.1% of cases (53.8% of them had a severe deficiency), insufficiency in 12.5% of cases and sufficiency in 6.3% of cases. In patients with moderate hypercortisolism, we observed 25(OH)D deficiency in 64.7% of cases (29% of them had a severe deficiency), insufficiency in 23.5% of cases and sufficiency in 11.8% of cases. In patients with mild hypercortisolism, we observed deficiency in 52.9% of cases (20% of them had a severe deficiency), insufficiency in 41.1% of cases and sufficiency in 6% of cases. At univariate correlation, in patients with CD at baseline, serum 25(OH)D was inversely correlated with glycaemia (r = −0.385, p = 0.019), HbA1c (r = −0.391, p = 0.017), WC (r = −0.373, p = 0.023), mUFC (r = −0.466, p = 0.033) and cortisol after a low dose of dexamethasone suppression test (r = −0.299, p = 0.049) (Table 4). In the controls, at baseline, 25(OH)D was inversely correlated with WC (r = −0.130, p = 0.042) (Table 4). Table 4. Correlation of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels at baseline in patients with Cushing’s disease and controls. Multivariate analysis showed that mUFC was independently inversely associated with 25(OH)D (p = 0.010) in patients with CD (Figure 1). In the controls, no significant associations were found. Figure 1. Independent variables associated with serum 25(OH)D in patients with active CD at multivariate analysis. mUFC: mean urinary free cortisol. The ROC analysis showed that a cut-off of mUFC > 240 nmol/24 h was associated with 25(OH)D deficiency with a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 56.9%, AUC 0.803 (Figure 2). Figure 2. 25(OH)D status and mUFC. ROC curve showed that a cut-off of mUFC > 240 nmol/24 h could be associated with 25(OH)D deficiency. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. 4. Discussion The present study shows that patients with active CD have lower serum 25(OH)D values than the controls and that serum 25(OH)D levels are inversely correlated with mUFC in CD. In addition, a cholecalciferol load is associated after 6 weeks from the administration with an improvement of serum 25(OH)D and glycometabolic and lipid parameters in patients with CD. Furthermore, we found that higher values of mUFC than 240 nmol/24 h are predictive of 25(OH)D deficiency. The degree of hypercortisolism evaluated by UFC levels is a useful parameter to quantify the “amount” of cortisol secretion, even though it is not sufficiently exhaustive to assess the aggressiveness of the disease [35]. Indeed, a combination of several factors, including the degree of hypercortisolism, but also the duration of the disease, age and other individual predisposing factors, contribute to the aggressiveness of the disease. Long-standing studies were conducted on vitamin D levels in patients with CD. Patients with CD, with and without osteopenia, were compared before and after oral calcium load showing that serum 1,25 (OH)2D3 plasma levels were higher in subjects with osteopenia than in those without it, likely due to a secondary increase in PTH levels as an effect of hypercortisolism [19]. Another study investigated the effect of hypercortisolism and eucortisolism, showing a reduction in serum 25(OH)D levels, but not in 1,25 (OH)2D3 in patients with hypercortisolism. By contrast, two other studies found normal serum 25(OH)D values in patients with CD [23,24]. However, all the above-mentioned studies were conducted on a small sample of patients. Recently, a meta-analysis conducted on the studies that evaluated serum 25(OH)D levels in patients treated with GCs reported lower serum 25(OH)D levels in these patients compared to healthy subjects [16]. A hypothetical reason was that patients with CD had low 24-hydroxylase levels than the controls, causing an alteration of vitamin D catabolism. An interesting in vitro study in NCI-H295R cells found that treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 decreased corticosterone secretion without affecting cortisol levels [43]. As expected, in the current study, we showed that treatment with cholecalciferol is associated with an improvement in insulin sensitivity and total cholesterol values in patients with CD. Indeed, cholecalciferol supplementation has been reported to be associated with improved peripheral insulin sensitivity and secretion in patients at high risk of diabetes or with type 2 diabetes [44]. A recent meta-analysis on 41 randomized controlled studies showed a significant improvement in total cholesterol levels after cholecalciferol supplementation. In addition, this improvement was more pronounced in patients with vitamin D deficiency [45,46]. A recent study compared the metabolism of vitamin D in patients with CD and controls after cholecalciferol treatment, showing that patients with CD had a higher 25(OH)D/24,25(OH)2D ratio than healthy controls, likely due to a decrease in 24-hydroxylase activity. The authors concluded that this alteration of vitamin D catabolism might have an influence on the effectiveness of cholecalciferol therapy in CD [47]. There are some limitations in the current study. First, the study is not randomized. Second, the dose of cholecalciferol administered is the same independently of the baseline serum 25(OH)D values. Third, we did not register the intake of milk and dairy products of the patients included in the study. In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D levels are lower in subjects with active CD compared to controls matched for age, BMI and gender. Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with mUFC and values of mUFC > 240 nmol/24 h are predictive of 25(OH)D deficiency. In addition, cholecalciferol supplementation has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and lipids and therefore should be considered part of the treatment of patients with CD at diagnosis, in order to improve the comorbidities. However, further studies are needed to evaluate a possible effect of cholecalciferol supplementation on the aggressiveness of CD. Author Contributions Conceptualization, V.G. and F.D.G.; methodology, V.G.; software, V.G.; validation, V.G., F.D.G. and C.G.; formal analysis, V.G.; investigation, V.G.; resources, F.D.G.; data curation, V.G.; writing—original draft preparation, V.G.; writing—review and editing, V.G.; visualization, V.G.; supervision, C.G.; project administration, C.G.; funding acquisition, C.G. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding This research received no external funding. Institutional Review Board Statement The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and was approved by the Institutional Review Board (or Ethics Committee) of Policlinico Paolo Giaccone (number 1, approved on the 17 January 2022). Informed Consent Statement Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study. Written informed consent has been obtained from the patient(s) to publish this paper. Data Availability Statement Data are available on demand at corresponding author. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflict of interest. References Muscogiuri, G.; Altieri, B.; Annweiler, C.; Balercia, G.; Pal, H.B.; Boucher, B.J.; Cannell, J.J.; Foresta, C.; Grübler, M.R.; Kotsa, K.; et al. Vitamin D and chronic diseases: The current state of the art. Arch. Toxicol. 2017, 91, 97–107. 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  8. Cushing’s disease is a progressive pituitary disorder in which there is an excess of cortisol in the body. While the disease can be treated surgically, this option is not possible for all patients. This is one of the approved medications that assist in controlling cortisol levels in people with Cushing’s disease. sturisa was approved in 2020 to treat adults with Cushing’s disease for whom pituitary surgery is ineffective or not an option. The oral medication works by inhibiting an enzyme called 11-beta-hydroxylase, which is involved in cortisol production. Isturisa, also known as osilodrostat or LCI699, is an approved treatment originally developed by Novartis, but now acquired by Recordati to treat people with Cushing’s disease, a condition in which a pituitary tumor causes the body to produce excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Isturisa to treat adults with Cushing’s disease for whom pituitary surgery was not an option, or ineffective. Earlier that same year, the European Commission (EC) approved Isturisa to treat people with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. The medication also was approved for the same indication in Japan in 2021. How does Isturisa work? Isturisa is an oral medicine that inhibits an enzyme called 11-beta-hydroxylase, which is involved in cortisol production. Blocking the activity of this enzyme prevents excessive cortisol production, normalizing the levels of the hormone in the body and easing the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Isturisa in clinical trials A Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT01331239) investigated the safety and efficacy of Isturisa as a Cushing’s disease treatment. The trial that concluded in October 2019 initially was named LINC-1, but, through a study protocol amendment, patients who completed the study could continue into a second phase called LINC-2. The company published findings that covered both patient groups in the journal Pituitary. Data showed that Isturisa reduced cortisol levels in the urine of all patients by week 22. Urine cortisol levels reached and remained within a normal range in 79% of the patients by then. Common adverse effects included nausea, diarrhea, lack of energy, and adrenal insufficiency — a condition in which the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormones. A Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT02180217) called LINC-3 also assessed the safety and efficacy of Isturisa in 137 patients with Cushing’s disease (77% female, median age 40 years). Participants were given Isturisa for 26 weeks, with efficacy-based dose adjustments during the first 12 weeks. Then, the 71 participants with a complete response (those whose urine cortisol levels were within normal limits) at week 26 and who did not require a dose increase after week 12, were assigned randomly to either continue treatment with Isturisa or switch to a placebo. After this 34-week period, 86% of Isturisa-treated patients had normal urinary cortisol levels, as compared to 29% of participants given placebo. All participants then were given Isturisa for an additional 12 weeks. At the end of the 48-week study, 66% of participants had normal urine cortisol levels. Results from LINC-3 formed the basis for regulatory approvals of Isturisa. Common adverse side effects in the trial included nausea, headache, fatigue, and adrenal insufficiency. A multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial (NCT02697734) called LINC-4 further confirmed the safety and efficacy of Isturisa as a Cushing’s disease therapy. During the trial, patients received Isturisa or a placebo through a 12-week period followed by treatment with Isturisa until week 48. Top-line results showed that 77% of patients on Isturisa experienced a complete response after the 12-week randomized period, as compared to 8% of those on placebo. No new safety data were noted. A roll-over, worldwide Phase 2 study (NCT03606408) is recruiting patients who have successfully completed any of the previous clinical trials. Patients can continue to take the dosage they received during the initial trial. The aim of this study is to assess the long-term effects of Isturisa for up to five years.
