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F Castinetti, I Morange, P Jaquet, B Conte-Devolx, and T Brue

Context

Although transsphenoidal surgery remains the first-line treatment in Cushing's disease (CD), recurrence is observed in about 20% of cases. Adjunctive treatments each have specific drawbacks. Despite its inhibitory effects on steroidogenesis, the antifungal drug ketoconazole was only evaluated in series with few patients and/or short-term follow-up.

Objective

Analysis of long-term hormonal effects and tolerance of ketoconazole in CD.

Design

A total of 38 patients were retrospectively studied with a mean follow-up of 23 months (6–72).

Setting

All patients were treated at the same Department of Endocrinology in Marseille, France.

Patients

The 38 patients with CD, of whom 17 had previous transsphenoidal surgery.

Intervention

Ketoconazole was begun at 200–400 mg/day and titrated up to 1200 mg/day until biochemical remission.

Main outcome measures

Patients were considered controlled if 24-h urinary free cortisol was normalized.

Results

Five patients stopped ketoconazole during the first week because of clinical or biological intolerance. On an intention to treat basis, 45% of the patients were controlled as were 51% of those treated long term. Initial hormonal levels were not statistically different between patients controlled or uncontrolled. Ketoconazole was similarly efficacious as a primary or postoperative treatment. Among 15 patients without visible adenoma at initial evaluation, subsequent follow-up allowed identification of the lesion in five cases. No adrenal insufficiency was observed. Adverse effects were rare in patients treated long term.

Conclusions

Ketoconazole is a safe and efficacious treatment in CD, particularly in patients for whom surgery is contraindicated, or delayed because of the absence of image of adenoma on magnetic resonance imaging.

Free access

F Castinetti, I Morange, H Dufour, P Jaquet, B Conte-Devolx, N Girard, and T Brue

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-stimulated petrosal sinus sampling is currently the gold standard method for the differential diagnosis between pituitary and ectopic ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome. Our objective was to determine sensitivity and specificity of desmopressin test during petrosal sinus sampling.

Patients and methods: Forty-three patients had petrosal sinus sampling because of the lack of visible adenoma on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or because of discordant cortisol response to high-dose dexamethasone suppression test. ACTH sampling was performed in an antecubital vein, right and left petrosal sinuses, then at each location 5 and 10 min after injection of desmopressin. Diagnosis was based on the ACTH ratio between petrosal sinus and humeral vein ACTH after desmopressin test. Diagnosis was confirmed after surgery. A receiver operating characteristics curve was used to determine optimal sensitivity and specificity.

Results: Thirty-six patients had Cushing’s disease (CD) and seven had ectopic ACTH secretion. A ratio > 2 after desmopressin was found in 35 of the 36 cases of CD (sensitivity: 95%). A ratio ≤ 2 was found in the seven patients with ectopic ACTH secretion (specificity: 100%). Sinus sampling was ineffective in determining the left or right localization of the adenoma (sensitivity = 50%). No major adverse effects were observed during or after the procedure.

Conclusion: Desmopressin test during petrosal sinus sampling is a safe and effective diagnostic procedure in ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome. It thus represents a valuable alternative to CRH.

Free access

F Castinetti, D Taieb, J F Henry, M Walz, C Guerin, T Brue, B Conte-Devolx, H P H Neumann, and F Sebag

The management of hereditary pheochromocytoma has drastically evolved in the last 20 years. Bilateral pheochromocytoma does not increase mortality in MEN2 or von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) mutation carriers who are followed regularly, but these mutations induce major morbidities if total bilateral adrenalectomy is performed. Cortical sparing adrenal surgery may be proposed to avoid definitive adrenal insufficiency. The surgical goal is to leave sufficient cortical tissue to avoid glucocorticoid replacement therapy. This approach was achieved by the progressive experience of minimally invasive surgery via the transperitoneal or retroperitoneal route. Cortical sparing adrenal surgery exhibits <5% significant recurrence after 10 years of follow-up and normal glucocorticoid function in more than 50% of the cases. Therefore, cortical sparing adrenal surgery should be systematically considered in the management of all patients with MEN2 or VHL hereditary pheochromocytoma. Hereditary pheochromocytoma is a rare disease, and a randomized trial comparing cortical sparing vs classical adrenalectomy is probably not possible. This lack of data most likely explains why cortical sparing surgery has not been adopted in most expert centers that perform at least 20 procedures per year for the treatment of this disease. This review examined recent data to provide insight into the technique, its indications, and the results and subsequent follow-up in the management of patients with hereditary pheochromocytoma with a special emphasis on MEN2.

