Dynamic changes of central thyroid functions in the management of Cushing's syndrome
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ABSTRACT Objective The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of central thyroid dysfunctions in Cushing's syndrome (CS). We also aimed to evaluate the frequency of hyperthyroidism due to the syndrome of the inappropriate secretion of TSH (SITSH), which was recently defined in patients with insufficient hydrocortisone replacement after surgery. Materials and methods We evaluated thyroid functions (TSH and free thyroxine [fT4]) at the time of diagnosis, during the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis recovery, and after surgery in 35 patients with CS. The patients were separated into two groups: ACTH-dependent CS (group 1, n = 20) and ACTH-independent CS (group 2, n = 15). Patients’ clinical and laboratory findings were evaluated in five visits in the outpatient clinic of the endocrinology department. Results The frequency of baseline suppressed TSH levels and central hypothyroidism were determined to be 37% (n = 13) and 26% (n = 9), respectively. A negative correlation was found between baseline cortisol and TSH levels (r = -0.45, p = 0.006). All patients with central hypothyroidism and suppressed TSH levels showed recovery at the first visit without levothyroxine treatment. SITSH was not detected in any of the patients during the postoperative period. No correlation was found between prednisolone replacement after surgery and TSH or fT4 levels on each visit. Conclusion Suppressed TSH levels and central hypothyroidism may be detected in CS, independent of etiology. SITSH was not detected in the early postoperative period due to our adequate prednisolone replacement doses.