Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is associated with increased mortality that is driven by cardiovascular, thromboembolic, and infection complications. Although complications can be expected to decrease during disease remission, incidence often transiently increases postoperatively and is not completely normalized in the long-term. It is important to diagnose and treat cardiovascular, thromboembolic, and infection complications concomitantly with CS treatment. Management of hyperglycemia/diabetes, hypertension, hypokalemia, hyperlipidemia, and other cardiovascular risk factors is generally undertaken in accordance with standard of clinical care. Medical therapy for CS may be needed even prior to surgery in severe and/or prolonged hypercortisolism, and treatment adjustments can be made based on disease pathophysiology and drug-drug interactions. Thromboprophylaxis should be considered for CS patients with severe hypercortisolism and/or postoperatively, based on individual risk factors of thromboembolism and bleeding. Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis should be considered for patients with high urinary free cortisol at initiation of hypercortisolism treatment.
Elena V Varlamov, Fabienne Langlois, Greisa Vila, and Maria Fleseriu
Greisa Vila, Michael Krebs, Michaela Riedl, Sabina M Baumgartner-Parzer, Martin Clodi, Christina Maier, Giovanni Pacini, and Anton Luger
Background and aim
Several basic science studies support the existence of non-genomic glucocorticoid signaling in pancreas, liver, and adipocytes, but its clinical relevance has not yet been elucidated. This study aimed at investigating the rapid effects of hydrocortisone on the human metabolic response to glucose.
Subjects and methods
In a randomized placebo-controlled crossover study, ten healthy men received an i.v. bolus of 0.6 mg/kg hydrocortisone once and placebo once 4 min before the administration of 330 mg/kg glucose. Cortisol, glucose, insulin, C-peptide, ghrelin, and peptide YY (PYY) levels were measured during the following 3 h. Minimal model analysis was performed for evaluating the metabolic response.
Hydrocortisone attenuated the rise in plasma glucose during the initial 15 min following glucose administration (P=0.039), and it led to lower glucose levels during the first 2 h (P=0.017). This was accompanied by enhanced circulating insulin (P=0.02) and C-peptide (P=0.03) levels during the initial 15 min, and a 35% increase in the first-phase β-cell function (P=0.003). Hydrocortisone decreased PYY concentrations during the initial 30 min (P=0.014), but it did not affect the ghrelin response to glucose.
One i.v. bolus of hydrocortisone induces rapid effects on carbohydrate metabolism increasing the first-phase β-cell function. The modulation of PYY plasma levels suggests the possible non-genomic effects of glucocorticoids on appetite-regulatory hormones.
Marie Helene Schernthaner-Reiter, Dominik Kasses, Christina Tugendsam, Michaela Riedl, Slobodan Peric, Gerhard Prager, Michael Krebs, Miriam Promintzer-Schifferl, Martin Clodi, Anton Luger, and Greisa Vila
Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a cardiovascular biomarker belonging to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily. Increased GDF15 concentrations are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. We investigated the physiological effects of meal composition and obesity on the regulation of systemic GDF15 levels.
Lean (n = 8) and obese (n = 8) individuals received a carbohydrate- or fat-rich meal, a 75 g oral glucose load (OGTT) or short-term fasting. OGTTs were performed in severely obese patients (n = 6) pre- and post-bariatric surgery.
Circulating serum GDF15 concentrations were studied in lean and obese individuals in response to different meals, OGTT or short-term fasting, and in severely obese patients pre- and post-bariatric surgery. Regulation of GDF15 mRNA levels and protein release were evaluated in the human hepatic cell line HepG2.
GDF15 concentrations steadily decrease during short-term fasting in lean and obese individuals. Carbohydrate- and fat-rich meals do not influence GDF15, whereas an OGTT leads to a late increase in GDF15 levels. The positive effect of OGTT on GDF15 levels is also preserved in severely obese patients, pre- and post-bariatric surgery. We further studied the regulation of GDF15 mRNA levels and protein release in HepG2, finding that glucose and insulin independently stimulate both GDF15 transcription and secretion.
