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  1. Recordati Rare Diseases, a US biopharma that forms part of the wider Italian group, has presented multiple positive data sets on Isturisa (osilodrostat) at the annual ENDO 2022 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Isturisa is a cortisol synthesis inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Cushing’s disease for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative. Among the data presented, the Phase III LINC 4 study demonstrated that Isturisa maintained normal mean urinary free cortisol long-term in patients with Cushing’s disease while the Phase III LINC 3 study found adrenal hormone levels changed during early treatment with the drug while stabilizing during long-term treatment. The ILLUSTRATE study also showed patients treated with a prolonged titration interval tended to have greater persistence with therapy. Mohamed Ladha, president and general manager for North America, Recordati Rare Diseases, said: “The data from these studies reinforces the efficacy and safety of Isturisa as a treatment for patients with Cushing’s disease. “We are pleased to share these data with the endocrine community and are excited to provide patients with a much-needed step forward in the management of this rare, debilitating, and potentially life-threatening condition.” Cushing’s disease is a rare, serious illness caused by a pituitary tumor that leads to overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Excess cortisol can contribute to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Treatment for the condition seeks to lower cortisol levels to a normal range. Isturisa, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2020, works by inhibiting 11-beta-hydroxylase, an enzyme responsible for the final step of cortisol biosynthesis in the adrenal gland. From https://www.thepharmaletter.com/article/results-reinforce-efficacy-of-recordati-s-isturisa-in-cushing-s-disease
  2. Abstract Cushing syndrome is a rare disease that rarely presents as acute psychosis. In this case, the patient presented with acute psychosis and agitation as the first manifestations of the disease which led to the admission of the patient to a psychiatry hospital for one month, as it was difficult to restrain her sufficiently for performing appropriate diagnostic tests due to disturbing behavior. She responded well to treatment with olanzapine and lorazepam to treat the patient’s agitation, and successfully complete her evaluation. Thereafter, she was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and underwent pituitary lesion resection via a microscopic transsphenoidal as needed. Two months after surgery, her cortisol levels returned to baseline, and she became calmer and decreased the tensity of her psychosis; however, it was only five months after surgery that her psychotic symptoms and disturbed behavior ceased. Introduction Cushing syndrome is comprised of a group of symptoms induced by prolonged exposure to high blood cortisol levels [1]. It is a rare disease, occurring in approximately 2.4 per million individuals per year [2]. Psychiatric and cognitive manifestations of Cushing syndrome occur in 70%-85% of patients, with irritability, emotional lability, and depression occurring most commonly. Rarer symptoms include mania, panic attacks, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and acute psychosis [3-5]. In this article, we describe a patient with Cushing syndrome who developed psychosis with agitation as the first manifestation of Cushing syndrome. The patient was difficult to manage since her agitation and refusal to undergo evaluation prevented her from receiving outpatient care. Case Presentation A 22-year-old woman with a three-month history of an increase in appetite, binge eating, and weight gain. After two weeks of her initial symptoms, she started to have grandiose and persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations, decreased need for sleep, agitation, irritability, and aggression for which she went to a private psychiatry clinic and was given 10 mg olanzapine oral at night. After a month of starting oral olanzapine, she was not improving and was admitted to the psychiatry ward for evaluation. During her admission period, she started to have cognitive symptoms including worsened memory, attention, and orientation. After one month of admission with no improvement on medication, she was noted to have moon face and high blood pressure, and her laboratory investigation showed mild hypokalemia, high cortisol level, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), elevated liver enzymes, and mild hypertriglyceridemia. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain revealed a 6 × 2-mm hyperintense lesion in the anterior pituitary on a T2-weighted image; therefore, she was transferred to our hospital for further work up and management as we have the endocrine facility. She had no past psychiatric history or family history of psychiatric illnesses, nor a history of substance abuse. She also had no past medical history and was not on any medication prior to this presentation. The patient was admitted to the endocrine department to evaluate the possibility of Cushing syndrome. Her blood pressure (150/98), heart rate (128 BPM), and respiratory rate (30 BPM) were elevated. She was treated with losartan, amlodipine, and spironolactone. Basic labs were done (Table 1). Therefore, insulin therapy was initiated. The evaluation of the patient’s condition was difficult as she was aggressive and uncooperative due to a lack of insight. Her primary team planned for sedation with anesthesia to facilitate a clinical evaluation; however, no intensive care unit bed was available. Lab test Patient result Reference values cortisol levels 1549 nmol/L 140 to 690 nmol/L ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone) 54 pg/mL 10 to 50 pg/mL ALT (Alanine transaminase) 305 U/L 7 to 56 U/L AST (Aspartate aminotransferase) 112 U/L 8 to 33 U/L Alkaline phosphatase 141 IU/L 44 to 147 IU/L Hemoglobin A1c 7.3% 5.7% to 6.4% Table 1: Lab results for the patient when she first came to our hospital Psychiatry was consulted to manage agitation. We started her on 5 mg olanzapine oral twice daily, and 2 mg lorazepam three times daily intravenous when oral was not possible. Maximum dosage of 5 mg olanzapine and 2 mg lorazepam every four hours were administered as required to manage agitation. Her ECG showed a QTC of 464. One-to-one nurse observation was initiated to detect risky behaviors. The patient slept well and became calmer and more cooperative throughout evaluations when receiving medication. One-to-one nurse observation was discontinued after five days, and lorazepam administration was reduced to two times daily. She remained easily provoked with grandiose and persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations, and confusion. As the patient calmed, the primary team continued clinical evaluations. A contrast-enhanced MRI showed a focal non-deforming and hypo-enhancing lesion, measuring 7 mm (AP) x 6 mm (TV) x 6 mm (CC), in the anterior pituitary (Figures 1, 2). A minimal leftward deviated pituitary stalk with normal thickness was also identified. An 8 mg dexamethasone suppression test revealed cortisol levels had decreased from 1,500 to 900 nmol/L. The 24-hour cortisol level was not determined, as the patient was easily provoked. Inferior petrosal sinus sampling was performed under general anesthesia. These results are consistent with central Cushing disease. Figure 1: Coronal T1-weighted MRI of the pituitary gland with contrast showed a hypoenhancing nodular lesion at the midline of the anterior pituitary, with mild eccentric to the right Figure 2: Brain MRI sagittal view showing focal anterior pituitary hypoenhancing lesion at the midline and eccentric to the right Treatment with 250 mg metyrapone twice daily was initiated and the patient was scheduled for pituitary lesion resection via a microscopic transsphenoidal approach by neurosurgery. Her blood tests began normalizing post-surgery except for low cortisol (Table 2), and her vital signs were within normal range. Medications regulating blood pressure and glucose levels were decreased to monotherapy and discontinued thereafter. And 40 and 20 mg doses of hydrocortisone administered in the morning and night, respectively, were tapered to 5 mg twice daily over a period of two months after the surgery, and cortisol levels were regulated reaching 167 nmol/L. Agitation and irritability, grandiose and persecutory delusion and auditory hallucination tensity were reduced, with intact cognitive and memory function. Therefore, medication dosages were gradually reduced, starting with lorazepam. Lab Test Patient result Reference values cortisol levels 68 nmol/L 140 to 690 nmol/L ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone) 25 pg/ml 10 to 50 pg/mL ALT (Alanine transaminase) 17.2 U/L 7 to 56 U/L AST (Aspartate aminotransferase) 19.2 U/L 8 to 33 U/L Alkaline phosphatase 121 IU/L 44 to 147 IU/L TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) 1.8 mIU/L 0.5 to 5.0 mIU/L Table 2: Lab results after the surgery. Before discharge, the patient’s psychotropic medications were withheld by the primary team for two days due to oversedation. Upon discharge, due to the side effects of olanzapine, the patient was switched to oral risperidone 1 mg at night, with 0.5 mg oral clonazepam twice daily as needed for agitation and psychosis. Throughout follow-up, the patient experienced ongoing psychosis with disturbed behavior even though she is using received clonazepam twice daily. Therefore, her dosage of risperidone was increased to 2 mg orally at night, and oral clonazepam (0.5 to 1 mg) was administered three times daily as needed to manage agitation. After three months of discharge (five months from surgical intervention), her levels of agitation and irritability decreased, delusions and auditory hallucinations ceased, and she returned to baseline, and clonazepam was discontinued and risperidone dosage was tapered to 0.5 mg with observation and follow up in the clinic, and no symptom relapse was observed. The complete discontinuation of her medications is planned next visit while monitoring the patient for signs of relapse. Discussion Cushing syndrome may initially present as psychosis, which may be misdiagnosis as a primary psychotic disorder, delaying the proper diagnosis and management. Our patient presented to a psychiatry hospital before being referred to us because she resisted psychosis treatment, the resistance to treatment of primary illness due to psychiatric manifestation is not uncommon, as Fujii et al. [6] reported the management of a patient who resisted schizophrenia treatment for 10 years before being diagnosed with Cushing syndrome. Agitation with psychosis is likely the main obstacle for properly evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients with Cushing syndrome. In our patient, we aimed to reduce her agitation to facilitate clinical evaluation. The organic cause of psychosis often responds poorly to antipsychotic medication and exhibits a challenge in managing agitation which necessitate the utilization of highly sedating medications, to facilitate further clinical evaluation. Shah et al. [7] reported similar difficulty treating a patient with agitation despite prescribing lorazepam and 1 mg haloperidol twice daily, agitation was poorly controlled. In our case, the patient responds to a high dose of Olanzapine with lorazepam in a better way than the case report that was managed with haloperidol with lorazepam. Psychiatric symptoms secondary to medical conditions usually occur transiently and they resolve after treatment of the primary cause, however, the duration for complete resolution of symptoms is unknown. In our case, the patient gradually improved for three months prior to achieving remission, whereas a patient reported by Wu et al. [8] went into complete remission one-month post-cortisol level correction. Conclusions Cushing syndrome, like many other endocrine diseases, can present as treatment-resistant psychiatric symptoms, which may be missed and treated as a primary psychiatric illness due to the lack of proper assessment and management. In this study, we tried to correlate the psychiatric symptoms with Cushing syndrome, the challenges we faced, and the response to the treatment. Our case report gives an insight into possible rare secondary causes of psychosis and advice a thorough evaluation of patients. References Your bibliography. (2021). Accessed: March 27, 2021: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470218/. Etxabe J, Vazquez JA: Morbidity and mortality in Cushing's disease: an epidemiological approach. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1994, 40:479-84. 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1994.tb02486.x Starkman MN, Schteingart DE: Neuropsychiatric manifestations of patients with Cushing’s syndrome. Relationship to cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone levels. Arch Intern Med. 1981, 215:9. 10.1001/archinte.1981.00340020077021 Dorn LD, Burgess ES, Dubbert B, et al.: Psychopathology in patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome: 'atypical' or melancholic features. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1995, 43:433-42. 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1995.tb02614.x Sharma ST, Nieman LK, Feelders RA: Cushing's syndrome: epidemiology and developments in disease management. Clin Epidemiol. 2015, 7:281-93. 10.2147/CLEP.S44336 Fujii Y, Mizoguchi Y, Masuoka J, et al.: Cushing’s syndrome and psychosis: a case report and literature review. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2018, 20:18br02279. 10.4088/PCC.18br02279 Shah K, Mann I, Reddy K, John G: A case of severe psychosis due to Cushing’s syndrome secondary to primary bilateral Macronodular adrenal hyperplasia. Cureus. 2019, 11:e6162. 10.7759/cureus.6162 Wu Y, Chen J, Ma Y, Chen Z: Case report of Cushing’s syndrome with an acute psychotic presentation. Shanghai Arch Psychiatry. 2016, 28:169-72. 10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.215126 From https://www.cureus.com/articles/98986-cushings-syndrome-with-acute-psychosis-a-case-report
  3. The popular website "How Stuff Work"s is doing a survey of all kinds of diseases and Cushing's is one of them! Share your information and help get the word out to the world in general. (I'm MaryO there, too and I shared about my pituitary surgery and its aftermath. I hope this info helps someone else like these boards and related websites have) The questionnaire is here: https://stuff.health/s/u0A9djA5 Together, we’ll figure out which treatments work best for Cushing's syndrome.