  9. Any condition that causes the adrenal gland to produce excessive cortisol results in the disorder Cushing's syndrome. Cushing syndrome is characterized by facial and torso obesity, high blood pressure, stretch marks on the belly, weakness, osteoporosis, and facial hair growth in females. Cushing's syndrome has many possible causes including tumors within the adrenal gland, adrenal gland stimulating hormone (ACTH) produced from cancer such as lung cancer, and ACTH excessively produced from a pituitary tumors within the brain. ACTH is normally produced by the pituitary gland (located in the center of the brain) to stimulate the adrenal glands' natural production of cortisol, especially in times of stress. When a pituitary tumor secretes excessive ACTH, the disorder resulting from this specific form of Cushing's syndrome is referred to as Cushing's disease. As an aside, it should be noted that doctors will sometimes describe certain patients with features identical to Cushing's syndrome as having 'Cushingoid' features. Typically, these features are occurring as side effects of cortisone-related medications, such as prednisone and prednisolone.
  10. 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.
  11. Rachel Acree, Caitlin M Miller, Brent S Abel, Nicola M Neary, Karen Campbell, Lynnette K Nieman 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
  12. Eleni Papakokkinou, Marta Piasecka, Hanne Krage Carlsen, Dimitrios Chantzichristos, Daniel S. Olsson, Per Dahlqvist, Maria Petersson, Katarina Berinder, Sophie Bensing, Charlotte Höybye, Britt Edén Engström, Pia Burman, Cecilia Follin, David Petranek, Eva Marie Erfurth, Jeanette Wahlberg, Bertil Ekman, Anna-Karin Åkerman, Erik Schwarcz, Gudmundur Johannsson, Henrik Falhammar & Oskar Ragnarsson 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 Full size table 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 Flowchart of study selection Full size image 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 Forest plot showing individual studies and pooled prevalence of Nelson’s syndrome after bilateral adrenalectomy in patients with Cushing’s disease. *Additional data Full size image 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 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 Full size image 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 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 Full size image 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 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 Full size image 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 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 Full size image 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 References 1. Papakokkinou E, Olsson DS, Chantzichristos D, Dahlqvist P, Segerstedt E, Olsson T, Petersson M, Berinder K, Bensing S, Hoybye C, Eden-Engstrom B, Burman P, Bonelli L, Follin C, Petranek D, Erfurth EM, Wahlberg J, Ekman B, Akerman AK, Schwarcz E, Bryngelsson IL, Johannsson G, Ragnarsson O (2020) Excess morbidity persists in patients with cushing's disease during long-term remission: a swedish nationwide study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 105(8):2616–2624 2. Ragnarsson O, Olsson DS, Papakokkinou E, Chantzichristos D, Dahlqvist P, Segerstedt E, Olsson T, Petersson M, Berinder K, Bensing S, Hoybye C, Eden-Engstrom B, Burman P, Bonelli L, Follin C, Petranek D, Erfurth EM, Wahlberg J, Ekman B, Akerman AK, Schwarcz E, Bryngelsson IL, Johannsson G (2019) Overall and disease-specific mortality in patients with cushing disease: a swedish nationwide study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 104(6):2375–2384 PubMed Article Google Scholar 3. Nieman LK, Biller BM, Findling JW, Murad MH, Newell-Price J, Savage MO, Tabarin A, Endocrine S (2015) Treatment of cushing’s syndrome: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 100(8):2807–2831 CAS PubMed PubMed Central Article Google Scholar 4. Ritzel K, Beuschlein F, Mickisch A, Osswald A, Schneider HJ, Schopohl J, Reincke M (2013) Clinical review: outcome of bilateral adrenalectomy in Cushing’s syndrome: a systematic review. 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Fountas A, Lim ES, Drake WM, Powlson AS, Gurnell M, Martin NM, Seejore K, Murray RD, MacFarlane J, Ahluwalia R, Swords F, Ashraf M, Pal A, Chong Z, Freel M, Balafshan T, Purewal TS, Speak RG, Newell-Price J, Higham CE, Hussein Z, Baldeweg SE, Dales J, Reddy N, Levy MJ, Karavitaki N (2020) Outcomes of patients with Nelson's syndrome after primary treatment: a multicenter study from 13 UK pituitary centers. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 105(5):1527–1537 Download references 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 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 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 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, 4053, Gothenburg, Sweden Hanne Krage Carlsen Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden Per Dahlqvist Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden Maria Petersson, Katarina Berinder, Sophie Bensing, Charlotte Höybye & Henrik Falhammar Department of Endocrinology, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 76, Stockholm, Sweden Maria Petersson, Katarina Berinder, Sophie Bensing, Charlotte Höybye & Henrik Falhammar 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 Department of Endocrinology, Skåne University Hospital, University of Lund, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden Pia Burman Department of Endocrinology, Skåne University Hospital, 222 42, Lund, Sweden Cecilia Follin, David Petranek & Eva Marie Erfurth Department of Endocrinology and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 83, Linköping, Sweden Jeanette Wahlberg & Bertil Ekman 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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If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Reprints and Permissions About this article Cite this article 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 Download citation Accepted18 May 2021 Published25 May 2021 DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11102-021-01158-z Share this article Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content: Get shareable link Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative Keywords Bilateral adrenalectomy Cushing’s disease Corticotroph adenoma Nelson’s syndrome From https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11102-021-01158-z
  13. Zarina Brady, Aoife Garrahy, Claire Carthy, Michael W. O’Reilly, Christopher J. Thompson, Mark Sherlock, Amar Agha & Mohsen Javadpour BMC Endocrine Disorders volume 21, Article number: 36 (2021) Cite this article 160 Accesses Metricsdetails Abstract Background Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) to resect an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma is the first-line treatment for Cushing’s disease (CD), with increasing usage of endoscopic transsphenoidal (ETSS) technique. The aim of this study was to assess remission rates and postoperative complications following ETSS for CD. Methods A retrospective analysis of a prospective single-surgeon database of consecutive patients with CD who underwent ETSS between January 2012–February 2020. Post-operative remission was defined, according to Endocrine Society Guidelines, as a morning serum cortisol < 138 nmol/L within 7 days of surgery, with improvement in clinical features of hypercortisolism. A strict cut-off of < 50 nmol/L at day 3 post-op was also applied, to allow early identification of remission. Results A single surgeon (MJ) performed 43 ETSS in 39 patients. Pre-operative MRI localised an adenoma in 22 (56%) patients; 18 microadenoma and 4 macroadenoma (2 with cavernous sinus invasion). IPSS was carried out in 33 (85%) patients. The remission rates for initial surgery were 87% using standard criteria, 58% using the strict criteria (day 3 cortisol < 50 nmol/L). Three patients had an early repeat ETSS for persistent disease (day 3 cortisol 306-555 nmol/L). When the outcome of repeat early ETSS was included, the remission rate was 92% (36/39) overall. Remission rate was 94% (33/35) when patients with macroadenomas were excluded. There were no cases of CSF leakage, meningitis, vascular injury or visual deterioration. Transient and permanent diabetes insipidus occurred in 33 and 23% following first ETSS, respectively. There was one case of recurrence of CD during the follow-up period of 24 (4–79) months. Conclusion Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery produces satisfactory remission rates for the primary treatment of CD, with higher remission rates for microadenomas. A longer follow-up period is required to assess recurrence rates. Patients should be counselled regarding risk of postoperative diabetes insipidus. Peer Review reports Introduction With an estimated annual incidence of 1.7 per million [1], Cushing’s disease is rare. Untreated, it poses serious complications including osteoporosis, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance, and hypercoagulability [2] and is associated with a 4.8 fold increase in mortality rate [3,4,5]. Patients who are in remission from CD have a mortality rate which decreases towards (although not reaching) that of the general population [6]. Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) offers patients potential remission from Cushing’s disease, although long term surveillance is required as recurrence rates range from 5 to 22%% [7,8,9,10,11,12]. Since the first report in 1997 [13], the selective removal of an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma by endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery has gained popularity as the first line treatment for Cushing’s disease. The primary goal of ETSS treatment in Cushing’s disease is to produce disease remission and to provide long-term control, while minimising complications. Remission rates are dependent on tumour size, preoperative MRI, cavernous sinus invasion, intraoperative visualisation of the tumour and pre- and postoperative ACTH and cortisol concentration [11]. Several studies also report pituitary neurosurgeon experience as a major factor for operative success [2, 14, 15]. Reported remission and recurrence rates after TSS for CD vary widely according to the criteria utilised to define remission [11], and in some studies due to limited patient numbers or short follow-up periods. Indeed, there is no clear consensus on how best to define post-operative remission; an early morning serum cortisol concentration < 138 nmol/L (5μg/dl) within 7 days of TSS is quoted in the 2015 Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline as indicative of remission [16]. A more strict day 3 cut-off of 50 nmol/L (1.8 μg/dl) has been reported in paediatric studies [17], and also included in the Endocrine Society Guideline [16]; the literature suggests this cut-off is associated with remission, and a low recurrence rate of approximately 10% at 10 years [14]. The main objective of this study was to assess the outcomes of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for Cushing’s disease in a tertiary pituitary centre; remission using two widely accepted criteria [16], recurrence and postoperative complications. Methods Study design This is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively-maintained database of patients operated on by a single neurosurgeon (MJ), via image-guided endoscopic transsphenoidal approach for Cushing’s disease. Patient data was gathered over 8 years (January 2012 to February 2020) and identified from the institution’s prospective database. Clinical and