The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Journal Article

MACS and Bone Turnover Markers

May 26, 2020
 

Shobana Athimulam, Danae Delivanis, Melinda Thomas, William F Young, Jr, Sundeep Khosla, Matthew T Drake, Irina Bancos
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 105, Issue 5, May 2020, Pages 1469–1477
https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa120

Context

Several studies have reported increased risk of fragility fractures in patients with mild autonomous cortisol secretion (MACS), discordant to the degree of bone density deterioration.

Objective

To evaluate the effect of MACS on bone metabolism in patients with adrenal adenomas.

Design

Cross-sectional study with prospective enrollment, 2014-2019

Setting

Referral center.

Patients

213 patients with adrenal adenomas: 22 Cushing syndrome (CS), 92 MACS and 99 nonfunctioning adrenal tumors (NFAT).

Main Outcome Measures

Osteocalcin, procollagen I intact N-terminal (PINP), C-terminal telopeptide (CTX), sclerostin.

Results

Patients with CS demonstrated lower markers of bone formation compared with patients with MACS and NFAT (CS vs MACS vs NFAT: mean osteocalcin 14.8 vs 20.1 vs 21.3 ng/mL [P < 0.0001]; mean PINP 34.8 vs 48.7 vs 48.5 µg/L [P = 0.003]). Severity of cortisol excess was inversely associated with sclerostin (CS vs MACS vs NFAT: mean sclerostin 419 vs 538 vs 624 ng/L, [P < 0.0001]). In a multivariable model of age, sex, body mass index, cortisol, and bone turnover markers, sclerostin was a significant predictor of low bone mass in patients with MACS (OR 0.63 [CI 95%, 0.40–0.98] for each 100 ng/L of sclerostin increase).

After adrenalectomy, osteocalcin, CTX, and sclerostin increased by a mean difference of 6.3 ng/mL, 0.12 ng/mL, and 171 pg/mL (P = 0.02 for all), respectively.

Conclusions

Lower sclerostin level in patients with MACS reflects a reduction in osteocyte function or number associated with exposure to chronic cortisol excess. Increase in bone turnover markers after adrenalectomy suggests restoration of favorable bone metabolism.

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