  4. Osilodrostat is associated with improvements in physical manifestations of hypercortisolism and reductions in mean body weight and BMI in adults with Cushing’s syndrome, according to a speaker. As Healio previously reported, in findings from the LINC 4 phase 3 trial, osilodrostat (Isturisa, Recordati) normalized mean urinary free cortisol level at 12 weeks in more than 75% of adults with Cushing’s disease. In new findings presented at the AACE Annual Scientific and Clinical Conference, most adults with Cushing’s syndrome participating in the LINC 3 phase 3 trial had improvements in physical manifestations of hypercortisolism 72 weeks after initiating osilodrostat, with more than 50% having no dorsal fat pad, supraclavicular fat pad, facial rubor, proximal muscle atrophy, striae, ecchymoses and hirsutism for women at 72 weeks. Source: Adobe Stock “Many patients with Cushing’s syndrome suffer from clinical manifestations related to hypercortisolism,” Albert M. Pedroncelli, MD, PhD, head of clinical development and medical affairs for Recordati AG in Basel, Switzerland, told Healio. “The treatment with osilodrostat induced a rapid normalization of cortisol secretion, and improvements in physical manifestations associated with hypercortisolism were observed soon after initiation of osilodrostat and were sustained throughout the study.” Albert M. Pedroncelli Pedroncelli and colleagues analyzed changes in the physical manifestations of hypercortisolism in 137 adults with Cushing’s syndrome (median age, 40 years; 77.4% women) assigned osilodrostat. Dose titration took place from baseline to 12 weeks, and therapeutic doses were administered from 12 to 48 weeks, with some participants randomly assigned to withdrawal between 26 and 34 weeks. An extension phase of the trial took place from 48 to 72 weeks. Investigators subjectively rated physical manifestations of hypercortisolism in participants as none, mild, moderate or severe. Participants were evaluated at baseline and 12, 24, 34, 48 and 72 weeks. At baseline, the majority of the study cohort had mild, moderate or severe physical manifestations of hypercortisolism in most individual categories, including dorsal fat pad, central obesity, supraclavicular fat pad, facial rubor, hirsutism in women and striae. Central obesity was the most frequent physical manifestation rated as severe. The percentage of participants with improvements in physical manifestations of hypercortisolism increased from week 12 on for all individual manifestations evaluated in the study, and improvements were maintained through week 72. At 72 weeks, the percentage of participants who had no individual physical manifestations was higher than 50% for each category except central obesity, where 30.6% of participants had no physical manifestations. In addition to improvement in physical manifestations, the study cohort had decreases in body weight, BMI and waist circumference at weeks 48 and 72 compared with baseline. “The main goal of treating patients with Cushing’s syndrome is to normalize cortisol secretion,” Pedroncelli said. “The rapid reduction and normalization of cortisol levels is accompanied by improvement in the associated clinical manifestations. This represents an important objective for patients.” From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20220512/osilodrostat-improves-physical-manifestations-of-hypercortisolism-for-most-adults
  5. She experienced extreme weight gain, thin skin and a racing heart. It took years to finally solve the medical mystery. Angela Yawn went to a dozen doctors before finally getting a diagnosis for her life-disrupting symptoms.Courtesy Angela Yawn April 27, 2022, 10:52 AM EDT / Source: TODAY By A. Pawlowski When a swarm of seemingly unrelated symptoms disrupted Angela Yawn’s life, she thought she was going crazy. She gained weight — 115 pounds over six years — even as she tried to eat less. Her skin tore easily and bruises would stay on her body for months. Her face would suddenly turn blood red and hot to the touch as if she had a severe sunburn. She suffered from joint swelling and headaches. She felt tired, anxious and depressed. Her hair was falling out. Then, there was the 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, 49, who lives in Griffin, Georgia, 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, seen here before the symptoms began, had no problems with weight before.Courtesy Angela Yawn Yawn was especially frustrated by the weight gain. Even when she ate just 600 calories a day — consuming mostly lettuce leaves — she was still gaining about 2 pounds a day, she recalled. A doctor told her to exercise more. Yawn gained 115 pounds over six years. "When the weight really started to pile on, I stayed away from cameras as I felt horrible about myself and looking back at this picture is still very embarrassing for me but I wanted (people) to see what this disease has the potential to do if not diagnosed," she said.Courtesy Angela Yawn In all, Yawn went to a dozen doctors and was treated for high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, but nothing helped. As a last resort, she sought out an endocrinologist in February of 2021 and broke down in her office. “That was the last hope I had of just not lying down and dying because at that point, that’s what I wanted to do,” Yawn said. “I thought the problem was me. I thought that I’m making up these issues, that maybe I’m bipolar. I was going crazy.” What is Cushing disease? When the endocrinologist suddenly started listing all of her symptoms without being prompted, Yawn stopped crying. Blood tests and an MRI finally confirmed the doctor’s suspicion: Yawn had a tumor in her pituitary gland — a pea-size organ at the base of the brain — that was causing the gland to release too much adrenocorticotropic hormone. That, in turn, flooded her body with cortisol, a steroid hormone that’s normally released in response to stress or danger. The resulting condition is called Cushing disease. Imagine the adrenaline rush you’d get while jumping out of an airplane and skydiving — that’s what Yawn felt all the time, with harmful side-effects. Yawn was making six times the cortisol she needed, said Dr. Nelson Oyesiku, chair of neurosurgery at UNC Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who removed her tumor last fall. “That’s a trailer load of cortisol. Day in, day out, morning, noon and night, whether you need it or not, your body just keeps making this excess cortisol. It can wreak havoc in the body physiology and metabolism,” Oyesiku told TODAY. The steroid regulates blood pressure and heart rate, which is why Yawn's skin was flushed and her heart was racing, he noted. It can regulate how fat is burned and deposited in the body, which is why Yawn was gaining weight. Other effects of the steroid's overproduction include fatigue, thin skin with easy bruising, mental changes and high blood sugar. Cushing disease is rare, affecting about five people per million each year, so most doctors will spend their careers without ever coming across a case, Oyesiku said. That’s why patients often go years without being diagnosed: When they complain of blood sugar problems or a racing heart, they’ll be treated for much more common issues like diabetes or high blood pressure. Pituitary gland is hard to reach Removing Yawn’s tumor in September of 2021 would require careful maneuvering. If you think of the head as a ball, the pituitary gland sits right at the center, between the ears, between the eyes and about 4 inches behind the nose, Oyesiku said. It’s called the “master gland” because it regulates other glands in the body that make hormones, he noted. The location of the pituitary gland makes it heard to reach.janulla / Getty Images It’s a very difficult spot to reach. To get to it, Oyesiku made an incision deep inside Yawn’s nose in a small cavity called the sphenoid sinus. Using a long, thin tube that carried a light and a camera, he reached the tiny tumor — about the size of a rice grain — and removed it using special instruments. The surgery took four hours. The potential risk is high: The area is surrounded by vessels that carry blood to the brain, and it’s right underneath optic nerves necessary for a person to see. If things go wrong, patients can become blind, brain dead, or die. Recovery from surgery Today, Yawn is slowly returning to normal. She has lost 41 pounds and continues to lose weight. Her hair is no longer falling out. But patients sometimes require months or even a few years to adjust to normal cortisol levels. “It takes some time to unwind the effects of chronic exposure to steroids, so your body has to adapt to the new world order as the effects of the steroids recede,” Oyesiku said. "My life was on hold for five years... I'm trying not to be too impatient," Yawn said.Courtesy Angela Yawn Yawn’s body was so used to that higher cortisol level that she’s had to rely on steroid supplements to feel normal after the surgery. It’s like an addict going through withdrawal, she noted. The next step is finishing another cycle of supplements and then slowly tapering off them so that her body figures out how to function without the steroid overload. “I am definitely moving in the right direction,” she said. "I hope that I’ll get back to that woman I used to be — in mind, body and spirit." From https://www.today.com/health/health/cushing-disease-pituitary-gland-tumor
  6. I don't know if there's anything of interest here - or the cost - but possibly useful to someone. Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market research report is the new statistical data source added by Research Cognizance. “Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market is growing at a High CAGR during the forecast period 2022-2029. The increasing interest of the individuals in this industry is that the major reason for the expansion of this market”. Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market research is an intelligence report with meticulous efforts undertaken to study the right and valuable information. The data which has been looked upon is done considering both, the existing top players and the upcoming competitors. Business strategies of the key players and the new entering market industries are studied in detail. Well explained SWOT analysis, revenue share, and contact information are shared in this report analysis. Get the PDF Sample Copy (Including FULL TOC, Graphs, and Tables) of this report @: https://researchcognizance.com/sample-request/896 Top Key Players Profiled in this report are: Novartis, Orphagen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Corcept Therapeutics The key questions answered in this report: What will be the Market Size and Growth Rate in the forecast year? What are the Key Factors driving Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market? What are the Risks and Challenges in front of the market? Who are the Key Vendors in Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market? What are the Trending Factors influencing the market shares? What are the Key Outcomes of Porter’s five forces model? Which are the Global Opportunities for Expanding the Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market? Various factors are responsible for the market’s growth trajectory, which are studied at length in the report. In addition, the report lists down the restraints that are posing threat to the global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment market. It also gauges the bargaining power of suppliers and buyers, threat from new entrants and product substitute, and the degree of competition prevailing in the market. The influence of the latest government guidelines is also analyzed in detail in the report. It studies the Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment market’s trajectory between forecast periods. Get up to 30% Discount on this Premium Report @: https://researchcognizance.com/discount/896 Regions Covered in the Global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market Report 2022: • The Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries and Egypt) • North America (the United States, Mexico, and Canada) • South America (Brazil etc.) • Europe (Turkey, Germany, Russia UK, Italy, France, etc.) • Asia-Pacific (Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Australia) The cost analysis of the Global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market has been performed while keeping in view manufacturing expenses, labor cost, and raw materials and their market concentration rate, suppliers, and price trend. Other factors such as Supply chain, downstream buyers, and sourcing strategy have been assessed to provide a complete and in-depth view of the market. Buyers of the report will also be exposed to a study on market positioning with factors such as target client, brand strategy, and price strategy taken into consideration. The report provides insights on the following pointers: Market Penetration: Comprehensive information on the product portfolios of the top players in the Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment market. Product Development/Innovation: Detailed insights on the upcoming technologies, R&D activities, and product launches in the market. Competitive Assessment: In-depth assessment of the market strategies, geographic and business segments of the leading players in the market. Market Development: Comprehensive information about emerging markets. This report analyzes the market for various segments across geographies. Market Diversification: Exhaustive information about new products, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments in the Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment market. Table of Content Global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market Research Report Chapter 1: Global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Industry Overview Chapter 2: Global Economic Impact on Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Industry Chapter 3: Global Market Competition by Industry Producers Chapter 4: Global Productions, Revenue (Value), according to regions Chapter 5: Global Supplies (Production), Consumption, Export, Import, geographically Chapter 6: Global Productions, Revenue (Value), Price Trend, Product Type Chapter 7: Global Market Analysis, on the basis of Application Chapter 8: Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market Pricing Analysis Chapter 9: Market Chain, Sourcing Strategy, and Downstream Buyers Chapter 10: Strategies and key policies by Distributors/Suppliers/Traders Chapter 11: Key Marketing Strategy Analysis, by Market Vendors Chapter 12: Market Effect Factors Analysis Chapter 13: Global Cushing’s Syndrome Diagnostic and Treatment Market Forecast Buy Exclusive Report @: https://researchcognizance.com/checkout/896/single_user_license If you have any special requirements, please let us know and we will offer you the report as you want. About Us: Research Cognizance is an India-based market research Company, registered in Pune. Research Cognizance aims to provide meticulously researched insights into the market. We offer high-quality consulting services to our clients and help them understand prevailing market opportunities. Our database presents ample statistics and thoroughly analyzed explanations at an affordable price. Contact Us: Neil Thomas 116 West 23rd Street 4th Floor New York City, New York 10011 sales@researchcognizance.com +1 7187154714
  7. In Day 9 on April 9, 2015, I wrote about how we got the Cushing’s colors of blue and yellow. This post is going to be about the first Cushing’s ribbons. http://cushieblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/janice-ribbon.jpg?w=500 I was on vacation in September, 2001 when SuziQ called me to let me know that we had had our first Cushie casualty (that we knew about). The image at the top of the page shows the first blue and yellow ribbon which were worn at Janice’s funeral. When we had our “official ribbons” made, we sent several to Janice’s family. Janice was the first of us to die but there have been more, way too many more, over the years. I’ll write a bit more about that on Day 21.
