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Glucocorticoid excess during adolescence leads to a major persistent deficit in bone mass and an increase in central body fat


Endogenous Cushing's syndrome (CS) in children causes growth retardation, decreased bone mass, and increased total body fat. No prospective controlled studies have been performed in children to determine the long-term sequelae of CS on peak bone mass and body composition. A 15-year-old girl with Cushing disease (CD), and her healthy identical co-twin, were followed for 6 years after the CD was cured. At the 6-year follow-up both twins had areal bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and three-dimensional quantitative computed tomography (3DQCT). Z scores for height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were -2.3, -0.8 and 0.2, and 1.2, 0.2, and -0.6, in the twin with CD and her co-twin, respectively. In the twin with CD, areal BMD and bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) at different sites varied from 0.7 to 3 SD below her co-twin. Volumetric lumbar spine bone density Z score was -0.75 and 1.0, and total body, abdominal visceral, and subcutaneous fat (%) was 42, 10, and 41 versus 26, 4, and 17 in the twin with CD and her co-twin, respectively. The relationship between total body fat and L2-L4 BMAD was inverse in the twin with CD (p < 0.05), which by contrast in her co-twin was opposite and direct (p < 0.001). In the twin with CD, despite cure, there was a persistent deficit in bone mass and increase in total and visceral body fat. These observations suggest that hypercortisolism (exogenous or endogenous) during adolescence may have persistent adverse effects on bone and fat mass.

Type Journal
ISBN 0884-0431 (Print)
Authors Abad, V.;Chrousos, G. P.;Reynolds, J. C.;Nieman, L. K.;Hill, S. C.;Weinstein, R. S.;Leong, G. M. :
Publisher Name J BONE MINER RES
Published Date 2001-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 16
Published Issue 10
Published Pages 1879-85
Status Published In-print