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Overt immune dysfunction after Cushing's syndrome remission: a consecutive case series and review of the literature.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;96(10):E1670-4

Authors: da Mota F, Murray C, Ezzat S

CONTEXT: Autoimmune diseases frequently improve during active Cushing's syndrome. Several studies have reported new onset or exacerbation of these conditions upon cortisol normalization.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to investigate the incidence and clinical characteristics of patients with autoimmune or allergic diseases after Cushing's syndrome remission.
METHODS: Consecutive cases of confirmed Cushing's syndrome were characterized. A review of the literature was conducted to identify previous descriptions of immune dysfunction upon remission and evidence of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis influence on the immune system.
RESULTS: Among 66 patients who achieved Cushing's syndrome remission, the incidence of immune dysfunction was 16.7%, where eight cases (72.7%) were noted for the first time and three (27.3%) were exacerbated. All had an ACTH-dependent cause. Glucocorticoids reduce proinflammatory cytokines and interact with other transcription factors affecting T cell and mast cell survival.
CONCLUSION: Hypercortisolism induces a state of immunosuppression. After Cushing's syndrome remission, rebound immunity frequently results in overt conditions extending beyond thyroid dysfunction.

PMID: 21816785 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?tmpl=NoSidebarfile&db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=21816785&dopt=Abstract = URL to article

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