Effect of hypercortisolism and ACTH on the metabolism of cortisol.
Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes : official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association
The effects of hypercortisolemia and ACTH on the metabolism of cortisol in congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing's syndrome, and exogenous ACTH and cortisol administration were investigated by analysis of the respective urinary tetrahydro-metabolites of cortisol (THF and aTHF) and cortisone (THE) by capillary gas chromatography. The results for the patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia establish that ACTH hypersecretion in the absence of an associated marked elevation of plasma cortisol does not cause inhibition of the 11beta-OHSD enzyme. In contrast elevated plasma cortisol levels (adrenal adenoma or intravenous cortisol administration) in the presence of suppressed ACTH secretion leads to significant inhibition of the peripheral conversion of cortisol to cortisone. The latter results are equivalent to the mode of cortisol metabolism noted during clinical states of ACTH hypersecretion and hypercortisolemia (Cushing's disease, ectopic ACTH syndrome and ACTH administration). The overall findings provide convincing evidence that ACTH hypersecretion is not associated with specific in vivo inhibition of 11beta-OHSD enzyme activity.
The role of adrenalectomy in Cushing's syndrome.
Sarkar R,Thompson N W,McLeod M K
Forty-four patients with Cushing's syndrome were treated by adrenalectomy between 1975 and 1989. Twenty patients had adrenal adenomas: 13 with obvious Cushing's syndrome and 7 whose disease was subclinical, detected after evaluation of an incidentally discovered adrenal mass (es). Twelve patients underwent bilateral adrenalectomies for Cushing's disease after failed transsphenoidal explorations and pituitary irradiation. Six patients had primary adrenal hyperplasia, five as manifestations of Carney's complex. Two others underwent bilateral adrenalectomies for ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone from carcinoid tumors. Four patients had adrenocortical carcinoma treated with transabdominal adrenalectomy. Three are alive from 8 years to 5 months. There was one postoperative death (2.3%) caused by coagulopathy and multiple organ failure and three (7%) minor postoperative complications. Follow-up showed good to excellent results in 95% of patients. It is concluded that adrenalectomy provides prompt relief from the severe morbidity of Cushing's syndrome regardless of the cause. It is the treatment of choice for adrenal adenomas, carcinomas, primary hyperplasia, and selected patients with Cushing's disease.
Cushing's syndrome: problems in diagnosis.
Aron D C,Tyrrell J B,Fitzgerald P A,Findling J W,Forsham P H
Cushing's syndrome, an unusual group of disorders characterized by hypercortisolism, must be considered in the differential diagnosis of such common clinical problems as hirsutism, menstrual irregularity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. Its distinct forms--pituitary-dependent Cushing's syndrome (Cushing's disease), adrenal tumor and ectopic ACTH syndrome--must be identified correctly so that specific therapy can be administered. In the majority of cases, use of a relatively simple diagnostic sequence will provide accurate and rapid diagnosis. However, in our experience with more than 60 patients, diagnostic difficulties may arise from a variety of conditions (e.g., drug interference, alcohol ingestion, and depression). In addition, unusual circumstances, such as unexpected responses to dexamethasone, may complicate the diagnosis. Our approach to these problems is illustrated through a report of seven cases, and we emphasize that the proper management of Cushing's syndrome mandates a thorough marshalling of all the available data.
Pathophysiology and diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome.
Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie
Prolonged exposure of every tissue in the body to an excess of cortisol produces Cushing's syndrome. Endogenous causes of Cushing's syndrome are ACTH-dependent, including Cushing's disease, ectopic ACTH-producing tumors. CRH-producing tumors, and ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome, including cortisol-producing adrenal benign or malignant tumors, and rare micronodular adrenal hyperplasia. In Japan the incidence of ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome due to endogenous causes is about 60%, in which autonomous pituitary ACTH secretion is responsible for 95%, and the rest are ectopic ACTH-producing tumors. Cortisol-secreting tumors are responsible for about 40% of endogenous causes, in which benign adenoma is 90% and adrenocortical carcinoma is 10%. The first step for the diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome is to demonstrate the presence of hypercortisolism biochemically by determining 24-hour urinary free cortisol excretion and low-dose dexamethasone suppression test. The next step is to identify the precise etiologic causes. To differentiate Cushing's syndrome, the most important procedures are dynamic endocrine tests to check the integrity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function by high dose dexamethasone suppression test, CRH test arid measurement of steroid hormone profile. Imaging techniques can help to determine the etiology of Cushing's syndrome.
Tumors of the adrenal cortex and Cushing's syndrome.
Scott H W,Abumrad N N,Orth D N
Annals of surgery
Fifty-nine patients with Cushing's syndrome, due to adrenocortical tumor, were studied and treated during the period 1953 through 1983 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Cushing's syndrome is caused by hypercortisolism that can be due to (1) medicinal use of steroids, (2) excess pituitary secretion of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) (Cushing's disease), (3) adrenocortical tumor, benign or malignant, and (4) the ectopic ACTH syndrome. Clinical and endocrinologic features of Cushing's syndrome are described, and differential diagnosis of adrenocortical tumor by precise endocrinologic studies is detailed. Computerized axial tomographic (CAT) scan is currently the most accurate imaging modality for preoperative localization of tumors. Preoperative differential diagnosis between adrenocortical adenoma and carcinoma has become fairly accurate. Operative approaches in each category are described. Follow-up from 1 to 30 years has been completed for all patients, except for one who was lost after 7 years. Results of surgical treatment of adrenocortical adenomas are excellent, but the salvage from adrenocortical carcinomas is poor.
Therapeutic Strategies for the Treatment of Severe Cushing's Syndrome.
Alexandraki Krystallenia I,Grossman Ashley B
Severe Cushing's syndrome presents an acute emergency and is defined by massively elevated random serum cortisol [more than 36 μg/dL (1000 nmol/L)] at any time or a 24-h urinary free cortisol more than fourfold the upper limit of normal and/or severe hypokalaemia (<3.0 mmol/L), along with the recent onset of one or more of the following: sepsis, opportunistic infection, intractable hypokalaemia, uncontrolled hypertension, heart failure, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, glucocorticoid-induced acute psychosis, progressive debilitating myopathy, thromboembolism or uncontrolled hyperglycaemia and ketocacidosis. Treatment focuses on the management of the severe metabolic disturbances followed by rapid resolution of the hypercortisolaemia, and subsequent confirmation of the cause. Emergency lowering of the elevated serum cortisol is most rapidly achieved with oral metyrapone and/or ketoconazole; if parenteral therapy is required then intravenous etomidate is rapidly effective in almost all cases, but all measures require careful supervision. The optimal order and combination of drugs to treat severe hypercortisolaemia-mostly in the context of ectopic ACTH-secreting syndrome, adrenocortical carcinoma or an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma (mainly macroadenomas)-is not yet established. Combination therapy may be useful not only to rapidly control cortisol excess but also to lower individual drug dosages and consequently the possibility of adverse effects. If medical treatments fail, bilateral adrenalectomy should be performed in the shortest possible time span to prevent the debilitating complications of uncontrolled hypercortisolaemia.
