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Predictors of quality of life in 102 patients with treated Cushing's disease

Carluccio, Alessia; Sundaram, Nina K; Chablani, Sumedha; Amrock, Levana G; Lambert, Jessica K; Post, Kalmon D; Geer, Eliza B
OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors for quality of life (QoL) in treated Cushing's disease (CD) and quantify patients' assessment of their disease status. CONTEXT: Significant reductions in QoL exist in CD patients despite treatment. Identifying predictors of QoL is paramount to the long-term management of these patents. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted of patients with treated CD. Patients completed a medical history questionnaire and three validated quality of life assessments: Cushing's QoL Questionnaire (CushingQoL), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). PATIENTS: 102 patients (75.7% female, mean time since surgery 7.4 years) with treated CD were included. MEASUREMENTS: Patients were categorized by biochemical and self-identified disease status. Mean CushingQoL, anxiety and depression scores were compared by unpaired t-tests. Multiple linear regressions were performed on the whole cohort to assess for predictors of impaired QoL. RESULTS: Ninety-two per cent of the cohort met criteria for biochemical remission, but only 80.4% felt they had achieved remission. Among those with biochemical remission, those who also self-identified as being in remission had higher CushingQoL scores than those who self-identified as having persistent disease (P = 0.042). Anxiety (P = 0.032) and depression (P = 0.018) scores were lower, and CushingQoL scores were higher (P = 0.05) in patients who self-identified as being in remission compared to persistence. Recovery time, BMI, gender and age were also predictors for QoL. CONCLUSION: Our study identifies the discordance that can exist between biochemical and self-assessed disease status and demonstrates its impact on QoL in patients with CD. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating patients' disease perceptions in their management.
PMID: 24931777
ISSN: 1365-2265
CID: 1760342

Characterization of persistent and recurrent Cushing's disease

Sundaram, Nina K; Carluccio, Alessia; Geer, Eliza B
A case of possible recurrent Cushing's disease (CD) is presented and data on current definitions of CD remission, persistence, and recurrence are reviewed. While prevailing guidelines recommend the use of serum cortisol in the first post-operative week for defining initial remission and predicting sustained remission, with the use of 24 h urinary free cortisol measurements if serum cortisol values are equivocal, there is debate as to which methods and thresholds best define CD remission and predict successful outcomes. Other methods used to define remission (and hence persistence and recurrence) include restoration of cortisol suppression after dexamethasone and physiologic diurnal cortisol rhythm as measured by midnight salivary free cortisol. However, the number and degree of abnormal test results needed to define recurrence, and the determination of which biochemical test has more significance when there are discrepancies between markers is inconsistent among studies. Further inquiry is warranted to examine if patients in apparent CD remission who have subtle hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis abnormalities represent distinctive remission subtypes versus mild or early recurrence. Additional investigation could also explore the degree to which these HPA axis abnormalities, such as alterations in cortisol circadian rhythm or partial resistance to dexamethasone, are associated with persistence of CD morbidities, including neuropsychiatric impairments, alterations in body composition, and cardiovascular risk.
PMID: 23990348
ISSN: 1573-7403
CID: 1760362

The impact of traumatic brain injury on pituitary function

Sundaram, Nina K; Geer, Eliza B; Greenwald, Brian D
It is paramount that clinicians who care for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) at any point in time, including neurosurgeons, rehabilitation physicians, internists, neurologists, and endocrinologists, are aware of the prevalence of posttraumatic hypopituitarism and its impacts on acute and long-term recovery. This article reviews the natural history, pathophysiology, and presenting features of hypopituitarism occurring after TBI. Proposed methodologies for screening, diagnosis, and initiation of treatment are discussed, as well as the effect of hormone replacement therapy on clinical outcomes.
PMID: 24011887
ISSN: 1558-4410
CID: 1760352

Apathetic thyrotoxicosis secondary to atypical subacute thyroiditis [Case Report]

Carluccio, Alessia L; Sundaram, Nina K; Yanagisawa, Robert T; Tomer, Yaron
OBJECTIVE: To report a case of apathetic thyrotoxicosis with an etiology of subacute thyroiditis. METHODS: We describe the patient's clinical findings, laboratory findings, and clinical course. RESULTS: An 85-year-old woman with no history of thyroid disease presented with severe obtundation and altered mental status. Laboratory testing documented elevated free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine concentrations and a suppressed thyrotropin concentration. Thyroid antibodies were absent. A radioactive iodine study revealed severely diminished uptake, suggestive of thyroiditis. After a short course of steroids, the patient's mental status returned to baseline. Follow-up laboratory testing showed normalizing thyroid function. CONCLUSION: Even in the absence of a history of thyroid disease, we recommend considering thyroid dysfunction in the differential diagnosis of patients who present with altered mental status, particularly in the elderly population.
PMID: 22548945
ISSN: 1934-2403
CID: 1760372