  8. An analysis of nationwide data from Sweden provides an overview of the increased risk of death associated with Cushing's disease was present even after biochemical remission. New data from an analysis of patient data over nearly 30 years suggests the increased risk of mortality associated with Cushing’s disease persists even after treatment. A 4:1 matched analysis comparing data from 371 patients with Cushing’s disease with 1484 matched controls, indicated risk of mortality was 5-fold greater among those not in remission compared to matched controls, but even those in remission at the last follow-up were at a 50% greater risk of mortality compared to controls. “To our knowledge, this is the first study that investigated mortality in an unselected cohort of patients treated for Cushing’s disease and followed up in comparison to mortality in matched controls. The mortality rate was more than doubled in patients with Cushing’s disease, and not being in remission was a strong predictor of premature death,” wrote investigators. With a lack of consensus surrounding the impact of biochemical remission on life expectancy in patients with Cushing’s disease, a team of investigators from multiple institutions in Sweden designed their study with the intent of assessing this association with mortality in a time-to-event analysis of an unselected nationwide Cushing’s disease cohort. Using the Swedish Pituitary Registry, investigators identified 371 patients with Cushing’s disease for inclusion in their analysis. The Swedish Pituitary Register is a nationwide registry that collected data on the majority of Swedish patients with Cushing’s disease. For the current study, investigators included all patients with Cushing’s disease from the register diagnosed between May 1991-September 2018 and followed these patients until the date of death, date of emigration, or December 26, 2018. From the register, investigators obtained data related to date of diagnosis, age, sex, treatment, and biochemical remission status evaluations. The median age at diagnosis was 44 (IQR, 32-56) years and the median follow-up was 10.6 (IQR, 5.7-18) years. The remissions rates for the study cohort were 80%, 92%, 96%, 91%, and 97% at the 1-, 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year follow-ups, respectively. These patients were matched in a 4:1 based on age, sex, and residential area at the diagnosis data, yielding a cohort of 1484 matched controls. Upon analysis, the overall risk of mortality was greater among those with Cushing’s disease compared to the matched controls (HR, 2.1 [95% CI, 1.5-2.8]). Investigators pointed out increased risk was observed among patients in remission at the last follow-up (n=303; HR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.02-2.2]), those in remission after a single pituitary surgery (n=177; HR, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.03-2.8]), and those not in remission (n=31; HR, 5.6 [95% CI, 2.7-11.6]). Additionally, results indicated cardiovascular disease and infections were the most overrepresented cases of death, accounting for 32 and 12 of the 66 total instances of mortality. “The findings of the present study confirm and complement previous findings of increased overall mortality in Cushing’s disease patients, having a more than doubled HR for death compared to matched controls. Most importantly, an increased HR persisted among patients who had been successfully treated and reached a Cushing’s disease biochemical cure,” investigators added. This study, “Increased mortality persists after treatment of Cushing’s disease: A matched nationwide cohort study,” was published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society. From https://www.endocrinologynetwork.com/view/medicaid-expansion-under-aca-may-have-reduced-rate-of-major-diabetes-related-amputations
  9. Although Dr. Friedman is at the forefront of Cushing’s Disease, he was not invited to be part of the Pituitary Society Consensus Guidelines on Cushing’s Disease published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology in 2021, many of his ideas on Cushing’s Disease that he has been advocating for years were included in the recent guidelines. In this informative webinar, Dr. Friedman will discuss The use of imaging for the diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease The need for multiple testing to diagnose episodic Cushing’s Disease The importance of UFC and salivary cortisol testing The use of medication trial prior to surgery The use of ketoconazole for the medication trial and longer-term treatment Dr. Friedman will also discuss new Cushing’s medications. Sunday • April 3 • 6 PM PST Via Zoom Click here to join the meeting orhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/4209687343?pwd=amw4UzJLRDhBRXk1cS9ITU02V1pEQT09OR+16699006833,,4209687343#,,,,*111116#Slides will be available on the day of the talk here. You can also click to read the consensus guidelines There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button. For more information, email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com
  10. Abstract Corticotroph pituitary adenomas commonly cause Cushing’s disease (CD), but some of them are clinically silent. The reason why they do not cause endocrinological symptoms remains unclear. We used data from small RNA sequencing in adenomas causing CD (n = 28) and silent ones (n = 20) to explore the role of miRNA in hormone secretion and clinical status of the tumors. By comparing miRNA profiles, we identified 19 miRNAs differentially expressed in clinically functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas. The analysis of their putative target genes indicates a role of miRNAs in regulation of the corticosteroid receptors expression. Adenomas causing CD have higher expression of hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135-5p and lower expression of their target genes NR3C1 and NR3C2. The role of hsa-miR-124-3p in the regulation of NR3C1 was further validated in vitro using AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells. The cells transfected with miR-124-3p mimics showed lower levels of glucocorticoid receptor expression than control cells while the interaction between miR-124-3p and NR3C1 3′ UTR was confirmed using luciferase reporter assay. The results indicate a relatively small difference in miRNA expression between clinically functioning and silent corticotroph pituitary adenomas. High expression of hsa-miR-124-3p in adenomas causing CD plays a role in the regulation of glucocorticoid receptor level and probably in reducing the effect of negative feedback mediated by corticosteroids. Keywords: neuroendocrine pituitary tumors; Cushing’s disease; silent corticotroph adenoma; miRNA; hsa-miR-124-3p; NR3C1; glucocorticoid receptor 1. Introduction Pituitary adenomas (also referred to as pituitary neuroendocrine tumors, PitNETs) represent about 10–20% of intracranial neoplasms in adults. They may originate from different kinds of secretory pituitary cells including corticotroph ACTH-secreting cells. Corticotroph adenomas commonly cause ACTH-dependent Cushing’s disease, but a significant proportion of these tumors are endocrinologically non-functioning and classified as subclinical/silent corticotroph adenomas (SCAs) [1]. CD-causing ACTH tumors are commonly small microadenomas with approximately 50% being smaller than 5 mm, which is challenging for MRI diagnostics [2]. In contrary, SCAs are commonly diagnosed due to neurological symptoms related to tumor mass at the stage of large macroadenomas. Frequently they show invasive growth and increased proliferation index [1]. According to current recommendations, SCAs are now referred to as “high-risk” pituitary adenomas which refers to their fast and invasive growth, high risk of recurrence and resistance to medical therapy [3,4]. They are recognized to be more aggressive than other clinically nonfunctioning pituitary tumors such as those of gonadotroph origin or null-cell adenomas [5]. The mechanism underlying the difference in secretory activity of CD-causing and subclinical tumors is unclear and only a few studies focused on this issue were published. The results indicated a role of the expression levels of particular genes/proteins involved in the regulation of POMC expression and pro-hormone conversion into ACTH as well as genes involved in pituitary differentiation [6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13]. However, it also appears that both active and silent corticotroph adenomas share a similar overall gene expression profile [14,15]. The aim of this study was to compare the profiles of microRNA (miRNA) expression in clinically functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas and to identify miRNAs that play a role in different ACTH secretory activity. 2. Results 2.1. Patients Characteristics The study included 28 patients with CD and 20 patients suffering from SCA. All patients with CD had clear clinical signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism verified according to biochemical criteria including elevated midnight cortisol levels and 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC). Patients with SCA had no clinical or biochemical signs of hypercortisolism and showed normal levels of midnight cortisol and 24 h UFC. Patients with CD had significantly higher morning serum cortisol levels than patients with SCAs (p = 0.0002) while no significant difference was observed in the morning serum ACTH levels. No difference in cortisol/ACTH ratio was observed between CD and SCA patients. All the adenoma samples were ACTH-positive upon immunohistochemical staining against pituitary hormones (ACTH, GH, TSH, FSH, LH, α-subunit) and had characteristic ultrastructural features of corticotroph adenoma. Forty-one adenomas were positive only for ACTH, while seven ACTH-positive adenomas showed additional moderate/weak immunoreactivity for α-subunit. Increased proliferation assessed by Ki67 index ≥ 3% was observed in a similar proportion of CD and SCA patients, seven tumors causing CD and five SCAs. A higher proportion of sparsely vs. densely granulated adenomas was observed in SCAs than in CD-related adenomas, but the difference did not cross a significance threshold (p = 0.0787). No difference in the proportion of invasive/noninvasive adenomas was observed in clinically functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas. All SCAs were macroadenomas, while tumors causing CD included 17 macroadenomas and 11 microadenomas. No significant differences in preoperative clinical parameters, including 24 h UFC, morning serum ACTH level, morning and midnight serum cortisol level, cortisol/ACTH ratio, were observed between CD patients with micro- and macroadenomas. Irrespectively, a correlation between tumors size and ACTH level (Spearman R= 0.4678; p = 0.0121) and a negative correlation between cortisol/ACTH ratio (Spearman R= −0.4015; p = 0.0342) was observed in CD patients. No correlation was found between the remaining biochemical parameters and tumor size. Overall, the patients’ characteristics are presented in Table 1, while details including both the clinical and histopathological data are shown in Supplementary Table S1. Table 1. Summary of clinical features of patients with Cushing’s disease and silent corticotroph adenomas. 2.2. Identification of miRNAs Differentially Expressed in Corticotroph Adenomas Causing CD and Subclinical Cortiotroph Adenomas NGS data on miRNA expression of 48 corticotroph adenomas from previous investigation were used to compare miRNA expression levels between adenomas causing CD (n = 24) and subclinical corticotroph adenomas (n = 20). Sequencing of small RNA libraries produced approximately 2,497,367 reads per sample, which were mapped to the human genome (hg19) and used for quantification of expression levels of known miRNAs, according to miRBase 22 release. Sequencing reads were annotated to 1917 miRNAs. Measurements of 1902 mature miRNAs expression were included in the analysis, after filtering out the miRNAs with low expression. When miRNA profiles of adenomas causing CD and SCAs were compared, a total of 19 differentially expressed miRNAs were found that met the criteria of adjusted p-value < 0.05. This set included 16 miRNAs with higher expression in tumors causing CD: hsa-miR-129-2-3p, hsa-miR-129-5p, hsa-miR-124-3p, hsa-miR-132-5p, hsa-miR-129-1-3p, hsa-miR-135b-5p, hsa-miR-27a-3p, hsa-miR-10b-5p, hsa-miR-9-3p, hsa-miR-6506-3p, hsa-miR-6864-5p, hsa-let-7b-5p, hsa-miR-670-3p, hsa-miR-22-5p, hsa-miR-346 and hsa-miR-9-5p, Three miRNAs with lower expression in CD patients were found: hsa-miR-1909-3p, hsa-miR-4319 and hsa-miR-181b-3p. Details are presented in Table 2 and Figure 1A,B. Figure 1. MiRNA expression profiling in corticotroph adenomas. (A). Difference in miRNA expression between functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas. Volcano plot showing differentially expressed miRNAs. Significance and fold change thresholds are marked with dashed lines. (B). Heat map representing the expression of differentially expressed miRNAs and clustering the samples of adenomas causing Cushing’s disease (CD) and silent corticotroph adenomas (SCA). (C). The correlation between the expression levels of differentially expressed miRNAs and POMC expression or hormonal laboratory measurements in patients: morning plasma ACTH level, morning and midnight plasma cortisol levels and 24 h urinary free cortisol; * indicate p-value < 0.05; ** indicate p-value < 0.01; *** indicate p-value < 0.001 Table 2. The list of miRNAs differentially expressed in corticotroph pituitary adenomas causing CD and silent corticotroph adenomas. 