biochemical data during the follow-up period was reviewed. Approval was granted by the Hospital Audit Committee. Study population Patients were screened for Cushing’s syndrome by the presence of typical clinical features, together with failure to adequately suppress cortisol to < 50 nmol/L following overnight dexamethasone suppression test (ONDST) and/or elevated late night salivary cortisol (LNSF) concentration and/or elevated 24 h urinary free cortisol measurements. As per standard guidelines, Cushing’s disease was diagnosed on the basis of elevated serum ACTH measurements, along with confirmatory hormone responses to peripheral corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) test and inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS). Patients with previous TSS prior to the study period were excluded. Surgical procedure A single neurosurgeon subspecialising in endoscopic pituitary and anterior skull base surgery, M.J, carried out all ETSS surgical procedures. The surgical technique has been described in detail in publications by Cappabianca et al. (1998, 1999) and Jho et al. (1997, 2000, 2001) [13, 18,19,20,21]. In summary, the procedure consists of a binostril endoscopic transsphenoidal approach. A selective adenomectomy was performed on patients with adenomas noted on pre-operative MRI. In cases of negative pre-operative MRI, exploration of the pituitary gland was performed. To confirm the diagnosis of ACTH-secreting adenoma or hyperplasia, all specimens removed underwent histopathological and immunohistochemical staining for pituitary hormones. Postoperative assessment Patients received empiric oral hydrocortisone on day 1 and on the morning of day 2 post-operatively, prior to assessment of 0800 h serum cortisol on day 3. A blood sample for serum cortisol was drawn at 0800 h on the morning of day 3, if clinically stable, prior to administration of hydrocortisone. The Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline define post-operative biochemical remission as morning serum cortisol < 138 nmol/L (5μg/dl) within 7 days postoperatively [16], ‘standard criteria’. In our institution, we also apply a biochemical cut-off of < 50 nmol/L (1.8 μg/dl) at day 3 postoperatively to allow early indication of biochemical remission, ‘strict criteria’. If serum cortisol on day 3 is 50–138 nmol/L, serial measurements are taken daily to determine if cortisol will fall further, and assessment for improvement/resolution of clinical sequalae of hypercortisolaemia made (such as improvement in blood pressure or glycaemic control), before repeat endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is considered. Transient cranial diabetes insipidus (DI) was defined as the development of hypotonic polyuria postoperatively requiring at least one dose of desmopressin [22], which resolved prior to discharge. Permanent DI was confirmed by water deprivation test according to standard criteria [23]. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency was defined by low fT4 with either low or inappropriately normal TSH. Growth hormone (GH) deficiency was confirmed using either Insulin Tolerance Test or Glucagon Stimulation Test [24]. Gonadotrophin deficiency was defined in premenopausal women as amenorrhoea with inappropriately low FSH and LH concentration, and in postmenopausal patients as inappropriately low FSH and LH concentration. Recovery of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis was assessed by short synacthen (250 μg) test or insulin tolerance test 3 months post-operatively, and every 3–6 months thereafter in cases of initial fail or borderline result. Patients were assessed annually for recurrence of Cushing’s disease, recurrence was defined by failure to suppress cortisol to < 50 nmol/L following an 1 mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test, an elevated late night salivary cortisol (LNSF) or urinary free cortisol (UFC) in patients no longer taking hydrocortisone. Laboratory analysis Prior to 2019, serum cortisol was measured using a chemiluminescent immunoassay with the Beckman Coulter UniCel Dxl 800. Intra-assay CV for serum cortisol was 8.3, 5 and 4.6% at concentrations of 76, 438 and 865 nmol/L, respectively. From January 2019 onwards, serum cortisol was measured using Elecsys® Cortisol II assay on the Roche Cobas e801; intra-assay precision for serum cortisol was 1.2, 1.1 and 1.6% at concentrations of 31.8, 273 and 788 nmol/L, respectively. Statistics Data are expressed as median (range) and number (%). The Fishers Exact test was used to compare categorical variables between groups. All p-values were considered statistically significant at a level < 0.05. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 8 statistical software (GraphPad Software, La Jolla, California, USA). Results Demographics Forty-three endoscopic transsphenoidal procedures were performed in 39 patients. Demographics are summarised in Table 1. Median (range) age was 37 years (8–75), 30 were female. Median (range) duration of symptoms was 24 months (6–144), 72% (28/39) had hypertension, and 28% (11/39) had type 2 diabetes. Table 1 Summary of demographics and post-operative outcomes Full size table Preoperative imaging and IPSS Pre-operative MRI localised an adenoma in 22 (56%) patients; 18 microadenoma and 4 macroadenoma (2 with cavernous sinus invasion). No adenoma was identified in 17 patients (44%). IPSS was carried out in 33 (85%) patients. Postoperative remission Post-operative outcomes are summarised in Table 1 and Fig. 1. Using standard criteria (0800 h serum cortisol < 138 nmol/l within 7 days of operation and improvement in clinical features of hypercortisolism), postoperative remission rates for initial surgery were 87% (34/39) for the entire group and 89% (31/35) when patients with macroadenomas were excluded, Fig. 1. Three patients had an early repeat ETSS for persistent disease; day 3 serum cortisol ranged from 306 to 555 nmol/L and interval to repeat ETSS from 10 days–3 months. When the outcome of early repeat ETSS was factored in, overall remission rate was 92% (36/39) overall, and 94% (33/35) when patients with macroadenomas were excluded. Fig. 1 Schema of patients who underwent ETSS. *Day 3 cortisol was not measured in one patient due to intercurrent illness requiring treatment with intravenous glucocorticoids Full size image Using strict criteria of early remission (day 3 serum cortisol concentration < 50 nmol/L), postoperative remission rates were 58% (22/38) overall, and 62% (21/34) excluding macroadenomas. Including the three patients with early repeat ETSS, remission rate was 61% (23/38) overall, and 65% excluding macroadenomas (22/34). Day 3 cortisol was not measured in one patient due to intercurrent illness requiring treatment with intravenous glucocorticoids. Eleven patients (28%) had a cortisol measurement between 50 and 138 nmol/L on day 3, seven of whom had received metyrapone therapy prior to ETSS. Six patients had serial measurements of 0800 h cortisol up to a maximum follow-up of 14 days post-op, serum cortisol concentration fell after day 3 in all six patients. Ten (91%) were glucocorticoid-dependent at 3 months based on synacthen/ITT; 0800 h cortisol had fallen to < 50 nmol/L in six patients. Predictors of remission No statistical difference was found in the rates of remission in those patients with or without tumour target on preoperative MRI, using either strict criteria for remission (12/21 target vs 10/17 no target, p > 0.99) or standard criteria (19/22 target vs 15/17 no target, p > 0.99). Similar results were found when the four patients with macroadenoma were excluded. Persistent disease Five patients (13%) had persistent hypercortisolaemia after the initial endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (Table 2). Three patients underwent a repeat early endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, Fig. 1. Remission rate after repeat early ETSS was 67% (2/3) using standard criteria, and 33% (1/3), using the strict criteria. Of the patients with persistent disease following repeat ETSS, one received radiosurgery, while the other has been commenced on medical therapy, with a view to refer for radiotherapy. Table 2 Outcome of five patients with persistent hypercortisolaemia after initial ETSS Full size table Postoperative complications The rate of transient diabetes insipidus after first ETSS was 33% (13/39), while permanent diabetes insipidus occurred in 23% (9/39). Postoperatively, there were five cases of new thyroid stimulating hormone deficiency (13%) and four cases of gonadotrophin deficiency (10%) (in pre-menopausal females). There were no cases of postoperative CSF leak, no cases of meningitis and no visual complications. There were no other complications. Recurrence No patients were lost to follow-up. Over a median (range) duration of follow-up of 24 (4–79) months, one patient had recurrence of Cushing’s disease. Pre-operative MRI had shown a macroadenoma; serum cortisol on day 3 after the initial ETSS was 71 nmol/L, which fulfilled standard criteria for remission, but not the more strict criteria. The patient underwent a second ETSS 13 months later. No tumour was visible intra-operatively so no tissue was removed, day 3 serum cortisol concentration was 308 nmol/L and the patient was commenced on a trial of metyrapone. Recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis Recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis occurred in nine patients (27%), at median 13 (3–27) months post-operatively. There was no statistical difference in rates of recovery of HPA axis in patients with day 3 cortisol < 50 nmol/l, and those who only passed standard criteria for remission (< 138 nmol/l) [7/20 (follow-up 25 (3–59) months) versus 2/11 (follow-up 16 (3–79) months) respectively, p = 0.43]. One patient died 5 weeks post-operatively; post-mortem revealed bilateral haemorrhagic adrenal necrosis. Discussion Reported remission rates following ETSS in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) vary widely, predominantly due to differences in criteria used to define remission [11]. There is no uniform consensus on the criteria used to define ‘remission’, with institutions using a combination of biochemical and clinical criteria; this makes comparing surgical outcome studies challenging. The normal corticotroph cells of the pituitary gland are suppressed due to sustained hypercortisolaemia, therefore following successful removal of the ACTH-secreting adenoma, serum ACTH and cortisol concentrations should fall postoperatively. A morning serum cortisol concentration < 138 nmol/L (5 μg/dl) within 7 days of ETSS is usually indicative of remission, and this biochemical cut-off is quoted in the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline [16], and many surgical outcome studies [8, 11, 25]. Other studies have applied a more strict serum cortisol cut-off of < 50 nmol/L (1.8 μg/L) at day 3 postoperatively to allow early indication of biochemical remission [10, 11, 26,27,28]; the literature suggests this cutoff is associated with remission, and a low recurrence rate of approximately 10% at 10 years [14]. Our practice is to apply this latter approach; if serum cortisol on day 3 is 50–138 nmol/L, serial measurements are taken daily to determine if cortisol will fall further, and assessment for improvement/resolution of clinical signs of hypercortisolaemia made, before repeat endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is considered. It is important to ensure that serum cortisol has reached a nadir, before further intervention is considered. In this single-centre single-surgeon study, we report two very different remission rates using these two widely accepted criteria. Our