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Wednesday 01 December 2004

Efficient short-term control of hypercortisolaemia by low-dose etomidate in severe paediatric Cushing's disease.

By: Greening JE, Brain CE, Perry LA, Mushtaq I, Sales Marques J, Grossman AB, Savage MO.

Horm Res 2005;64(3):140-3

BACKGROUND: Paediatric Cushing's disease (CD) is rare, but is associated with considerable morbidity and requires effective treatment. Control of hypercortisolaemia is recommended prior to definitive therapy by transsphenoidal pituitary surgery with selective adenomectomy. We describe a 6.2-year-old male with severe hypercortisolaemia and life-threatening complications of Cushing's disease. Control of cortisol with metyrapone and ketoconazole was ineffective, and due to his deteriorating condition, the decision was taken to proceed to bilateral adrenalectomy. METHODS: Low-dose IV infusion of etomidate, with dose titration according to serum cortisol levels, was administered. RESULTS: Etomidate infusion (3.0 mg/h i.v.) decreased serum cortisol from 1,250 to 250 nmol/l within 24 h. Combined etomidate and hydrocortisone therapy was maintained to provide stable serum cortisol levels within the desired range for 12 days prior to successful bilateral adrenalectomy. CONCLUSION: In our experience, etomidate was effective and safe for short-term control of severe hypercortisolaemia in a severely ill child. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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