<p>Objectives: The influence of hypercortisolism on phosphate homeostasis is relatively unknown. A few previous studies have reported on patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS) with hypophosphatemia in whom serum phosphate normalized after initiation of treatment for CS. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of hypophosphatemia in CS, the association between the degree of hypercortisolism and serum phosphate and the change in serum phosphate after remission of CS. We compared the prevalence of hypophosphatemia in CS with the prevalence in the population-based Rotterdam Study (RS).  <br/></p><p>Methods: Patients diagnosed with CS and treated at the Department of Endocrinology of Erasmus MC in the period of 2002-2020 were included and data was collected on age at diagnosis, sex, serum phosphate, calcium and potassium levels, kidney function and BMI. Using multivariate linear regression, we analyzed the association between 24h urinary free cortisol excretion (UFC) and serum phosphate. Changes in serum phosphate and covariates were tested with a repeated measurement ANOVA, using mean levels of laboratory values for the periods before remission, and 0-14 days and 15-180 days after remission.  <br/></p><p>Results: Hypophosphatemia before treatment was present in 16% of the 99 CS patients with data on serum phosphate, 24h UFC and covariates. In comparison, the prevalence of hypophosphatemia in RS was 2.0-4.2%. Linear regression showed a negative association between the level of UFC and serum phosphate at diagnosis, which remained significant after adjusting for covariates [β -0.002 (95%CI -0.004; -0.0004), p=0.021]. A subset of 24 patients had additional phosphate measurements at 0-14 days and 15-180 days after remission. In this subgroup, serum phosphate significantly increased from 1.03 ± 0.17 mmol/L prior to remission to 1.22 ± 0.25 mmol/L 15-180 days after remission (p = 0.008). BMI decreased after remission [-1.1 kg/m<sup>2</sup>, (95%CI -2.09 to -0.07), p=0.037]. Other covariates did not show an equivalent change over time.  <br/></p><p>Conclusion: In this retrospective study, we found that 16% of patients with CS had hypophosphatemia. Moreover, serum phosphate was related to the level of cortisoluria and increased after remission of CS. Potential underlying mechanisms related to urinary phosphate excretion and possibly involving FGF23, BMI and parathyroid hormone levels should be further explored.</p>

doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.733793, hdl.handle.net/1765/137157
Frontiers in Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

A. (Ariadne) Bosman, A.W. (Annewieke) van den Beld, R.A. Feelders, & M.C. Zillikens. (2021). Cortisol and Phosphate Homeostasis: Cushing’s Syndrome Is Associated With Reversible Hypophosphatemia. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 12. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.733793