Gudmundur Johannsson, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Anna G Nilsson, Hans Lennernas, Thomas Hedner and Stanko Skrtic
Endogenous plasma cortisol levels have a well-defined circadian rhythm. The aim of this project is to develop a once daily oral dual-release formulation for cortisol replacement therapy that mimics the diurnal variation in the plasma cortisol profile.
To determine single-dose plasma pharmacokinetics and dose-proportionality of oral 5 and 20 mg dual-release hydrocortisone tablets in healthy volunteers. In addition, the effect of food intake was investigated for the 20 mg dose.
A randomised, controlled, two-way cross-over, double-blind, phase I study of oral hydrocortisone (modified (dual) release; 5 and 20 mg) with an open food-interaction arm.
The single dose pharmacokinetic studies were performed with betamethasone suppression. The two first study days were blinded and randomised between morning administration of 5 and 20 mg tablet in a fasting state. The third day was open with a 20 mg tablet taken 30 min after a high-calorie, high-fat meal. The plasma samples were assayed using both a validated LC–MS/MS and an immunoassay. The plasma pharmacokinetic variables were calculated using non-compartmental data analysis.
The time to reach a clinically significant plasma concentration of cortisol (>200 nmol/l) was within 20 min and a mean peak of 431 (s.d. 126) nmol/l was obtained within 50 min after administration of the 20 mg tablet. Plasma cortisol levels remained above 200 nmol/l for around 6 h thereafter and all plasma concentrations 18–24 h after intake were below 50 nmol/l. In the fed state the time to reach 200 nmol/l was delayed by 28 and 9 min based on LC–MS/MS and immunoassay, respectively. The 5 and 20 mg tablets produced an increase in plasma exposure of cortisol that was not fully dose proportional.
The dual release hydrocortisone tablet with once-daily administration produced a diurnal plasma cortisol profile mimicking the physiological serum cortisol profile.
Dimitrios Chantzichristos, Anders Persson, Björn Eliasson, Mervete Miftaraj, Stefan Franzén, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Soffia Gudbjörnsdottir, Ann-Marie Svensson and Gudmundur Johannsson
Our hypothesis was that patients with diabetes mellitus obtain an additional risk of death if they develop Addison’s disease (AD).
Design and methods
Nationwide, matched, observational cohort study cross-referencing the Swedish National Diabetes Register with Inpatient, Cancer and Cause of Death Registers in patients with diabetes (type 1 and 2) and AD and matched controls with diabetes. Clinical characteristics at baseline, overall, and cause-specific mortality were assessed. The relative risk of death was assessed using a Cox proportional hazards regression model.
Between January 1996 and December 2012, 226 patients with diabetes and AD were identified and matched with 1129 controls with diabetes. Median (interquartile range) follow-up was 5.9 (2.7–8.6) years. When patients with diabetes were diagnosed with AD, they had an increased frequency of diabetes complications, but both medical history of cancer and coronary heart disease did not differ compared with controls. Sixty-four of the 226 patients with diabetes and AD (28%) died, while 112 of the 1129 controls (10%) died. The estimated relative risk increase (hazard ratio) in overall mortality in the diabetes and AD group was 3.89 (95% confidence interval 2.84–5.32) compared with controls with diabetes. The most common cause of death was cardiovascular in both groups, but patients with diabetes and AD showed an increased death rate from diabetes complications, infectious diseases and unknown causes.
Patients with the rare combination of diabetes and AD showed a markedly increased mortality and died more frequently from infections and unknown causes than patients with diabetes alone. Improved strategy for the management of this combination of metabolic disorders is needed.
Oskar Ragnarsson, Camilla A M Glad, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Erik G Almqvist, Eva Ekerstad, Håkan Widell, Bo Wängberg and Gudmundur Johannsson
Adverse body compositional features and low bone mineral density (BMD) are the characteristic of patients with active Cushing's syndrome (CS). The aim of this study was to evaluate body composition and BMD in women with CS in long-term remission and the influence of polymorphisms in genes affecting glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity on these end-points.
Design, patients and methods
This was a cross-sectional, case–controlled study, including 50 women previously treated for CS and 50 age and gender-matched controls. Median (interquartile range) remission time was 13 (5–19) years. Body composition and BMD were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Five polymorphisms in four genes associated with GC sensitivity were analysed using TaqMan or Sequenom single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping.
Patients with CS in remission had increased abdominal fat mass (P<0.01), whereas BMD was not significantly different at any site between patients and controls. In patients, the NR3C1 Bcl1 polymorphism was associated with reduced total (P<0.05) and femur neck BMD (P<0.05). The polymorphism rs1045642 in the ABCB1 gene was associated with increased abdominal fat mass (P<0.05) and decreased appendicular skeletal muscle mass (P<0.05). GC replacement was associated with reduced total BMD (P<0.01), BMD at lumbar spine (P<0.05) and increased abdominal fat (P<0.01).
Ongoing GC replacement therapy together with polymorphisms in two genes related with GC sensitivity is associated with abdominal obesity and adverse skeletal health in patients with CS in long-term remission.
Anna G Nilsson, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Pia Burman, Per Dahlqvist, Bertil Ekman, Britt Edén Engström, Oskar Ragnarsson, Stanko Skrtic, Jeanette Wahlberg, Heinrich Achenbach, Sharif Uddin, Claudio Marelli and Gudmundur Johannsson
To investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of a once-daily, dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) tablet as oral glucocorticoid replacement therapy in patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (AI).
Prospective, open-label, multicenter, 5-year extension study of DR-HC conducted at five university clinics in Sweden.
Seventy-one adult patients diagnosed with primary AI who were receiving stable glucocorticoid replacement therapy were recruited. Safety and tolerability outcomes included adverse events (AEs), intercurrent illness episodes, laboratory parameters and vital signs. Quality of life (QoL) was evaluated using generic questionnaires.
Total DR-HC exposure was 328 patient-treatment years. Seventy patients reported 1060 AEs (323 per 100 patient-years); 85% were considered unrelated to DR-HC by the investigator. The most common AEs were nasopharyngitis (70%), fatigue (52%) and gastroenteritis (48%). Of 65 serious AEs reported by 32 patients (20 per 100 patient-years), four were considered to be possibly related to DR-HC: acute AI (n = 2), gastritis (n = 1) and syncope (n = 1). Two deaths were reported (fall from height and subarachnoid hemorrhage), both considered to be unrelated to DR-HC. From baseline to 5 years, intercurrent illness episodes remained relatively stable (mean 2.6–5.4 episodes per patient per year), fasting plasma glucose (0.7 mmol/L; P < 0.0001) and HDL cholesterol (0.2 mmol/L; P < 0.0001) increased and patient-/investigator-assessed tolerability improved. QoL total scores were unchanged but worsening physical functioning was recorded (P = 0.008).
In the first prospective study evaluating the long-term safety of glucocorticoid replacement therapy in patients with primary AI, DR-HC was well tolerated with no safety concerns observed during 5-year treatment.