Adrenalectomy for treatment of Cushing syndrome: results in 122 patients and long-term follow-up studies.
Imai T,Funahashi H,Tanaka Y,Tobinaga J,Wada M,Morita-Matsuyama T,Ohiso Y,Takagi H
World journal of surgery
Patients with Cushing syndrome (n = 122) who underwent adrenalectomy from 1957 through 1993 were reviewed for survival and complications. Of the 122 patients, 70 had adrenocortical adenoma, 30 Cushing's disease, 6 primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD), 7 other types of primary nodular hyperplasia, 5 adrenocortical carcinoma, and 4 ectopic ACTH syndrome. Sixty-five patients with adrenocortical adenoma are alive, and the survival rate was equal to the age-matched control population, when patients who died of the postoperative complication were excluded. Of the patients with Cushing's disease, 20 are alive; and 10 of 16 patients (63%) who were followed-up and evaluated had skin pigmentation. Four of sixteen patients (25%) developed Nelson's syndrome. Four PPNAD patients and five with other types of nodular hyperplasia are alive. Most of these patients underwent bilateral total adrenalectomy, but some patients remitted after unilateral adrenalectomy. All of five adrenocortical carcinoma patients and four with ectopic ACTH syndrome died within 2 years after operation. The prognosis for patients with adrenocortical adenoma after unilateral adrenalectomy is excellent, though it is important to avoid operative complications. The rapid cure of signs and symptoms of glucocorticoid excess after total adrenalectomy is ensured, and prognosis is satisfactory under careful glucocorticoid replacement, making total adrenalectomy an alternative treatment for Cushing's disease.
Clinicopathological correlates of adrenal Cushing's syndrome.
Duan Kai,Hernandez Karen Gomez,Mete Ozgur
Postgraduate medical journal
Endogenous Cushing's syndrome is a rare endocrine disorder that incurs significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, due to glucocorticoid excess. It comprises adrenal (20%) and non-adrenal (80%) aetiologies. While the majority of cases are attributed to pituitary or ectopic corticotropin (ACTH) overproduction, primary cortisol-producing adrenal cortical lesions are increasingly recognised in the pathophysiology of Cushing's syndrome. Our understanding of this disease has progressed substantially over the past decade. Recently, important mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of adrenal hypercortisolism have been elucidated with the discovery of mutations in cyclic AMP signalling (PRKACA, PRKAR1A, GNAS, PDE11A, PDE8B), armadillo repeat containing 5 gene (ARMC5) a putative tumour suppressor gene, aberrant G-protein-coupled receptors, and intra-adrenal secretion of ACTH. Accurate subtyping of Cushing's syndrome is crucial for treatment decision-making and requires a complete integration of clinical, biochemical, imaging and pathology findings. Pathological correlates in the adrenal glands include hyperplasia, adenoma and carcinoma. While the most common presentation is diffuse adrenocortical hyperplasia secondary to excess ACTH production, this entity is usually treated with pituitary or ectopic tumour resection. Therefore, when confronted with adrenalectomy specimens in the setting of Cushing's syndrome, surgical pathologists are most commonly exposed to adrenocortical adenomas, carcinomas and primary macronodular or micronodular hyperplasia. This review provides an update on the rapidly evolving knowledge of adrenal Cushing's syndrome and discusses the clinicopathological correlations of this important disease.
Mortality in Patients with Endogenous Cushing's Syndrome.
Javanmard Pedram,Duan Daisy,Geer Eliza B
Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America
Cushing's syndrome is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular events, sepsis, and thromboembolism are the leading causes of mortality. Patient's with Cushing's due to a pituitary adenoma and those with Cushing's due to benign adrenal adenoma have relatively good survival outcomes often mirroring that of the general population. Persistent or recurrent disease is associated with high mortality risk. Ectopic Cushing's syndrome and Cushing's due to adrenocortical carcinoma confer the highest mortality risk among Cushing's etiologies. Prompt diagnosis and treatment, and specific monitoring for and treatment of associated comorbidities are essential to decrease the burden of mortality from Cushing's.
[Importance of the CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone) test in the differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome].
Korsić M,Plavsić V,Besenski N,Skorić T,Giljević Z,Zarković K,Zarković N,Zaninović L,Paladino J,Aganović I
In the group of 13 patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) CRH test was performed by sampling the blood from peripheral vein and in eight patients also after inferior petrosal sinus catheterization (IPSC) to resolve the disease etiology. In the group of patients with Cushing's disease (CD, n = 11), which was proven by surgery and adenoma immunohistochemistry, 10/11 had in CRH test the significant increase of cortisol and ACTH in the peripheral blood. Among two patients with ectopic ACTH syndrome one had the significant increase of both hormones in CRH test. After IPSC the ratio of ACTH in the petrosal sinus and in the peripheral vein was significant in 4/8 patients before, and in 6/8 after CRH administration. The intersinus gradient was significant in 3/8 patients before, and in 4/8 after CRH test. According to our results we can conclude that the determination of ACTH in the blood from peripheral veins after CRH administration is a very sensitive method for differential diagnosis of CS, while the results after IPSC were less sensitive in our conditions than those described in the literature.
Surgical management of Cushing's syndrome.
Imai T,Kikumori T,Funahashi H,Nakao A
Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie
Patients with Cushing's syndrome (137 total) who underwent adrenalectomy from 1957 through 1999 were reviewed for survival and complications. Of the 137 patients, 83 had adrenocortical adenoma, 30 Cushing's disease, seven primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD), eight adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)-independent macronodular hyperplasia, five adrenocortical carcinoma, and four ectopic ACTH syndromes. Seventy-eight patients with adrenocortical adenoma are alive, and their survival rate was equal to the age-matched control population, when patients who died of postoperative complications were excluded. Of the patients with Cushing's disease, 20 are alive, and ten of 16 patients (63%) who were followed and evaluated, had skin pigmentation. Four of 16 patients (25%) developed Nelson's syndrome. Five PPNAD patients and six with ACTH-independent macronodular hyperplasia are alive. All five adrenocortical carcinoma patients and four with ectopic ACTH syndrome died within two years after operation. The prognosis for patients with adrenocortical adenoma after unilateral adrenalectomy is excellent, though it is important to avoid operative complications. The rapid disappearance of signs and symptoms of glucocorticoid excess after total adrenalectomy is assured, and the prognosis is satisfactory under careful glucocorticoid replacement, making total adrenalectomy an alternative treatment for Cushing's disease.
Demographic Characteristics, Etiology, and Comorbidities of Patients with Cushing's Syndrome: A 10-Year Retrospective Study at a Large General Hospital in China.
