Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal function in end-stage non-alcoholic liver disease.
ABSTRACT Patients with end-stage liver disease have significant mortality often associated with intercurrent episodes of bleeding or sepsis. Intact adrenal function is essential in such situations. In order to test the hypothesis that adrenal insufficiency might be present in severe liver disease, hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal function was evaluated in patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting transplantation. The study had a prospective, open comparative design with patients restricted to those having non-alcoholic liver disease in order to avoid the confounding direct effects of alcohol on adrenocortical function. Fifty-one consecutive patients with end-stage, non-alcoholic liver disease undergoing evaluation for liver transplantation and 40 healthy controls were studied. Patients who had used corticosteroids (n = 8) or who were unable to complete the investigations (n = 5) were excluded leaving 38 patients eligible for analysis. Adrenal function was evaluated under basal conditions by single morning measurements of plasma total and free cortisol, corticosteroid-binding globulin, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and by adrenal stimulation indirectly using insulin-induced (0.1 U/kg, i.v.) hypoglycaemia and/or directly by adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH); 250 micrograms tetracosactrin, i.v.) stimulation. Compared with healthy controls, patients with liver disease had a 64% reduction in maximal increments of plasma cortisol to indirect adrenal stimulation via insulin-induced hypoglycaemia and a 39% reduction to direct adrenal stimulation by ACTH (all P < 0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between the severity of underlying liver disease as assessed by Child-Pugh scores and peak control responses to ACTH (r = -0.647, P < 0.0001) and insulin-induced hypoglycaemia (r = -0.597, P < 0.0001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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ABSTRACT: In patients with cirrhosis, adrenal insufficiency (AI) is reported during sepsis and septic shock and is associated with increased mortality. Consequently, the term "hepato-adrenal syndrome" was proposed. Some studies have shown that AI is frequent in stable cirrhosis as well as in cirrhosis associated with decompensation other than sepsis, such as bleeding and ascites. Moreover, other studies showed a high prevalence in liver transplant recipients immediately after, or some time after, liver transplantation. The effect of corticosteroid therapy in critically ill patients with liver disease has been evaluated in some studies, but the results remain controversial. The 250-μg adreno-cortico-tropic-hormone stimulation test to diagnose AI in critically ill adult patients is recommended by an international task force. However, in liver disease, there is no consensus on the appropriate tests and normal values to assess adrenal function; thus, standardization of normal ranges and methodology is needed. Serum total cortisol assays overestimate AI in patients with cirrhosis, so that direct free cortisol measurement or its surrogates may be useful measurements to define AI, but further studies are needed to clarify this. In addition, the mechanisms by which liver disease leads to adrenal dysfunction are not sufficiently documented. This review evaluates published data regarding adrenal function in patients with liver disease, with a particular focus on the potential limitations of these studies as well as suggestions for future studies.Hepatology 01/2012; 55(4):1282-91. · 11.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Plasma melatonin profile abnormalities have been described in patients with cirrhosis and generally attributed to impaired hepatic melatonin metabolism. The possibility that they might reflect circadian clock dysfunction has not been explored. In addition, the relationship between plasma melatonin profiles and the sleep disturbances observed in these patients remains unclear. The aims of this study were: (i) to evaluate circadian clock function and hepatic melatonin metabolism in cirrhotic patients, and (ii) to study the relationship between plasma melatonin profiles and sleep–wake behavior.The American Journal of Gastroenterology 03/2010; · 7.28 Impact Factor
Journal of Hepatology 03/2011; 54(3):590-1. · 9.26 Impact Factor