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Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Cinthia Marenza Ormond, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Nayara de Souza Santos, Camila Regis Banhara, and Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto

Objective

To examine the anthropometric, and metabolic connections of 17-hydroxypregnenolone in the normo- and hyperandrogenemic polycystic ovary syndrome phenotypes.

Materials and methods

This cohort study was conducted at the Julio Muller University Hospital, Cuiabá, Brazil, between January 2014 and July 2016, and 91 normal cycling healthy women, 46 normoandrogenemic and 147 hyperandrogenemic, patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were enrolled according to the Rotterdam criteria. Several anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal parameters were properly verified and correlated with 17-hydroxypregnenolone (17-OHPE) concentrations.

Results

17-OHPE was higher in hyperandrogenemic PCOS than in normoandrogenemic PCOS and in control groups (P = 0.032 and P < 0.001, respectively). In healthy controls, 17-OHPE was positively associated with glucose, free estrogen index, DHEAS and negatively associated with compounds S. In normoandrogenemic PCOS patients, 17-OHPE presented positive correlations with VAI, LAP, cortisol, insulin and HOMA-IR. In the hyperandrogenemic group, 17-OHPE presented significant negative correlations with most anthropometric parameters, HOMA-IR, HOMA %B, estradiol, free estrogen index (FEI), C-peptide, and TG levels and positive correlations with HOMA-S and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione (A4) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Regarding hyperandrogenemic PCOS, and using a stepwise multiple regression, only HOMA-S and WHR were retained in the model (R 2 = 0.294, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

17-OHPE exhibited different relationships with anthropometric, and biochemical parameters in PCOS patients, depending on the androgen levels. In PCOS subjects with high androgen concentrations, 17-OHPE was negatively associated with most anthropometric parameters, particularly with those used as markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and frequently employed as predictors of cardiovascular disease risk; otherwise, 17-OHPE was positively associated with HDL-C and HOMA-S in this patients. Future studies are required to evaluate the clinical implications of these novel findings.

Open access

M von Wolff, C T Nakas, M Tobler, T M Merz, M P Hilty, J D Veldhuis, A R Huber, and J Pichler Hefti

Humans cannot live at very high altitude for reasons, which are not completely understood. Since these reasons are not restricted to cardiorespiratory changes alone, changes in the endocrine system might also be involved. Therefore, hormonal changes during prolonged hypobaric hypoxia were comprehensively assessed to determine effects of altitude and hypoxia on stress, thyroid and gonadal hypothalamus–pituitary hormone axes. Twenty-one male and 19 female participants were examined repetitively during a high-altitude expedition. Cortisol, prolactin, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), fT4 and fT3 and in males follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and total testosterone were analysed as well as parameters of hypoxemia, such as SaO2 and paO2 at 550 m (baseline) (n = 40), during ascent at 4844 m (n = 38), 6022 m (n = 31) and 7050 m (n = 13), at 4844 m (n = 29) after acclimatization and after the expedition (n = 38). Correlation analysis of hormone concentrations with oxygen parameters and with altitude revealed statistical association in most cases only with altitude. Adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes were affected by increasing altitude. Adrenal axis and prolactin were first supressed at 4844 m and then activated with increasing altitude; thyroid and gonadal axes were directly activated or suppressed respectively with increasing altitude. Acclimatisation at 4844 m led to normalization of adrenal and gonadal but not of thyroid axes. In conclusion, acclimatization partly leads to a normalization of the adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes at around 5000 m. However, at higher altitude, endocrine dysregulation is pronounced and might contribute to the physical degradation found at high altitude.

Open access

Thabiso R P Mofokeng, Salem A Beshyah, Fazleh Mahomed, Kwazi C Z Ndlovu, and Ian L Ross

Background

The burden and management of primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) in Africa have not been well documented. We aimed to identify specific disease characteristics, patient demographics, and patterns of clinical management in established PAI in Africa.

Methods

An online survey of physicians’ experience relating to PAI.

Results

There were 1334 responses received, 589 were complete, and 332 respondents reported managing patients with hypoadrenalism. The described responses were related to a calculated pool of 5787 patients with hypoadrenalism (2746 females, 3041 males), of whom 2302 had PAI. The likely causes of PAI in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) vs the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions included autoimmune disease (20% vs 60.3%; P < 0.001), tuberculosis (34% vs 4.1%; P < 0.001), AIDS (29.8% vs 1%; P < 0.001), malignancy, and genetic conditions. Sixteen percent of AD patients (376/2302) presented in an adrenal crisis. Medical emergency identification was not used by 1233 (83.6%) SSA vs 330 (40.4%) MENA patients (P < 0.001), respectively. Relative non-availability of diagnostic tests across both regions included adrenal antibodies 63% vs 69.6% (P = 0.328), s-cortisol 49.4 % vs 26.7% (P = 0.004), s-ACTH 55.7% vs 53.3% (P = 0.217), and adrenal CT scans 52.4% vs 31.8% (P = 0.017) in the SSA and MENA region, respectively. Across the entire cohort, the overall hydrocortisone use and extrapolated proportion of synacthen use were 59.4% and 50.7%, respectively.

Conclusions

Through the perception and practice of healthcare professionals, we identified significant challenges in the diagnosis and management of PAI which may herald high mortality. Differences between regions may reflect the allocation of healthcare resources.

Open access

Lia Ferreira, João Silva, Susana Garrido, Carlos Bello, Diana Oliveira, Hélder Simões, Isabel Paiva, Joana Guimarães, Marta Ferreira, Teresa Pereira, Rita Bettencourt-Silva, Ana Filipa Martins, Tiago Silva, Vera Fernandes, Maria Lopes Pereira, and Adrenal Tumors Study Group of the Portuguese Society of Endocrinology

Introduction

Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare but severe and potentially life-threatening condition. No previous studies have characterized Portuguese patients with PAI.

Aims

To characterize the clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, treatment and follow‐up of Portuguese patients with confirmed PAI.

Methods

This multicentre retrospective study examined PAI patients in 12 Portuguese hospitals.

Results

We investigated 278 patients with PAI (55.8% were females), with a mean age of 33.6 ± 19.3 years at diagnosis. The most frequent presenting clinical features were asthenia (60.1%), mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation (55.0%) and weight loss (43.2%); 29.1% of the patients presented with adrenal crisis. Diagnosis was established by high plasma ACTH and low serum cortisol in most patients (43.9%). The most common aetiology of PAI was autoimmune adrenalitis (61.0%). There were 38 idiopathic cases. Autoimmune comorbidities were found in 70% of the patients, the most frequent being autoimmune thyroiditis (60.7%) and type 1 diabetes mellitus (17.3%). Seventy-nine percent were treated with hydrocortisone (mean dose 26.3 ± 8.3 mg/day) mostly in three (57.5%) or two (37.4%) daily doses. The remaining patients were treated with prednisolone (10.1%), dexamethasone (6.2%) and methylprednisolone (0.7%); 66.2% were also on fludrocortisone (median dose of 100 µg/day). Since diagnosis, 33.5% of patients were hospitalized for disease decompensation. In the last appointment, 17.2% of patients had complaints (7.6% asthenia and 6.5% depression) and 9.7% had electrolyte disturbances.

Conclusion

This is the first multicentre Portuguese study regarding PAI. The results emphasize the need for standardization in diagnostic tests and etiological investigation and provide a framework for improving treatment.

Open access

Amit Kumar, Maria Ghosh, and Jubbin Jagan Jacob

Background

The diagnosis of syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuresis requires the exclusion of secondary adrenal insufficiency (AI) among patients with euvolemic hyponatremia (EuVHNa). Studies have suggested that about 2.7–3.8% of unselected patients presenting to the emergency room with EuVHNa have undiagnosed AI and it is as high as 15% among patients admitted to specialized units for evaluation of hyponatremia.

Objective

To study the prevalence of AI among in-patients with EuVHNa in a general medical ward setting.

Methods

This was a prospective, single-center observational study conducted among general medical in-patients with EuVHNa, defined as patients with a serum sodium <135 mmol/L, clinical euvolemia and urine spot sodium >30 mmol/L. Additionally, patients with recent vomiting, current renal failure, diuretic use and those with uncontrolled hyperglycemia were excluded. Adrenal functions were assessed by a modified adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test called the Acton Prolongatum™ stimulation test (APST). A cut-off cortisol value of <18 mg/dL after 60 min of ACTH injection was used to diagnose AI.

Results

One hundred forty-one patients were included and underwent an APST. APST suggested 20/141 (14.2%) had undiagnosed AI. The commonest cause of AI (9/20) was secondary AI because of the use of steroids including inhaled steroids and indigenous medicines contaminated with steroids. In 5 (3.5%) patients hypopituitarism was newly diagnosed. Despite primary AI (PAI) not commonly presenting as EuVHNa, 2/20 patients had PAI.

Conclusions

AI is much commoner in our country, among in-patients with EuVHNa primarily driven by exogenous steroid use and undiagnosed hypopituitarism.