Zhou Jingya,Zhang Meng,Bai Xue,Cui Shengnan,Pang Cheng,Lu Lin,Pang Haiyu,Guo Xiaopeng,Wang Yi,Xing Bing
International journal of endocrinology
Purpose:To investigate the demographic characteristics, etiology, and comorbidities of Cushing's syndrome (CS) patients at a large medical center in China. Methods:Records on CS patients discharged from 2008 to 2017 were retrieved from the hospital discharge abstract database (DAD) using ICD-10 codes. Demographic characteristics, etiology, and comorbidity data were analyzed. Results:Cushing's disease (CD) accounted for 63.0% of CS patients, followed by adrenocortical adenoma (ACA) (20.9%), primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (BMAH) (6.2%), ectopic ACTH syndrome (EAS) (5.9%), primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) (1.8%), and adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) (1.0%). CD, ACA, ACC, and PPNAD presented marked preponderances in women (4.1 : 1, 10.5 : 1, 4.3 : 1, and 2.3 : 1, respectively), while BMAH (59.8%) and EAS (51.0%) showed slightly higher preponderances in men. CD patients were younger than ACA and EAS patients (36.1 ± 12.9 years vs. 39.4 ± 12.7 years and 36.1 ± 12.9 years vs. 41.0 ± 15.8, < 0.001); PPNAD patients were the youngest (24.2 ± 10.8 years, < 0.001), and BMAH patients were the oldest (51.3 ± 9.9 years, < 0.001). Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis without fractures, osteoporotic fractures, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver occurred more frequently in CD patients than in ACA patients ( < 0.001 for all). Osteoporotic fractures were observed more frequently in PPAND than in ACA (26.7% vs. 9.0%, < 0.001) and BMAH (26.7% vs. 4.9%, < 0.001) patients. EAS patients had more severe and diverse comorbidities, with higher prevalences of hypokalemia (52.0%), diabetes mellitus (61.2%), and osteoporotic fractures (28.6%). When adjusted for age, male CD patients were associated with hypertension (OR = 2.266, 95% CI: 1.524-3.371, and < 0.001), osteoporotic fractures (OR = 2.274, 95% CI: 1.568-3.298, and < 0.001), fatty liver (OR = 1.435, 95% CI: 1.028-2.003, and = 0.034), and hypokalemia (OR = 1.944, 95% CI: 1.280-2.951, and = 0.002). Conclusions:The proposed method efficiently evaluates CS patients' epidemiological profiles using hospital DADs with ICD-10 codes and thus may enrich the limited epidemiological data and contribute to clinical practice for CS.
Cyclic Cushing's syndrome: an overview.
Mantero Franco,Scaroni Carla M,Albiger Nora M E
Cyclic Cushing's syndrome (CS) involves rhythmic fluctuations in ACTH secretion resulting in a cyclic variation of adrenal steroid production. In the majority of cases, cyclic CS is caused by an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, but it can also be due to ectopic ACTH production or an adrenal adenoma. This condition should be strongly suspected in patients with symptoms or signs of hypercortisolism but normal cortisol levels and paradoxical responses to the dexamethasone test, that may reflect an increasing or decreasing endogenous hormone activity. Dynamic tests are best interpreted if they are performed during a sustained period of hypercortisolism. Sometimes, it is necessary to confirm the diagnosis over lengthy periods of observation. Responses to treatment must be closely monitored, interpreted and evaluated with caution because of the potential variations in steroidogenesis. An original case report of a cyclic Cushing's syndrome is presented in this review.
Genetics of Cushing's syndrome.
Yaneva Maria,Vandeva Silvia,Zacharieva Sabina,Daly Adrian F,Beckers Albert
Cushing's syndrome (CS) is characterized by pathologically elevated free glucocorticoid levels. Endogenous hypercortisolism is usually due to ACTH-secreting pituitary corticotropic adenomas and less often due to ectopic ACTH-secreting neuroendocrine neoplasms or ACTH-independent adrenal cortisol hypersecretion. CS is a serious chronic disease leading to a several-fold increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Multiple genetic alterations have been described in the setting of sporadic corticotropinoma formation. Changes in the expression profiles have been demonstrated in growth factors and their receptors, cell-cycle regulators and in various genes related to hormonal gene transcription, synthesis and secretion. Sporadic adrenal adenomas and carcinomas may demonstrate dysfunction in genes such as TP53 among others. Cushing's disease can be an inherited condition also. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and familial isolated pituitary adenomas (FIPA) together account for 5% of pituitary adenomas. Cushing's disease occurs infrequently in an inherited setting in both of these conditions. To date only 2 cases of Cushing's disease have been described in association with mutations in AIP. One case of Cushing's disease has been reported as part of MEN4, a rare MEN1-like syndrome due to mutation in the CDKN1B gene. Carney complex (CNC) due to PRKAR1A mutations in most cases is associated with CS, mainly as a cause of bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. The cAMP signaling pathway is affected in this setting. In recent times the involvement of genes such as PDE11A, PDE8B and others have expanded the spectrum of the genetic pathophysiology of CS.
Prognosis of patients treated for Cushing syndrome.
Aulinas Anna,Valassi Elena,Webb Susan M
Endocrinologia y nutricion : organo de la Sociedad Espanola de Endocrinologia y Nutricion
Cushing syndrome (CS), due to an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, adrenal tumors, or ectopic ACTH secretion, causes hypercortisolism. CS is associated with major morbidity, especially metabolic and cardiovascular complications, osteoporosis, psychiatric changes, and cognitive impairment. Despite biochemical "cure" of hypercortisolism and clinical improvement after effective treatment, these complications are only partially reversible. Exacerbation of prior autoimmune diseases is also seen. All of these lead to quality of life impairment and increased mortality. This review addresses the main comorbidities and long-term consequences of CS despite clinical and biochemical "cure".
Risk of cardiovascular events in people prescribed glucocorticoids with iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome: cohort study.
Fardet Laurence,Petersen Irene,Nazareth Irwin
BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
OBJECTIVE:To investigate whether there is an increased risk of cardiovascular events in people who exhibit iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome during treatment with glucocorticoids. DESIGN:Cohort study. SETTING:424 UK general practices contributing to The Health Improvement Network database. PARTICIPANTS:People prescribed systemic glucocorticoids and with a diagnosis of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome (n = 547) and two comparison groups: those prescribed glucocorticoids and with no diagnosis of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome (n = 3231) and those not prescribed systemic glucocorticoids (n = 3282). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Incidence of cardiovascular events within a year after diagnosis of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome or after a randomly selected date, and association between iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome and risk of cardiovascular events. RESULTS:417 cardiovascular events occurred in 341 patients. Taking into account only the first event by patient (coronary heart disease n = 177, heart failure n = 101, ischaemic stroke n = 63), the incidence rates of cardiovascular events per 100 person years at risk were 15.1 (95% confidence interval 11.8 to 18.4) in those prescribed glucocorticoids and with a diagnosis of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome, 6.4 (5.5 to 7.3) in those prescribed glucocorticoids without a diagnosis of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome, and 4.1 (3.4 to 4.8) in those not prescribed glucocorticoids. In multivariate analyses adjusted for sex, age, intensity of glucocorticoid use, underlying disease, smoking status, and use of aspirin, diabetes drugs, antihypertensive drugs, lipid lowering drugs, or oral anticoagulant drugs, the relation between iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome and cardiovascular events was strong (adjusted hazard ratios 2.27 (95% confidence interval 1.48 to 3.47) for coronary heart disease, 3.77 (2.41 to 5.90) for heart failure, and 2.23 (0.96 to 5.17) for ischaemic cerebrovascular events). The adjusted hazard ratio for any cardiovascular event was 4.16 (2.98 to 5.82) when the group prescribed glucocorticoids and with iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome was compared with the group not prescribed glucocorticoids. CONCLUSION:People who use glucocorticoids and exhibit iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome should be aggressively targeted for early screening and management of cardiovascular risk factors.
