Obesity: Cushing or No Cushing?

Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.62). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1227/01.neu.0000429857.19524.60
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Available from: Christian A Koch, Dec 22, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Silent corticotroph adenomas (SCAs) are rare pituitary tumours immunoreactive for ACTH, but without clinical evidence of Cushing's disease. We characterized SCAs based on clinical, hormonal and molecular data, and compared the characteristics of these tumours with those of macro (MCA)- and micro (mCA)-ACTH adenomas with Cushing's disease. Fifty ACTH adenomas (14 SCAs, 15 MCAs and 21 mCAs) with complete corresponding clinical, radiological and biochemical data were selected. Histological corticotroph differentiation; immunostaining for ACTH, beta-endorphin and beta-LPH; and mRNA expression levels of TPIT, POMC, GRalpha, prohormone convertase 1/3 (PC1/3) and galectin-3 were compared in 21 representative tumours. Despite the absence of clinical hypercortisolism in patients with SCA, elevated plasma ACTH levels that were similar to those associated with mCA were observed. The cortisol/ACTH ratio was similar between SCA and MCA groups and lower than that found with mCA (P<0.05). This dissociation could be explained by lower expression of PC1/3 in SCA and MCA than in mCA (P<0.05). After an i.v. dexamethasone suppression test, ACTH levels were significantly higher in patients with MCA than in those with mCA (P<0.05). Cytological and immunocytochemical analyses as well as mRNA expression levels of TPIT, POMC and GRalpha confirmed corticotroph differentiation in both mCAs and MCAs and in half of the SCAs, with a strong correlation between TPIT and POMC mRNA expression levels in SCAs (R(2)=0.72; P<0.01) and in MCAs (R(2)=0.65; P<0.05). Despite the absence of hypercortisolism, SCAs exhibit histological, biochemical and molecular corticotroph differentiation. SCA and MCA show hormonal and molecular similarities differentiating them from mCA.
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    ABSTRACT: Several endocrine abnormalities, including hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome (CS), are considered as causative factors of obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of endocrine disorders and obesity-associated co-morbidities, as well as the impact of substantial weight loss. Screening was performed in 433 consecutive morbidly obese patients (age 41 ± 12 years; BMI 47 ± 6.9 kg/m(2); women 76%). A 1-mg dexamethasone suppression test (1-mg DST) was conducted to exclude CS, and thyrotropin (TSH) was measured to exclude hypothyroidism. Insulin sensitivity was estimated from oral glucose tolerance tests employing the Clamp-like index. Examinations were carried out at baseline, as well as at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. The prevalence of CS was below 0.6%. Before surgery, TSH was elevated compared to an age- and sex-matched normal weight control group (2.4 ± 1.2 vs. 1.5 ± 0.7 μU/ml; p < 0.001). The NCEP criteria of metabolic syndrome (MetS) were fulfilled by 39.5% of the patients. Impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes mellitus were observed in 23.5% and 22.6%, respectively. Seventy-two percent were insulin resistant. During follow-up, weight (BMI 47 ± 6.9 vs. 36 ± 6.4 vs. 32 ± 6.6 kg/m(2); p < 0.001) and TSH decreased significantly (2.4 ± 1.2 vs. 1.8 ± 1.0 vs. 1.8 ± 1.0 μU/ml; p < 0.001). Serum cortisol was higher in the MetS(+)-group compared to the MetS(-)-group (15.0 ± 6.3 vs. 13.5 ± 6.3 μg/dl; p = 0.003). CS appears to be a rare cause of morbid obesity. Normalization of slightly elevated thyrotropin after weight loss suggests that obesity causes TSH elevation rather than the reverse.
    Obesity Surgery 11/2011; 22(1):62-9. DOI:10.1007/s11695-011-0545-4 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    Neurosurgery 10/2012; 72(1). DOI:10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182750850 · 3.62 Impact Factor