Open access

Soraya Puglisi, Paola Perotti, Mattia Barbot, Paolo Cosio, Carla Scaroni, Antonio Stigliano, Pina Lardo, Valentina Morelli, Elisa Polledri, Iacopo Chiodini, Giuseppe Reimondo, Anna Pia, and Massimo Terzolo

Objective

Metyrapone has been approved for the treatment of patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS), but only few retrospective clinical studies are available. The aim of our study was the prospective assessment of metyrapone as pre-operative treatment.

Design and methods

Before adrenalectomy, seven patients with ACTH-independent CS due to adrenal adenoma were prospectively treated with metyrapone for 3 months in three tertiary academic centers, with endocrine work-up and clinical evaluation at screening and at predefined evaluation time points (Days 14, 31, 48, 65, 82).

Results

In all patients, UFC levels decreased up to normal range from baseline to Day 82 (609 (188–1476) vs 69 (28–152) nmol/24 h, P < 0.02), with a reduction of serum and salivary cortisol levels, and no significant increase of plasma ACTH and serum DHEAS levels. Clinical improvement was reported on quality of life (+16.7 (+4.2; +52.00) points, P < 0.04) and pressure control (systolic pressure, −25 (−52; −10) mmHg, P < 0.01; diastolic pressure, −16 (−50; +2 mmHg), P < 0.03). No significant change in weight, electrolytes, glycemic and lipid profile was reported. Although in women a significant increase of testosterone and androstenedione was reported, no worsening of clinical hyperandrogenism was observed. All drug-related adverse events (nausea, fatigue, low grade fever, edema of lower limbs and facial rash) were grade 1 or 2 and generally transient.

Conclusions

This prospective pilot study demonstrated that metyrapone is effective in normalizing biochemical and clinical parameters in patients with CS due to adrenal adenoma before surgical intervention, with minimal side effects.

Open access

Boni Xiang, Ran Tao, Xinhua Liu, Xiaoming Zhu, Min He, Zengyi Ma, Yehong Yang, Zhaoyun Zhang, Yiming Li, Zhenwei Yao, Yongfei Wang, and Hongying Ye

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate thyroid functions in Cushing’s syndrome (CS), the dynamic changes of thyroid hormones and antithyroid antibodies in Cushing’s disease (CD) pre- and postoperatively.

Design and methods

This is a retrospective study enrolling 118 patients with CS (102 CD, 10 adrenal CS and 6 ectopic adrenocorticotropic syndrome (EAS)). Thyroid functions (thyroid-stimulation hormone (TSH), T3, free T3 (FT3), T4 and free T4 (FT4)) were measured in all CS at the time of diagnosis and in all CD 3 months after transsphenoidal pituitary tumor resection. Postoperative hormone monitoring within 3 months was conducted in 9 CD patients completing remission. Twenty-eight remitted CD patients experienced hormone and antithyroid antibody evaluation preoperatively and on the 3rd, 6th and 12th month after surgery.

Results

TSH, T3 and FT3 were below the reference range in 31%, 69% and 44% of the 118 CS patients. Remitted CD patients (81/102) had significantly higher TSH (P = 0.000), T3 (P = 0.000) and FT3 (P = 0.000) than those in the non-remission group (21/102). After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 showed a significant increase, with a few cases above the reference range. By 12 months, most CD patients’ thyroid functions returned to normal. Thyroid hormones (including TSH, T3 and FT3) were negatively associated with serum cortisol levels both before and after surgery. No significant changes of antithyroid autoantibodies were observed.

Conclusions

TSH, T3 and FT3 are suppressed in endogenous hypercortisolemia. After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 increased significantly, even above the reference range, but returned to normal 1 year after surgery in most cases. Antithyroid antibodies did not change significantly after remission of CD.

Open access

Sweta Budyal, Swati Sachin Jadhav, Rajeev Kasaliwal, Hiren Patt, Shruti Khare, Vyankatesh Shivane, Anurag R Lila, Tushar Bandgar, and Nalini S Shah

Variable prevalence of subclinical Cushing's syndrome (SCS) has been reported in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), making the need for screening in this population uncertain. It is unknown if this variability is solely due to study-related methodological differences or a reflection of true differences in ethnic predisposition. The objective of this study is to explore the prevalence of SCS in Asian Indian patients with T2DM. In this prospective single center study conducted in a tertiary care referral center, 993 T2DM outpatients without any discriminatory clinical features (easy bruising, facial plethora, proximal muscle weakness, and/or striae) of hypercortisolism underwent an overnight 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (ODST). ODST serum cortisol ≥1.8 μg/dl was considered positive, and those with positive results were subjected to 48 h, 2 mg/day low dose DST (LDDST). A stepwise evaluation for endogenous hypercortisolism was planned for patients with LDDST serum cortisol ≥1.8 μg/dl. Patients with positive ODST and negative LDDST were followed up clinically and re-evaluated a year later for the development of clinically evident Cushing's syndrome (CS). In this largest single center study reported to date, we found 37 out of 993 (3.72%) patients had ODST serum cortisol ≥1.8 μg/dl. None of them had LDDST cortisol ≥1.8 μg/dl, nor did they develop clinically evident CS over a follow-up period of 1 year. Specificity of ODST for screening of CS was 96.3% in our cohort. None of the T2DM outpatients in our cohort had SCS, hence cautioning against routine biochemical screening for SCS in this cohort. We suggest screening be based on clinical suspicion only.

