New diagnostic tests for Cushing's syndrome: uses of naloxone, vasopressin and alprazolam.


:1. We set out to investigate whether the administration of naloxone alone, naloxone plus vasopressin (AVP) or naloxone plus alprazolam to patients with Cushing's syndrome would result in a blunted dynamic response of the pituitary-adrenal axis compared with normal volunteers. Cushing's syndrome is often difficult to diagnose. It would be helpful if new tests were available to help in the biochemical distinction between Cushing's syndrome and non-Cushing's syndrome patients. 2. Naloxone testing correctly distinguished all seven patients with Cushing's syndrome (four pituitary Cushing's, two adrenal adenomas, one ectopic ACTH) from normal. Six patients were distinguished by the per cent change of plasma ACTH from basal being less than the normal range of 10 volunteers. The seventh patient (a pituitary Cushing's) was distinguished by the per cent change from basal of plasma cortisol being less than the normal range. 3. Naloxone plus AVP testing of two of four patients with pituitary Cushing's showed a smaller per cent change for both ACTH and cortisol compared with five normal volunteers, correctly distinguishing Cushing's from the normals. 4. Naloxone plus alprazolam did not distinguish Cushing's from normal. 5. Naloxone testing and naloxone plus AVP testing appear to be promising methods of distinguishing Cushing's syndrome from normal. Further experience with these tests, especially with obese and pseudo-Cushing's individuals, will be necessary to determine their place in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the cause of Cushing's syndrome.


Jackson RV,Hockings GI,Torpy DJ,Grice JE,Crosbie GV,Walters MM,Strakosch CR




Has Abstract


1996-06-01 00:00:00












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