Constitutive activation of PKA catalytic subunit in adrenal Cushing's syndrome.
Beuschlein Felix,Fassnacht Martin,Assié Guillaume,Calebiro Davide,Stratakis Constantine A,Osswald Andrea,Ronchi Cristina L,Wieland Thomas,Sbiera Silviu,Faucz Fabio R,Schaak Katrin,Schmittfull Anett,Schwarzmayr Thomas,Barreau Olivia,Vezzosi Delphine,Rizk-Rabin Marthe,Zabel Ulrike,Szarek Eva,Salpea Paraskevi,Forlino Antonella,Vetro Annalisa,Zuffardi Orsetta,Kisker Caroline,Diener Susanne,Meitinger Thomas,Lohse Martin J,Reincke Martin,Bertherat Jérome,Strom Tim M,Allolio Bruno
The New England journal of medicine
BACKGROUND:Corticotropin-independent Cushing's syndrome is caused by tumors or hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex. The molecular pathogenesis of cortisol-producing adrenal adenomas is not well understood. METHODS:We performed exome sequencing of tumor-tissue specimens from 10 patients with cortisol-producing adrenal adenomas and evaluated recurrent mutations in candidate genes in an additional 171 patients with adrenocortical tumors. We also performed genomewide copy-number analysis in 35 patients with cortisol-secreting bilateral adrenal hyperplasias. We studied the effects of these genetic defects both clinically and in vitro. RESULTS:Exome sequencing revealed somatic mutations in PRKACA, which encodes the catalytic subunit of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase A [PKA]), in 8 of 10 adenomas (c.617A→C in 7 and c.595_596insCAC in 1). Overall, PRKACA somatic mutations were identified in 22 of 59 unilateral adenomas (37%) from patients with overt Cushing's syndrome; these mutations were not detectable in 40 patients with subclinical hypercortisolism or in 82 patients with other adrenal tumors. Among 35 patients with cortisol-producing hyperplasias, 5 (including 2 first-degree relatives) carried a germline copy-number gain (duplication) of the genomic region on chromosome 19 that includes PRKACA. In vitro studies showed impaired inhibition of both PKA catalytic subunit mutants by the PKA regulatory subunit, whereas cells from patients with germline chromosomal gains showed increased protein levels of the PKA catalytic subunit; in both instances, basal PKA activity was increased. CONCLUSIONS:Genetic alterations of the catalytic subunit of PKA were found to be associated with human disease. Germline duplications of this gene resulted in bilateral adrenal hyperplasias, whereas somatic PRKACA mutations resulted in unilateral cortisol-producing adrenal adenomas. (Funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Program and others.).
Recurrent somatic mutations underlie corticotropin-independent Cushing's syndrome.
Sato Yusuke,Maekawa Shigekatsu,Ishii Ryohei,Sanada Masashi,Morikawa Teppei,Shiraishi Yuichi,Yoshida Kenichi,Nagata Yasunobu,Sato-Otsubo Aiko,Yoshizato Tetsuichi,Suzuki Hiromichi,Shiozawa Yusuke,Kataoka Keisuke,Kon Ayana,Aoki Kosuke,Chiba Kenichi,Tanaka Hiroko,Kume Haruki,Miyano Satoru,Fukayama Masashi,Nureki Osamu,Homma Yukio,Ogawa Seishi
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Cushing's syndrome is caused by excess cortisol production from the adrenocortical gland. In corticotropin-independent Cushing's syndrome, the excess cortisol production is primarily attributed to an adrenocortical adenoma, in which the underlying molecular pathogenesis has been poorly understood. We report a hotspot mutation (L206R) in PRKACA, which encodes the catalytic subunit of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA), in more than 50% of cases with adrenocortical adenomas associated with corticotropin-independent Cushing's syndrome. The L206R PRKACA mutant abolished its binding to the regulatory subunit of PKA (PRKAR1A) that inhibits catalytic activity of PRKACA, leading to constitutive, cAMP-independent PKA activation. These results highlight the major role of cAMP-independent activation of cAMP/PKA signaling by somatic mutations in corticotropin-independent Cushing's syndrome, providing insights into the diagnosis and therapeutics of this syndrome.
Prognostic role of overt hypercortisolism in completely operated patients with adrenocortical cancer.
Berruti Alfredo,Fassnacht Martin,Haak Harm,Else Tobias,Baudin Eric,Sperone Paola,Kroiss Matthias,Kerkhofs Thomas,Williams Andrew R,Ardito Arianna,Leboulleux Sophie,Volante Marco,Deutschbein Timo,Feelders Richards,Ronchi Cristina,Grisanti Salvatore,Gelderblom Hans,Porpiglia Francesco,Papotti Mauro,Hammer Gary D,Allolio Bruno,Terzolo Massimo
BACKGROUND:Although prognostic parameters are important to guide adjuvant treatment, very few have been identified in patients with completely resected adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). OBJECTIVE:To assess the prognostic role of clinical symptoms of hypercortisolism in a large series of patients with completely resected ACC. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:A total of 524 patients followed at referral centers for ACC in Europe and the United States entered the study. Inclusion criteria were ≥18 yr of age, a histologic diagnosis of ACC, and complete surgery (R0). Exclusion criteria were a history of other malignancies and adjuvant systemic therapies other than mitotane. INTERVENTION:All ACC patients were completely resected, and adjuvant mitotane therapy was prescribed at the discretion of the investigators. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:The primary end point was overall survival (OS). The secondary end points were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and the efficacy of adjuvant mitotane therapy according to cortisol secretion. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:Overt hypercortisolism was observed in 197 patients (37.6%). Patients with cortisol excess were younger (p=0.002); no difference according to sex and tumor stage was observed. The median follow-up of the series was 50 mo. After adjustment for sex, age, tumor stage, and mitotane treatment, the prognostic significance of cortisol excess was highly significant for both RFS (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-2.62; p=0.02) and OS (HR: 1.55; 95% CI, 1.15-2.09; p=0.004). Mitotane administration was associated with a reduction of disease progression (adjusted HR: 0.65; 95% CI, 0.49-0.86; p=0.003) that did not differ according to the patient's secretory status. A major limitation is that only symptomatic patients were considered as having hypercortisolism, thus excluding information on the prognostic role of elevated cortisol levels in the absence of a clinical syndrome. CONCLUSIONS:Clinically relevant hypercortisolism is a new prognostic factor in patients with completely resected ACC. The efficacy of adjuvant mitotane does not seem to be influenced by overt hypercortisolism.