Free access

F Castinetti, M Nagai, H Dufour, J-M Kuhn, I Morange, P Jaquet, B Conte-Devolx, J Regis, and T Brue

Objective: Though transsphenoidal surgery remains the first-line treatment of Cushing’s disease, recurrence occurs frequently. Conventional radiotherapy and anticortisolic drugs both have adverse effects. Stereotactic radiosurgery needs to be evaluated more precisely. The aim of this study was to determine long-term hormonal effects and tolerance of gamma knife (GK) radiosurgery in Cushing’s disease.

Design: Forty patients with Cushing’s disease treated by GK were prospectively studied over a decade, with a mean follow-up of 54.7 months. Eleven of them were treated with GK as a primary treatment.

Methods: Radiosurgery was performed at the Department of Functional Neurosurgery of Marseille, France, using the Leksell Gamma Unit B and C models. Median margin dose was 29.5 Gy. Patients were considered in remission if they had normalized 24-h free urinary cortisol and suppression of plasma cortisol after low-dose dexamethasone suppression test.

Results: Seventeen patients (42.5%) were in remission after a mean of 22 months (range 12–48 months). The two groups did not differ in terms of initial hormonal levels. Target volume was significantly higher in uncured than in remission group (909.8 vs 443 mm3, P = 0.038). We found a significant difference between patients who were on or off anticortisolic drugs at the time of GK (20 vs 48% patients in remission respectively, P = 0.02).

Conclusion: With 42% of patients in remission after a median follow-up of 54 months, GK stereotactic radiosurgery, especially as an adjunctive treatment to surgery, may represent an alternative to other therapeutic options in view of their adverse effects.

Free access

J Eroukhmanoff, I Tejedor, I Potorac, T Cuny, J F Bonneville, H Dufour, G Weryha, A Beckers, P Touraine, T Brue, and F Castinetti

Objective

Both antitumor and antisecretory efficacies of dopamine agonists (DA) make them the first-line treatment of macroprolactinomas. However, there is no guideline for MRI follow-up once prolactin is controlled. The aim of our study was to determine whether a regular MRI follow-up was necessary in patients with long-term normal prolactin levels under DA.

Patients and methods

We conducted a retrospective multicenter study (Marseille, Paris La Pitie Salpetriere and Nancy, France; Liege, Belgium) including patients with macroprolactinomas (largest diameter: >10 mm and baseline prolactin level: >100 ng/mL) treated by dopamine agonists, and regularly followed (pituitary MRI and prolactin levels) during at least 48 months once normal prolactin level was obtained.

Results

In total, 115 patients were included (63 men and 52 women; mean age at diagnosis: 36.3 years). Mean baseline prolactin level was 2224 ± 6839 ng/mL. No significant increase of tumor volume was observed during the follow-up. Of the 21 patients (18%) who presented asymptomatic hemorrhagic changes of the macroprolactinoma on MRI, 2 had a tumor increase (2 and 7 mm in the largest size). Both were treated by cabergoline (1 mg/week) with normal prolactin levels obtained for 6 and 24 months. For both patients, no further growth was observed on MRI during follow-up at the same dose of cabergoline.

Conclusion

No significant increase of tumor size was observed in our patients with controlled prolactin levels on DA. MRI follow-up thus appears unnecessary in patients with biologically controlled macroprolactinomas.

