2019 Volume 66 Issue 3 Pages 207-214
Adrenal Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is caused by cortisol-producing adrenal adenoma and is frequently accompanied by glucose metabolism disorders, which are characterized by increased insulin resistance and insufficient β-cell compensation. However, considering the rarity of CS, few studies have assessed whether the glucose metabolism disorders could be ameliorated by surgical treatment. In this case series, we evaluated glucose metabolism before and after surgery in 11 patients (10 women and 1 man) who underwent unilateral adrenalectomy for overt adrenal CS between 2005 and 2016. Patients with pre-diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) were excluded. Pre- and post-operative 75-g oral glucose tolerance tests were performed. Cortisol secretion decreased significantly after surgery (median 24-h urinary free cortisol: 582.0 μg/day [interquartile range: 321.0–743.0 μg/day] to 31.3 μg/day [23.6–40.6 μg/day], p = 0.001). The results of the OGTT generally improved after surgery (normal glucose tolerance/impaired glucose tolerance/DM: 2/8/1 to 8/3/0), with significant decreases in the immunoreactive insulin and glucose levels. We also found a decrease in the median homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (2.4 [1.4–2.8] to 1.0 [0.6–1.1], p = 0.002), and increases in the median Matsuda index (3.0 [2.3–4.5] to 8.2 [6.3–11.4], p < 0.001), median insulinogenic index (0.70 [0.22–1.51] to 1.22 [0.78–1.64], p = 0.08), and median disposition index (609.1 [237.8–1,095.2] to 1,286.0 [1,034.6–1,857.6], p = 0.002). These findings indicate that adrenalectomy for adrenal CS without overt DM may help ameliorate glucose metabolism disorders, and improve both insulin resistance and insulin secretion.