Abstract BACKGROUND: Adrenal insufficiency is often present in cirrhosis. We hypothesize that a prolonged adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulus can restore cellular capacity of adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. Aim of our study was to assess adrenal responsiveness to prolonged ACTH stimulation in cirrhotics. METHODS: Prospective observational study in 121 consecutively admitted cirrhotic patients undergoing a low dose short synacthen test and plasma ACTH measurement using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. Long synacthen test was performed if the low dose was abnormal. RESULTS: 46 patients had abnormal low dose short test (38%), and 29 underwent the long test: 41% showed normal response (Group 1), 55% showed delayed response (Group 2) and 1 had abnormal response (4%). Baseline ACTH levels did not significantly differ between the two groups. Median basal cortisol was higher in Group 1 (296 vs. 198nmol/L; p=0.02). Using ROC curve basal cortisol <254nmol/L was associated with a delayed long synacthen test response (AUC 0.78, p=0.001) with good accuracy (sensitivity 67%, specificity 81%). CONCLUSION: A delayed cortisol response after a prolonged ACTH stimulation is found in over fifty percent of cirrhotics with abnormal low dose short synacthen test, confirming that the mechanism of hypoadrenalism in these patients could be related both to adrenal cellular dysfunction and hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal axis impairment.
|Titolo:||Hypothalamus-pituitary dysfunction is common in patients with stable cirrhosis and abnormal low dose synacthen test.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|