May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
The Use of the Low-Dose Short Synacthen Test in Assessing Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Insufficiency in Post-Keratoplasty Patients on Ophthalmic Topical Corticosteroids
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. S. Sandhu
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • A. W. Ferguson
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • M. Doherty
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • K. Johnson
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Endocrinology,
  • K. Davies
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • H. Jarvis
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • A. James
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Endocrinology,
  • F. C. Figueiredo
    Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Department of Ophthalmology,
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  S.S. Sandhu, None; A.W. Ferguson, None; M. Doherty, None; K. Johnson, None; K. Davies, None; H. Jarvis, None; A. James, None; F.C. Figueiredo, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 5756. doi:https://doi.org/
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      S. S. Sandhu, A. W. Ferguson, M. Doherty, K. Johnson, K. Davies, H. Jarvis, A. James, F. C. Figueiredo; The Use of the Low-Dose Short Synacthen Test in Assessing Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Insufficiency in Post-Keratoplasty Patients on Ophthalmic Topical Corticosteroids. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5756. doi: https://doi.org/.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: : Several studies have sought to identify if high dose inhaled corticosteroids cause suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, though no published research has studied patients receiving topical steroids for ocular pathologies since the 1970s. These studies only looked at short-term steroid use and in very few patients. To prevent graft rejection long-term low-dose topical corticosteroid is often necessary. The purpose of this study is to identify if there is a link between the prolonged use of topical ophthalmic corticosteroids preparations and adrenal suppression or insufficiency after corneal transplantation.

Methods: : Patients were recruited from the corneal transplantation service, in a tertiary eye hospital in the UK. They had been on daily topical steroids following penetrating keratoplasty, either prednisolone acetate 1% or 0.5% for longer than 6 months. There was no history of concomitant steroid use. All patients had measurements of serum cortisol followed by a low-dose standard Short Synacthen Test (LDSST), and then a normal dose Short Synacthen Test (SST). The widely accepted standard of HPA axis suppression/insufficiency defined as a base-line cortisol value of <190nmol/L, peak 30-minute LDSST cortisol of <550nmol/L or 30-minute SST cortisol of <550nmol/L.

Results: : The twenty patients consisted of 8 males and 13 females with a mean age of 71.6 (range 51 to 87) years and treatment duration of 55.9 (± 44.3) months. All patients were found to have adequate adrenal function based on the LDSST and SST with a mean base-line cortisol value of 458.9nmol/L (95%CI: 415.0 to 502.7), mean 30-minute LDSST cortisol 716.0nmol/L (95%CI: 671.7 to 760.3) and mean 30-minute SST cortisol 761.1nmol/L (95%CI:704.8 to 817.4).

Conclusions: : No patients have adrenal suppression according to the above definitions. Furthermore, none have adrenal insufficiency. This study clearly demonstrates the safe prophylactic use of long-term low dose topical steroids in corneal transplantation.

Keywords: corticosteroids • transplantation • cornea: clinical science 
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