Bilateral adrenalectomy in Cushing's disease: Altered long-term quality of life compared to other treatment options.Ann Endocrinol (Paris) 2019; 80(1):32-37AE
Bilateral adrenalectomy (BADX) has become an important treatment of Cushing's disease (CD), especially when other treatment options have failed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term quality of life (QoL) of patients having undergone BADX for CD, in comparison to other therapeutic options.
Thirty-four patients with CD were identified in two French centers: 17 underwent BADX and the remaining 17 one or more of the following treatments: surgery, medical therapy or radiotherapy. Three questionnaires were filled in by each patient in order to evaluate their QoL: Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), Cushing QoL questionnaire and Beck depression inventory (BDI).
The mean age of patients was 49.3±15.2 years. Average time lapse between diagnosis and BADX was 6.1 years. Results from each questionnaire adjusted to age showed a lower QoL among patients who underwent BADX. These were significant in most aspects of the SF-36 questionnaire (bodily pain P<0.01, general health P<0.01, vitality P≤0.05, social functioning P≤0.05), as well as in the Cushing QoL questionnaire (P<0.05) and BDI (P≤0.05). Adrenal insufficiency appeared to be the major predictor of poor QoL whatever their initial treatment.
Despite their clinical remission, patients who undergo BADX appear to be at a greater risk of suffering an impaired QoL due to more prolonged period of time with imperfectly controlled hypercortisolism combined with definitive adrenal insufficiency.