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Could a nonfunctional adrenal incidentaloma be a risk factor for increased carotid intima-media thickness and 10-year cardiovascular mortality based on the SCORE algorithm? A study from a single centre in Poland

Endokrynol Pol. 2023 Nov 23. doi: 10.5603/ep.95139. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Adrenal incidentaloma (AI) secreting small amounts of glucocorticoids may cause morphological and functional changes in the blood vessels. Early stages of cardiovascular remodeling may be observed among asymptomatic patients with AI. But it is unclear whether the nonfunctional adrenal incidentalomas (NFAI) may also be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between NFAI, carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), and cardiovascular risk (CVR) based on Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) prediction models for Europe.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study from a single centre in Poland included 48 NFAI patients and 44 individuals in the control group matched for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). All participants underwent adrenal imaging, biochemical evaluation, measurement of CIMT, and assessment of the 10-year risk of cardiovascular mortality based on the SCORE algorithm. Hormonal evaluation was conducted in AI patients.

RESULTS: The NFAI group showed significantly higher sodium (p = 0.02) and glucose levels in the 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) (p = 0.04), a higher CIMT (p < 0.01), and a higher CVR calculated according to the SCORE algorithm (p = 0.03). The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was higher in the NFAI group (p = 0.015). Hypertension (p < 0.01) and IGT (p = 0.026) were more common in the NFAI group. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between CIMT and age (r = 0.373, p = 0.003), waist circumference (r = 0.316, p = 0.029), diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.338, p = 0.019), and CVR based on the SCORE algorithm (r = 0.43, p = 0.004). There was a statistically significant positive correlation between CIMT and serum cortisol levels after 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (r = 0.33, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Non-functional adrenal adenomas are associated with increased CIMT and CVR. Early stages of cardiovascular remodelling can be observed in asymptomatic NFAI patients.

PMID:37994583 | DOI:10.5603/ep.95139

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