The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a long-term treatment with sodium valproate in 19 patients with Cushing's disease. Before therapy beginning, the patients were subjected to acute test with 600 mg sodium valproate. Then, they were subjected to a 3-month therapy with sodium valproate at the dose of 600 mg/day before surgery (presurgical study). The 7 patients not surgically cured were subjected again to a 3-month therapy with sodium valproate at the dose of 600 mg/day after surgery (postsurgical study). Circulating ACTH and cortisol and urinary free cortisol levels were evaluated before and monthly after the beginning of the therapy. A decrease of plasma ACTH and serum cortisol levels greater than 50% of baseline was considered as positive response to acute test whereas the normalization of plasma ACTH, serum cortisol and urinary free cortisol levels and the clinical remission were considered as positive response to the long-term treatment. At acute test, 8 patients were considered responders and 11 patients non-responders. In no patient plasma ACTH, serum cortisol and urinary free cortisol were normalized during the long-term treatment. Urinary free cortisol levels significantly decreased (483.2 +/- 33.8 vs 699.4 +/- 67.0 micrograms/24 h), whereas plasma ACTH (302.8 +/- 17.7 vs 183.3 +/- 25.0 ng/l) and serum cortisol (466.5 +/- 23.2 vs 356.7 +/- 19.6 micrograms/l) significantly increased during sodium valproate administration in the 19 patients enrolled in the presurgical study. Plasma ACTH (247.7 +/- 22.3 vs 168.6 +/- 15.0 ng/l), serum cortisol (387.4 +/- 35.8 vs 282.0 +/- 16.0 micrograms/l) and urinary free cortisol (370.9 +/- 70.6 vs 261.3 +/- 37.8 micrograms/24 h) levels significantly increased in the 7 patients enrolled in the postsurgical study. No patient had clinical remission of Cushing's disease. In conclusion, the current study showed that long-term therapy with sodium valproate is not useful in the therapeutic management of Cushing's disease neither as alternative nor as adjunctive therapy to surgery.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Endocrinological Investigation|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1997|
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