Zargar A H, Sofi F A, Akhtar M A, Salahuddin M, Masoodi S R, Laway B A.
Adrenocortical reserve in patients with active tuberculosis.
J Pak Med Assoc Jul ;51(12):427-33.

CONTEXT: In recent years several studies have documented decreased adrenal cortical reserve in patients with active tuberculosis. This reduced adrenal reserve could be an important factor in causing mortality and morbidity in these patients. OBJECTIVE: To study the adrenal cortical reserve and its relationship with disease duration and severity in patients with active tuberculosis. DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Forty patients with confirmed active tuberculosis (28 pulmonary and 12 extra-pulmonary) without clinical evidence of Addison`s disease and 10 healthy, age and sex-matched subjects (controls) participated in this study. The study was conducted at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Kashmir. INTERVENTIONS: Adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation test performed in both groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Basal serum cortisol level and parameters of stimulated cortisol response (maximum increase of cortisol over basal, peak rise of cortisol and area under response curve). RESULTS: The mean basal cortisol levels were comparable between the two groups (P = 0.792). The parameters of stimulated cortisol response including maximum increase of cortisol over basal, the peak rise of cortisol and area under response curves were significantly lower in patients as compared to healthy controls (P < 0.001, 0.002 and 0.049 respectively). However, these parameters were comparable between patients with active pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. Overall 14 (35%) patients exhibited sub-optimal cortisol response (3 negligible and 11 inadequate) to ACTH stimulation. ACTH stimulation revealed significant cortisol rise in patients with active tuberculosis at 4 and 8 hours only, whereas in healthy controls, the cortisol rise was more prolonged and continued up to 24 hours. The adrenocortical reserve was inversely related to the radiological severity of pulmonary tuberculosis (r, -0.41) and chronicity of active tuberculosis (r, -0.59). CONCLUSION: Patients with active tuberculosis have decreased adrenocortical reserve. The adrenocortical reserve seems to be inversely related to the radiological severity of pulmonary tuberculosis and chronicity of active tuberculosis.

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