ABSTRACT: Acromegaly is well known to induce hypertrophic and hyperplastic changes in various organs and is commonly accompanied by arterial hypertension. In our study, we assess the adrenal morphology and function in a series of patients with acromegaly and possible associations with the activity of the disease and arterial hypertension.
Sixty patients with acromegaly, admitted to two endocrinology departments in the time period 2005-2010, were studied prospectively. Basal IGF-1 and growth hormone levels after oral glucose tolerance test were used to assess the disease activity. All subjects underwent adrenal CT scan, basal adrenal hormonal investigation and evaluation with 24-h urinary free cortisol and cortisol levels following low-dose dexamethasone suppression test. In 33 acromegalics, the 'modified' saline infusion test (MSI), i.e. saline infusion after dexamethasone administration, was performed to identify autonomous aldosterone (ALD) secretion.
Abnormal adrenal morphology was present in 48% of our patients, and a significant association was found between the presence of arterial hypertension and adrenal morphology. Among patients with adrenal morphological changes, 55% exhibited no adrenal secretory hyperactivity, 34% autonomous cortisol, 7% ALD and 4% combined autonomous cortisol and ALD secretion, when applying recently proposed modified cut-off levels compared to widely used criteria. An increased prevalence of autonomous ALD secretion was shown among the subgroup of patients with acromegaly tested with MSI.
This study provides evidence of an increased prevalence of anatomic and functional adrenal alterations in patients with acromegaly; further studies will clarify the importance of evaluating these subjects with baseline hormonal investigation along with dynamic testing and modified cut-offs.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 07/2011; 42(3):275-81. · 3.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Previous studies based on standard endocrine testing have generally shown a low prevalence of primary aldosteronism, a form of autonomous aldosterone secretion (AAS), in hypertensive individuals. The purpose of this case-control study was to evaluate whether use of appropriately defined controls and combined testing reveal previously undetected AAS in hypertensives.
We investigated aldosterone secretion in 180 hypertensives with (n = 44) and without (n = 136) adrenal adenomas on computerized tomography (CT) and 72 matched nonhypertensive individuals with normal adrenal CT. Serum aldosterone and active renin were measured, and the aldosterone/active renin ratio was calculated before and after a modified fludrocortisone-suppression test (FST). In the latter, to eliminate any stimulatory effect of endogenous stress-induced adrenocorticotrophin hormone on aldosterone secretion, we administered 1 mg of dexamethasone on the last day of the classical FST fludrocortisone/dexamethasone suppression test (FDST).
Using the 97·5 percentiles of serum aldosterone (74 pM L(-1)) and the aldosterone/renin ratio (32 pM L(-1) mU(-1) L(-1)) values obtained from the controls following the FDST, normal cut-off values indicative of adequate aldosterone suppression were established. Using the combination of these cut-offs, the estimated prevalence of AAS in patients with hypertension was 31%. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between systolic and/or diastolic arterial blood pressure and the aldosterone value (P < 0·0001 and P < 0·01, respectively) and/or the aldosterone/renin ratio (P < 0·0001 and P < 0·01, respectively), which were obtained following the FDST.
By applying new cut-offs obtained following modification of standard testing, AAS is quite prevalent in hypertensive individuals and correlates highly with arterial blood pressure. This may have relevance for both the aetiology of the hypertension and its optimal therapy.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 05/2011; 41(11):1227-36. · 3.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Previous studies based on standard endocrine testing have shown a variable incidence of autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) or autonomous aldosterone secretion (AAS) in patients with single adrenal adenomas (SAA). We tested whether the use of appropriate controls and modification of standard testing, aiming at eliminating interference from endogenous ACTH, reveals previously undetected subtle ACS and AAS by SAA.
Case control study. Patients We investigated 151 patients with SAA and 72 matched controls with normal adrenal computerized tomography.
All participants had arterial blood pressure recorded, and serum cortisol and aldosterone measured before and after intravenous administration of 250 mug of ACTH, and following dexamethasone administration. Eighty-three patients and all the controls had serum aldosterone and renin measured before and after saline infusion, and after a second saline infusion following dexamethasone administration.
Using the mean + 2 SD values obtained from controls after dexamethasone administration and saline infusion following dexamethasone administration, normal cut-off values for cortisol (30.11 nM), aldosterone (67.59 pM), and aldosterone/renin ratio (9.74 pM/mU/l) were developed. Using these cut-off values, the estimated incidence of ACS and AAS in patients with SAA was 56.63% and 24.10%, respectively, whereas 12.05% had autonomous secretion of both cortisol and aldosterone. Systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressure correlated significantly with the aldosterone/renin ratio following AlphaCTH stimulation (P < 0.0002 and P < 0.001, respectively), and after saline infusion following dexamethasone administration (P < 0.003 and P < 0.002, respectively).
By applying new cut-offs, ACS and AAS in patients with a SAA is very common, and aldosterone secretion correlates with arterial blood pressure.
Clinical Endocrinology 03/2009; 71(6):772-8. · 3.17 Impact Factor