Article ID: EJ18-0101
Circadian variations impact thyrotropin (TSH) secretion; in Cushing’s syndrome (CS) patients, the nocturnal serum TSH surge is abolished. The aim of this prospective study is to examine whether serum TSH surge may be a useful diagnostic method for CS. This prospective study recruited 136 inpatients for differential diagnosis of CS or subclinical CS (SCS), and 21 inpatients with depression at Osaka University Hospital. Serum TSH surge was assessed by the midnight-to-morning serum TSH ratio (2300–2400 h to 0800–0900 h). The diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) between TSH ratio and ordinary screening tests [low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST), late-night serum cortisol and urine free cortisol (UFC)] were compared. Twenty-two patients were diagnosed as CS (12 overt CS and 10 SCS) and the remaining 120 patients were excluded for CS. The diagnostic accuracy of TSH ratio (cutoff value 1.0) yielded sensitivity 90.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 70.8–98.9], specificity 95.0% (95% CI 89.4–98.1), and a high positive and low negative likelihood ratio [18.2 (95% CI 8.2–40.1) and 0.096 (95% CI 0.026–0.359), respectively]. The specificity of TSH ratio was significantly higher than LDDST and midnight serum cortisol test. The sensitivity of TSH ratio was significantly higher than UFC. TSH ratio showed more than 1.0 in all patients with depression and CYP3A4 inducer users. TSH ratio is a novel supportive diagnostic method with higher specificity than the current diagnostic methods for CS.