Open access

Nilesh Lomte, Tushar Bandgar, Shruti Khare, Swati Jadhav, Anurag Lila, Manjunath Goroshi, Rajeev Kasaliwal, Kranti Khadilkar, and Nalini S Shah

Background

Bilateral adrenal masses may have aetiologies like hyperplasia and infiltrative lesions, besides tumours. Hyperplastic and infiltrative lesions may have coexisting hypocortisolism. Bilateral tumours are likely to have hereditary/syndromic associations. The data on clinical profile of bilateral adrenal masses are limited.

Aims

To analyse clinical, biochemical and radiological features, and management outcomes in patients with bilateral adrenal masses.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of 70 patients with bilateral adrenal masses presenting to a single tertiary care endocrine centre from western India (2002–2015).

Results

The most common aetiology was pheochromocytoma (40%), followed by tuberculosis (27.1%), primary adrenal lymphoma (PAL) (10%), metastases (5.7%), non-functioning adenomas (4.3%), primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (4.3%), and others (8.6%). Age at presentation was less in patients with pheochromocytoma (33 years) and tuberculosis (41 years) compared with PAL (48 years) and metastases (61 years) (P<0.001). The presenting symptoms for pheochromocytoma were hyperadrenergic spells (54%) and abdominal pain (29%), whereas tuberculosis presented with adrenal insufficiency (AI) (95%). The presenting symptoms for PAL were AI (57%) and abdominal pain (43%), whereas all cases of metastasis had abdominal pain. Mean size of adrenal masses was the largest in lymphoma (5.5cm) followed by pheochromocytoma (4.8cm), metastasis (4cm) and tuberculosis (2.1cm) (P<0.001). Biochemically, most patients with pheochromocytoma (92.8%) had catecholamine excess. Hypocortisolism was common in tuberculosis (100%) and PAL (71.4%) and absent with metastases (P<0.001).

Conclusion

In evaluation of bilateral adrenal masses, age at presentation, presenting symptoms, lesion size, and biochemical features are helpful in delineating varied underlying aetiologies.

Open access

Mardia López-Alarcón, Jessie N Zurita-Cruz, Alonso Torres-Rodríguez, Karla Bedia-Mejía, Manuel Pérez-Güemez, Leonel Jaramillo-Villanueva, Mario E Rendón-Macías, Jose R Fernández, and Patricia Martínez-Maroñas

Childhood obesity is associated with stress. However, most treatment strategies include only dietary and physical activity approaches. Mindfulness may assist in weight reduction, but its effectiveness is unclear. We assessed the effect of mindfulness on stress, appetite regulators, and weight of children with obesity and anxiety. A clinical study was conducted in a pediatric hospital. Eligible children were 10–14 years old, BMI ≥95th percentile, Spence anxiety score ≥55, and who were not taking any medication or supplementation. Participants were assigned to receive an 8-week conventional nutritional intervention (CNI) or an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention plus CNI (MND-CNI). Anthropometry, body composition, leptin, insulin, ghrelin, cortisol, and Spence scores were measured at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Anthropometry was analyzed again 8 weeks after concluding interventions. Log-transformed and delta values were calculated for analysis. Thirty-three MND-CNI and 12 CNI children finished interventions; 17 MND-CNI children accomplished 16 weeks. At the end of the intervention, significant reductions in anxiety score (−6.21 ± 1.10), BMI (−0.45 ± 1.2 kg/m2), body fat (−1.28 ± 0.25%), ghrelin (−0.71 ± 0.37 pg/mL), and serum cortisol (−1.42 ± 0.94 µg/dL) were observed in MND-CNI children. Changes in anxiety score, ghrelin, and cortisol were different between groups (P < 0.05). Children who completed 16 weeks decreased BMI after intervention (−0.944 ± 0.20 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and remained lower 8 weeks later (−0.706 ± 0.19 kg/m2, P = 0.001). We concluded that mindfulness is a promising tool as an adjunctive therapy for childhood obesity. However, our findings need confirmation in a larger sample population.