Free access

R Reynaud, F Albarel, A Saveanu, N Kaffel, F Castinetti, P Lecomte, R Brauner, G Simonin, J Gaudart, E Carmona, A Enjalbert, A Barlier, and T Brue

Background

Pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS) is a particular entity in the population of patients with hypopituitarism. Only rare cases have a known genetic cause.

Objectives

i) To compare subgroups with or without extra-pituitary malformations (EPM) in a cohort of PSIS patients to identify predictive factors of evolution, ii) to determine the incidence of mutations of the known pituitary transcription factor genes in PSIS.

Study design

We analyzed features of 83 PSIS patients from 80 pedigrees and screened HESX1, LHX4, OTX2, and SOX3 genes.

Results

PSIS had a male predominance and was rarely familial (5%). Pituitary hypoplasia was observed only in the group with EPM. Multiple hormone deficits were observed significantly more often with versus without EPM (87.5 vs 69.5% respectively). Posterior pituitary location along the stalk was a significant protective factor regarding severity of hormonal phenotype. A novel HESX1 causative mutation was found in a consanguineous family, and two LHX4 mutations were present in familial PSIS.

Conclusion

PSIS patients with EPM had a more severe hormonal disorder and pituitary imaging status, suggesting an antenatal origin. HESX1 or LHX4 mutations accounted for <5% of cases and were found in consanguineous or familial cases.

Restricted access

S Cambos, K Mohammedi, F Castinetti, C Saie, J Young, P Chanson, and A Tabarin

Objective

Cushing’s disease (CD) may recur despite corticotropic insufficiency (COI) following pituitary surgery. The predictive value of the desmopressin test (DT) for recurrence in this setting remains controversial. We have evaluated whether the disappearance of the response to DT predicts a low probability recurrence in a large cohort of patients with post-operative COI.

Design

Multicentre retrospective study.

Methods

Ninety-five patients with CD (women 82%, age 41 ± 14 years), responding preoperatively to DT and with early post-operative COI (08 00 am cortisol: <138 nmol/L), underwent a DT within 3 months post-surgery. Association between DT findings and the prediction of recurrence was tested using regression and ROC analyses.

Results

Recurrence occurred in 17/95 patients within 29 to 91 months. The cortisol peak (327, 95% CI (237–417) vs 121 (79–164) nmol/L, P = 0.0001) and absolute increment during DT (208 (136–280) vs 56 (22–90) nmol/L, P = 0.005) were greater in the recurrence vs remission group. Cortisol peak (AUC: 0.786 (0.670–0.902)) and increment (0.793 (0.672–0.914)) yielded a higher prognostic performance for recurrence than did the early post-operative 08 00 am cortisol (0.655 (0.505–0.804)). In the context of COI, cortisol peak >100 nmol/L and increment >30 nmol/L had a high negative predictive value (94, 95% CI (88–100) and 94, (88–100), respectively). Patients with a cortisol peak ≤100 nmol/L (vs >100) or an increment ≤30 nmol/L (vs >30) were less likely to have CD recurrence (odds ratios: 0.12, 95% CI (0.03–0.41) and 0.11 (0.02–0.36), respectively).

Conclusion

The disappearance of the response to the post-operative DT was independently associated with a lower odds of CD recurrence and offers an incremental prognostic value, which may help to stratify patients with COI and refine their follow-up according to the risk of recurrence.

Free access

F Maurice, A Dutour, C Vincentelli, I Abdesselam, M Bernard, H Dufour, Y Lefur, T Graillon, F Kober, P Cristofari, E Jouve, L Pini, R Fernandez, C Chagnaud, T Brue, F Castinetti, and B Gaborit

Objective

Glucocorticoid excess is one of the most important causes of bone disorders. Bone marrow fat (BMF) has been identified as a new mediator of bone metabolism. Cushing syndrome (CS) is a main regulator of adipose tissue distribution but its impact on BMF is unknown. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of chronic hypercortisolism on BMF.

Design

This was a cross-sectional study. Seventeen active and 17 cured ACTH-dependent CS patients along with 17 controls (matched with the active group for age and sex) were included.

