Thursday, July 5, 2012

Less Fat, Still Weak after Cushing's

Good news. 
Fat decreases after wild, errant cortisol overproduction from Cushing's is stopped. Just like we Cushies told everyone it would. See, it's not just from over-eating and not exercising.
Bad news.  
Muscle weakness persists. Cardiovascular risk associated with unfair fat symptom may remain.  So do cognitive issues

Shoot. This disease just won't let up.

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Body composition and cardiovascular risk markers after remission of Cushing's disease: a prospective study using whole-body MRI

 2012 May;97(5):1702-11. Epub 2012 Mar 14.


Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, Box 1055, New York, New York 10029, USA.



Cushing's Disease (CD) alters fat distribution, muscle mass, adipokine profile, and cardiovascular risk factors. It is not known whether remission entirely reverses these changes.


Our objective was to determine whether the adverse body composition and cardiovascular risk profile in CD change after remission.


Fourteen CD patients were studied prospectively: before surgery (active disease) and again postoperatively 6 months after discontinuing oral glucocorticoids (remission). Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine lean and fat tissue distributions.


Body composition (skeletal muscle and fat in the visceral, bone marrow, sc, and inter-muscular compartments) and cardiovascular risk factors (serum insulin, glucose, leptin, high-molecular-weight adiponectin, C-reactive protein, and lipid profile) were measured in active CD and remission (mean 20 months after surgery).


Remission decreased visceral, pelvic bone marrow, sc (including trunk and limb sc), and total fat; waist circumference; and weight (P < 0.05). Remission altered fat distribution, resulting in decreased visceral/total fat (P = 0.04) and visceral fat/skeletal muscle ratios (P = 0.006). Remission decreased the absolute muscle mass (P = 0.015). Cardiovascular risk factors changed: insulin resistance, leptin, and total cholesterol decreased (P < 0.05), but adiponectin, C-reactive protein, and other lipid measures did not change.


CD remission reduced nearly all fat depots and reverted fat to a distribution more consistent with favorable cardiovascular risk but decreased skeletal muscle. Remission improved some but not all cardiovascular risk markers. Remission from CD dramatically improves body composition abnormalities but may still be associated with persistent cardiovascular risk.

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Thanks to MaryO for the post.