remission rate, including those patients who had an early second ETSS, using standard guidelines, is 92%, on par with other larger studies [7, 8, 11, 25, 29]. When patients with corticotroph macroadenomas were excluded, the remission rate was even higher at 94%. In comparison, when we applied the more strict criteria of day 3 cortisol < 50 nmol/L, the remission rate was considerably lower at 61%. This criteria is in place in our institution so that we can safely identify patients who have early signs of remission to facilitate discharge on day 3 post-operatively; however reporting these rates in isolation lead to a misleadingly low remission rate compared to the more lenient criteria proposed by the Endocrine Society [16]. Evidence has suggested that higher day 3 cortisol concentration is associated with greater risk of recurrence of CD. A recent retrospective cohort analysis of 81 ETSS for CD by Mayberg et al. reported significantly higher recurrence rates in patients with post-operative cortisol nadir between 58 and 149 nmol/L (2.1–5.4 μg/dL) compared with those with cortisol < 55 nmol/L (2 μg/dL) (33% vs 6%, p = 0.01) [30]. Recurrence of CD was low in our series at 3%, and occurred in a patient with a corticotroph macroadenoma, which have been shown to be associated with higher rates of recurrence [31]. On post-operative assessment, serum cortisol fell between the two criteria for remission and if remission was strictly defined as a day 3 cortisol < 50 nmol/L, then this patient had in fact persistent hypercortisolaemia. This case highlights the difficulty when comparing studies reporting ETSS outcomes in CD – the distinction between persistent post-operative hypercortisolism and early recurrence of CD is not always clear-cut, and is dictated by the local protocol. Whilst our recurrence data are encouraging in comparison to other reports on CD recurrence, which published rates of up to 22% [11], longer term follow-up is necessary before recurrence rates can be accurately defined. The criteria used to define long term recurrence of CD also varies widely in the literature; a large systematic review (n = 6400) by Petersenn et al. (2015) reported decreased recurrence rates when studies used UFC with ONDST vs. UFC only, and UFC with morning serum cortisol vs. UFC only [11]. This highlights the requirement for standardization of remission and recurrence criteria, for consistency in clinical practice and in the literature. The post-operative surgical complication rate in our series was very low, with no cases of CSF leak, vascular injury or visual compromise. Other published case series have reported incidence rates for CSF leakage and meningitis of 0–7.2% and 0–7.9% [2, 12, 32, 33] respectively. Postoperative meningitis is strongly associated with CSF leakage [34]. Some studies suggest that the endoscopic approach results in higher rates of carotid artery injury compared with the microscopic approach, which could be attributed to the nature of the extended lateral approach [35]. However, in this series of 43 ETSS, we report no cases of surgical related carotid artery injury, similar to other studies reporting 0% serious morbidity or mortality due to carotid artery injury [33, 36]. Finally, postoperative visual disturbance is a major concern, as it can be life changing for patients. Factors linked with visual complications include tumour size, patient age and any pre-existing visual conditions [37,38,39]. Visual deterioration after TSS for Cushing’s disease has been reported to occur in some large case series at rates of 1.9% [32] and 0.86% [12]. There were no cases of postoperative visual disturbance in our series. While the surgical complication rate was low, our endocrine complication rate was higher than that reported in other studies, particularly the rate of DI. Transient DI occurred in 33% of cases, and permanent DI in 23%. These relatively high rates of transient DI may be due to the diagnostic criteria used in our protocol; we defined transient post-operative DI as one episode of hypotonic polyuria in the setting of normal or elevated plasma sodium concentration, requiring at least one dose of desmopressin. In contrast, some studies discount any polyuria which lasts less than 2 days [10], while others require the documentation of hypernatremia for the diagnosis of DI [40]. These more stringent criteria will not capture cases of mild transient DI; therefore it is not surprising that the rates of transient DI reported in a 2018 meta-analysis were lower than that in our study, 11.3% [29]. The rates of permanent DI in our study merits particular attention. TSS for CD has been shown to be associated with a higher risk of post-operative DI [41, 42]. It may be that a more aggressive surgical approach resulted in high remission rates, but at a cost of higher rates of DI. All patients are reviewed post-operatively in the National Pituitary Centre, where there is a low threshold for water deprivation testing and/or 3% saline testing. We did not routinely re-test patients for resolution of DI after their initial water deprivation test at 3 months, and it is possible that some cases subsequently resolved after 3 months [41, 43]. Regardless, the rate reported in this study is significant, and emphasises the importance of counselling the patient about the risk of DI long-term. Strengths and limitations The reporting of two remission rates based on widely accepted criteria is a strength of this study, and allows for direct comparison of our outcomes with other studies. All ETSS were performed by a single pituitary surgeon; while this removes bias from surgeon experience, the disadvantage of this is that the sample size is relatively low. Furthermore, because we included patients who were recently operated on to maximise numbers for analysis of surgical complications, the follow-up period is relatively short. A longer follow-up is required to comment accurately on recurrence of CD. We did not have full ascertainment of longitudinal post-operative data including dexamethasone suppression tests, and this has highlighted the need for protocolised follow-up to allow for consistency when reporting our results. Conclusion Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery in patients with Cushing’s disease offers excellent remission rates and low morbidity. Remission rates are much higher when standard criteria [morning serum cortisol < 138 nmol/L (5μg/dl) within 7 days postoperatively] are used compared with day 3 cortisol < 50 nmol/l. Higher remission rates were found for patients with microadenomas. Patients should be counselled regarding risk of post-operative endocrine deficiencies, in particular permanent diabetes insipidus. Longer follow-up is required to accurately assess recurrence rates. Availability of data and materials The data that support the findings of this study are not publicly available due to restrictions by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Abbreviations TSS: Transsphenoidal surgery ACTH: Adrenocorticotropic hormone CD: Cushing’s disease ETSS: Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery ONDST: Overnight dexamethasone suppression test LNSF: Late night salivary cortisol CRH: Corticotropin releasing hormone IPSS: Inferior petrosal sinus sampling DI: Diabetes insipidus TSH: Thyroid stimulating hormone GH: Growth hormone UFC: Urinary free cortisol References 1. Lindholm J, Juul S, Jorgensen JO, et al. Incidence and late prognosis of cushing's syndrome: a population-based study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001;86(1):117–23. CAS PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar 2. Broersen LHA, van Haalen FM, Biermasz NR, et al. 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  14. How stressed are you? Your earwax could hold the answer. A new method of collecting and analyzing earwax for levels of the stress hormone cortisol may be a simple and cheap way to track the mental health of people with depression and anxiety. Cortisol is a crucial hormone that spikes when a person is stressed and declines when they're relaxed. In the short-term, the hormone is responsible for the "fight or flight" response, so it's important for survival. But cortisol is often consistently elevated in people with depression and anxiety, and persistent high levels of cortisol can have negative effects on the immune system, blood pressure and other bodily functions. There are other disorders which involve abnormal cortisol, including Cushing's disease (caused by the overproduction of cortisol) and Addison's disease (caused by the underproduction of cortisol). People with Cushing's disease have abnormal fat deposits, weakened immune systems and brittle bones. People with Addison's disease have dangerously low blood pressure. There are a lot of ways to measure cortisol: in saliva, in blood, even in hair. But saliva and blood samples capture only a moment in time, and cortisol fluctuates significantly throughout the day. Even the experience of getting a needle stick to draw blood can increase stress, and thus cortisol levels. Hair samples can provide a snapshot of cortisol over several months instead of several minutes, but hair can be expensive to analyze — and some people don't have much of it. Andrés Herane-Vives, a lecturer at University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Institute of Psychiatry, and his colleagues instead turned to the ear. Earwax is stable and resistant to bacterial contamination, so it can be shipped to a laboratory easily for analysis. It also can hold a record of cortisol levels stretching over weeks. But previous methods of harvesting earwax involved sticking a syringe into the ear and flushing it out with water, which can be slightly painful and stressful. So Herane-Vives and his colleagues developed a swab that, when used, would be no more stressful than a Q-tip. The swab has a shield around the handle, so that people can't stick it too far into their ear and damage their eardrum, and a sponge at the end to collect the wax. In a small pilot study, researchers collected blood, hair and earwax from 37 participants at two different time points. At each collection point, they sampled earwax using a syringe from one ear, and using the new self-swab method from the other. The researchers then compared the reliability of the cortisol measurements from the self-swab earwax with that of the other methods. They found that cortisol was more concentrated in earwax than in hair, making for easier analysis. Analyzing the self-swabbed earwax was also faster and more efficient than analyzing the earwax from the syringe, which had to be dried out before using. Finally, the earwax showed more consistency in cortisol levels compared with the other methods, which were more sensitive to fluctuations caused by things like recent alcohol consumption. Participants also said that self-swabbing was more comfortable than the syringe method. The researchers reported their findings Nov. 2 in the journal Heliyon. Herane-Vives is also starting a company called Trears to market the new method. In the future, he hopes that earwax could also be used to monitor other hormones. The researchers also need to follow up with studies of Asian individuals, who were left out of this pilot study because a significant number only produce dry, flaky earwax as opposed to wet, waxy earwax. "After this successful pilot study, if our device holds up to further scrutiny in larger trials, we hope to transform diagnostics and care for millions of people with depression or cortisol-related conditions such as Addison's disease and Cushing syndrome, and potentially numerous other conditions," he said in a statement. Originally published in Live Science.