Methods

The BMF content of the femoral neck and L3 vertebrae were measured by 1H-MRS on a 3-Tesla wide-bore magnet. Bone mineral density (BMD) was evaluated in patients using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results

Active CS patients had higher BMF content both in the femur (82.5 ± 2.6%) and vertebrae (70.1 ± 5.1%) compared to the controls (70.8 ± 3.6%, P = 0.013 and 49.0 ± 3.7% P = 0.005, respectively). In cured CS patients (average remission time of 43 months), BMF content was not different from controls at both sites (72.3 ± 2.9% (femur) and 46.7% ± 5.3% (L3)). BMF content was positively correlated with age, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides and visceral adipose tissue in the whole cohort and negatively correlated with BMD values in the CS patients.

Conclusions

Accumulation of BMF is induced by hypercortisolism. In remission patients, BMF reached values of controls. Further studies are needed to determine whether this increase in marrow adiposity in CS is associated with bone loss.

Free access

B Delemer, Ph Chanson, L Foubert, F Borson-Chazot, O Chabre, A Tabarin, G Weryha, C Cortet-Rudelli, I Raingeard, Y Reznik, C Reines, S Bisot-Locard, and F Castinetti

Objective

The complex management of acromegaly has transformed this disease into a chronic condition, with the risk of patients being lost to follow-up. The objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of acromegalic patients lost to follow-up in France and to determine the impact that abandoning follow-up has on the disease and its management.

Design

ACROSPECT was a French national, multicentre, cross-sectional, observational study.

Methods

Acromegalic patients were considered lost to follow-up if no new information had been entered in their hospital records during the previous 2 years. They were traced where possible, and data were collected by means of a recall visit or questionnaire.

Results

In the study population, 21% of the 2392 acromegalic patients initially followed in 25 tertiary endocrinology centres were lost to follow-up. At their last follow-up visit, 30% were uncontrolled, 33% were receiving medical therapy and 53% had residual tumour. Of the 362 traced, 62 had died and 77% were receiving follow-up elsewhere; the leading reason for abandoning follow-up was that they had not been informed that it was necessary. Our analysis of the questionnaires suggests that they were not receiving optimal follow-up.

Conclusions

This study underlines the need to better inform acromegalic patients of the need for long-term follow-up, the absence of which could be detrimental to patients' health, and to develop shared care for what must now be regarded as a chronic disease.

Restricted access

F Albarel, I Pellegrini, H Rahabi, C Baccou, L Gonin, C Rochette, M Vermalle, T Cuny, F Castinetti, and T Brue

Introduction

The low prevalence of pituitary diseases makes patient autonomy crucial, and self-management programs should be more common.

Objectives

To assess the efficacy of an education program for patients with pituitary diseases in terms of patients’ quality of life, satisfaction and goal attainment.

Design and methods

Adult patients with pituitary disorders were recruited in a tertiary referral center and chose at least three of eight possible sessions on various topics, from disease management to psychosocial issues. Patients were included if they attended at least three sessions between 2012 and 2016 and completed the initial, final, and follow-up questionnaires. Data on quality of life (SF36), satisfaction and goal attainment were analyzed.

Results

Fifty-three patients were included (33 women; mean age, 53.5 years). There were a significant quality of life improvements in terms of physical and psychic limitation scores at the final assessment that persisted at follow-up evaluation. Most patients reached their objectives, especially those on sharing experiences and improving autonomy and self-confidence. More than half set new objectives at the end of the program, the most popular one being to reinforce their knowledge of their pituitary disease, its evolution and treatment (17.1% of patients). The mean overall satisfaction score was 3.75/4. At follow-up evaluation, patients reported improved self-management of pituitary disease (3.6/5) and improved self-efficacy (3.8/5).

Conclusion

Individualizing the educational objectives of patients with pituitary disease improves the way they live with their disease. If confirmed in other cohorts, this approach could become the gold standard for education programs in rare endocrine diseases.