Patients with Hypocortisolism Treated with Continuous Subcutaneous Hydrocortisone Infusion (CSHI): An Option for Poorly Controlled Patients

Malene Lyder Mortensen*, Marie Juul Ornstrup, Claus H. Gravholt

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Objective. Despite appropriate oral glucocorticoid replacement therapy, patients with hypocortisolism often suffer from impaired health and frequent hospitalizations. Continuous subcutaneous hydrocortisone infusion (CSHI) has been developed as an attempt to improve the health status of these patients. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of CSHI to conventional oral treatment on hospitalizations, glucocorticoid doses, and subjective health status. Patients. Nine Danish patients (males: 4 and females: 5) with adrenal insufficiency (AI) were included, with a median age of 48 years, due to Addison (n = 4), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (n = 1), steroid induced secondary adrenal insufficiency (n = 2), morphine induced secondary adrenal insufficiency (n = 1), and Sheehan's syndrome (n = 1). Only patients with severe symptoms of cortisol deficit on oral treatment were selected for CSHI. Their usual oral hydrocortisone doses varied from 25-80 mg per day. The duration of follow-up depended on when the treatment was changed. The first patient started CSHI in 2009 and the last in 2021. Design. A retrospective case series comparing hospitalizations and glucocorticoid doses before and after treatment with CSHI. In addition, patients were retrospectively interviewed about their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after the change of treatment modality. Results. Patients significantly reduced their daily dose of glucocorticoids by 16.1 mg (p=0.02) after changing to CSHI. The number of hospital admission due to adrenal crisis decreased by 1.3 per year on CSHI, which was a 50% reduction (p=0.04). All patients found it easier to handle an adrenal crisis with CSHI, and almost all patients found it easier to overcome everyday activities and had fewer symptoms of cortisol deficit such as abdominal pain and nausea (7-8 out of 9 patients). Conclusions. The change of treatment from conventional oral hydrocortisone to CSHI resulted in a reduced daily dose of glucocorticoids and a reduced number of hospitalizations. Patients reported regain of energy, achievement of better disease control, and better handling of adrenal crisis.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Endocrinology
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2023


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