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The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in asthmatic children. Priftis Kostas N,Papadimitriou Anastasios,Nicolaidou Polyxeni,Chrousos George P Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM Reduced responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with various chronic allergic inflammatory disorders and a blunted HPA axis response of poorly controlled asthmatics before long-term treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have been reported. It seems that pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines might be involved in the attenuation of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) responses to stress in these patients. Although long-term ICS treatment might produce mild adrenal suppression in some asthmatic children, improvement of adrenal function has been detected in the majority of cases. We postulate that the anti-inflammatory effects of ICS result both in asthma remission and HPA axis improvement. Adrenal suppression of some asthmatic patients on maintenance ICS seems to be a separate phenomenon, possibly constitutionally or genetically determined. 10.1016/j.tem.2007.10.005