ARMC5 mutations in macronodular adrenal hyperplasia with Cushing's syndrome.
Assié Guillaume,Libé Rossella,Espiard Stéphanie,Rizk-Rabin Marthe,Guimier Anne,Luscap Windy,Barreau Olivia,Lefèvre Lucile,Sibony Mathilde,Guignat Laurence,Rodriguez Stéphanie,Perlemoine Karine,René-Corail Fernande,Letourneur Franck,Trabulsi Bilal,Poussier Alix,Chabbert-Buffet Nathalie,Borson-Chazot Françoise,Groussin Lionel,Bertagna Xavier,Stratakis Constantine A,Ragazzon Bruno,Bertherat Jérôme
The New England journal of medicine
BACKGROUND:Corticotropin-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia may be an incidental finding or it may be identified during evaluation for Cushing's syndrome. Reports of familial cases and the involvement of both adrenal glands suggest a genetic origin of this condition. METHODS:We genotyped blood and tumor DNA obtained from 33 patients with corticotropin-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (12 men and 21 women who were 30 to 73 years of age), using single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays, microsatellite markers, and whole-genome and Sanger sequencing. The effects of armadillo repeat containing 5 (ARMC5) inactivation and overexpression were tested in cell-culture models. RESULTS:The most frequent somatic chromosome alteration was loss of heterozygosity at 16p (in 8 of 33 patients for whom data were available [24%]). The most frequent mutation identified by means of whole-genome sequencing was in ARMC5, located at 16p11.2. ARMC5 mutations were detected in tumors obtained from 18 of 33 patients (55%). In all cases, both alleles of ARMC5 carried mutations: one germline and the other somatic. In 4 patients with a germline ARMC5 mutation, different nodules from the affected adrenals harbored different secondary ARMC5 alterations. Transcriptome-based classification of corticotropin-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia indicated that ARMC5 mutations influenced gene expression, since all cases with mutations clustered together. ARMC5 inactivation decreased steroidogenesis in vitro, and its overexpression altered cell survival. CONCLUSIONS:Some cases of corticotropin-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia appear to be genetic, most often with inactivating mutations of ARMC5, a putative tumor-suppressor gene. Genetic testing for this condition, which often has a long and insidious prediagnostic course, might result in earlier identification and better management. (Funded by Agence Nationale de la Recherche and others.).
High Prevalence of Diabetes in Patients With Primary Aldosteronism (PA) Associated With Subclinical Hypercortisolism and Prediabetes More Prevalent in Bilateral Than Unilateral PA: A Large, Multicenter Cohort Study in Japan.
Akehi Yuko,Yanase Toshihiko,Motonaga Ryoko,Umakoshi Hironobu,Tsuiki Mika,Takeda Yoshiyu,Yoneda Takashi,Kurihara Isao,Itoh Hiroshi,Katabami Takuyuki,Ichijo Takamasa,Wada Norio,Shibayama Yui,Yoshimoto Takanobu,Ashida Kenji,Ogawa Yoshihiro,Kawashima Junji,Sone Masakatsu,Inagaki Nobuya,Takahashi Katsutoshi,Fujita Megumi,Watanabe Minemori,Matsuda Yuichi,Kobayashi Hiroki,Shibata Hirotaka,Kamemura Kohei,Otsuki Michio,Fujii Yuichi,Yamamoto Koichi,Ogo Atsushi,Okamura Shintaro,Miyauchi Shozo,Fukuoka Tomikazu,Izawa Shoichiro,Hashimoto Shigeatsu,Yamada Masanobu,Yoshikawa Yuichiro,Kai Tatsuya,Suzuki Tomoko,Kawamura Takashi,Naruse Mitsuhide,
OBJECTIVE:To investigate the prevalence and causes of diabetes in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) in a multi-institutional cohort study in Japan. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:The prevalence of diabetes was determined in 2,210 patients with PA (diagnosed or glycated hemoglobin [HbA] ≥6.5% [≥48 mmol/mol]; NGSP) and compared with that of the Japanese general population according to age and sex. In 1,386 patients with PA and clear laterality (unilateral or bilateral), the effects of plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC), hypokalemia (<3.5 mEq/L), suspected subclinical hypercortisolism (SH; serum cortisol ≥1.8 µg/dL after 1-mg dexamethasone suppression test), and PA laterality on the prevalence of diabetes or prediabetes (5.7% ≤ HbA <6.5% [39 mmol/mol ≤ HbA <48 mmol/mol]) were examined. RESULTS:Of the 2,210 patients with PA, 477 (21.6%) had diabetes. This prevalence is higher than that in the general population (12.1%) or in 10-year cohorts aged 30-69 years. Logistic regression or χ test revealed a significant contribution of suspected SH to diabetes. Despite more active PA profiles (e.g., higher PAC and lower potassium concentrations) in unilateral than bilateral PA, BMI and HbA values were significantly higher in bilateral PA. PA laterality had no effect on the prevalence of diabetes; however, the prevalence of prediabetes was significantly higher in bilateral than unilateral PA. CONCLUSIONS:Individuals with PA have a high prevalence of diabetes, which is associated mainly with SH. The prevalence of prediabetes is greater for bilateral than unilateral PA, suggesting a unique metabolic cause of bilateral PA.
Cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with adrenal incidentalomas that are either non-secreting or associated with intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing's syndrome: a 15-year retrospective study.
