Cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone dynamics in the acute phase of subarachnoid haemorrhage
ABSTRACT An adequate response of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is important for survival and recovery after a severe disease. The hypothalamus and the pituitary glands are at risk of damage after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). A better understanding of the hormonal changes would be valuable for optimising care in the acute phase of SAH.
Fifty-five patients with spontaneous SAH were evaluated regarding morning concentrations of serum (S)-cortisol and P-adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) 7 days after the bleeding. In a subgroup of 20 patients, the diurnal changes of S-cortisol and P-ACTH were studied and urine (U)-cortisol was measured. The relationships of hormone concentrations to clinical and radiological parameters and to outcome were assessed.
S-cortisol and P-ACTH were elevated the day of SAH. S-cortisol concentrations below reference range were uncommon. Early global cerebral oedema was associated with higher S-cortisol concentrations at admission and a worse World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (WFNS) and Reaction Level Scale 85 grade. Global cerebral oedema was shown to be a predictor of S-cortisol at admittance. Patients in better WFNS grade displayed higher U-cortisol. All patients showed diurnal variations of S-cortisol and P-ACTH. A reversed diurnal variation of S-cortisol was more frequently found in mechanically ventilated patients. Periods of suppressed P-ACTH associated with S-cortisol peaks occurred especially in periods of secondary brain ischaemia.
There was an HPA response acutely after SAH with an increase in P-ACTH and S-cortisol. Higher U-cortisol in patients in a better clinical grade may indicate a more robust response of the HPA system. Global cerebral oedema was associated with higher S-cortisol at admission and was a predictor of S-cortisol concentrations. Global cerebral oedema may be the result of the stress response initiated by the brain injury. Periods of suppressed P-ACTH occurred particularly in periods of brain ischaemia, indicating a possible connection between brain ischaemia and ACTH suppression.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a life-threatening condition that may be aggravated by acute pituitary damage and cortisol insufficiency. Robust diagnostic criteria for critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI) are lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of CIRCI in the acute phase (0-240 h) after SAH and to evaluate associations between cortisol levels and clinical parameters (sedation, circulatory failure, gender, age, severity of disease, treatment). CIRCI was defined as a single morning serum cortisol (mSC) < 200 nmol/L. The lower limit for calculated free cortisol (cFC) was set at < 22 nmol/L, and for saliva cortisol at < 7.7 nmol/L. METHODS: Fifty patients were included. Serum/saliva cortisol and corticosteroid-binding globulin were obtained every second morning. A logistic regression model was used for multivariate analysis comparing cortisol levels with clinical parameters. RESULTS: Of the patients, 21/50 (42%) had an mSC < 200 nmol/L and 30/50 (60%) had a cFC < 22 nmol/L. In patients with continuous intravenous sedation, the odds ratio for a mSC to be < 200 nmol/L was 18 times higher (95% confidence interval 4.2-85.0, P < 0.001), and the odds ratio for a cFC to be < 22 nmol/L was 2.4 times higher (95% confidence interval 1.2-4.7, P < 0.05) compared with patients with no continuous intravenous sedation. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous intravenous sedation was significantly associated with cortisol values under defined limits (mSC < 200, cFC < 22 nmol/L). The possibility that sedating drugs per se may influence cortisol levels should be taken into consideration before CIRCI is diagnosed.Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 11/2012; 57(4). DOI:10.1111/aas.12014 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms underlying the systemic response to subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured intracranial aneurysms (RAs) are not fully understood. We investigated whether the analysis of gene expression in peripheral blood could provide clinically relevant information regarding the biologic consequences of SAH. Transcriptomics were performed using Illumina HumanHT-12v4 microarrays for 43 RA patients and 18 controls (C). Differentially expressed transcripts were analyzed for overrepresented functional groups and blood cell type-specific gene expression. The set of differentially expressed transcripts was validated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in an independent group of subjects (15 RA patients and 14 C). There were 135 differentially expressed genes (false discovery rate 1%, absolute fold change 1.7): the abundant levels of 78 mRNAs increased and 57 mRNAs decreased. Among RA patients, transcripts specific to T lymphocyte subpopulations were downregulated, whereas those related to monocytes and neutrophils were upregulated. Expression profiles of a set of 16 genes and lymphocyte-to-monocyte-and-neutrophil gene expression ratios distinguished RA patients from C. These results indicate that SAH from RAs strongly influences the transcription profiles of blood cells. A specific pattern of these changes suggests suppression in lymphocyte response and enhancements in monocyte and neutrophil activities. This is probably related to the immunodepression observed in SAH.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 20 March 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.37.Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2013; DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.37 · 5.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Early prediction of outcome is important for allocation of therapeutic strategies. Endocrine alterations of the hypothalamus-pituitary-axis are one of the first stress-induced alterations after cerebral ischemia. We therefore evaluated the prognostic value of serum cortisol in Chinese patients with an acute ischemic stroke. In a prospective observational study, serum cortisol was measured using a solid-phase, competitive chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay on admission in serum of 226 consecutive Chinese patients with an acute ischemic stroke. The prognostic value of serum cortisol to predict the functional outcome, mortality within 90 days, was compared with clinical variables (e.g., advanced age and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NHISS] score) and with other known predictors. Patients with a poor outcome and nonsurvivors had significantly increased serum cortisol levels on admission (P<0.0001, P<0.0001). There was a positive correlation between levels of cortisol and the NIHSS (r = 0.298, P<0.0001), glucose levels (r = 0.324, P<0.0001) and infarct volume (r = 0.328, P<0.0001). Cortisol was an independent prognostic marker of functional outcome and death [odds ratio 3.44 (2.58-6.23) and 4.21 (1.89-9.24), respectively, P<0.0001 for both, adjusted for age, the NIHSS and other predictors] in patients with ischemic stroke. In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, cortisol could improve the NIHSS score in predicting short-term functional outcome (Area under the curve [AUC] of the combined model, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82-0.92; P = 0.01) and mortality (AUC of the combined model, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84-0.95; P = 0.01). Cortisol can be seen as an independent short-term prognostic marker of functional outcome and death in Chinese patients with acute ischemic stroke even after correcting confounding factors. Combined model can add significant additional predictive information to the clinical score of the NIHSS.PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e72758. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072758 · 3.53 Impact Factor