Cortisol and ACTH dynamics in the acute phase of subarachnoid haemorrhage
(English)In: British Journal of Neurosurgery, ISSN 0268-8697, E-ISSN 1360-046XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Objective: An adequate response of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is important for survival and recovery after a severe disease. The hypothalamus and the pituitary glands are at risk of damage after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). A better understanding of the hormonal changes would be valuable for optimizing care in the acute phase of SAH.
Patients: 55 patients with spontaneous SAH were evaluated regarding morning levels of S-Cortisol and P-ACTH seven days after the bleeding. In a subgroup of 20 patients the diurnal changes of S-Cortisol and P-ACTH levels were studied and U-Cortisol measured. The relations of hormone levels to clinical and radiological parameters and to outcome were assessed.
Results: S-Cortisol and P-ACTH were elevated the day of SAH. S-Cortisol levels below reference range were uncommon. Early global cerebral oedema was associated with higher S-Cortisol concentrations at admission and a worse WFNS and RLS85 grade. Patients in better WFNS grade had higher U-Cortisol levels. All patients showed diurnal variations of S-Cortisol and P-ACTH. A reversed diurnal variation of S-Cortisol was more frequently seen in mechanically ventilated patients. Periods of suppressed P-ACTH associated with S-Cortisol peaks occurred especially in periods of secondary brain ischemia.
Conclusion: There is a HPA response acutely after SAH with an increase of P-ACTH and S-Cortisol levels. Higher U-Cortisol levels in patients in a better clinical grade may indicate a more robust response of the HPA system. Global cerebral oedema was associated with higher S-Cortisol levels at admission and may be the result of the stress response initiated by the brain injury. Periods of suppressed P-ACTH occurred particularly in periods of brain ischemia, indicating a possibly connection between brain ischemia and ACTH suppression. These two novel findings should be evaluated in further studies.
Subarachnoid haemorrhage, Cortisol, ACTH, Diurnal variation, Cerebral oedema
Research subject Neurosurgery
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-128968DiVA: diva2:332356