  15. Michael P Catalino 1 2, David M Meredith 3 4, Umberto De Girolami 3 4, Sherwin Tavakol 1 5, Le Min 6, Edward R Laws 1 4 Affiliations expand PMID: 32886921 DOI: 10.3171/2020.5.JNS201514 Abstract Objective: This study was done to compare corticotroph hyperplasia and histopathologically proven adenomas in patients with Cushing disease by analyzing diagnostic features, surgical management, and clinical outcomes. Methods: Patients with suspected pituitary Cushing disease were included in a retrospective cohort study and were excluded if results of pathological analysis of the surgical specimen were nondiagnostic or normal. Cases were reviewed by two experienced neuropathologists. Total lesion removal was used as a dichotomized surgical variable; it was defined as an extracapsular resection (including a rim of normal gland) in patients with an adenoma, and for hyperplasia patients it was defined as removal of the presumed lesion plus a rim of surrounding normal gland. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Recurrence-free survival was compared between the two groups. Results: The final cohort consisted of 63 patients (15 with hyperplasia and 48 with adenoma). Normal pituitary acinar architecture was highly variable. Corticotroph hyperplasia was diagnosed based on the presence of expanded acini showing retained reticulin architecture and predominant staining for adrenocorticotropic hormone. Crooke's hyaline change was seen in 46.7% of specimens, and its frequency was equal in nonlesional tissue of both groups. The two groups differed only by MRI findings (equivocal/diffuse lesion in 46% of hyperplasia and 17% of adenoma; p = 0.03). Diagnostic uncertainty in the hyperplasia group resulted in additional confirmatory testing by 24-hour urinary free cortisol. Total lesion removal was infrequent in patients with hyperplasia compared to those with adenoma (33% vs 65%; p = 0.03). Initial biochemical remission was similar (67% in hyperplasia and 85% in adenoma; p = 0.11). There was no difference in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis recovery or disease recurrence. The median follow-up was 1.9 years (IQR 0.7-7.6 years) for the hyperplasia group and 1.2 years (IQR 0.4-2.4 years) for the adenoma group. Lack of a discrete lesion and diagnostic uncertainty were the only significant predictors of hyperplasia (sensitivity 53.3%, specificity 97.7%, positive predictive value 88.9%, negative predictive value 85.7%). An adjusted Cox proportional hazards model showed similar recurrence-free survival in the two groups. Conclusions: This study suggests an association between biochemically proven Cushing disease and histopathologically proven corticotroph hyperplasia. Imaging and operative findings can be ambiguous, and, compared to typical adenomas with a pseudocapsule, the surgical approach is more nuanced. Nevertheless, if treated appropriately, biochemical outcomes may be similar. Keywords: ACTH = adrenocorticotropic hormone; CRH = corticotropin-releasing hormone; Cushing disease; HPA = hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal; HR = hazard ratio; IPSS = inferior petrosal sinus sampling; ROC = receiver operating characteristic; UFC = urinary free cortisol; corticotroph adenoma; corticotroph hyperplasia; diagnosis; pathology; pituitary surgery; surgical outcomes. From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32886921/
  16. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Isturisa (osilodrostat) oral tablets for adults with Cushing's disease who either cannot undergo pituitary gland surgery or have undergone the surgery but still have the disease. Cushing's disease is a rare disease in which the adrenal glands make too much of the cortisol hormone. Isturisa is the first FDA-approved drug to directly address this cortisol overproduction by blocking the enzyme known as 11-beta-hydroxylase and preventing cortisol synthesis. "The FDA supports the development of safe and effective treatments for rare diseases, and this new therapy can help people with Cushing's disease, a rare condition where excessive cortisol production puts them at risk for other medical issues," said Mary Thanh Hai, M.D., acting director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "By helping patients achieve normal cortisol levels, this medication is an important treatment option for adults with Cushing's disease." Cushing's disease is caused by a pituitary tumor that releases too much of a hormone called adrenocorticotropin, which stimulates the adrenal gland to produce an excessive amount of cortisol. The disease is most common among adults between the ages of 30 to 50, and it affects women three times more often than men. Cushing's disease can cause significant health issues, such as high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, blood clots in the legs and lungs, bone loss and fractures, a weakened immune system and depression. Patients may have thin arms and legs, a round red full face, increased fat around the neck, easy bruising, striae (purple stretch marks) and weak muscles. Isturisa's safety and effectiveness for treating Cushing's disease among adults was evaluated in a study of 137 adult patients (about three-quarters women) with a mean age of 41 years. The majority of patients either had undergone pituitary surgery that did not cure Cushing's disease or were not surgical candidates. In the 24-week, single-arm, open-label period, all patients received a starting dose of 2 milligrams (mg) of Isturisa twice a day that could be increased every two weeks up to 30 mg twice a day. At the end of this 24-week period, about half of patients had cortisol levels within normal limits. After this point, 71 patients who did not need further dose increases and tolerated the drug for the last 12 weeks entered an eight-week, double-blind, randomized withdrawal study where they either received Isturisa or a placebo (inactive treatment). At the end of this withdrawal period, 86% of patients receiving Isturisa maintained cortisol levels within normal limits compared to 30% of patients taking the placebo. The most common side effects reported in the clinical trial for Isturisa were adrenal insufficiency, headache, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and edema (swelling caused by fluid retention). Hypocortisolism (low cortisol levels), QTc prolongation (a heart rhythm condition) and elevations in adrenal hormone precursors (inactive substance converted into a hormone) and androgens (hormone that regulates male characteristics) may also occur in people taking Isturisa. Isturisa is taken by mouth twice a day, in the morning and evening as directed by a health care provider. After treatment has started, a provider may re-evaluate dosage, depending upon the patient's response. Isturisa received Orphan Drug Designation, which is a special status granted to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition. The FDA granted the approval of Isturisa to Novartis. Media Contact: Monique Richards, 240-402-3014 Consumer Inquiries: Email, 888-INFO-FDA The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products. SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration Related Links http://www.fda.gov From https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fda-approves-new-treatment-for-adults-with-cushings-disease-301019293.html
  17. Sponsor: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Information provided by (Responsible Party): Shlomo Melmed, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Brief Summary: This phase 2 multicenter, open-label clinical trial will evaluate safety and efficacy of 4 weeks of oral seliciclib in patients with newly diagnosed, persistent, or recurrent Cushing disease. Funding Source - FDA Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase Cushing Disease Drug: Seliciclib Phase 2 Detailed Description: This phase 2 multicenter, open-label clinical trial will evaluate safety and efficacy of two of three potential doses/schedules of oral seliciclib in patients with newly diagnosed, persistent, or recurrent Cushing disease. Up to 29 subjects will be treated with up to 800 mg/day oral seliciclib for 4 days each week for 4 weeks and enrolled in sequential cohorts based on efficacy outcomes. The study will also evaluate effects of seliciclib on quality of life and clinical signs and symptoms of Cushing disease. Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years and older (Adult, Older Adult) Sexes Eligible for Study: All Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No Criteria Inclusion criteria: Male and female patients at least 18 years old Patients with confirmed pituitary origin of excess adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production: Persistent hypercortisolemia established by two consecutive 24 h UFC levels at least 1.5x the upper limit of normal Normal or elevated ACTH levels Pituitary macroadenoma (>1 cm) on MRI or inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) central to peripheral ACTH gradient >2 at baseline and >3 after corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulation Recurrent or persistent Cushing disease defined as pathologically confirmed resected pituitary ACTH-secreting tumor or IPSS central to peripheral ACTH gradient >2 at baseline and >3 after CRH stimulation, and 24 hour UFC above the upper limit of normal reference range beyond post-surgical week 6 Patients on medical treatment for Cushing disease. The following washout periods must be completed before screening assessments are performed: Inhibitors of steroidogenesis (metyrapone, ketoconazole): 2 weeks Somatostatin receptor ligand pasireotide: short-acting, 2 weeks; long-acting, 4 weeks Progesterone receptor antagonist (mifepristone): 2 weeks Dopamine agonists (cabergoline): 4 weeks CYP3A4 strong inducers or inhibitors: varies between drugs; minimum 5-6 times the half-life of drug Exclusion criteria: Patients with compromised visual fields, and not stable for at least 6 months Patients with abutment or compression of the optic chiasm on MRI and normal visual fields Patients with Cushing's syndrome due to non-pituitary ACTH secretion Patients with hypercortisolism secondary to adrenal tumors or nodular (primary) bilateral adrenal hyperplasia Patients who have a known inherited syndrome as the cause for hormone over secretion (i.e., Carney Complex, McCune-Albright syndrome, Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) 1 Patients with a diagnosis of glucocorticoid-remedial aldosteronism (GRA) Patients with cyclic Cushing's syndrome defined by any measurement of UFC over the previous 1 months within normal range Patients with pseudo-Cushing's syndrome, i.e., non-autonomous hypercortisolism due to overactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in uncontrolled depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, morbid obesity, alcoholism, and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus Patients who have undergone major surgery within 1 month prior to screening Patients with serum K+< 3.5 while on replacement treatment Diabetic patients whose blood glucose is poorly controlled as evidenced by HbA1C >8% Patients who have clinically significant impairment in cardiovascular function or are at risk thereof, as evidenced by congestive heart failure (NYHA Class III or IV), unstable angina, sustained ventricular tachycardia, clinically significant bradycardia, high grade atrioventricular (AV) block, history of acute MI less than one year prior to study entry Patients with liver disease or history of liver disease such as cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis B and C, or chronic persistent hepatitis, or patients with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) more than 1.5 x ULN, serum total bilirubin more than ULN, serum albumin less than 0.67 x lower limit of normal (LLN) at screening Serum creatinine > 2 x ULN Patients not biochemically euthyroid Patients who have any current or prior medical condition that can interfere with the conduct of the study or the evaluation of its results, such as History of immunocompromise, including a positive HIV test result (ELISA and Western blot). An HIV test will not be required, however, previous medical history will be reviewed Presence of active or suspected acute or chronic uncontrolled infection History of, or current alcohol misuse/abuse in the 12 month period prior to screening Female patients who are pregnant or lactating, or are of childbearing potential and not practicing a medically acceptable method of birth control. If a woman is participating in the trial then one form of contraception is sufficient (pill or diaphragm) and the partner should use a condom. If oral contraception is used in addition to condoms, the patient must have been practicing this method for at least two months prior to screening and must agree to continue the oral contraceptive throughout the course of the study and for 3 months after the study has ended. Male patients who are sexually active are required to use condoms during the study and for three month afterwards as a precautionary measure (available data do not suggest any increased reproductive risk with the study drugs) Patients who have participated in any clinical investigation with an investigational drug within 1 month prior to screening or patients who have previously been treated with seliciclib Patients with any ongoing or likely to require additional concomitant medical treatment to seliciclib for the tumor Patients with concomitant treatment of strong CYP3A4 inducers or inhibitors. Patients who were receiving mitotane and/or long-acting somatostatin receptor ligands octreotide long-acting release (LAR) or lanreotide Patients who have received pituitary irradiation within the last 5 years prior to the baseline visit Patients who have been treated with radionuclide at any time prior to study entry Patients with known hypersensitivity to seliciclib Patients with a history of non-compliance to medical regimens or who are considered potentially unreliable or will be unable to complete the entire study Patients with presence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg) Patients with presence of Hepatitis C antibody test (anti-HCV) Read more at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03774446