Di Dalmazi Guido,Vicennati Valentina,Garelli Silvia,Casadio Elena,Rinaldi Eleonora,Giampalma Emanuela,Mosconi Cristina,Golfieri Rita,Paccapelo Alexandro,Pagotto Uberto,Pasquali Renato
The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
BACKGROUND:Incidental discovery of adrenal masses has increased over the past few years. Mild alterations in cortisol secretion without clinical signs of overt hypercortisolism (subclinical Cushing's syndrome) are a common finding in patients with these tumours. Although metabolic alterations and increased cardiovascular risk have been noted in patients with subclinical Cushing's syndrome, incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality in the long term have not been assessed. We aimed to ascertain the frequency of new cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with non-secreting adrenal incidentalomas, tumours of intermediate phenotype, or those causing subclinical Cushing's syndrome. METHODS:From January, 1995, to September, 2010, consecutive outpatients with adrenal incidentalomas who were referred to the endocrinology unit of S Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy, were enrolled into our study. Individuals were assessed every 18-30 months for the first 5 years (mean follow-up 7·5 [SD 3·2] years, range 26 months to 15 years). Cortisol concentrations after the 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) were used to define non-secreting (+50 nmol/L) and intermediate phenotype (50-138 nmol/L) adrenal incidentalomas and subclinical Cushing's syndrome (+138 nmol/L). At the end of follow-up, patients were reclassified as having either unchanged or worsened secreting patterns from baseline. FINDINGS:198 outpatients were assessed; at the end of follow-up, 114 patients had stable non-secreting adrenal incidentalomas, 61 had either a stable intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing's syndrome, and 23 had a pattern of secretion that had worsened. By comparison with patients with stable non-secreting adrenal incidentalomas, the incidence of cardiovascular events was higher in individuals with a stable intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing's syndrome (6·7% vs 16·7%; p=0·04) and in those with worsened secreting patterns (6·7% vs 28·4%; p=0·02). Cardiovascular events were associated independently with a change (from baseline to the end of follow-up) in cortisol concentrations post DST (hazard ratio 1·13, 95% CI 1·05-1·21; p=0·001). Survival rates for all-cause mortality were lower in patients with either stable intermediate phenotype adrenal incidentalomas or subclinical Cushing's syndrome compared with those with stable non-secreting masses (57·0% vs 91·2%; p=0·005). Factors associated with mortality were age (hazard ratio 1·06, 95% CI 1·01-1·12; p=0·03) and mean concentrations of cortisol post DST (1·10, 1·01-1·19; p=0·04). Compared with patients with stable non-secreting adrenal incidentalomas, unadjusted survival for cardiovascular-specific mortality was lower in patients with either a stable intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing's syndrome (97·5% vs 78·4%; p=0·02) and in those with worsened secreting patterns (97·5% vs 60·0%; p=0·01). Cancer mortality did not differ between groups. INTERPRETATION:Even when clinical signs of overt hypercortisolism are not present, patients with adrenal incidentalomas and mild hypercortisolism have an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. FUNDING:None.
Lacroix André,Feelders Richard A,Stratakis Constantine A,Nieman Lynnette K
Lancet (London, England)
Chronic exposure to excess glucorticoids results in diverse manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, including debilitating morbidities and increased mortality. Genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for excess cortisol secretion by primary adrenal lesions and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion from corticotroph or ectopic tumours have been identified. New biochemical and imaging diagnostic approaches and progress in surgical and radiotherapy techniques have improved the management of patients. The therapeutic goal is to normalise tissue exposure to cortisol to reverse increased morbidity and mortality. Optimum treatment consisting of selective and complete resection of the causative tumour is necessay to allow eventual normalisation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, maintenance of pituitary function, and avoidance of tumour recurrence. The development of new drugs offers clinicians several choices to treat patients with residual cortisol excess. However, for patients affected by this challenging syndrome, the long-term effects and comorbidities associated with hypercortisolism need ongoing care.
Cushing's syndrome driver mutation disrupts protein kinase A allosteric network, altering both regulation and substrate specificity.
Walker Caitlin,Wang Yingjie,Olivieri Cristina,Karamafrooz Adak,Casby Jordan,Bathon Kerstin,Calebiro Davide,Gao Jiali,Bernlohr David A,Taylor Susan S,Veglia Gianluigi
Genetic alterations in the gene coding for the catalytic α subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA-C) are linked to cortisol-secreting adrenocortical adenomas, resulting in Cushing's syndrome. Among those, a single mutation (L205R) has been found in up to 67% of patients. Because the x-ray structures of the wild-type and mutant kinases are essentially identical, the mechanism explaining aberrant function of this mutant remains under active debate. Using NMR spectroscopy, thermodynamics, kinetic assays, and molecular dynamics simulations, we found that this single mutation causes global changes in the enzyme, disrupting the intramolecular allosteric network and eliciting losses in nucleotide/pseudo-substrate binding cooperativity. Remarkably, by rewiring its internal allosteric network, PKA-C is able to bind and phosphorylate non-canonical substrates, explaining its changes in substrate specificity. Both the lack of regulation and change in substrate specificity reveal the complex role of this mutated kinase in the formation of cortisol-secreting adrenocortical adenomas.
Glucocorticoids and Bone: Consequences of Endogenous and Exogenous Excess and Replacement Therapy.
Hardy Rowan S,Zhou Hong,Seibel Markus J,Cooper Mark S
Osteoporosis associated with long-term glucocorticoid therapy remains a common and serious bone disease. Additionally, in recent years it has become clear that more subtle states of endogenous glucocorticoid excess may have a major impact on bone health. Adverse effects can be seen with mild systemic glucocorticoid excess, but there is also evidence of tissue-specific regulation of glucocorticoid action within bone as a mechanism of disease. This review article examines (1) the role of endogenous glucocorticoids in normal bone physiology, (2) the skeletal effects of endogenous glucocorticoid excess in the context of endocrine conditions such as Cushing disease/syndrome and autonomous cortisol secretion (subclinical Cushing syndrome), and (3) the actions of therapeutic (exogenous) glucocorticoids on bone. We review the extent to which the effect of glucocorticoids on bone is influenced by variations in tissue metabolizing enzymes and glucocorticoid receptor expression and sensitivity. We consider how the effects of therapeutic glucocorticoids on bone are complicated by the effects of the underlying inflammatory disease being treated. We also examine the impact that glucocorticoid replacement regimens have on bone in the context of primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency. We conclude that even subtle excess of endogenous or moderate doses of therapeutic glucocorticoids are detrimental to bone. However, in patients with inflammatory disorders there is a complex interplay between glucocorticoid treatment and underlying inflammation, with the underlying condition frequently representing the major component underpinning bone damage.
Genetic Causes of Functional Adrenocortical Adenomas.
Zennaro Maria-Christina,Boulkroun Sheerazed,Fernandes-Rosa Fabio
Aldosterone and cortisol, the main mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid hormones in humans, are produced in the adrenal cortex, which is composed of three concentric zones with specific functional characteristics. Adrenocortical adenomas (ACAs) can lead to the autonomous secretion of aldosterone responsible for primary aldosteronism, the most frequent form of secondary arterial hypertension. In the case of cortisol production, ACAs lead to overt or subclinical Cushing syndrome. Genetic analysis driven by next-generation sequencing technology has enabled the discovery, during the past 7 years, of the genetic causes of a large subset of ACAs. In particular, somatic mutations in genes regulating intracellular ionic homeostasis and membrane potential have been identified in aldosterone-producing adenomas. These mutations all promote increased intracellular calcium concentrations, with activation of calcium signaling, the main trigger for aldosterone production. In cortisol-producing adenomas, recurrent somatic mutations in PRKACA (coding for the cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit α) affect cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase A signaling, leading to activation of cortisol biosynthesis. In addition to these specific pathways, the Wnt/β-catenin pathway appears to play an important role in adrenal tumorigenesis, because β-catenin mutations have been identified in both aldosterone- and cortisol-producing adenomas. This, together with different intermediate states of aldosterone and cortisol cosecretion, raises the possibility that the two conditions share a certain degree of genetic susceptibility. Alternatively, different hits might be responsible for the diseases, with one hit leading to adrenocortical cell proliferation and nodule formation and the second specifying the hormonal secretory pattern.
