1386-341X (Print) 1573-7403 (Online)
Lucio Vilar1, 2, 4 , Luciana A. Naves3, Monalisa F. Azevedo3, Maria Juliana Arruda1, Carla M. Arahata1, Lidiane Moura e Silva1, Rodrigo Agra1, Lisete Pontes1, Larissa Montenegro1, José Luciano Albuquerque1 and Viviane Canadas1
Published online: 27 November 2009
Abstract The expression of dopamine receptor subtypes has been reported in corticotroph adenomas, and this finding support the possibility for medical treatment of Cushing’s disease (CD) with dopamine agonists when conventional treatment has failed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of cabergoline (at doses of up 3 mg/week), alone or combined with relatively low doses of ketoconazole (up to 400 mg/day), in 12 patients with CD unsuccessfully treated by transsphenoidal surgery. After 6 months of cabergoline therapy, normalization of 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels occurred in three patients (25%) at doses ranging from 2–3 mg/week, whereas reductions ranging from 15.0 to 48.4% were found in the remaining. The addition of ketonocazole to the nine patients without an adequate response to cabergoline was able to normalize UFC excretion in six patients (66.7%) at doses of 200 mg/day (three patients), 300 mg/day (two patients) and 400 mg/day (one patient). In the remaining patients UFC levels did not normalize but a significant reduction ranging from to 44.4 to 51.7% was achieved. In two of the six responsive patients to combination therapy, the weekly dose of cabergoline could be later reduced from 3 to 2 mg. Our findings demonstrated that cabergoline monotherapy was able to reverse hypercortisolism in 25% of patients with CD unsuccessfully treated by surgery. Moreover, the addition of relatively low doses of ketoconazole led to normalization of UFC in about two-thirds of patients not achieving a full response to cabergoline.
Keywords Cushing’s disease - Cabergoline - Ketoconazole
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