Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 P26

Cardiac structure and function in patients with adrenal incidentaloma: an echocardiographic study

Monica De Leo1, Maurizio Galderisi2, Maria Cristina De Martino1, Alessia Cozzolino1, Annamaria Colao1, Rosario Pivonello1 & Gaetano Lombardi1


1Department of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology, University Federico II, Naples, Italy; 2Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.


Subclinical Cushing’s syndrome (SCS) is a mild autonomous cortisol hypersecretion without specific clinical syndrome of glucocorticoid excess. The aim of this study was to compare cardiac structure and function in patients with adrenal incidentaloma. Twenty patients and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls entered the study: among patients, 11 had SCS and the remaining nine had normal cortisol secretion All patients and controls were submitted to Doppler echocardiography, with evaluation of left ventricular (LV) mass index (LVMi), ejection fraction (EF), main parameter of systolic function, and early (E) to late or atrial (A) peak velocity (E/A), main parameter of diastolic function, together with the measurement of systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure. SBP (P<0.01) but not DBP, was significantly higher in patients than in controls. At Doppler echocardiography, EF (P<0.01) and E/A (P<0.01) were significantly reduced in patients compared to controls. However, no significant difference was found in LVMi between patients and controls. In particular, both patients with and without SCS had significantly reduced EF and E/A compared to controls (P<0.01). A slight but not significant increase in LVMi (P=0.099) was found in patients with but not in patients without SCS. No significant difference in SBP and DBP was found between patients with and without SCS. In conclusion, patients with adrenal incidentaloma have an impairment of cardiac performance, represented by both a systolic and diastolic dysfunction independently on the presence of SCS. These findings suggest that patients with incidentally discovered, or clinically non-functioning adrenal tumors need to be monitored for cardiac performance during their follow-up.

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