Prognostic impact of paraneoplastic cushing's syndrome in small-cell lung cancer.
Nagy-Mignotte Hélène,Shestaeva Oxana,Vignoud Lucile,Guillem Pascale,Ruckly Stéphane,Chabre Olivier,Sakhri Linda,Duruisseaux Michael,Mousseau Mireille,Timsit Jean-François,Moro-Sibilot Denis,
Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
INTRODUCTION:Paraneoplastic Cushing's syndrome (CushingPS) in small-cell lung cancer is rare but severe. METHODS:We studied 383 patients with small-cell lung cancer diagnosed between 1998 and 2012. Among them, 23 patients had CushingPS, 56 had other paraneoplastic syndrome (OtherPS), and 304 had no paraneoplastic syndrome (NoPS). RESULTS:After comparison of the three groups, we observed that CushingPS patients had more extensive disease: 82.6% versus 67.8% versus 53.3% (p = 0.005), respectively, with more than two metastatic sites: 63.2% versus 15.8% and 24.1% (p ≤ 0.001), a higher World Health Organization performance status (2-4): 73.9% versus 57.1% versus 43.7% (p = 0.006), greater weight loss (≥10%): 47.8% versus 33.9% versus 16.4% (p ≤ 0.001), reduced objective response to first-line treatment: 47.6% versus 74.1% versus 71.1% (p = 0.04), and poorer sensitivity to first-line treatment: 19% versus 38.9% versus 48.6% (p = 0.01). NoPS patients, with World Health Organization performance status of 3-4, had extensive disease at diagnosis, with response, sensitivity to first-line treatment, and survival similar to the CushingPS group. At relapse, the CushingPS group had no objective response to second-line treatment versus 25% versus 42.8% in OtherPS and NoPS groups, respectively (p = 0.005). The median survival of CushingPS patients was 6.6 months versus 9.2 months for OtherPS and 13.1 months for NoPS patients (p ≤ 0.001). CushingPS is a prognostic factor of death (hazard ratio, 2.31; p ≤ 0.001). CONCLUSION:CushingPS is the worst form of the paraneoplastic syndromes with particularly extensive tumors. Reduced objective response and sensitivity to first-line treatment and no response to second-line treatment suggest starting palliative care early at first line and exclusively at relapse.
Retinoic acid prevents experimental Cushing syndrome.
Páez-Pereda M,Kovalovsky D,Hopfner U,Theodoropoulou M,Pagotto U,Uhl E,Losa M,Stalla J,Grübler Y,Missale C,Arzt E,Stalla G K
The Journal of clinical investigation
Cushing syndrome is caused by an excess of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production by neuroendocrine tumors, which subsequently results in chronic glucocorticoid excess. We found that retinoic acid inhibits the transcriptional activity of AP-1 and the orphan receptors Nur77 and Nurr1 in ACTH-secreting tumor cells. Retinoic acid treatment resulted in reduced pro-opiomelanocortin transcription and ACTH production. ACTH inhibition was also observed in human pituitary ACTH-secreting tumor cells and a small-cell lung cancer cell line, but not in normal cells. This correlated with the expression of the orphan receptor COUP-TFI, which was found in normal corticotrophs but not in pituitary Cushing tumors. COUP-TFI expression in ACTH-secreting tumor cells blocked retinoic acid action. Retinoic acid also inhibited cell proliferation and, after prolonged treatment, increased caspase-3 activity and induced cell death in ACTH-secreting cells. In adrenal cortex cells, retinoic acid inhibited corticosterone production and cell proliferation. The antiproliferative action and the inhibition of ACTH and corticosterone produced by retinoic acid were confirmed in vivo in experimental ACTH-secreting tumors in nude mice. Thus, we conclude that the effects of retinoic acid combine in vivo to reverse the endocrine alterations and symptoms observed in experimental Cushing syndrome.
Complications of Cushing's syndrome: state of the art.
Pivonello Rosario,Isidori Andrea M,De Martino Maria Cristina,Newell-Price John,Biller Beverly M K,Colao Annamaria
The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
Cushing's syndrome is a serious endocrine disease caused by chronic, autonomous, and excessive secretion of cortisol. The syndrome is associated with increased mortality and impaired quality of life because of the occurrence of comorbidities. These clinical complications include metabolic syndrome, consisting of systemic arterial hypertension, visceral obesity, impairment of glucose metabolism, and dyslipidaemia; musculoskeletal disorders, such as myopathy, osteoporosis, and skeletal fractures; neuropsychiatric disorders, such as impairment of cognitive function, depression, or mania; impairment of reproductive and sexual function; and dermatological manifestations, mainly represented by acne, hirsutism, and alopecia. Hypertension in patients with Cushing's syndrome has a multifactorial pathogenesis and contributes to the increased risk for myocardial infarction, cardiac failure, or stroke, which are the most common causes of death; risks of these outcomes are exacerbated by a prothrombotic diathesis and hypokalaemia. Neuropsychiatric disorders can be responsible for suicide. Immune disorders are common; immunosuppression during active disease causes susceptibility to infections, possibly complicated by sepsis, an important cause of death, whereas immune rebound after disease remission can exacerbate underlying autoimmune diseases. Prompt treatment of cortisol excess and specific treatments of comorbidities are crucial to prevent serious clinical complications and reduce the mortality associated with Cushing's syndrome.
Advances in the medical treatment of Cushing's syndrome.
Feelders Richard A,Newell-Price John,Pivonello Rosario,Nieman Lynnette K,Hofland Leo J,Lacroix Andre
The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
Cushing's syndrome is associated with multisystem morbidity and, when suboptimally treated, increased mortality. Medical therapy is an option for patients if surgery is not successful and can be classified into pituitary-directed drugs, steroid synthesis inhibitors, and glucocorticoid receptor antagonists. In the last decade there have been new developments in each drug category. Targeting dopamine and somatostatin receptors on corticotroph adenomas with cabergoline or pasireotide, or both, controls cortisol production in up to 40% of patients. Potential new targets in corticotroph adenomas include the epidermal growth factor receptor, cyclin-dependent kinases, and heat shock protein 90. Osilodrostat and levoketoconazole are new inhibitors of steroidogenesis and are currently being evaluated in multicentre trials. CORT125134 is a new selective glucocorticoid receptor antagonist under investigation. We summarise the drug therapies for various forms of Cushing's syndrome and focus on emerging drugs and drug targets that have the potential for new and effective tailor-made pharmacotherapy for patients with Cushing's syndrome.
Efficacy and safety of levoketoconazole in the treatment of endogenous Cushing's syndrome (SONICS): a phase 3, multicentre, open-label, single-arm trial.