2.3. The Correlation of miRNA Expression and Patients’ Clinical Data Since the clustering of the tumors based on the expression of differentially expressed miRNAs did not clearly separate functioning and silent adenomas, we determined whether the expression of the identified differentially expressed miRNAs is directly related to the results of patients’ laboratory tests as well as POMC expression, measured in tumor samples with qRT-PCR. For this purpose, Spearman’s correlation was applied to calculate a correlation matrix. We observed a significant positive correlation between 13 miRNAs out of 19 differentially expressed miRNAs and at least one of clinical laboratory parameters: serum ACTH, morning cortisol level, midnight cortisol level or 24 h UFC. For 11 miRNAs, with higher expression in patients with CD a positive correlation was observed, while a negative correlation was observed for 3 miRNAs that have lower expression in patients with CD. Four of the differentially expressed miRNAs, hsa-miR-9-3p, hsa-miR-9-5p, hsa-miR-27a-3p and hsa-miR-6506-3p, are correlated with POMC expression level in tumor tissue. The absolute value of correlation coefficient ranged between 0.31 and 0.55 which indicates a weak/moderate relationship. Details are presented in Figure 1C. 2.4. Funtional Enrichment Analysis of Differentially Expressed miRNAs To investigate the possible functional role of the identified miRNAs with different expression levels in CD tumors and SCAs, we used the information on experimentally validated miRNA targets gathered in the miRtarbase release 8.0 database. High confidence known miRNA targets that were validated with luciferase reporter assay, reported in miRtarbase, were included in the analysis. The enrichment of the genes reported as miRNA targets of our 19 miRNAs of interest was determined with gene set over-representation analysis (GSOA) based on Gene Ontology (GO) Molecular Function and GO Biological Processes. The list of all the genes reported in miRTarbase as validated with reporter gene assay was used as reference. As a result, we found 30 GO Molecular Function terms and 293 GO Biological Processes terms as significantly enriched with genes that are targets of the 19 differentially expressed miRNAs. Top 10 enriched terms were related mainly to steroid hormone activity, regulation of transcription and regulation of stem cell differentiation, as shown in Figure 2. Details are presented in Supplementary Table S2. We paid special attention to the terms that refer to steroid hormone action, i.e., steroid hormone receptor activity (GO:0003707), nuclear receptor activity (GO:0004879), ligand-activated transcription factor activity (GO:0098531), as well as steroid hormone-mediated signaling pathway (GO:0043401) and hormone-mediated signaling pathway (GO:0009755). Importantly, the miRNA target genes that were overrepresented in these terms included NR3C1 and NR3C2 that encode for adrenal hormones glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), respectively. According to the miRtarbase 9.0 database, hsa-miR-124-3p is a negative regulator of NR3C1 gene [16] while both hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p downregulate MR [17]. Figure 2. Gene set over-representation analysis of putative target genes of miRNAs differentially expressed in clinically functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas. Using the PubMed search, we found additional evidence strongly supporting the role of hsa-miR-124-3p in the regulation of NR3C1 [18,19,20,21] as well as the role of hsa-miR-135b-5p in downregulating NR3C2 [22,23]. 2.5. Comparison of the Expression of NR3C1 and NR3C2 in Corticotroph Adenomas Causing CD and Silent Adenomas We determined the expression levels of NR3C1 and NR3C2 in corticotroph adenomas with qRT-PCR. We observed a significantly lower expression of both genes in samples from CD patients (n = 24) as compared to SCAs (n = 24); fold change (FC) 0.49 p = 0.0166 and FC 0.37 p = 0.0132, for NR3C1 and NR3C2, respectively. However, the observed difference is rather slight and a notable dispersion of the results was observed (Figure 3). The differences in NR3C1 and NR3C2 expression correspond to the differences in hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p levels. Patients with CD have higher levels of both miRNAs and lower levels of NR3C1 and NR3C2 mRNA (Figure 3). Unfortunately, we did not find a direct correlation between the expression levels of hsa-miR-124-3p and NR3C1 or hsa-miR-135b-5p and NR3C2. Figure 3. The expression levels of NR3C1 and NR3C2 measured with qRT-PCR as well as hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p measured with small RNA sequencing in tumor samples from CD patients and silent corticotroph adenomas; * indicate p-value < 0.05 2.6. Investigtion of miRNA-Related Regulation of NR3C1 In Vitro Transfecting the cultured cells with miRNA mimics is the commonly used approach of in vitro validation of specific miRNA–mRNA interaction. We used mice corticotroph tumor AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells for in vitro experiment and initially verified whether these cells do express Nr3c1 and Nr3c2 genes using deposited RNAseq data from a previous experiment on AtT-20 cells (GSE132324; Gene Expression Omnibus) and qRT-PCR. This showed that the AtT-20/D16v-F2 have relatively high expression of Nr3c1 but do not express Nr3c2. Thus, we focused on the regulatory role of miR-124-3p on Nr3c1 expression. We used miRBase [24] and Targetscan [25] to determine whether miR-124-3p is evolutionarily conserved in humans and mice and whether it targets NR3C1 in both species. It confirmed that miR-124-3p is broadly conserved and it shares the same sequence of mature miRNA in humans and mice. Importantly, GR is among highly rated miR-124-3p predicted targets in both humans and mice and two highly conserved miR-124-3p binding motifs in 3′UTR of this gene were identified in these two species (Figure 4A). Figure 4. Role of mir-124-3p in regulation of glucocorticoid receptor gene. (A). Putative hsa-mir-124-3p target sites in 3′UTR of NR3C1. (B). Reduced expression of Nr3c1 gene expression and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) protein level in AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells treated with hsa-miR-124-3p mimics. (C). Results of luciferase reporter gene assay, showing the interaction between Nr3c1 3′UTR site 2 and mir-124-3p; * indicate p-value < 0.05; ns—not significant. When we transfected AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells with miR-124-3p miRNA mimic and unspecific negative control miRNA mimic, we observed a significant decrease in Nr3c1 expression in cells treated with miR-124-3p miRNA mimic (Figure 4B). It was significantly lower than in cells treated with unspecific miRNA mimic. This difference was also clearly visible at the protein level. The GR level was reduced in cells treated with miR-124-3p miRNA mimic as compared to control (Figure 4B). Two fragments of Nr3c1 3′UTR including each of putative miR-124-3p binding motifs were cloned in plasmid vector into 3′ region of the firefly luciferase gene. AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells were transfected with empty vector, vector with miR-124-3p binding site 1 and vector miR-124-3p binding site 2. Each of the three variants of the cells were cotransfected with miR-124-3p miRNA mimic or unspecific miRNA mimic that served as a negative control. Luminescence was developed 48 h after transfection and detected with microplate reader. As a result, we observed a significant decrease in luminescence in the cells with introduced plasmid with miR-124-3p binding site 2 treated with miR-124-3p mimic as compared to the cells transfected with the same plasmid construct but with control miRNA mimic. This observation confirms the interaction between miR-124-3p and 3′ UTR of Nr3c1 at putative binding site 2 (Figure 4C). The experiment did not confirm an interaction between miR-124-3p and 3′ UTR of Nr3c1 at binding site 1 since no significant difference of luminescence was found in cells transfected with plasmid vector harboring this binding motif treated with miR-124-3p mimic and the same cells treated with negative miRNA mimic (Figure 4C). 3. Discussion Based on the clinical manifestation and biochemical tests results, pituitary corticotroph adenomas can be divided into functioning adenomas causing Cushing’s disease and SCAs. These two subtypes of tumors also differ in terms of some characteristics in MRI [2,26] and pathological features [27]. In contrast to CD-causing adenomas which are commonly small microadenomas, SCAs are diagnosed as macroadenomas due to neurological symptoms related to tumor mass. They are characterized by invasive growth, high risk of recurrence and resistance to medical therapy and are therefore referred to as “high-risk” pituitary adenomas according to current classification [3,4]. In our study, the SCAs were larger than functioning counterparts, as expected. A clear prevalence of women is observed among CD patients according to literature data [28], while it is not observed in patients suffering from SCAs. Our SCA group contained near equal representation of women and men as in previous reports [29,30]; however, some studies indicated female prevalence in SCAs [31]. Comparing functioning and silent corticotroph adenomas, we did not observe difference in patients’ age as well as differences in invasive growth status, ratio of adenomas with increased proliferation index and proportions of sparsely and densely granulated adenomas that may suggest the lack of difference in the tumors’ “aggressiveness”. Importantly, limitations for generalization of our results should be noted. The number of patients included in the analysis is relatively low and the group is not representative of the general population, especially in the case of patients suffering from Cushing’s disease. Since the main goal of our study was a molecular profiling of tumor tissue, we intentionally preselected large adenomas, which allowed us to have enough tissue for DNA/RNA isolation and successful molecular procedures. In our investigation, we observed a negative correlation between cortisol/ACTH ratio and tumor volume in functioning corticotroph adenomas as described previously [32]. However, we did not observe any difference between micro- and macroadenomas causing CD as compared to SCAs (data not shown) as was found in previous studies [12]. The reason why some of corticotroph adenomas exhibit excessive hormone secretion and the others remain clinically silent is unclear and only few attempts have been made to determine the possible molecular mechanism underlying this difference in secretory activity. They were mainly focused on investigating the expression of the selected genes or proteins by comparing subclinical and functioning corticotroph adenomas. These studies indicated different expression levels of prohormone convertase 1/3 POMC, genes encoding somatostatin receptors, corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1, vasopressin receptor (V1BR), corticosteroid 11-beta-dehydrogenase as well as NEUROD1 and TPIT [6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13]. However, whole transcriptome studies indicated that adenomas causing CD and subclinical corticotroph adenomas share a very common gene expression profile and a very low number of differentially expressed genes can be found by comparing transcriptome of silent and CD-causing ACTH tumors [14,15]. In our study, we determined the miRNA expression profile of 28 clinically functioning adenomas and 20 SCAs with next-generation sequencing of small RNA fraction. This allowed for the quantification of over 1900 miRNA annotated to current version of miRbase database and comparing their expression in two groups of tumor samples. We found a significant difference only in the expression levels of 19 miRNAs, that represent less than 1% of the miRNAs included in the analysis. This result resembles the observation from previous comparison of whole transcriptome profiles in functioning adenomas and SCAs where only 34 differentially expressed genes were found. Generally, both observations indicate a very common molecular profile of corticotroph adenomas, regardless of the functional status. In our study, the expression levels of 13 out of 19 identified differentially expressed miRNAs were also correlated with peripheral ACTH/cortisol levels, further supporting the role of these miRNAs in secretory activity of corticotroph adenomas. The possible role of miRNA in subclinical nature of SCAs was addressed in only one previous study by García-Martínez A et al. [33]. The authors compared the expression of 5 miRNAs in 24 functioning and 23 silent adenomas and observed a difference in hsa-miR-200a and hsa-miR-103 levels [33]. Their results were not confirmed by our investigation since these two miRNAs were not found among differentially expressed miRNAs. In our data, very a similar expression