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Adrenal Incidentalomas and TSH

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Adrenal incidentalomas can inhibit nocturnal TSH surge


October 7, 2002


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Small adrenal tumors discovered "incidentally" on CT imaging are usually considered harmless, but findings from a new study indicate that such incidentalomas may actually inhibit the normal nocturnal surge in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.


Dr. Vittorio Coiro, from the Universita di Parma in Italy, and colleagues compared the thyroid function of 8 patients with incidentalomas and 10 healthy control subjects. The researchers' findings are published in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine.


Incidentaloma patients had lower nocturnal serum TSH levels than healthy controls (p


Serum free T3 and T4 levels were comparable in both groups, the researchers point out. However, the TSH response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone was attenuated in the incidentaloma group. Incidentaloma patients also had significantly higher urinary free cortisol levels than control subjects.


The current findings "support the hypothesis that even conditions of slight glucocorticoid excess," such as incidentalomas, can have an impact on TSH secretion, the authors state.


J Investig Med 2002;50:350-355.



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