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Cosyntropin (synthetic ACTH) stimulation test is considered the optimal test for diagnosis of primary and long-standing secondary adrenal insufficiency. The standard cosyntropin stimulation test is performed by administering 250 µg cosyntropin intravenously. Serum cortisol is measured before, and at 30 and 60 minutes after the bolus injection. Peak cortisol levels below 500 nmol/L (18.1 µg/dL) at 30 or 60 minutes after cosyntropin administration indicate adrenal insufficiency per recent guidelines, without specification of how the cosyntropin is administered (intravenously or intramuscularly). However, the peak stimulated cortisol cutoff value is based on old, fluorometric or radio-immunological methods that are known to detect significant amounts of glucocorticoids other than cortisol. For this reason, peak cortisol levels, as determined by older assays, may set higher thresholds than what might be considered necessary using a newer, more specific assay. The widely-used old Elecsys® Cortisol Immunoassay from Roche Diagnostics (Cortisol I) is now replaced worldwide (including Johns Hopkins Hospital) by a new Elecsys® Cortisol assay from Roche Diagnostics (Cortisol II). The new Cortisol II assay employs a monoclonal as opposed to a polyclonal capturing antibody, which was used in the old Cortisol I assay. This results in greater specificity for cortisol. The new Cortisol II assay was shown to have strong correlation with cortisol levels measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) which is considered the gold standard for cortisol measurement. Previous studies addressing the cortisol cutoff levels for the diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency with different cortisol assays have been heterogeneous in terms of the dose and route of administration of cosyntropin used, and the wide variety of subjects being tested including healthy subjects that are occasionally on oral estrogen therapy and patients with adrenal insufficiency. Many clinical centers use intramuscular cosyntropin injections given its convenience, and as mentioned earlier, many institutions are now using the new Roche Cortisol II assay. Investigators will conduct a study looking at healthy subjects to establish the expected range of peak cosyntropin-stimulated cortisol levels with two different cosyntropin administration modalities. The goal of this study is to compare intravenous (IV) and intramuscular (IM) administration, and to generate a normal range of post-cosyntropin serum cortisol measure with the new assay. The two aims of the study are: (1) Compare the cortisol values at baseline, 30 minutes and 60 minutes after IV and IM cosyntropin stimulation testing in the same subjects. (2) Generate assay-specific normal ACTH stimulation test results
Bone disease and adrenal suppression are two of the many side effects of steroid use in pediatrics. Evidence has shown that adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) protects against the adverse bone effects of steroids in animals and in vitro models, but this has not yet been evaluated in humans. The proposed mechanism in these studies is that ACTH stimulates osteoblasts in bone to release Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), which increases the vascularity in high risk areas of bone. This can potentially be protective against osteonecrosis and osteopenia, which can lead to bone fractures if not prevented. The VEGF release can also be used to demonstrate that an administration of exogenous ACTH occurred. This could be important in diagnosing adrenal insufficiency (AI). One of the tests to assess central AI is the low-dose ACTH stimulation test (LDAST). This test has a high rate of false positive results due to technical limitations. However, if an ACTH-stimulated VEGF level can be measured during the test as a marker of the test being done properly, it will allow for proper interpretation of the results (and identification of a false positive), which will reduce the number of patients being incorrectly diagnosed with central AI. This study will recruit ten healthy children and adolescents, ages 9-18, to assess the effects of ACTH on VEGF levels. The investigators will measure the response of VEGF and cortisol to an administration of a low dose and high dose of cosyntropin (the synthetic ACTH analog used in this test). The hypothesis of this study is that VEGF and cortisol will both increase after administration of cosyntropin. At this time, no other studies have demonstrated that VEGF is responsive to ACTH in humans. If the hypothesis is correct, the results will have two main implications. VEGF can be used as a marker of ACTH administration during the LDAST to identify false positive tests. Secondly, this will help further research into whether ACTH can be used to protect against bone disease in high-dose steroid-treated patients. Further studies can be done to assess whether this effect will be the same in patients with AI or steroid-induced adrenal suppression.
A recent meta-analysis involving 3753 patients treated with corticosteroids notes that the population with the highest prevalence of biological IS (68%) is onco-hematology. However, it is also the least studied population with no recent and significant prevalence study. A recent multicenter study including patients followed up oncology who received dexamethasone for antiemetic purposes at cumulative doses well below the doses used in Hematology, objective a prevalence of biological IS estimated at 16% at 3 months from the start of chemotherapy. The introduction of a substitution had led to an objective improvement in the quality of life estimated by EORTC QLQ-C30.
This pilot study is designed to compare healthy volunteers with three groups of patients with adrenal insufficiency and a final group of patients receiving high dose steroids for anti-inflammatory purposes. The study will collect data on all 5 groups with the intention of identifying any novel markers or immunological indicators which may be used clinically to gauge the adequacy of steroid replacement treatment in patients with adrenal insufficiency.
This study is designed to collect data on individuals with adrenal insufficiency who are changing treatments from hydrocortisone to prednisolone, or vice versa. It will compare anthropometric, biochemical and subjective health outcomes between both treatments.
Glucocorticoids are widely used for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. Although glucocorticoids are effective in controlling disease symptoms, continuous use of the drugs can lead to suppression of adrenal hormones or excessive cortisol level in the blood stream. That is, excess blood cortisol level due to glucocorticoid exogenous supply can either inhibit the 'hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis' for adrenal hormones production or result in Cushing symptoms. In the period between 1989 and 2008 in the UK, it was estimated that 0.6%-0.8% of the general adult population were long-term users of oral glucocorticoids. However, there is no data on the risk of adrenal suppression and Cushing syndrome due to chronic use of glucocorticoids in the UK to date. The aim of the study is to investigate the risk of adrenal insufficiency and Cushing syndrome due to long-term use of glucocorticoids in England.
This study investigates the sodium content in the calf muscle and the skin obtained via 23Na-magnetic resonance imaging in patients with chronic adrenal insufficiency compared to healthy controls.
Patients with adrenal insufficiency are at risk to suffer from life threatening adrenal crisis. The aim of this trial was to reevaluate the frequency of adrenal crisis and risk factors for crisis within a prospective study (six-years follow-up of a former prospective study).
The management of adrenal crisis is often problematic and the time to adequate treatment is frequently delayed.The aim of the study is to evaluate the management of adrenal emergencies requiring parenteral glucocorticoid treatment by a prospective multicenter study in patients with chronic adrenal insufficiency.
Within this trial, the cardiovascular status and metabolic profile of patients with chronic primary adrenal insufficiency is evaluated.