Clinical relevance of cardiac structure and function abnormalities in patients with Cushing's syndrome before and after cure

Paola M. Toja, Giovanna Branzi, Francesca Ciambellotti, Piero Radaelli, Martina De Martin, Laura Maria Lonati, Massimo Scacchi, Gianfranco Parati, Francesco Cavagnini, Francesca Pecori Giraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Sustained hypercortisolism impacts cardiac function, and, indeed, cardiac disease is one of the major determinants of mortality in patients with Cushing's syndrome. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical relevance of cardiac structure and function alterations by echocardiography in patients with active Cushing's syndrome and after disease remission. Study design Seventy-one patients (61 women, 10 men) with Cushing's syndrome and 70 age-, sex- and blood pressure-matched controls were enrolled. Echocardiography was performed in 49 patients with active disease and at several time points after remission in 44 patients (median follow-up 46·4 months), and prevalence of abnormal left ventricular mass measurements and systolic and diastolic functions indices was compared between patients with active disease, after remission and controls. Twenty-two patients were evaluated both before and after remission. Results Up to 70% of patients with active Cushing's syndrome presented abnormal left ventricular mass parameters; 42% presented concentric hypertrophy and 23% concentric remodelling. Major indices of systolic and diastolic functions, i.e. ejection fraction and E/A ratio, respectively, were normal. Upon remission of hypercortisolism, left ventricular mass parameters ameliorated considerably, although abnormal values were still more frequent than in controls. Both cortisol excess and hypertension contribute to cardiac mass alterations and increase the prevalence of target organ damage. Conclusions Cushing's syndrome is associated with an increased risk for abnormalities of cardiac mass, which ameliorates, but does not fully disappear after remission. Systolic and diastolic functions are largely within the normal range in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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