Fleseriu Maria,Pivonello Rosario,Elenkova Atanaska,Salvatori Roberto,Auchus Richard J,Feelders Richard A,Geer Eliza B,Greenman Yona,Witek Przemyslaw,Cohen Fredric,Biller Beverly M K
The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
BACKGROUND:Levoketoconazole is a ketoconazole stereoisomer in development for treatment of Cushing's syndrome and has not been assessed previously in a clinical trial in patients with Cushing's syndrome. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of levoketoconazole in patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome. METHODS:SONICS is a phase 3, multicentre, open-label, non-randomised, single-arm study in which we recruited adults (≥18 years) with confirmed Cushing's syndrome and a mean 24-h urinary free cortisol (mUFC) of at least 1·5 times the upper limit of normal from 60 hospital and community sites in 19 countries (15 countries in Europe, and Canada, Israel, Turkey, and the USA). Patients were treated with oral levoketoconazole in a 2-21 week incremental dose-titration phase starting at 150 mg twice daily (150 mg increments until mUFC normalisation, maximum 600 mg twice daily) and a 6-month maintenance phase. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with mUFC normalisation at end of maintenance, without dose increase during the maintenance phase (in the intention-to-treat population). Prespecified adverse events of special interest were potential liver toxicity, corrected QT prolongation, and adrenal insufficiency. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01838551. FINDINGS:Between July 30, 2014, and June 30, 2017, 201 individuals were screened and 94 patients were enrolled and received at least one dose of study medication. Of the 94 patients, 80 (85%) had pituitary Cushing's syndrome. Mean mUFC at baseline was 671·4 nmol/24 h (243·3 μg/24 h), which is 4·9 times the upper limit of normal. Of the 77 patients who advanced to the maintenance phase, 62 (81%) had mUFC normalisation by end-of-dose titration. At the end of the 6-month maintenance phase, 29 (31%) of 94 patients were responders; the least-squares mean estimate of the proportion of responders was 0·30 (95% CI 0·21-0·40; p=0·0154 vs null hypothesis of ≤0·20). The most common adverse events in the 94 patients were nausea (30 [32%]) and headache (26 [28%]). Adverse events led to study discontinuation in 12 (13%) of 94 patients. Two patients had a QT interval (Fridericia corrected) of more than 500 ms, and three patients had suspected adrenal insufficiency. Alanine aminotransferase reversibly increased to more than three times the upper limit of normal in ten (11%) patients. Four patients had serious adverse events that were considered probably or definitely related to the study drug: abnormal liver function test results (n=1), prolonged QT interval (n=2), and adrenal insufficiency (n=1). One person died from colon carcinoma unrelated to study medication. INTERPRETATION:Twice-daily oral levoketoconazole treatment led to sustained improvements in urinary free cortisol, with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile. Levoketoconazole might represent a useful therapeutic option for the medical treatment of Cushing's syndrome. FUNDING:Strongbridge Biopharma.
Difficulties in diagnosis and management of ectopic Cushing syndrome.
Cho Sukki,Ra Yong Joon,Lee Choon-Taek,Chung Jin-Haeng,Sung Sook-Whan,Jheon Sanghoon
Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
A 18-year-old man presented to a local hospital with muscle weakness, facial edema, and a 6 kg weight gain over 2 months. After a complete work-up, he was diagnosed with pituitary Cushing syndrome and treated with a bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing syndrome and pituitary radiotherapy for Nelson syndrome. Twenty-five years later, his ectopic source of adrenocorticotropic hormone was revealed as a pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor, and a pulmonary resection was performed. Subsequently, a biochemical and clinical remission including hyperpigmentation was achieved.
Pros and cons of screening for occult Cushing syndrome.
Tabarin Antoine,Perez Paul
Nature reviews. Endocrinology
Systematic screening studies performed mainly in patients with diabetes mellitus have revealed an unexpectedly high prevalence of occult Cushing syndrome. Such studies may provide a rationale for systematically screening obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, a screening strategy is only justified if it is supported by enough evidence of its efficacy and if the benefits will outweigh drawbacks. To date, the natural history of occult Cushing syndrome and its possible effect on long-term morbidity are unknown. The clinical spectrum of occult Cushing syndrome and its relatively low prevalence may potentially negatively affect the performance of endocrine tests used to diagnose overt Cushing syndrome and generate false positives. Whether the cure of occult Cushing syndrome favorably influences clinical outcomes and is more beneficial than treatment of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk factors with currently available pharmacological tools remains to be demonstrated. Last, the acceptability of a screening program by professionals and the health-care system in terms of workload and costs is highly questionable. Thus, an assessment of the indications for and against screening for occult Cushing syndrome on the basis of currently available data suggests that, to date, the cons surpass the pros.
A genetic and molecular update on adrenocortical causes of Cushing syndrome.
Lodish Maya,Stratakis Constantine A
Nature reviews. Endocrinology
Primary adrenal Cushing syndrome is the result of cortisol hypersecretion mainly by adenomas and, rarely, by bilateral micronodular or macronodular adrenocortical hyperplasia. cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) signalling is the major activator of cortisol secretion in the adrenal cortex. Many adenomas and hyperplasias associated with primary hypercortisolism carry somatic or germline mutations in genes that encode constituents of the cAMP-PKA pathway. In this Review, we discuss Cushing syndrome and its linkage to dysregulated cAMP-PKA signalling, with a focus on genetic findings in the past few years. In addition, we discuss the presence of germline inactivating mutations in ARMC5 in patients with primary bilateral macronodular adrenocortical hyperplasia. This finding has implications for genetic counselling of affected patients; hitherto, most patients with this form of adrenal hyperplasia and Cushing syndrome were thought to have a sporadic and not a familial disorder.
Glucose Metabolism Abnormalities in Cushing Syndrome: From Molecular Basis to Clinical Management.
Scaroni Carla,Zilio Marialuisa,Foti Michelangelo,Boscaro Marco
An impaired glucose metabolism, which often leads to the onset of diabetes mellitus (DM), is a common complication of chronic exposure to exogenous and endogenous glucocorticoid (GC) excess and plays an important part in contributing to morbidity and mortality in patients with Cushing syndrome (CS). This article reviews the pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of changes in glucose metabolism associated with hypercortisolism, addressing both the pathophysiological aspects and the clinical and therapeutic implications. Chronic hypercortisolism may have pleiotropic effects on all major peripheral tissues governing glucose homeostasis. Adding further complexity, both genomic and nongenomic mechanisms are directly induced by GCs in a context-specific and cell-/organ-dependent manner. In this paper, the discussion focuses on established and potential pathologic molecular mechanisms that are induced by chronically excessive circulating levels of GCs and affect glucose homeostasis in various tissues. The management of patients with CS and DM includes treating their hyperglycemia and correcting their GC excess. The effects on glycemic control of various medical therapies for CS are reviewed in this paper. The association between DM and subclinical CS and the role of screening for CS in diabetic patients are also discussed.