Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 65 P230 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.65.P230

Acute changes in steroid biosynthesis in patients following severe trauma: the golden hour study

Angela Taylor1, Conor Bentley2, Mark Foster2, Janet Lord2,3, Jon Hazeldine2,3 & Wiebke Arlt1


1Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 2NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre, University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 3Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


Advancements in medical care have significantly improved survival rates following major traumatic injury. An understanding of the hormonal, inflammatory and metabolic changes that occur following trauma is still evolving but it is clear that they impact significantly upon patient prognosis. To date, studies that have examined trauma-induced changes in steroid metabolism have analysed samples taken from patients post-hospital admission, culminating in marked variability in the time to first blood sample. Here, via the analysis of pre-hospital blood samples acquired within one hour of injury, we have examined steroid biosynthesis in the immediate aftermath of major trauma. We recruited 30 male trauma patients (mean age 26 years; S.D. ±10 years; range 19–59 years) who had an initial blood sample taken within one hour of injury, with subsequent samples taken 4–12 and 48–72 hours post-injury. Blood samples were taken before the administration of analgesics. Morning serum samples obtained from 35 healthy male volunteers (mean 30 years; S.D. ±9; range 18–50) served as a control cohort. Steroids were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry on a Waters Acquity UPLC chromatography system coupled to a Waters Xevo-XS mass spectrometer and electrospray ionisation source (positive mode). We quantified 18 steroids including glucocorticoid precursors (progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, 11-deoxycortisol), glucocorticoids (cortisol, cortisone), mineralocorticoid precursors (11-deoxycorticosterone, corticosterone), the major mineralocorticoid aldosterone, classic pathway androgens (dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, androstenedione, testosterone, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone), and 11-oxygenated androgens (11-hydroxyandrostenedione, 11-ketoandrostenedione, 11-ketotestosterone, 11-hydroxytestosterone). Within minutes of traumatic injury, we observed a steep increase in glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid outputs while in parallel circulating concentrations of androgens and 11-oxygenated androgens decreased sharply; this steroid profile was sustained at subsequent time points. The relationship of these changes with patient outcome warrants further investigation.

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