  18. Lacroix A, et al. Pituitary. 2019;doi:10.1007/s11102-019-01021-2. January 7, 2020 Andre Lacroix Most adults with persistent or recurrent Cushing’s disease treated with the somatostatin analogue pasireotide experienced a measurable decrease in MRI-detectable pituitary tumor volume at 12 months, according to findings from a post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial. “Pasireotide injected twice daily during up to 12 months to control cortisol excess in patients with residual or persistent Cushing's disease was found to reduce the size of pituitary tumors in a high proportion of the 53 patients in which residual tumor was still visible at initiation of this medical therapy,” Andre Lacroix, MD, FCAHS, professor of medicine at the University of Montreal Teaching Hospital in Montreal, Canada, told Healio. “Pituitary tumors causing Cushing's syndrome which cannot be removed completely by surgery have the capacity to grow in time, and a medical therapy that can reduce tumor growth in addition to control excess cortisol production should be advantageous for the patients.” Lacroix and colleagues analyzed data from 53 adults with persistent or recurrent Cushing’s disease, or those with newly diagnosed Cushing’s disease who were not surgical candidates, who had measurable tumor volume data (78% women). Researchers randomly assigned participants to 600 g or 900 g subcutaneous pasireotide (Signifor LAR, Novartis) twice daily. Tumor volume was assessed independently at 6 and 12 months by two masked radiologists and compared with baseline value and urinary free cortisol response. Most adults with persistent or recurrent Cushing’s disease treated with the somatostatin analogue pasireotide experienced a measurable decrease in MRI-detectable pituitary tumor volume at 12 months. Source: Shutterstock Researchers found that reductions in tumor volume were both dose and time dependent. Tumor volume reduction was more frequently observed at month 6 in the 900 g group (75%) than in the 600 g group (44%). Similarly, at month 12 (n = 32), tumor volume reduction was observed more frequently in the 900 g group (89%) than in the 600 g group (50%). Results were independent of urinary free cortisol levels. The researchers did not observe a relationship between baseline tumor size and change in tumor size. “Taken together, the results of the current analysis demonstrate that treatment with pasireotide, a pituitary-directed medical therapy that targets somatostatin receptors, can frequently lead to radiologically measurable reductions in pituitary tumor volume in patients with Cushing’s disease,” the researchers wrote. “Tumor volume reduction is especially relevant in patients with larger microadenomas, suggesting that pasireotide is an attractive option for these patients, especially in cases in which patients cannot undergo transsphenoidal surgery or do not respond to surgical management of disease.” – by Regina Schaffer For more information: Andre Lacroix, MD, FCAHS, can be reached at the University of Montreal Teaching Hospital, Endocrine Division, 3840 Saint-Urbain, Montreal, H2W 1T8, Canada; email: andre.lacroix@umontrael.ca. Disclosures: Novartis supported this study and provided writing support. Lacroix reports he has received funding from Novartis Pharmaceuticals to conduct clinical studies with pasireotide and osilodrostat in Cushing’s disease and served as a consultant, advisory board member or speaker for EMD Serono, Ipsen and Novartis. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures. From https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/neuroendocrinology/news/online/%7B8e4d31fb-d61a-4cf8-b4c4-7d0bdf012fbd%7D/pasireotide-reduces-pituitary-tumor-volume-in-cushings-disease
  19. Written by Kathleen Doheny with Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, and Vivien Herman-Bonert, MD Cushing's disease, an uncommon but hard to treat endocrine disorder, occurs when a tumor on the pituitary gland, called an adenoma—that is almost always benign—leads to an overproduction of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which is responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Until now, surgery to remove the non-cancerous but problematic tumor has been the only effective treatment. Still, many patients will require medication to help control their serum cortisol levels, and others cannot have surgery or would prefer to avoid it. Finally, a drug proves effective as added on or alternative to surgery in managing Cushing's disease. Photo; 123rf New Drug Offers Alternative to Surgery for Cushing's Disease Now, there is good news about long-term positive results achieved with pasireotide (Signifor)—the first medication to demonstrate effectiveness in both normalizing serum cortisol levels and either shrinking or slowing growth of tumors over the long term.1,2 These findings appear in the journal, Clinical Endocrinology, showing that patients followed for 36 months as part of an ongoing study had improved patient outcomes for Cushing’s disease.2 "What we knew before this extension study was—the drug will work in approximately half of the patients with mild Cushing's disease," says study author Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, director of the Northwest Pituitary Center and professor of neurological surgery and medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition at the Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine. “Pasireotide also offers good clinical benefits," says Dr. Fleseriu who is also the president of the Pituitary Society, “which includes improvements in blood pressure, other signs and symptoms of Cushing’s symptom], and quality of life.”2 What Symptoms Are Helped by Drug for Cushing's Disease? Among the signs and symptoms of Cushing’s disease that are lessened with treatment are:3 Changes in physical appearance such as wide, purple stretch marks on the skin (eg, chest, armpits, abdomen, thighs) Rapid and unexplained weight gain A more full, rounder face Protruding abdomen from fat deposits Increased fat deposits around the neck area The accumulation of adipose tissue raises the risk of heart disease, which adds to the urgency of effective treatment. In addition, many individuals who have Cushing’s disease also complain of quality of life issues such as fatigue, depression, mood and behavioral problems, as well as poor memory.2 As good as the results appear following the longer term use of pasireotide,2 Dr. Fleseriu admits that in any extension study in which patients are asked to continue on, there are some built-in limitations, which may influence the findings. For example, patients who agree to stay on do so because they are good responders, meaning they feel better, so they’re happy to stick with the study. “Fortunately, for the patients who have responded to pasireotide initially, this is a drug that can be continued as there are no new safety signals with longer use," Dr. Fleseriu tells EndocrineWeb, "and when the response at the start is good, very few patients will lose control of their urinary free cortisol over time. That's a frequent marker used to monitor patient's status. For those patients with large tumors, almost half of them had a significant shrinkage, and all the others had a stable tumor size." What Are the Reasons to Consider Drug Treatment to Manage Cushing’s Symptoms The extension study ''was important because we didn't have any long-term data regarding patient response to this once-a-month treatment to manage Cushing's disease," she says. While selective surgical removal of the tumor is the preferred treatment choice, the success rate in patients varies, and Cushing's symptoms persist in up to 35% of patients after surgery. In addition, recurrent rates (ie, return of disease) range from 13% to 66% after individuals experience different durations remaining in remission.1 Therefore, the availability of an effective, long-lasting drug will change the course of therapy for many patients with Cushing’s disease going forward. Not only will pasireotide benefit patients who have persistent and recurrent disease after undergoing surgery, but also this medication will be beneficial for those who are not candidates for surgery or just wish to avoid having this procedure, he said. Examining the Safety and Tolerability of Pasireotide This long-acting therapy, pasireotide, which is given by injection, was approved in the US after reviewing results of a 12-month Phase 3 trial.1 In the initial study, participants had a confirmed pituitary cause of the Cushing's disease. After that, the researchers added the optional 12-month open-label, extension study, and now patients can continue on in a separate long-term safety study. Those eligible for the 12-month extension had to have mean urinary free cortisol not exceeding the upper limit of normal (166.5 nanomoles per 24 hour) and/or be considered by the investigator to be getting substantial clinical benefit from treatment with long-action pasireotide, and to demonstrate tolerability of pasireotide during the core study.1 Of the 150 in the initial trial, 81 participants, or 54% of the patients, entered the extension study. Of those, 39 completed the next phase, and most also enrolled in another long-term safety study—these results not yet available).2 During the core study, 1 participants were randomly assigned to 10 or 30 mg of the drug every 28 days, with doses based on effectiveness and tolerability. When they entered the extension, patients were given the same dose they received at month.1,2 Study Outcomes Offer Advantages in Cushing’s Disease Of those who received 36 months of treatment with pasireotide, nearly three in four (72.2%) had controlled levels of urinary free cortisol at this time point.2 Equally good news for this drug was that tumors either shrank or did not grow. Of those individuals who started the trial with a measurable tumor (adenoma) as well as those with an adenoma at the two year mark (35 people), 85.7% of them experienced a reduction of 20% or more or less than a 20% change in tumor volume. No macroadenomas present at the start of the study showed a change of more than 20% at either month 24 or 36.2 Improvements in blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference continued throughout the extension study.1 Those factors influence CVD risk, the leading cause of death in those with Cushing's.4 As for adverse events, most of the study participants, 91.4%, did report one or more complaint during the extension study—most commonly, it was high blood sugar, which was reported by nearly 40% of participants.2. This is not surprising when you consider that most (81.5%) of the individuals participating in the extension trial entered with a diagnosis of diabetes or use of antidiabetic medication, and even more of them (88.9%) had diabetes at the last evaluation.1 This complication indicates the need for people with Cushing’s disease to check their blood glucose, as appropriate. Do You Have Cushing’s Disese? Here's What You Need to Know Women typically develop Cushing’s disease more often than men. What else should you be aware of if you and your doctor decide this medication will help you? Monitoring is crucial, says Dr. Fleseriu, as you will need to have your cortisol levels checked, and you should be on alert for any diabetes signals, which will require close monitoring and regular follow-up for