level of hsa-miR-200a was observed in clinically functioning and silent adenomas. In turn, a slightly higher expression of hsa-miR-103a-3p was observed in SCAs as previously reported, but the difference did not cross the significance threshold level. We should note that different methods were used for these two studies and technical and analytical differences could result in this discrepancy. Since miRNAs play a role in gene regulation, their effect should be investigated in the context of the function of targeted genes. The interaction between miRNA and its target mRNA 3′UTR can be predicted with in silico tools. Unfortunately, prediction results can be very difficult to interpret since a huge number of predicted interactions can be found for some miRNAs. For example, when using the Targetescan (http://www.targetscan.org; accessed on 28 February 2022) prediction tool [25], over 4000 target genes were predicted for each hsa-miR-9-3p, hsa-miR-1909-3p, hsa-miR-22-5p and hsa-miR-181b-3p that we found as differentially expressed in CD and SCA. Therefore, to investigate a possible functional relevance of differentially expressed miRNAs we used a database of experimentally validated miRNA targets [34]. Gene set over-representation analysis of miRNA target genes indicated their enrichment in the pathways of steroid hormone nuclear receptors functioning. This result indicates that miRNAs that have different expression levels in CD and SCAs play a role in the regulation of expression of genes involved in steroid hormone signaling at hormone receptor level. It is especially interesting since this group of compounds includes adrenal hormones that play a role in the regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. The particular enriched miRNA target genes included NR3C1 and NR3C2 that encode for corticosteroid hormone receptors (GR and MR, respectively). Both receptors are located in the cytoplasm where they bind glucocorticoids. Upon ligand binding, they are translocated to nucleus where they form dimers on DNA at glucocorticoid response elements (GREs). Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors directly regulate the expression of target genes and/or influence the expression indirectly through the interaction with other transcription factors [35]. Glucocorticoids play a role in the basic mechanism of negative feedback of HPA axis. They act on hypothalamus, where high cortisol levels reduce secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), thus they directly reduce stimulation of ACTH secretion by anterior pituitary lobe. Glucocorticoids also inhibit the activity of pituitary cells indirectly. Corticotroph cells express GRs and their activation results in the reduction of POMC expression and secretion of ACTH [36,37]. In pituitary corticotroph adenomas, NR3C1 point mutations and loss of heterozygosity in NR3C1 locus were identified [38]. These mutations seem to affect the secretory activity and result in tumor resistance to corticosteroids [39]. Reduced expression of corticosteroid receptors in corticotroph adenomas has been reported in patients with resistance to high doses of dexamethasone [40]. These data indicate a role of GR in secretory activity of clinically functioning corticotroph adenomas. The expression of corticosteroid genes was previously investigated in CD-causing tumors and SCAs and no significant differences were found. However, it is worth noting that a low number of SCA patients was included in these studies: n = 9 [13], n = 8 [11] and n = 2 [41]. According to previously published results, hsa-miR-124-3p is a negative regulator of NR3C1 [16,18,19,20,21]. This was observed in acute lymphoblastic leukemia [19], adipocytes [20] and human embryonic kidney cells [21], where the reduced expression of NR3C1 upon an increase in hsa-miR-124-3p as well as a direct interaction between this miRNA and 3′UTR of GR gene were observed. Some additional clinical observations also suggest the role of hsa-miR-124-3p in the regulation of the response to cortiosteroids in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure [18] and lymphoblastic leukemia [19]. Hsa-miRNA-124 also mediates corticosteroid resistance in T-cells of sepsis patients through the downregulation of GR [42]. Our analysis of the expression level of NR3C1 in corticotroph adenomas showed that tumors causing CD have lower gene expression and accordingly they exhibit higher levels of hsa-miR-124-3p. Subsequently, the role of hsa-miR-124-3p in NR3C1 downregulation was confirmed in mice AtT-20/D16v-F2 corticotroph cells using miRNA mimics and reporter gene assay. Transfection of AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells with hsa-miR-124-3p mimics resulted in reduced NR3C1 mRNA expression and GR protein level. We also confirmed the interaction between hsa-miR-124-3p and one of two predicted binding motifs in 3′UTR of NR3C1 with luciferase reporter gene assay. Since sequences of hsa-miR-124-3p and target sequence in 3′UTR of NR3C1 mRNA are the same in mice and in humans, we believe that results showing the regulation of the GR-encoding gene in mice AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells are also relevant to humans. Together, the available data indicate that in pituitary corticotrophs, hsa-miR-124-3p downregulates the expression of the GR gene. Since this receptor mediates the response of pituitary cells to cortisol, the expression of hsa-miR-124-3p appears to be an important element in the regulation of secretory activity of corticotroph cells. Based on these results, we can hypothesize that in CD, a high level of hsa-miR-124-3p contributes to lowering of GR expression and in consequence it plays a role in lowering the effect of glucocorticoid feedback on the activity of corticotroph adenoma. Hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p can downregulate the expression level of MR, as proven in model HeLa cells [17]. Expression of both miRNAs is higher in corticotroph adenomas causing CD which corresponds to the lower expression of the NR3C2 gene in these tumors as compared to SCAs. Since the role of the MR receptor expression in pituitary cells is poorly understood, the functional implication of this observation is much less clear than in the case of GR downregulation. MR and GR have similar amino acid sequences, especially in DNA-binding domain, but they differ in affinity to corticosteroids. MR is specific for both mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids while GR is specific predominantly for glucocorticoids. MRs have much higher affinity for glucocorticoids than GRs and are activated at basal glucocorticoid conditions, while GR occupancy is increased when glucocorticoid levels rise during the circadian peak or stress. Due to these differences, these two receptors play slightly different roles, despite the fact that they share a number of target genes [43]. MR expression is considered more tissue-specific than GR and was reported to be the most prevalent in kidney and adipose tissue but also in the hippocampus and hypothalamus [44]. However, the available databases of human expression pattern such as the Genotype-Tissue Expression project (https://gtexportal.org; accessed on 10 December 2021) or Protein atlas (https://www.proteinatlas.org; accessed on 10 December 2021) indicate that MR is widely expressed in multiple human tissues and organs including the pituitary gland. Unfortunately, a role of MR receptor in pathogenesis of pituitary tumors remains unknown. AtT-20 cells, which are the only available cell line model of corticotroph adenoma, do not express MR receptor, thus the procedure of experimental validation of the role of miRNA in NR3C2 silencing is not applicable. With a lack of experimental data on the exact role of MR, we can only hypothesize that miRNA-mediated silencing of NR3C2 may have the similar effect on HPA axis feedback as silencing of NR3C1. It may enhance ACTH secretion by reducing the direct inhibitory effect of glucocorticoids on neoplastic pituitary corticotrophs. The difference in expression of hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p between subclinical and CD-causing adenomas is not big, thus we suppose that high expression of these miRNAs is not the only cause of difference in ACTH secretion. Presumably this is one of the mechanisms in the regulation of corticotrophs’ secretory activity. The model of miRNA-based corticosteroid receptor regulation does not undermine the role of previously described differences in the expression of convertase 1/3, POMC, somatostatin receptors or corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 or genes involved in differentiation of pituitary cells [6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13]. When considering the complex nature of the regulation of ACTH secretion, it can be assumed that multiple mechanisms may be involved in the silent character of subclinical adenomas. The low number of identified differentially expressed miRNAs or genes in silent and clinically functioning adenomas probably results from the intertumoral molecular heterogeneity of SCAs. This is also in line with clinical evidence indicating that some silent corticotroph adenomas can transform into clinically functioning ones while the others remain silent [1]. The misregulation of GR expression or NR3C1 mutation may have important therapeutical implications in CD patients. Non-selective GR antagonist Mifepristone was officially approved for treatment in patients with Cushing’s syndrome [45] while another new GR inhibitor, Relacorilant (CORT125134), is under clinical investigation for its use in this group of patients [46]. The further studies will be required to assess the role of GR abnormalities in response to GR-targeting treatment in CD. In our study, we focused mainly on the role of hsa-miR-124-3p and hsa-miR-135b-5p in the regulation of corticosteroid receptors, but the role of other differentially expressed miRNAs can also be elucidated, based on the function of putative target genes. In the pathways enrichment analysis of the putative targets, molecular functions related to transcriptional regulation were found among the top processes. Interestingly, five miRNAs, i.e., hsa-miR-132-5p, hsa-miR-135b-5p, hsa-miR-27a-3p, hsa-miR-9-3p and hsa-miR-9-5p, were previously reported to downregulate the expression of FOXO1 transcription factor [47,48,49,50,51]. FOXO1 plays an important role in the differentiation of pituitary cells [52] and secretion of gonadotropic hormones [53,54] and prolactin [55]. The role of FOXO1 in pituitary corticotroph cells was not investigated but it was shown to regulate POMC expression in POMC hypothalamic neurons [56]. In POMC, neurons of arcuate nucleus FOXO1 directly suppresses POMC expression. A similar mechanism was also observed in prolactin pituitary adenomas where FOXO1 suppresses the promoter of PRL gene [55]. It is possible that high expression of hsa-miR-132-5p, hsa-miR-135b-5p, hsa-miR-27a-3p, hsa-miR-9-3p and hsa-miR-9-5p in pituitary corticotroph adenomas reduces the level of FOXO1 and eventually contributes to the upregulation of POMC expression. In our data from corticotroph adenomas, we observed the correlation between levels of hsa-miR-9-3p/hsa-miR-9-5 and POMC expression, which also supports this concept, but the exact role of miRNAs in possible FOXO1-related regulation of secretory activity of corticotroph cells requires further functional investigation. 4. Materials and Methods 4.1. Patients and Tissue Samples Pituitary tumor samples from 48 patients were collected during transsphenoidal surgery. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples, including 28 samples from patients with Cushing’s disease and 20 samples of SCA were used for the study. Diagnosis of hypercortisolism was based on standard hormonal criteria: increased UFC in three 24 h urine collections, disturbances of cortisol circadian rhythm, increased serum cortisol levels accompanied by increased or not suppressed plasma ACTH levels at 8.00 and a lack of suppression of serum cortisol levels to <1.8 µg/dL during an overnight dexamethasone suppression test (1 mg at midnight). The pituitary etiology of Cushing’s disease was confirmed based on the serum cortisol levels or UFC suppression < 50% with a high-dose dexamethasone suppression test (2 mg q.i.d. for 48 h) or a positive result of a corticotrophin-releasing hormone stimulation test (100 mg i.v.) and positive pituitary magnetic resonance imaging. ACTH levels were assessed using IRMA (ELSA-ACTH, CIS Bio International, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France). The analytical sensitivity was 2 pg/mL (reference range: 10–60 pg/mL). Serum cortisol concentrations were determined by the Elecsys 2010 electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany). Sensitivity of the assay was 0.02 μg/dL (reference range: 6.2–19.4 μg/dL). UFC was determined after extraction (liquid/liquid with dichloromethane) by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (Elecsys 2010, Roche Diagnostics)—reference range: 4.3–176 μg/24 h. All the tumors underwent detailed histopathological diagnosis including immunohistochemical staining with antibodies against particular pituitary hormones (ACTH, GH, TSH, FSH, LH, α-subunit) and Ki67 as well as ultrastructural analysis with electron microscopy. The SCAs were characterized by the following clinicopathological criteria: positive immunohistochemical staining for ACTH, lack of signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism (Cushing’s syndrome), negative hormonal evaluation and non-compliance with diagnostic criteria of the CD. Macroadenoma was defined as an adenoma with at least one diameter exceeding 10 mm, and the tumor volume was assessed with the diChiro Nelson formula (height × length × width × π/6). Invasive growth of the tumors was evaluated using Knosp grading [57]. Adenomas with Knosp grades 0, 1 and 2 were considered non-invasive, while those with Knosp 3 and 4 were considered invasive. Forty-three patients had a clear history of not using any drugs that control the overproduction of the cortisol or ACTH (ketoconazole, mitotane, metyrapone, osilodrostat, mifepristone, pasireotide) before surgical treatment. The information on preoperative pharmacological treatment was not available for 5 patients. Tumor tissue content of each FFPE sample ranged between 80 and 100% (median 99%), as assessed with histopathological examination. Patients’ characteristics are presented in Table 1 and details on each patient’s data are available in Supplementary Table S1. The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee of Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, Poland. Each patient provided informed consent for the use of tissue samples for scientific purposes. Total RNA from FFPE samples was purified with RecoverAll™ Total Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit for FFPE tissue (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA) and measured using NanoDrop 2000 (Thermo Fisher Scientific). RNA was stored at −70 °C. 4.2. Micro RNA Expression Profiling For comparing the miRNA expression profiles in CD-causing and clinically silent adenomas, NGS data from our previous investigation of miRNA expression in corticotroph adenomas were used. The dataset is available at Gene Expression Omnibus, accession no GSE166279. Sequencing of small RNA fraction was performed in 48 tumor samples (28 CD patients and 20 SCA patients) with ion semiconductor sequencing technology, as described previously [58]. Briefly, Ion Total RNA-Seq Kit v2 (Thermo Fisher Scientific) was used for sequencing library construction, Ion Xpress™ RNA-Seq Barcode Kit was used for hybridization and ligation of RNA adapters. RNA reverse transcription and subsequent cDNA purification and library size selection were performed using Nucleic Acid Binding Beads and verified using Bioanalyzer 2100 with High Sensitivity DNA Kit (Agilent, Santa Clara, CA, USA). Ion Chef instrument, with Ion PI™ Hi-Q™ Chef Kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific) and Ion Proton sequencer (Thermo Fisher Scientific) were used for library preparation and sequencing, respectively. BamToFastq package was applied for converting unmapped bam files into fastq files. miRDeep2 was applied for read mapping to known human miRNAs (according to miRBase release 22) and reads quantification. Data normalization and differential expression analysis were performed using DESeq2. Filtration for low-expression miRNAs was applied as described previously. FC of expression calculated as the ratio of the normalized read-count value in CD-causing and silent adenomas was used as a measure of expression difference. Adjusted p-value < 0.05 was used as significance threshold. MiRtarbase release 9.0 database [34] was used to identify known miRNA target genes. PANTHER (http://pantherdb.org; accessed on 10 December 2021) [59] was used for gene set over-representation analysis. 4.3. qRT-PCR gene Expression Analysis One microgram of RNA was subjected to reverse transcription with Transcriptor First Strand cDNA Synthesis Kit (Roche Diagnostics). qRT-PCR reaction was carried out in 384-well format using 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, USA) and Power SYBR Green PCR Master Mix (Thermo Fisher Scientific) in a volume of 5 μL, containing 2.25 pmol of each primer. The samples were amplified in triplicates. GAPDH was used as reference gene. Delta Ct method was used to calculate the relative expression level. PCR primers’ sequences are presented in Supplementary Table S3. 4.4. Cell Line Culture and miRNA Mimic Transfection AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells were purchased from ATCC collection and cultured in DMEM medium supplemented with 10% FBS, as recommended. MiRCURY LNA miRNA Mimics including hsa-miR-124-3p mimic (YM00471256, Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) and negative control mimic (YM00479902-ADB, Qiagen) were used. AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells were seeded at 5 × 104 per well of a 24-well plate in culture medium and transfected with 50 nM miRNA with 1% (v/v) HiPerFect Transfection Reagent (Qiagen), according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The next day, the culture medium was changed. In total, 48 h after transfection the cells were harvested and subjected to isolation of total RNA with RNeasy Mini Kit (Qiagen). The expression of the putative hsa-miR-124-3p target gene was determined with qRT-PCR. 4.5. Luciferase Reporter Gene Assay Hsa-miR-124-3p target sites in 3′UTR of NR3C1 were determined with Targetscan [25]. Each of two predicted hsa-miR-124-3p target sites were cloned into pmirGLO Dual-Luciferase miRNA Target Expression Vector (Promega, Madison, WI, USA). AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells (2 × 104/well) were seeded onto a 96-well plate in 100 µL culture medium. The next day, the cells were transfected with 100 ng of each plasmid vector, independently using 0.25% (v/v) lipofectamine 3000 (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) in 10 µL of DMEM. The cells were subsequently transfected with either hsa-miR-124-3p mimic (YM00471256, Qiagen) or negative control mimic (YM00479902-ADB, Qiagen) in a final concentration of 50 nM using HiPerfectReagent (Qiagen). Culture medium was changed on the next day. Luciferase activity was measured with One-Glo Luciferase Assay System (Promega) 48 h after transfection. 4.6. Western Blotting Cells were lysed in ice cold RIPA buffer, incubated for 30 min in 4 °C and centrifuged at 12,500× g rpm for 20 min at 4 °C. Samples were resolved using SDS-PAGE and electrotransferred to polyvinylidene fluoride membranes (PVDF) (Thermo Fisher). GR protein was detected with monoclonal anti-Glucocorticoid Receptor antibody (ab183127, Abcam, Cambridge, UK), and secondary anti-rabbit antibody conjugated to HRP (#7074, Cell Signaling, Beverly, MA, USA). Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (#MAB374, Millipore, Bedford, MA, USA) detected with mouse HRP-conjugated antibody (#7076 Cell Signaling) served as control. Visualization was performed with SuperSignal West Pico Chemiluminescent Substrate (Thermo Fisher Scientific) and CCD digital imaging system Alliance Mini HD4 (UVItec Limited, Cambridge, UK). 4.7. Statistical Analysis A two-sided Mann–Whitney U-test was used for analysis of continuous variables. The Spearman correlation method was used for correlation analysis. Significance threshold of α = 0.05 was adopted. Data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism 6.07 (GraphPad Software, La Jolla, CA, USA). Hierarchical clustering analysis was carried out with Cluster 3.0, and the results were visualized using TreeView 1.6 software (Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA). Supplementary Materials The following supporting information can be downloaded at: https://www.mdpi.com/article/10.3390/ijms23052867/s1. Author Contributions Conceptualization, M.M. and M.B.; Methodology, M.B. and B.J.M.; Software, J.B.; Formal analysis, P.K., B.J.M. and M.B.; Investigation, B.J.M., P.K., N.R., M.B. and M.P.; Resources, J.K., G.Z., A.S. and T.M.; Data curation, J.B., B.J.M. and M.B.; Writing—original draft preparation, M.B., P.K. and B.J.M.; Writing—review and editing, all the authors; Visualization, M.B. and B.J.M.; Supervision, M.M.; Project administration M.B.; Funding acquisition, M.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding This research was funded by National Science Centre, Poland, grant number 2021/05/X/NZ5/01874. Institutional Review Board Statement The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the local Ethics Committee of Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute—Oncology Center in Warsaw, Poland; approval no. number 44/2018, date of approval 26 July 2018. Informed Consent Statement Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study. Data Availability Statement Data from next-generation sequencing of small RNA fraction of 48 corticotroph adenoma samples are available at Gene Expression Omnibus, accession no GSE166279. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflict of interest. References Ben-Shlomo, A.; Cooper, O. Silent Corticotroph Adenomas. Pituitary 2018, 21, 183–193. 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  11. DOI: 10.7759/cureus.22044 Cite this article as: Pattipati M, Gudavalli G (February 09, 2022) Association Between Cushing’s Syndrome and Sleep Apnea: Results From the National Inpatient Sample. Cureus 14(2): e22044. doi:10.7759/cureus.22044 Abstract Background Cushing’s syndrome is a metabolic disorder related to excess cortisol production. Patients with Cushing’s syndrome are at risk for the development of other comorbid medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea has been well associated with endocrine disorders such as acromegaly and hypothyroidism. However, its causal association with Cushing’s syndrome is still unclear. We utilized a national database to study the prevalence of sleep apnea in Cushing’s syndrome. Hypothesis We hypothesized that patients with Cushing’s syndrome might have an increased prevalence of sleep apnea. Methods Patients aged above 18 years from the NIS database between 2017 and 2018 with a diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome and sleep apnea were extracted using the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes, with code E24 representing Cushing’s syndrome and G47.3 representing sleep apnea. The prevalence of sleep apnea and other comorbid medical conditions were identified using the ICD-10 codes. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association between Cushing’s syndrome and sleep apnea. Results Cushing’s syndrome was prevalent in 0.037% (2,248 of 6,023,852) of all inpatient hospitalizations. Patients with Cushing’s syndrome were slightly younger (mean age: 54 ± 16 versus 58 ± 20) and more likely to be females (76%, 1,715 out of 2,248) and had higher rates of sleep apnea (21.9% versus 8.7%, p < 0.000) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (18.6% versus 7.2%, p < 0.000) when compared to the general population. Cushing’s syndrome is independently associated with sleep apnea, with an unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of 2.94 (p < 0.01) and an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 1.79 after adjusting for demographics and other risk factors for sleep apnea and comorbid medical conditions (p < 0.01). Conclusions Cushing’s syndrome is associated with increased prevalence of sleep apnea and independent predictor of sleep apnea. Further prospective studies are recommended to validate the causal association. The high prevalence and coexistence of both these disorders validate screening for sleep apnea as part of routine workup in patients with Cushing’s syndrome and vice versa. 20220209-420-10au3f.pdf
  12. Highlights • There is a highs suspicion of acute pancreatitis complications for patients with Cushing syndrome. • Corticosteroids are a common cause for both Cushing syndrome and acute pancreatitis. • There are many common etiologies between Cushing syndrome and acute pancreatitis. • Cushing syndrome is a risk factor of acute pancreatitis, need further detailed studies. Abstract Introduction Cushing's syndrome (CS) is a rare and severe disease. Acute pancreatitis is the leading cause of hospitalization. The association of the two disease is rare and uncommon. We report the case of a 37-year-old woman admitted in our service for acute pancreatitis and whose Cushing syndrome was diagnosed during hospitalisation. The aim of this work is to try to understand the influence of de Cushing in acute pancreatitis and to establish a causative relationship between the two diseases. Observation It is a 37-year-old woman with a history of corticosteroid intake for six months, stopped three months ago who consulted for epigastralgia and vomiting. The physical exam found epigastric sensitivity with Cushing syndrome symptoms. A CT scan revealed acute edematous-interstitial pancreatitis stage E of Balthazar classification. 24 h free cortisol of 95 μg/24 h and cortisolemia of 3.4 μg/dl. The patient was treated symptomatically and referred after to endocrinology service for further treatment. Conclusion The association with acute pancreatitis and CS is rare and uncommon. Although detailed studies and evidence are lacking, it can therefore be inferred that CS is one of the risk factors for the onset of acute pancreatitis. The medical treatment and management of acute pancreatitis in those patients do not differ from other pancreatitis of any etiologies. Read the article here.
