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Riccardo Rossi, Silvia Savastano, Antonio P Tommaselli, Rossella Valentino, Vittorio Iaccarino, Libuse Tauchmanova, Antonio Luciano, Marianna Gigante and Gaetano Lombardi

Rossi R, Savastano S, Tommaselli AP, Valentino R, Iaccarino V, Tauchmanova L, Luciano A, Gigante M, Lombardi G. Percutaneous computed tomography-guided ethanol injection in aldosteroneproducing adrenocortical adenoma. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;132:302–5. ISSN 0804–4643

The feasibility, safety and effectiveness of percutaneous computed tomography-guided ethanol injection (PEI-CT) was investigated in a patient affected by aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). A 42-year-old male patient with typical features of hyperaldosteronism presented a solitary left adrenal adenoma measuring 2 cm, with a normal contralateral gland, evidenced by both CT scan and adrenal [75Se-19]-nor-cholesterol scintigraphy. After normalization of potassium plasma levels, 4 ml of sterile 95% ethanol with 0.5 ml of 80% iothalamate sodium was injected. The procedure was completed in about 30 min. No severe pain or local complication was noted. Five hours after PEI, a fourfold and a twofold increase in aldosterone and cortisol plasma levels were observed, respectively. After 11 days on a normal sodium and potassium diet, normal potassium plasma levels and reduced aldosterone plasms levels were present, with reappearance of an aldosterone postural response. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone plasma levels normalized I month later, with reappearance also of a plasma renin activity postural response and maintenance of normal potassium plasma levels even on a high sodium and normal potassium diet. The patient has remained hypertensive, although lower antihypertensive drug dosages have been employed. After 17 months, normal biochemical, hormonal and morphological findings were still present. Thus, we suggest PEI-CT as a further alternative approach to surgery in the management of carefully selected patients with APA.

Riccardo Rossi, Chair of Endocrinology, "Federico II" University of Naples, via Sergio Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy

Free access

Libuse Tauchmanovà, Rosario Pivonello, Maria Cristina De Martino, Andrea Rusciano, Monica De Leo, Carlo Ruosi, Ciro Mainolfi, Gaetano Lombardi, Marco Salvatore and Annamaria Colao

Objective: Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is the most frequent cause of secondary osteoporosis. Nevertheless, limited data are available on bone status in patients with endogenous cortisol excess. This study is aimed at investigating the role of sex steroids and severity of hypercortisolism on bone mineral density (BMD) and prevalence of vertebral fractures in female patients.

Design: Cross-sectional, case–control study.

Patients: Seventy-one consecutive women were enrolled: 36 with overt hypercortisolism (26 with ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma and 10 with cortisol-secreting adrenal tumor) and 35 with subclinical hypercortisolism due to adrenal incidentalomas. They were compared with 71 matched controls.

Methods: At diagnosis, we measured serum cortisol, FSH, LH, estradiol, testosterone, androstenedione and DHEAS, and urinary cortisol excretion. BMD was determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Vertebral fractures were investigated by a semiquantitative scoring method.

Results: Between women with overt and subclinical hypercortisolism BMD values and prevalence of any vertebral (69 vs 57%, P = 0.56), clinical (28 vs 11.4%, P = 0.22), and multiple vertebral fractures (36 vs 31%, P = 0.92) did not differ. Among patients with subclinical hypercortisolism, amenorrhoic women had a lower BMD (P = 0.035) and more frequent vertebral fractures (80 vs 40%; P = 0.043) when compared with the eumenorrhoic ones. Among women with overt hypercortisolism, there was no difference in lumbar BMD (P = 0.37) and prevalence of fractures (81 vs 60%; P = 0.26) between those amenorrhoic and eumenorrhoic. By logistic regression analysis, lumbar spine BMD values and cortisol-to-DHEAS ratio were the best predictors of vertebral fractures (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Vertebral fractures are very common in women with endogenous cortisol excess, regardless of its severity. The deleterious effects of hypercortisolism on the spine may be partly counterbalanced by DHEAS increase at any degree of cortisol excess, and by preserved menstrual cycles in women with subclinical but not in those with overt hypercortisolism.

Open access

John Newell-Price, Rosario Pivonello, Antoine Tabarin, Maria Fleseriu, Przemysław Witek, Mônica R Gadelha, Stephan Petersenn, Libuse Tauchmanova, Shoba Ravichandran, Pritam Gupta, André Lacroix and Beverly M K Biller


Monitoring of patients with Cushing’s disease on cortisol-lowering drugs is usually performed with urinary free cortisol (UFC). Late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) has an established role in screening for hypercortisolism and can help to detect the loss of cortisol circadian rhythm. Less evidence exists regarding the usefulness of LNSC in monitoring pharmacological response in Cushing’s disease.


Exploratory analysis evaluating LNSC during a Phase III study of long-acting pasireotide in Cushing’s disease ( NCT01374906).


Mean LNSC (mLNSC) was calculated from two samples, collected on the same days as the first two of three 24-h urine samples (used to calculate mean UFC [mUFC]). Clinical signs of hypercortisolism were evaluated over time.


At baseline, 137 patients had evaluable mLNSC measurements; 91.2% had mLNSC exceeding the upper limit of normal (ULN; 3.2 nmol/L). Of patients with evaluable assessments at month 12 (n = 92), 17.4% had both mLNSC ≤ULN and mUFC ≤ULN; 22.8% had mLNSC ≤ULN, and 45.7% had mUFC ≤ULN. There was high variability in LNSC (intra-patient coefficient of variation (CV): 49.4%) and UFC (intra-patient CV: 39.2%). mLNSC levels decreased over 12 months of treatment and paralleled changes in mUFC. Moderate correlation was seen between mLNSC and mUFC (Spearman’s correlation: ρ = 0.50 [all time points pooled]). Greater improvements in systolic/diastolic blood pressure and weight were seen in patients with both mLNSC ≤ULN and mUFC ≤ULN.


mUFC and mLNSC are complementary measurements for monitoring treatment response in Cushing’s disease, with better clinical outcomes seen for patients in whom both mUFC and mLNSC are controlled.