In summary, high glucose and insulin peaks upregulate GDF15 transcription and release. The nutrient-induced increase in GDF15 levels depends on rapid glucose and insulin excursions following fast-digesting carbohydrates, but not on the amount of calories taken in.
Nicholas A Tritos, Anders F Mattsson, Greisa Vila, Beverly M K Biller, Anne Klibanski, Srinivas Valluri, Judith Hey-Hadavi, Nicky Kelepouris, and Camilo Jimenez
To examine all-cause mortality rates in patients with acromegaly on pegvisomant and identify pertinent risk factors, including insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I).
Retrospective cohort analysis of data from ACROSTUDY (global surveillance study of patients with acromegaly treated with pegvisomant).
Kaplan–Meier analyses and Cox regression techniques were used to examine survival rates. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) with reference to general population (WHO GBD 2016) were estimated. Multiplicative multiple Poisson regression models were used to characterize the association between SMR, IGF-I, and other risk factors associated with mortality risk.
The study consisted of 2077 subjects who were followed for a median interval of 4.1 years, contributing to 8957 patient-years. Higher on-treatment IGF-I (P = 0.0035), older attained age (P < 0.0001), and longer duration of acromegaly (>10 years) before starting pegvisomant (P = 0.05) were associated with higher mortality rates. In reference to general population rates, higher SMR (1.10, 1.42, and 2.62, at attained age 55 years) were observed with higher serum IGF-I category (SMR trend: 1.44 (44%)/per fold level of IGF-I/ULN (95% CI: 1.10, 1.87), P = 0.0075). SMR increased per year of younger attained age (1.04 (1.02–1.04), P < 0.0001) and were higher for longer disease duration (>10 years) before starting pegvisomant (1.57 (1.02, 2.43), P = 0.042). Serum IGF-I levels within the normal range during pegvisomant therapy were associated with all-cause mortality rates that were indistinguishable from the general population.
Higher on-treatment IGF-I, older attained age, and longer duration of acromegaly before starting pegvisomant are associated with higher all-cause mortality rates. Younger patients with uncontrolled acromegaly have higher excess all-cause mortality rates in comparison with older patients.
Ann McCormack, Olaf M Dekkers, Stephan Petersenn, Vera Popovic, Jacqueline Trouillas, Gerald Raverot, Pia Burman, and ESE survey collaborators
To collect outcome data in a large cohort of patients with aggressive pituitary tumours (APT)/carcinomas (PC) and specifically report effects of temozolomide (TMZ) treatment.
Electronic survey to ESE members Dec 2015–Nov 2016.
Reports on 166 patients (40 PC, 125 APT, 1 unclassified) were obtained. Median age at diagnosis was 43 (range 4–79) years. 69% of the tumours were clinically functioning, and the most frequent immunohistochemical subtype were corticotroph tumours (45%). Ki-67 index did not distinguish APT from PC, median 7% and 10% respectively. TMZ was first-line chemotherapy in 157 patients. At the end of the treatment (median 9 cycles), radiological evaluation showed complete response (CR) in 6%, partial response (PR) in 31%, stable disease (SD) in 33% and progressive disease in 30%. Response was more frequent in patients receiving concomitant radiotherapy and TMZ. CR was seen only in patients with low MGMT expression. Clinically functioning tumours were more likely to respond than non-functioning tumours, independent of MGMT status. Of patients with CR, PR and SD, 25, 40 and 48% respectively progressed after a median of 12-month follow-up. Other oncological drugs given as primary treatment and to TMZ failures resulted in PR in 20%.
This survey confirms that TMZ is established as first-line chemotherapeutic treatment of APT/PC. Clinically functioning tumours, low MGMT and concurrent radiotherapy were associated with a better response. The limited long-term effect of TMZ and the poor efficacy of other drugs highlight the need to identify additional effective therapies.