  13. A young healthcare worker who contracted COVID-19 shortly after being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease was detailed in a case report from Japan. While the woman was successfully treated for both conditions, Cushing’s may worsen a COVID-19 infection. Prompt treatment and multidisciplinary care is required for Cushing’s patients who get COVID-19, its researchers said. The report, “Successful management of a patient with active Cushing’s disease complicated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia,” was published in Endocrine Journal. Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, which results in abnormally high levels of the stress hormone cortisol (hypercortisolism). Since COVID-19 is still a fairly new disease, and Cushing’s is rare, there is scant data on how COVID-19 tends to affect Cushing’s patients. In the report, researchers described the case of a 27-year-old Japanese female healthcare worker with active Cushing’s disease who contracted COVID-19. The patient had a six-year-long history of amenorrhea (missed periods) and dyslipidemia (abnormal fat levels in the body). She had also experienced weight gain, a rounding face, and acne. After transferring to a new workplace, the woman visited a new gynecologist, who checked her hormonal status. Abnormal findings prompted a visit to the endocrinology department. Clinical examination revealed features indicative of Cushing’s syndrome, such as a round face with acne, central obesity, and buffalo hump. Laboratory testing confirmed hypercortisolism, and MRI revealed a tumor in the patient’s pituitary gland. She was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor, and treated with metyrapone, a medication that can decrease cortisol production in the body. Shortly thereafter, she had close contact with a patient she was helping to care for, who was infected with COVID-19 but not yet diagnosed. A few days later, the woman experienced a fever, nausea, and headache. These persisted for a few days, and then she started having difficulty breathing. Imaging of her lungs revealed a fluid buildup (pneumonia), and a test for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — came back positive. A week after symptoms developed, the patient required supplemental oxygen. Her condition worsened 10 days later, and laboratory tests were indicative of increased inflammation. To control the patient’s Cushing’s disease, she was treated with increasing doses of metyrapone and similar medications to decrease cortisol production; she was also administered cortisol — this “block and replace” approach aims to maintain cortisol levels within the normal range. The patient experienced metyrapone side effects that included stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, swelling, increased acne, and hypokalemia (low potassium levels). She was given antiviral therapies (e.g., favipiravir) to help manage the COVID-19. Additional medications to prevent opportunistic fungal infections were also administered. From the next day onward, her symptoms eased, and the woman was eventually discharged from the hospital. A month after being discharged, she tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Surgery for the pituitary tumor was then again possible. Appropriate safeguards were put in place to protect the medical team caring for her from infection, during and after the surgery. The patient didn’t have any noteworthy complications from the surgery, and her cortisol levels soon dropped to within normal limits. She was considered to be in remission. Although broad conclusions cannot be reliably drawn from a single case, the researchers suggested that the patient’s underlying Cushing’s disease may have made her more susceptible to severe pneumonia due to COVID-19. “Since hypercortisolism due to active Cushing’s disease may enhance the severity of COVID-19 infection, it is necessary to provide appropriate, multidisciplinary and prompt treatment,” the researchers wrote. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2021/01/15/covid-19-may-be-severe-cushings-patients-case-report-suggests/?cn-reloaded=1
  14. Dr. Theodore Friedman (The Wiz) will host a webinar on Growth Hormone Deficiency, PCOS or Cushing’s: How do You Tell Them Apart? Dr. Friedman will discuss topics including: Signs and Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome Testing for Cushing’s Signs and Symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency Testing for Growth Hormone Deficiency Signs and Symptoms of PCOS Testing for PCOS How do you tell them apart? Sunday • August 2 • 6 PM PDT Click here on start your meeting or https://axisconciergemeetings.webex.com/axisconciergemeetings/j.php?MTID=m4eda0c468071bd2daf33e6189aca3489 OR Join by phone: (855) 797-9485 Meeting Number (Access Code): 133 727 0164 Your phone/computer will be muted on entry. Slides will be available on the day of the talk here There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button. Meeting Password: pcos For more information, email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com
  15. Braun LT, Fazel J, Zopp S Journal of Bone and Mineral Research | May 22, 2020 This study was attempted to assess bone mineral density and fracture rates in 89 patients with confirmed Cushing's syndrome at the time of diagnosis and 2 years after successful tumor resection. Researchers ascertained five bone turnover markers at the time of diagnosis, 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Via chemiluminescent immunoassays, they assessed bone turnover markers osteocalcin, intact procollagen‐IN‐propeptide, alkaline bone phosphatase, CrossLaps, and TrAcP 5b in plasma or serum. For comparison, they studied 71 gender‐, age‐, and BMI‐matched patients in whom Cushing's syndrome had been excluded. The outcomes of this research exhibit that the phase immediately after surgical remission from endogenous CS is defined by a high rate of bone turnover resulting in a striking net increase in bone mineral density in the majority of patients. Read the full article on Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
  16. With the novel COVID-19 virus continuing to spread, it is crucial to adhere to the advice from experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help reduce risk of infection for individuals and the population at large. This is particularly important for people with adrenal insufficiency and people with uncontrolled Cushing’s Syndrome. Studies have reported that individuals with adrenal insufficiency have an increased rate of respiratory infection-related deaths, possibly due to impaired immune function. As such, people with adrenal insufficiency should observe the following recommendations: Maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 Continue taking medications as prescribed Ensure appropriate supplies for oral and injectable steroids at home, ideally a 90-day preparation In the case of hydrocortisone shortages, ask your pharmacist and physician about replacement with different strengths of hydrocortisone tablets that might be available. Hydrocortisone (or brand name Cortef) tablets have 5 mg, 10 mg or 20 mg strength In cases of acute illness, increase the hydrocortisone dose per instructions and call the physician’s office for more details Follow sick day rules for increasing oral glucocorticoids or injectables per your physician’s recommendations In general, patients should double their usual glucocorticoid dose in times of acute illness In case of inability to take oral glucocorticoids, contact your physician for alternative medicines and regimens If experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms, call both the COVID-19 hotline (check your state government website for contact information) and your primary care physician or endocrinologist Monitor symptoms and contact your physician immediately following signs of illness Acquire a medical alert bracelet/necklace in case of an emergency Individuals with uncontrolled Cushing’s Syndrome of any origin are at higher risk of infection in general. Although information on people with Cushing’s Syndrome and COVID-19 is scarce, given the rarity of the condition, those with Cushing’s Syndrome should strictly adhere to CDC recommendations: Maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 If experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms, call both the COVID-19 hotline (check your state government website for contact information) and your primary care physician or endocrinologist In addition, people with either condition should continue to follow the general guidelines at these times: Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk of being exposed When you do go out in public, avoid crowds and limit close contact with others Avoid non-essential travel Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or drinking and after using the restroom and blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow, then throw the tissue in the trash Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose when possible From https://www.aace.com/recent-news-and-updates/aace-position-statement-coronavirus-covid-19-and-people-adrenal
  17. NotSoCushie

    awareness

    On December 12th, I am speaking at a sold-out event. I am telling half a funny story and posting it on YouTube. If people want to hear the rest they have to visit my website which is all about Cushing's. Everyday, I see people with Cushing's that don't know they have it. I want to reach these people and the general public to make them aware of our disease. I need a title for this video and am looking for your suggestions. The story is similar to the Abbott and Costello routine of Who's on first and What's on second. So far, I thought of: Is it obesity or Cushing's Disease? What would you suggest as an attention getter? When I post this video, I need your support to view it and go to my website to hear the rest of the story. If you could share the video and ask family and friends to do the same I would appreciate that. Wouldn't it be great if this went viral. So many people would learn about Cushings. WE can make this happen if we involve enough people. Lets go for it. Thanks again. Looking forward to those new titles..
  18. NotSoCushie

    awareness

    On Dec 12th, I am speaking at a sold-out event and telling half of a funny story, then posting it on YouTube, To hear the rest of the story people have to go to my website which is all about Cushing's disease. Every day I see people who I am certain have Cushing's but don't know it. I want to reach these people and the general public. What title can I use for my video? I need your help with this. The story is much like Abbott and Costello's Who's on second, what's on third routine. But there has to be a connection to cushing's. So far, I have: Is it obesity or Cushing's disease? When I get the title and post the video, I need the support of everyone here to view it and go to my website. If you could share and get family and friends to do the same that would be greatly appreciated. Wouldn't it be great if the video went viral and so many people would learn about Cushing's? We can make this happen if I get your support. Thanks everyone. Keep working on a better tite for me. Can't wait to see your suggestions. Thanks again. jan
  19. I am looking for some place like The Mayo clinic or Endocrinologists that would be interested in setting up a dietary study with their Cushing's patients, I am having great success with my specialized diet in lessening the symptoms of cushing's and want to help others get a better quality of life while living with this disease. The first picture is me with Cushing's in 2013 before surgery. the next two pictures are me now with a cushing's recurrence while on my specialized diet. For 3 years I used my body as a science experiment with foods. I don't have a moon face, I have not gained any weight, my girth is much less and my energy and strength are much better than the first time I had Cushing's. The only difference is my diet. For 2 years my endo refused to test me for cushing's again because I did not look the way I should. I had to get other doctors to do the first and secong level tests then I brought those results to my endo and asked him to do the dex suppression test. All tests confirmed Cushing's recurrence. He still won't believe me that my diet has anything to do with the way I look or feel. I am the proof, but he still wont beieve me. What will it take for people to listen to us and believe us????