disease management. Another understanding gained from the results of this drug study: "This medication works on the tumor level," she says. "If the patient has a macroadenoma (large tumor), this would be the preferred treatment." However, it should be used with caution in those with diabetes given the increased risk of experiencing high blood sugar. The researchers conclude that "the long-term safety profile of pasireotide was very favorable and consistent with that reported during the first 12 months of treatment. These data support the use of long-acting pasireotide as an effective long-term treatment option for some patients with Cushing's Disease."1 Understanding Benefits of New Drug to Treat Cushing's Diseease Vivien S. Herman-Bonert, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical director of the Pituitary Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, agreed to discuss the study findings, after agreeing to review the research for EndocrineWeb. As to who might benefit most from monthly pasireotide injections? Dr. Herman-Bonert says, "any patient with Cushing's disease that requires long-term medical therapy, which includes patients with persistent or recurrent disease after surgery." Certainly, anyone who has had poor response to any other medical therapies for Cushing's disease either because they didn't work well enough or because the side effects were too much, will likely benefit a well, she adds. Among the pluses that came out of the study, she says, is that nearly half of the patients had controlled average urinary free cortisol levels after two full years, and 72% of the participants who continued on with the drug for 36 months were able to remain in good urinary cortisol control .1 As the authors stated, tumor shrinkage was another clear benefit of taking long-term pasireotide. That makes the drug a potentially good choice for those even with large tumors or with progressive tumor growth, she says. It’s always good for anyone with Cushing’s disease to have an alterative to surgery, or a back-up option when surgery isn’t quite enough, says Dr. Herman-Bonert. The best news for patients is that quality of life scores improved,1 she adds. Dr Herman-Bonert did add a note of caution: Although the treatment in this study is described as ''long-term, patients will need to be on this for far longer than 2 to 3 years," she says. So, the data reported in this study may or may not persist, and we don’t yet know what the impact will be 10 or 25 years out. Also, the issue of hyperglycemia-related adverse events raises a concern, given the vast majority (81%) of patients who have both Cushing’s disease and diabetes. Most of those taking this drug had a dual diagnosis—having diabetes, a history of diabetes, or taking antidiabetic medicine. If you are under care for diabetes and you require treatment for Cushing’s disease, you must be ver mindful that taking pasireotide will likely lead to high blood sugar spikes, so you should plan to address this with your healthcare provider. Dr. Fleseriu reports research support paid to Oregon Health & Science University from Novartis and other 0companies and consultancy fees from Novartis and Strongbridge Biopharma. Dr. Herman-Bonert has no relevant disclosures. The study was underwritten by Novartis Pharma AG, the drug maker. From https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/pituitary-disorders/62449-cushings-disease-monthly-injection-good-alternative-surgery
  20. Patients with Cushing’s disease may develop post-traumatic stress symptoms, which are generally resolved once they undergo surgery to remove the tumor, but can persist in some cases, a study shows. The study, “Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in patients with Cushing’s disease before and after surgery: A prospective study,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. Cushing’s disease is an endocrine disorder characterized by excess secretion of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a pituitary adenoma (tumor of the pituitary gland). This leads to high levels of cortisol, a condition known as hypercortisolism. Chronic hypercortisolism is associated with symptoms such as central obesity, buffalo hump, body bruising, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and weak bones. Additionally, patients can develop psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction, all of which contribute considerably to a lower health-related quality of life. Depression and anxiety rates are particularly high in Cushing’s disease patients, with 54% of them experiencing major depression and 79% having anxiety. Due to the significant impact of psychological factors in these patients, they may be susceptible to post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). But more information on this phenomenon in these patients is still needed. To address this lack of data, a group of Chinese researchers conducted a prospective study to investigate the occurrence, correlated factors, and prognosis of PTSS in patients with Cushing’s disease. A total of 49 patients newly diagnosed with Cushing’s disease who underwent transsphenoidal removal of the tumor as their first-line treatment were asked to participate in this study. Another group of 49 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals were included as controls. PTSS was measured using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), depression/anxiety were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS), and quality of life was measured using the 36-item short-form (SF-36). These parameters were measured before surgery, and then at six and 12 months after the procedure. Before surgery, 15 patients (30.6%) had PTSS. These patients also had higher cortisol levels, worse levels of depression/anxiety, and worse quality of life scores than those without PTSS. While most of the patients recovered after the operation, there were five (33.3%) for whom PTSS persisted for more than a year. Additionally, one patient who had a recurrence of Cushing’s disease developed PTSS between six and 12 months after the first surgery. PTSS severity showed consistent improvement after surgery, which was correlated with better depression/anxiety scores and psychological aspects of the SF-36. However, Cushing’s disease patients in remission still performed worse than healthy individuals concerning their physical and mental health. Therefore, “patients with [Cushing’s disease] can develop PTSS, and they may persist for over a year even after successful surgery. Combined psychological intervention is advised for these patients,” the researchers concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/06/25/cushings-patients-often-have-post-traumatic-stress-symptoms
  21. Written by Kathleen Doheny With Oskar Ragnarsson, MD, PHD, and Tamara Wexler, MD, PhD Adults with Cushing's syndrome, also called hypercortisolism, have a three-fold higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to the general population,1 according to findings reported by a Swiss research team. Although the researchers found that the risk drops when patients are under care, receiving treatment, and are in remission, the risks don't disappear completely. For some perspective, heart disease is common in the United States, affecting, one in four adults, regardless of health status.2 "Patients with Cushing's disease have excess mortality [risk]," says Oskar Ragnarsson, MD, PhD, associate professor and a senior consultant in internal medicine and endocrinology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is the author of the study, which appears in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Having Cushing's Requires Vigilance Beyond Disease Symptoms Still, the news is not all bleak, he says. Simple awareness of the increased risks can help individuals reduce their risk, just as following your doctor’s treatment plan so remain in remission, Dr. Ragnarsson tells EndocrineWeb. In addition, patients who received growth hormone replacement appear to have better overall outcomes.1 Cushing’s syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol over a long period of time. This can be caused either by taking corticosteroid medicine orally, or if your body just makes too much cortisol. Common symptoms of this condition include: having a fatty hump between the shoulders, a rounded face, and stretch marks with pink or purple coloring on the skin. Complications, if Cushing’s disease goes untreated, may include bone loss (leading to increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis), high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other problems. Usual treatment includes medication and surgery that are aimed to normalize cortisol levels.3 Increased Risks Are Cause for Concern in Cushing’s Disease The researchers analyzed data from 502 men and women, all of whom were diagnosed with Cushing's disease between 1987 and 2013 as indicated in a Swedish health database.1 The average age of these patients at diagnosis was 43 years, and, 83% of these individuals were in remission. During a median follow up of 13 years—half followed for longer, half followed for less time—the researchers noted 133 deaths, more than the 54 that had been anticipated in this patient population. From this data,1 Dr. Ragnarsson and his team calculated that people with Cushing's disease were about 2.5 times more likely to die than the general population. The most common reason, with more than a 3-fold increased risk, was attributed to events associated with cardiovascular disease, encompassing both heart disease and stroke. This group also appeared to have a higher risk of death from infectious and respiratory diseases, and conditions related to gastrointestinal problems. Fortunately, just being in disease remission helps to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality,1 the researchers' report, with both men and women whose Cushing’s disease is well-managed having a two-fold lower risk of death during the follow-up period.1 Those in remission who were receiving growth hormone had an even lower risk of death than those on other forms of treatment. In addition, the researchers looked at the 55 patients with Cushing’s disease who were in remission and also had diabetes, finding that their risks remained the same. In other words, despite a strong relationship between diabetes and increased heart disease, the risks of death were not increased in this group of patients.1 In considering the impact that treatments may have, the researchers found: 3 in 4 of these patients (75%) had undergone pituitary surgery 28% had undergone radiotherapy 1 in 4 (24%) had had both adrenal glands removed Those who had their adrenal glands removal experienced a 2.7-fold higher risk of death, while those who were treated with radiotherapy or had pituitary surgery did not have an increased risk associated with cardiovascular events. When glucocorticoid therapy was added, it did not affect results, according to Dr. Ragnarsson and his research team. Bottom line? "Even though patients in remission have a better prognosis than patients not in remission, they still have more than a 2-fold increased mortality [risk]," he says. The study, he says, is the first to uncover a high rate of death from suicide in Cushing's patients. It has been reported before, but the numbers found in this study were higher than in others. The findings, he says, emphasize the importance of treating Cushing's with a goal of remission. Ongoing surveillance and management are crucial, he says. "Also, evaluation and active treatment of cardiovascular risk factors and mental health is of utmost importance," Dr. Ragnarsson tells EndocrineWeb. Remission Reduces But Doesn't Eliminate Serious Risks The study findings underscore the message that ''the priority for patients is to achieve biochemical remission," says Tamara L. Wexler, MD, PhD, director of the NYU Langone Medical Center Pituitary Center, in reviewing the findings for EndocrineWeb. "One question raised by the study findings is whether patients listed as being in remission were truly in (consistent) remission," Dr. Wexler says. "One or more of several testing methods may have been used, and the data were based on medical record reviews so we can’t be certain about the status of these patients’ remission. In addition, we don’t know how much excess cortisol patients were exposed over time, which may change their risks.'' I have another concern about the findings, she says. While the method of analysis used in the study suggests that the length of time from diagnosis to remission is not associated with increased death risk, ''it may be that the total exposure to excess cortisol—the amplitude as well as duration—is related to morbidity [illness] and mortality [death] risk.'' And, she adds, any negative effects experienced by patients