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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1991 Dec;35(6):509-17.

Insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity and glucose-mediated glucose disposal in Cushing's disease: a minimal model analysis.

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  • 1Endocrine Unit, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We wished to assess the contributions of insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity and glucose-mediated glucose disposal to glucose tolerance in subjects exposed to chronic glucocorticoid excess.

DESIGN:

Patients with Cushing's disease were subjected to a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test before and at least 3 months after curative surgery and compared to a control group.

PATIENTS:

Seven patients with clinical and biochemically proven pituitary dependent Cushing's disease and 10 healthy control subjects were studied.

MEASUREMENTS:

Paired glucose and insulin plasma profiles were analysed by the Minimal Model method of Bergman, which provided simultaneous estimates of the glucose decay rate, insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity and glucose-mediated and non-insulin-mediated glucose disposal. Data were evaluated by non-parametric statistical analysis and reported as median and interquartile ranges.

RESULTS:

Basal glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon levels were significantly raised preoperatively and fell towards normal post-operatively. Glucose tolerance assessed as glucose decay rate was reduced significantly preoperatively (pre: 1.3 (0.8-2.0) vs post: 1.6 (1.5-2.6) per min x 10(2), P less than 0.05). First phase insulin release was similar in the Cushing's disease and control subjects. In contrast, second phase insulin release was significantly greater preoperatively and remained high post-operatively compared to control subjects (pre: 18.8 (16.7-23.6) vs post: 16.7 (8.5-18.8) vs control 11.1 (4.5-15.4) mU/g/min2 x 10(-2), P less than 0.002). Median insulin sensitivity was reduced by 60% preoperatively in the Cushing's disease subjects compared to the post-operative Cushing's disease and control subjects (pre: 2.1 (1.3-4.2) vs post: 5.0 (3.2-7.3) vs control 5.1 (2.2-7.2) per min/mU/l x 10(4)). Median glucose-mediated glucose disposal was reduced by 40% in the pre and post-operative Cushing's disease subjects compared to the control group (pre: 1.1 (0.6-2.1) vs post: 1.1 (0.6-2.1) vs control 1.9 (1.4-2.6) per min x 10(2)), but this was not statistically significant. However, non-insulin-mediated glucose disposal was significantly reduced in the preoperative Cushing's disease subjects (pre: 0.55 (0.08-1.59) vs control 1.43 (0.94-2.27) per min x 10(2), P less than 0.05). In the Cushing's disease subjects, glucose tolerance correlated with both insulin sensitivity (rs = 0.84, P less than 0.01) and non-insulin-mediated glucose disposal (rs = 0.56, P less than 0.05). The fractional clearance rate of insulin was unaltered by Cushing's disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cushing's disease subjects are characterized by impaired glucose tolerance due to both reduced insulin sensitivity and non-insulin-mediated glucose disposal, in the presence of enhanced insulin secretion.

PMID:
1769133
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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