Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adrenal Tumors Associated With Increased Risk Of Bone Fractures

Date:
February 23, 2009
Source:
Society for Endocrinology
Summary:
New research shows that male patients with benign tumors of the adrenal gland suffer more bone fractures. The study found men with a certain type of adrenal tumor have reduced bone mass and more vertebral bone fractures compared to controls. This study highlights the importance of screening men with adrenal tumors for bone strength and fractures, even in the absence of clinical symptoms.

New research shows that male patients with benign tumours of the adrenal gland suffer more bone fractures. Published in the latest edition of Clinical Endocrinology, the study found men with a certain type of adrenal tumour have reduced bone mass and more vertebral bone fractures compared to controls. This study highlights the importance of screening men with adrenal tumours for bone strength and fractures, even in the absence of clinical symptoms.

Tumours that are discovered by coincidence, usually during a scan for an unrelated condition, are called incidentalomas. Adrenal incidentalomas (AIs) are benign growths of the adrenal gland. AIs are being diagnosed with increased frequency due to an increase in the use of abdominal scanning; the current diagnosis is up to 3% of the general population(1). Generally, adrenal incidentalomas are considered benign and do not show any clinical symptoms. However, approximately 20% of patients with AIs show a slight excess of the hormone cortisol, which is defined as ‘subclinical hypercortisolism’ (SH). SH can cause a negative effect on bone(2) however, the association between SH and vertebral bone fractures has not yet been studied in male AI patients.

Researchers led by Dr Iacopo Chiodini at the University of Milan, assessed the bone mass of AI patients with and without SH and in matched controls. Patients with adrenal incidentalomas and SH were identified by measuring three parameters of cortisol secretion (SH+, n=22), and compared with patients with AI but cortisol levels in the normal range (SH-, n=66) andwith control patients that were matched for age and BMI.

Patients with cortisol-secreting tumours (SH+) had significantly lower bone mass in their spines compared to SH- and control patients. More patients had osteoporosis in the SH+ group (40.9%) compared to the SH- group (18.2%) and control group (16.7%). There were also significantly more patients with vertebral fractures in the SH+ group (72.7%) compared to the SH- group (21.2%) and controls (20.0%). In addition, there was a significantly higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in the SH+ patients compared to SH- patients. This association has been previously reported with overt cortisol excess and confirms the idea that subtle cortisol excess, despite being ‘subclinical’ may cause the same consequences as overt cortisol excess.

This finding that bone mass is reduced and vertebral fractures increased in adrenal incidentaloma patients with SH may help to address the future treatment choice in these patients. The results highlight the importance of screening patients with adrenal incidentalomas and SH for bone mass and fractures, in order to reduce the risk of further bone fractures.

Researcher Dr Iacopo Chiodini said: “This work helps us to understand the relationship between these adrenal tumours and bone structure. The men that took part in the study had adrenal tumours that had been discovered coincidentally whilst they were undergoing abdominal scans. Approximately 20% of patients with adrenal incidentalomas show subtle degrees of cortisol excess, which we describe as subclinical hypercortisolism. The link between overt cortisol excess and bone fractures is well documented, but the relationship between subclinical hypercortisolism in patients with adrenal incidentalomas and bone fractures has not been extensively studied. This study shows that subtly raised cortisol levels can cause the same clinical outcome as overtly raised levels of cortisol. Our research is the first to show a clear link between adrenal incidentalomas with SH and bone fractures in men, and represents an important step towards understanding the causal role of cortisol on bone loss and risk of fractures. There is a clear need for screening of adrenal incidentaloma patients with SH for bone fractures despite the absence of clinical symptoms in these patients.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Endocrinology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Endocrinology. "Adrenal Tumors Associated With Increased Risk Of Bone Fractures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223083348.htm>.
Society for Endocrinology. (2009, February 23). Adrenal Tumors Associated With Increased Risk Of Bone Fractures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223083348.htm
Society for Endocrinology. "Adrenal Tumors Associated With Increased Risk Of Bone Fractures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223083348.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins