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01 February 2004

A trial of intranasal ACTH(1-24) administration to a patient with isolated ACTH deficiency

Naoki Hiroi, Takamasa Ichijo, Yasuyo Tsuchida, Yukitaka Miyachi

Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(2): CS9-13 :: ID: 11590


Background:Isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency is a rare cause of secondary adrenocortical insufficiency. Normally it could be used therapeutically as an alternative to glucocorticoid treatment in these patients. We investigated the possibility of therapeutic approach as intranasal ACTH replacement therapy in patients with ACTH deficiency.Case Report: A 32-year-old woman with general fatigue, weakness of legs and loss of consciousness due to severe hyponatremia was admitted to our hospital. Endocrinological studies showed low levels of plasma ACTH and serum cortisol with the loss of circadian rhythm. Plasma ACTH and serum cortisol levels failed to respond after intravenous injection of human corticotropin releasing hormone (hCRH), however, serum cortisol showed a blunted response to ACTH(1-24) stimulation test. She was diagnosed isolated ACTH deficiency. We performed continuous intranasal administration of ACTH(1-24) to the patient. There were no cortisol, aldosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) responses to a single intranasal ACTH(1-24) administration while these levels increased 6 days after intranasal treatment of ACTH(1-24).Conclusions: These data demonstrate that adrenocortical steroids production are stimulated by intranasal administration of ACTH(1-24) in this patient with isolated ACTH deficiency. We suggest that intranasal administration of ACTH offers a therapeutic approach as ACTH replacement therapy in patients with ACTH deficiency. The latter may be more physiologic than glucocorticoid replacement.

Keywords: Aldosterone - blood, Administration, Intranasal, Adrenocorticotropic Hormone - deficiency, Adult, Aldosterone - blood, Blood Chemical Analysis, Cosyntropin - pharmacology, Dehydroepiandrosterone - blood, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate - blood, Drug Administration Schedule, Hematologic Tests, Hormones - blood, Hydrocortisone - urine, Urinalysis


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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750