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Plasma Steroid Metabolome for Diagnosis and Subtyping Patients with Cushing Syndrome


Eisenhofer, Graeme; Masjkur, Jimmy; Peitzsch, Mirko; Di Dalmazi, Guido; Bidlingmaier, Martin; Grüber, Matthias; Fazel, Julia; Osswald, Andrea; Beuschlein, Felix; Reincke, Martin (2018). Plasma Steroid Metabolome for Diagnosis and Subtyping Patients with Cushing Syndrome. Clinical Chemistry, 64(3):586-596.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Diagnosis of Cushing syndrome requires a multistep process that includes verification of hypercortisolism followed by identification of the cause of adrenocortical hyperfunction. This study assessed whether pituitary, ectopic, and adrenal subtypes of Cushing syndrome were characterized by distinct plasma steroid profiles that might assist diagnosis. METHODS In this retrospective cross-sectional study, mass spectrometric measurements of a panel of 15 plasma steroids were applied to 222 patients tested for Cushing syndrome. Disease was excluded in 138 and confirmed in 51 patients with pituitary Cushing syndrome, 12 with ectopic adrenocorticotropin secretion, and 21 with adrenal disease. Another 277 age- and sex-matched hypertensive and normotensive volunteers were included for comparison. RESULTS Compared with patients without disease, the largest increases in plasma steroids among patients with Cushing syndrome were observed for 11-deoxycortisol (289%), 21-deoxycortisol (150%), 11-deoxycorticosterone (133%), corticosterone (124%), and cortisol (122%). Patients with ectopic disease showed the most prominent increases, but there was considerable variation for other steroids according to subtype. Patients with adrenal disease had the lowest concentrations of androgens, whereas those with ectopic and pituitary disease showed the lowest concentrations of aldosterone. Plasma 18-oxocortisol was particularly low in ectopic disease. With the use of 10 selected steroids, subjects with and without different Cushing syndrome subtypes could be discriminated nearly as closely as with the use of salivary and urinary free cortisol, dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol, and plasma adrenocorticotropin (9.5% vs 5.8% misclassification). CONCLUSIONS Patients with different subtypes of Cushing syndrome show distinctive plasma steroid profiles that may offer a supplementary single-test alternative for screening purposes.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Diagnosis of Cushing syndrome requires a multistep process that includes verification of hypercortisolism followed by identification of the cause of adrenocortical hyperfunction. This study assessed whether pituitary, ectopic, and adrenal subtypes of Cushing syndrome were characterized by distinct plasma steroid profiles that might assist diagnosis. METHODS In this retrospective cross-sectional study, mass spectrometric measurements of a panel of 15 plasma steroids were applied to 222 patients tested for Cushing syndrome. Disease was excluded in 138 and confirmed in 51 patients with pituitary Cushing syndrome, 12 with ectopic adrenocorticotropin secretion, and 21 with adrenal disease. Another 277 age- and sex-matched hypertensive and normotensive volunteers were included for comparison. RESULTS Compared with patients without disease, the largest increases in plasma steroids among patients with Cushing syndrome were observed for 11-deoxycortisol (289%), 21-deoxycortisol (150%), 11-deoxycorticosterone (133%), corticosterone (124%), and cortisol (122%). Patients with ectopic disease showed the most prominent increases, but there was considerable variation for other steroids according to subtype. Patients with adrenal disease had the lowest concentrations of androgens, whereas those with ectopic and pituitary disease showed the lowest concentrations of aldosterone. Plasma 18-oxocortisol was particularly low in ectopic disease. With the use of 10 selected steroids, subjects with and without different Cushing syndrome subtypes could be discriminated nearly as closely as with the use of salivary and urinary free cortisol, dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol, and plasma adrenocorticotropin (9.5% vs 5.8% misclassification). CONCLUSIONS Patients with different subtypes of Cushing syndrome show distinctive plasma steroid profiles that may offer a supplementary single-test alternative for screening purposes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:26 Jan 2018 15:37
Last Modified:01 Mar 2018 02:03
Publisher:American Association for Clinical Chemistry
ISSN:0009-9147
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2017.282582
PubMed ID:29208661

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