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      Advances in the Management of Paediatric Cushing’s Disease

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          Cushing’s disease (CD) is rare in the paediatric age range, but may present a difficult therapeutic challenge. Most paediatric endocrinologists have limited experience managing children or adolescents with CD and thus benefit from close consultation with adult colleagues. Prior to definitive treatment, a diagnostic protocol for investigation is required which broadly follows the model for adult patients. Treatment strategies for CD are described and critically appraised. The management of paediatric CD patients after cure also presents challenges for optimizing growth, bone health, reproduction and body composition from childhood into and during adult life.

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          Most cited references 27

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          The Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis of Cushing's Syndrome and Pseudo-Cushing's States

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            Suppressed spontaneous and stimulated growth hormone secretion in patients with Cushing's disease before and after surgical cure

             M A Magiakou (1994)
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              Clinical and endocrine responses to pituitary radiotherapy in pediatric Cushing's disease: an effective second-line treatment.

              Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) is considered first-line treatment for Cushing's disease (CD). Options for treatment of postoperative persisting hypercortisolemia are pituitary radiotherapy (RT), repeat TSS, or bilateral adrenalectomy. From 1983 to 2001, we treated 18 pediatric patients (age, 6.4-17.8 yr) with CD. All underwent TSS, and 11 were cured (postoperative serum cortisol, <50 nM). Seven (39%) had 0900-h serum cortisol of 269-900 nM during the immediate postoperative period (2-20 d), indicating lack of cure. These patients (6 males and 1 female; mean age, 12.8 yr; range, 6.4-17.8 yr; 4 prepubertal; 3 pubertal) received external beam RT to the pituitary gland, using a 6-MV linear accelerator, with a dose of 45 Gy in 25 fractions over 35 d. Until the RT became effective, hypercortisolemia was controlled with ketoconazole (dose, 200-600 mg/d) (n = 4) and metyrapone (750 mg-3 g/d) +/- aminoglutethimide (1 g/d) or o'p'DDD (mitotane, 3 mg/d) (n = 3). All patients were cured after pituitary RT. The mean interval from RT to cure (mean serum cortisol on 5-point day curve, <150 nM) was 0.94 yr (0.25-2.86 yr). Recovery of pituitary-adrenal function (mean cortisol, 150-300 nM) occurred at mean 1.16 yr (0.40-2.86 yr) post RT. At 2 yr post RT, puberty occurred early in one male patient (age, 9.8 yr) but was normal in the others. GH secretion was assessed at 0.6-2.5 yr post RT in all patients: six had GH deficiency (peak on glucagon/insulin provocation, <1.0-17.9 mU/liter) and received human GH replacement. Follow-up of pituitary function 7.6 and 9.5 yr post RT in two patients showed normal gonadotropin secretion and recovery of GH peak to 29.7 and 19.2 mU/liter. The seven patients were followed for mean 6.9 yr (1.4-12.0 yr), with no evidence of recurrence of CD. In conclusion, pituitary RT is an effective and relatively rapid-onset treatment for pediatric CD after failure of TSS. GH deficiency occurred in 86% patients. Long-term follow-up suggests some recovery of GH secretion and preservation of other anterior pituitary function.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                June 2008
                17 March 2008
                : 69
                : 6
                : 327-333
                Departments of Endocrinology, Neurosurgery and Radiotherapy, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
                117388 Horm Res 2008;69:327–333
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 49, Pages: 7
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