The metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk in Cushing's syndrome

Rosario Pivonello, Antongiulio Faggiano, Gaetano Lombardi, Annamaria Colao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CS is associated with severe atherosclerotic damage, indicated by reduced caliber and increased stiffness of the carotid artery wall and increased prevalence of atherosclerotic plaques. Vascular damage develops in concert with an acquired metabolic syndrome. Metabolic and vascular alterations correlate markedly to visceral obesity and insulin resistance, and seem to interact with each other. Short-term remission from hypercortisolism is followed by improvement, but not normalization, of metabolic and vascular damage. Moreover, long-term remission from CS seems to be associated with similar or worse metabolic and vascular damage, probably as a result of persistent abdominal obesity or insulin resistance syndrome years after normalization of cortisol secretion. The results of this study suggest that increased cardiovascular risk also may persist in patients who undergo treatment with exogenous glucocorticoids after therapy withdrawal. Considering the many patients subjected to corticosteroid treatment, this finding could be of great clinical relevance and should be investigated thoroughly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry


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