with Cushing’s disease may be reduced further as remission status continues. In addition, Dr. Wexler considers the authors' comments that sustained high cortisol levels may impact the cardiovascular system in a way that is chronic and irreversible ''may be overly strong." She believes that the total cortisol exposure and the duration of remission may both play important roles in patients' ongoing health. She does agree, however, with the researchers' recommendation of the need to treat heart disease risk factors more aggressively in patients with a history of Cushing's disease. Equally important, is for patients to be warned that there is an increased concern about suicide, she says, urging anyone with Cushing’s disease to raise all of these concerns with your health practitioner. Overall, the study findings certainly suggest that it is important for you to know that if you have Cushing’s syndrome, you are at increased risk for not just heart disease but also mental health disorders and other ailments than the general population, she says, and that the best course of action is to work closely with your doctor to achieve remission and stick to your overall treatment plan. Steps to Take to Reduce Your Risks for Heart Disease and Depression Dr. Ragnarsson suggests those with Cushing's disease make adjustments as needed to achieve the following risk-reducing strategies: Be sure your food choices meet the parameters of a heart-healthy diet You are getting some kind of physical activity most every day You see your doctor at least once a year to have annual checks of your blood pressure, blood sugar, and other heart disease risk factors. For those of you receiving cortisone replacement therapy, you should be mindful of the need to have a boost in your medication dose with your doctors' supervision when you're are sick or experiencing increased health stresses. From https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/adrenal-disorders/61675-cushings-disease-stresses-your-heart-your-mental-health
  22. Cushing’s disease patients in Sweden have a higher risk of death than the general Swedish population, particularly of cardiovascular complications, and that increased risk persists even in patients in remission, a large nationwide study shows. The study, “Overall and disease-specific mortality in patients with Cushing’s disease: a Swedish nationwide study,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The outcomes of Cushing’s disease patients have improved with the introduction of several therapeutic approaches, such as minimally invasive surgery and cortisol-lowering therapies. However, mortality is still high, especially among those who do not achieve remission. While currently patients in remission are thought to have a better prognosis, it is still unclear whether these patients still have a higher mortality than the general population. Understanding whether these patients are more likely to die and what risk factors are associated with increased mortality is critical to reduce death rates among Cushing’s patients. A team of Swedish researchers thus performed a retrospective study that included patients diagnosed with Cushing’s disease who were part of the Swedish National Patient Registry between 1987 and 2013. A total of 502 patients with Cushing’s disease were included in the study, 419 of whom were confirmed to be in remission. Most patients (77%) were women; the mean age at diagnosis was 43 years, and the median follow-up time was 13 years. During the follow-up, 133 Cushing’s patients died, compared to 54 expected deaths in the general population — a mortality rate 2.5 times higher, researchers said. The most common causes of death among Cushing’s patients were cardiovascular diseases, particularly ischemic heart disease and cerebral infarctions. However, infectious and respiratory diseases (including pneumonia), as well as diseases of the digestive system, also contributed to the increased mortality among Cushing’s patients. Of those in remission, 21% died, compared to 55% among those not in remission. While these patients had a lower risk of death, their mortality rate was still 90% higher than that of the general population. For patients who did not achieve remission, the mortality rate was 6.9 times higher. The mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases was increased for both patients in remission and not in remission. Also, older age at the start of the study and time in remission were associated with mortality risk. “A more aggressive treatment of hypertension, dyslipidemia [abnormal amount of fat in the blood], and other cardiovascular risk factors might be warranted in patients with CS in remission,” researchers said. Of the 419 patients in remission, 315 had undergone pituitary surgery, 102 had had their adrenal glands removed, and 116 had received radiation therapy. Surgical removal of the adrenal glands and chronic glucocorticoid replacement therapy were associated with a worse prognosis. In fact, glucocorticoid replacement therapy more than twice increased the mortality risk. Growth hormone replacement was linked with better outcomes. In remission patients, a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure had no impact on mortality risk. Overall, “this large nationwide study shows that patients with [Cushing’s disease] continue to have excess mortality even after remission,” researchers stated. The highest mortality rates, however, were seen in “patients with persistent disease, those who were treated with bilateral adrenalectomy and those who required glucocorticoid replacement.” “Further studies need to focus on identifying best approaches to obtaining remission, active surveillance, adequate hormone replacement and long-term management of cardiovascular and mental health in these patients,” the study concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/02/28/even-in-remission-cushings-patients-have-excess-mortality-swedish-study-says/
  23. Irina Bancos, M.D., an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jamie J. Van Gompel, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota, discuss Mayo's multidisciplinary approach to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary tumors. Pituitary tumors are common and often don't cause problems. But some pituitary tumors produce the hormone ACTH, which stimulates the production of another hormone (cortisol). Overproduction of cortisol can result in Cushing syndrome, with signs and symptoms such as weight gain, skin changes and fatigue. Cushing syndrome is rare but can cause significant long-term health problems. Treatment for Cushing syndrome caused by a pituitary tumor generally involves surgery to remove the tumor. Radiation therapy and occasionally adrenal surgery may be needed to treat Cushing syndrome caused by ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors. Mayo Clinic has experience with this rare condition.
  24. TOKYO and LONDON, Feb. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sosei Group Corporation ("the Company"; TSE: 4565), announces that the first healthy subject has been dosed with a novel small molecule HTL0030310 in a Phase I clinical study, marking the start of a new in-house clinical program targeting endocrine disorders, including Cushing's disease. HTL0030310 is a potent and selective agonist of the SSTR5 (somatostatin 5) receptor and the sixth molecule designed by the Company using its GPCR Structure-Based Drug Design (SBDD) platform to enter clinical development. HTL0030310 has been designed to modulate the excess release of hormones from adenomas (benign tumors) of the pituitary gland. Highly elevated plasma levels of pituitary hormones result in a number of serious endocrine disorders, including Cushing's Disease. Cushing's disease is characterized by excessive cortisol release, crucial in regulating metabolism, maintaining cardiovascular function and helping the body respond to stress. A key design feature of HTL0030310 is its significant selectivity for SSTR5 over SSTR2. This selectivity is expected to improve the balance of efficacy vs. dose-limiting side effects and therefore, presents an opportunity to develop a best-in-class medicine for patients with Cushing's disease, in particular. The clinical trial with HTL0030310 is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled first-in-human study in which single ascending subcutaneous doses of HTL0030310 will be administered to healthy male and female adult subjects. The study is being conducted in the UK and will assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of HTL0030310 in up to 64 subjects. Preliminary results are expected in the second half of 2019 and will provide a first insight into the effects of HTL0030310 on the control of glucose and other endocrine hormones and the potential to target Cushing's disease and other endocrine disorders. Dr. Malcolm Weir, Executive VP and Chief R&D Officer, said: "HTL0030310 is a novel and highly selective molecule, and is the sixth candidate originating from our SBDD platform to advance into human trials. We are not only pleased to begin this new study but also delighted with the productivity of our unique platform to generate attractive candidates targeting GPCRs involved in multiple diseases. These candidates present new prospects for our emerging proprietary pipeline, as well as unique opportunities for partnering, and provide a solid foundation to execute our strategy." About Cushing's disease Cushing's disease is a debilitating endocrine disorder caused by the overproduction of the hormone cortisol and is often triggered by a pituitary adenoma (benign tumour) secreting excess adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Cortisol has a crucial role regulating metabolism, maintaining cardiovascular function and helping the body respond to stress. Symptoms may include weight gain, central obesity, a round, red full face, severe fatigue and weakness, striae (purple stretch marks), high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. Cushing's disease affects 10-15 million people per year, most commonly adults between 20 to 50 years and women more often than men. The first line and most common treatment approach for Cushing's disease is surgical removal of the pituitary tumor followed by radiotherapy and drug therapy designed to reduce cortisol production. Ref: American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) About Sosei Heptares We are an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the design and development of new medicines originating from its proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform capabilities. The Company is advancing a broad and deep pipeline of partnered and wholly owned product candidates in multiple therapeutic areas, including CNS, immuno-oncology, gastroenterology, inflammation and other rare/specialty indications. Its leading clinical programs include partnered candidates aimed at the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease (with Allergan) and next generation immuno-oncology approaches to treat cancer (with AstraZeneca). Our additional partners and collaborators include Novartis, Pfizer, Daiichi-Sankyo, PeptiDream, Kymab and MorphoSys. The Company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK and Zurich, Switzerland. "Sosei Heptares" is the corporate brand of Sosei Group Corporation, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (ticker: 4565). For more information, please visit https://www.soseiheptares.com/ LinkedIn: @soseiheptaresco | Twitter: @soseiheptaresco | YouTube: @soseiheptaresco Forward-looking statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Sosei Group Corporation's actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sosei-heptares-starts-new-clinical-development-program-300798591.html SOURCE Sosei Heptares
  25. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism — Lee IT, et al. | February 07, 2019 Using immunohistochemistry, researchers determined whether adipose tissue (AT) inflammation in humans is associated with chronic endogenous glucocorticoid (GC) exposure due to Cushing’s disease (CD). Abdominal subcutaneous AT samples were evaluated for macrophage infiltration and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in 10 patients with active CD and 10 age, gender and BMI- matched healthy subjects. The presence of AT macrophages, a hallmark of AT inflammation, increases chronic exposure to GCs due to CD. AT inflammation can, therefore, be the source of systemic inflammation in these patients, which in turn can contribute to obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. In patients with CD, PCR showed no differences in mRNA expression of any analyzed markers. Read the full article on Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
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