  20. Presented by Nathan T Zwagerman MD Director of Pituitary and Skull base surgery Department of Neurosurgery Medical College of Wisconsin After registering you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar. Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Webinar Description: Learning Objectives: Describe the signs and symptoms of Cushing's Disease Describe the work up for patients with Cushing's Disease Understand the goals, risks, and expected outcomes for treatment Describe alternative treatments when surgery is not curative. Presenter Bio: Dr. Zwagerman is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He did his undergraduate work in psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit. He did his fellowship in endoscopic and open cranial base surgery, and then his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  21. Presented by Nathan T Zwagerman MD Director of Pituitary and Skull base surgery Department of Neurosurgery Medical College of Wisconsin After registering you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar. Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Webinar Description: Learning Objectives: Describe the signs and symptoms of Cushing's Disease Describe the work up for patients with Cushing's Disease Understand the goals, risks, and expected outcomes for treatment Describe alternative treatments when surgery is not curative. Presenter Bio: Dr. Zwagerman is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He did his undergraduate work in psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit. He did his fellowship in endoscopic and open cranial base surgery, and then his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  22. Childs Nerv Syst. 2018 Nov 28. doi: 10.1007/s00381-018-4013-5. [Epub ahead of print] Gazioglu N1, Canaz H2, Camlar M3, Tanrıöver N4, Kocer N5, Islak C5, Evliyaoglu O6, Ercan O6. Author information Abstract AIM: Pituitary adenomas are rare in childhood in contrast with adults. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting adenomas account for Cushing's disease (CD) which is the most common form of ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome (CS). Treatment strategies are generally based on data of adult CD patients, although some difficulties and differences exist in pediatric patients. The aim of this study is to share our experience of 10 children and adolescents with CD. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Medical records, images, and operative notes of 10 consecutive children and adolescents who underwent transsphenoidal surgery for CD between 1999 and 2014 in Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine were retrospectively reviewed. Mean age at operation was 14.8 ± 4.2 years (range 5-18). The mean length of symptoms was 24.2 months. The mean follow-up period was 11 years (range 4 to 19 years). RESULTS: Mean preoperative cortisol level was 23.435 μg/dl (range 8.81-59.8 μg/dl). Mean preoperative ACTH level was 57.358 μg/dl (range 28.9-139.9 μg/dl). MR images localized microadenoma in three patients (30%), macroadenoma in four patients (40%) in our series. Transsphenoidal microsurgery and endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery were performed in 8 and 2 patients respectively. Remission was provided in 8 patients (80%). Five patients (50%) met remission criteria after initial operations. Three patients (30%) underwent additional operations to meet remission criteria. CONCLUSION: Transsphenoidal surgery remains the mainstay therapy for CD in pediatric patients as well as adults. It is an effective treatment option with low rate of complications. Both endoscopic and microscopic approaches provide safe access to sella and satisfactory surgical results. KEYWORDS: Cushing’s disease; Endoscopic pituitary surgery; Pediatric; Transsphenoidal microsurgery PMID: 30488233 DOI: 10.1007/s00381-018-4013-5 Full Text
  23. Strongbridge Biopharma released additional positive results from a Phase 3 trial evaluating whether the company’s investigational therapy Recorlev (levoketoconazole) is safe and effective for people with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. The latest results were presented in the scientific poster “Safety and Efficacy of Levoketoconazole in Cushing Syndrome: Initial Results From the Phase 3 SONICS Study,\” at the 18th Annual Congress of the European NeuroEndocrine Association (ENEA), which took place in Wrocław, Poland, last month. The SONICS study (NCT01838551) was a multi-center, open-label Phase 3 trial evaluating Recorlev’s safety and effectiveness in 94 patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. The trial consisted of three parts: a dose-escalation phase to determine the appropriate Recorlev dose that achieved normalization of cortisol levels; a maintenance phase in which patients received the established dose for six months; and a final extended phase, in which patients were treated with Recorlev for an additional six months, with the possibility of dose adjustments. Its primary goal was a reduction in the levels of cortisol in the patients’ urine after six months of maintenance treatment, without any dose increase during that period. Among secondary goals was a reduction in the characteristically high risk of cardiovascular disease in these people, through the assessment of multiple cardiovascular risk markers. Strongbridge announced top-line results of the SONICS study in August, which showed that the trial had reached its primary and secondary goals. It concluded last month. After six months of maintenance therapy, Recorlev successfully lowered to normal the levels of cortisol in 30% of patients without a dose increase. It also led to statistically and clinically significant reductions in cardiovascular risk biomarkers, including blood sugar, cholesterol levels, body weight, and body mass index. Maria Fleseriu, MD, director of the Oregon Health Sciences University Northwest Pituitary Center, presented additional and detailed results of SONICS at the congress. Additional analyses showed that among the 77 patients who completed the dose-escalation phase and entered the study’s maintenance phase, 81% had their cortisol levels normalized. At the end of the six months of maintenance treatment, 29 (53%) of the 55 patients who had their cortisol levels assessed at the beginning of the study and at the end of the maintenance phase had achieved normalization of cortisol levels, regardless of dose increase. Among all patients who completed maintenance treatment (including patients with some missing data) and regardless of dose increase, 38% had achieved normalization of cortisol levels and 48% recorded a 50% or more decrease or normalization. The results also highlighted that Recorlev substantially reduced patients’ cortisol levels regardless of their levels at the study’s beginning (which were on average about five-fold higher than the upper limit of normal). In those patients with the highest levels of cortisol in their urine, Recorlev led to a median reduction of more than 80%. As previously reported, Recorlev was found to be generally well-tolerated, with no new safety concerns, and only 12 participants (12.8%) stopped treatment due to adverse events. Ten patients had three- or five-fold increased levels of alanine aminotransferase — a liver enzyme used to assess liver damage — which were fully resolved without further complications. These liver-related adverse events “were all noted in the first 60 days, thus suggesting a timeline interval for monitoring,” Fleseriu said in a press release. “We continue to be encouraged by the positive efficacy results of SONICS and the overall benefit-to-risk profile of Recorlev and look forward to sharing additional planned analyses from the study in the near future,” said Fredric Cohen, Strongbridge’s chief medical officer. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/11/01/new-data-from-phase-3-trial-supports-recorlev-ability-to-safely-treat-cushings-syndrome/
  24. Cushing’s syndrome patients with tumors on both adrenal glands — which sit on top of the kidneys — could undergo adrenal venous sampling, a procedure where blood samples are taken from both adrenal glands to determine which tumors to remove, researchers suggest. Their study, “Outcomes of Adrenal Venous Sampling in Patients with Bilateral Adrenal Masses and ACTH-Independent Cushing’s Syndrome,” was published in the World Journal of Surgery. The work was a collaboration between SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and the University of Pittsburgh. Cushing’s syndrome, a condition characterized by excess cortisol, can be divided into two main subtypes. In some patients, the disease is dependent on tumors secreting the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. In others, adrenal tumors are solely responsible for excess cortisol and do not require ACTH for functioning. ACTH-independent Cushing’s syndrome (AICS), the latter subtype, constitutes about 10% to 15% of endogenous — an overproduction of cortisol within the body — Cushing’s syndrome cases, with cortisol-secreting adenomas in just one gland (unilateral) being the most common cause. Compared to unilateral adenomas, adrenal tumors in both glands (bilateral) in patients with AICS are difficult to diagnose. Disease management in these rare cases depends on the challenging determination of the lesion’s exact location and of the functional status of the benign tumors (if they are actively secreting cortisol). Surgical removal of both adrenal glands, also known as bilateral adrenalectomy, “ensures cure of AICS, but leads to permanent corticosteroid dependence and a lifelong risk of adrenal crisis,” investigators explained. Therefore, screening for the presence of unilateral or bilateral adenomas is essential to avoid unnecessary surgery. “Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) has been reported in a single institutional series … to aid in successful localization of cortisol-secreting adrenal adenomas in patients with bilateral adrenal masses and AICS,” researchers wrote. Researchers retrospectively assessed the usefulness of AVS in guiding management of patients with bilateral adrenal masses plus AICS. Nine women (age 51-73) with bilateral adrenal masses and AICS were included in the study. All subjects had undergone AVS at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 2008 to 2016. None of the patients had apparent symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. “Samples were obtained for testing of epinephrine [also called adrenaline] and cortisol from both [adrenal veins] and the external iliac vein. Multiple samples were obtained to ensure adequate sampling,” they wrote. Adrenal glands produce cortisol and epinephrine, among other hormones, which are critical for maintaining good health. In AICS, there’s an overproduction of both hormones that’s independent on the release of ACTH, which is produced by the brain’s pituitary gland. Successful adrenal venous sampling was achieved in eight women. “One patient with unsuccessful catheterization had [other additional diseases] and passed away from unrelated reasons,” researchers reported. AVS results indicated that all patients had bilateral cortisol-secreting adenomas. “Surgical management was strongly influenced by adrenal mass size. However, AVS may have influenced surgical decision-making in some cases, particularly when minimal difference in size was noted in adrenal mass sizes,” they reported. Six women underwent adrenalectomy: three had the gland with larger size mass removed (unilateral type of surgery); two had both glands removed; and one had the right gland removed followed by the left one, five months later, due to continuous hormonal overproduction without experiencing symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. Evidence suggests that removal of the larger adrenal mass in patients with bilateral cortisol-secreting adenomas improves Cushing’s syndrome presentation. In theory, unilateral adrenalectomy reduces cortisol production through the removal of the oversecreting mass. Because of this, unilateral adrenalectomy of the larger adrenal mass was chosen in half of this study’s surgical cases, instead of bilateral adrenalectomy. Tissue analysis revealed multiple-lump masses, also known as macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (MAH), in all six surgical cases. In addition, computed tomography (CT) scan findings were predictive of bilateral MAH, with scans showing evidence of one or multiple nodules on one or both adrenal glands. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the second study to evaluate the utility of AVS in guiding management of patients with bilateral adrenal masses and AICS,” investigators said. The first study was by Young and included 10 patients with a more severe presentation of Cushing’s syndrome and other individual characteristics, which contributed to the differences in results, compared to the current study. In Young’s study, half the subjects had unilateral adrenal masses. Patients with bilateral cortisol-secreting masses frequently have a milder form of Cushing’s syndrome, which corroborates researchers’ findings. Despite suggesting that adrenal venous sampling is useful in excluding a unilateral adenoma as the cause of AICS, this study’s sample size is small. “More data are needed before AVS can be advocated as essential for management of patients with bilateral adrenal masses and AICS,” researchers concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/10/02/adrenal-venous-sampling-helps-surgical-decisions-type-cushings-syndrome/?utm_source=Cushing%27s+Disease+News&utm_campaign=a990429aad-RSS_WEEKLY_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ad0d802c5b-a990429aad-72451321
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