Diurnal Plasma Cortisol Measurements Utility in Differentiating Various Etiologies of Endogenous Cushing Syndrome.
Horm Metab Res. 2016 Sep;48(10):677-681
Authors: Tirosh A, Lodish MB, Papadakis GZ, Lyssikatos C, Belyavskaya E, Stratakis CA
Cortisol diurnal variation may be abnormal among patients with endogenous Cushing syndrome (CS). The study objective was to compare the plasma cortisol AM/PM ratios between different etiologies of CS. This is a retrospective cohort study, conducted at a clinical research center. Adult patients with CS that underwent adrenalectomy or trans-sphenoidal surgery (n=105) were divided to those with a pathologically confirmed diagnosis of Cushing disease (n=21) and those with primary adrenal CS, including unilateral adrenal adenoma (n=28), adrenocortical hyperplasia (n=45), and primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD, n=11). Diurnal plasma cortisol measurements were obtained at 11:30 PM and midnight and at 7:30 and 8:00 AM. The ratios between the mean morning levels and mean late-night levels were calculated. Mean plasma cortisol AM/PM ratio was lower among CD patients compared to those with primary adrenal CS (1.4±0.6 vs. 2.3±1.5, p<0.001, respectively). An AM/PM cortisol ratio≥2.0 among patients with unsuppressed ACTH (>15 pg/ml) excludes CD with a 85.0% specificity and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 90.9%. Among patients with primary adrenal CS, an AM/PM cortisol≥1.2 had specificity and NPV of 100% for ruling out a diagnosis of PPNAD. Plasma cortisol AM/PM ratios are lower among patients with CD compared with primary adrenal CS, and may aid in the differential diagnosis of endogenous hypercortisolemia.
PMID: 27643448 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]