The following is the summary of “Increased Risk of Ocular Hypertension in Patients With Cushing’s Disease” published in the December 2022 issue of Glaucoma by Ma, et al.
Ocular hypertension was more common in people with Cushing’s illness. The usage of steroids in the body is a major contributor to high intraocular pressure (IOP). Topical or systemic glucocorticoid use may increase the prevalence of ocular hypertension in the general population from 30–40%. The prevalence of ocular hypertension in endogenous hypercortisolemia and the ophthalmological consequences following endocrine remission after surgical resection are unknown. During the period of January 2019 through July 2019, all patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) who were hospitalized at a tertiary pituitary facility for surgical intervention had their intraocular pressure (IOP), vision field, and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness recorded.
Nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) patients and acromegaly patients from the same time period were used as comparison groups. Researchers showed postoperative changes in IOP, estimated the odds ratio (OR), and identified risk variables for the development of ocular hypertension. About 52 patients with CD were included in the study (mean age 38.4±12.4 years). Patients with CD had an IOP that was 19.4±5.4 mm Hg in the left eye and 20.0±7.1 mm Hg in the right eye, which was significantly higher than that of patients with acromegaly (17.5±2.3 mm Hg in the left eye and 18.6±7.0 mm Hg in the right eye, P=0.033) and NFPA (17.8±2.6 mm Hg in the left eye and 17.4±2.4 mm Hg in the right eye, Ocular hypertension was diagnosed in 21 eyes (20.2%) of CD patients, but only 4 eyes (4.7%) of acromegaly patients and 4 eyes (4.5%) of NFPA patients. Patients with CD had an odds ratio (OR) of 5.1 [95% CI, 1.3-25.1, P=0.029] and 6.6 [95% CI, 1.8-30.3, P=0.007] for developing ocular hypertension compared with the 2 control groups.
Higher levels of urine-free cortisol were associated with an increased risk of ocular hypertension in CD patients (OR=19.4, 95% CI, 1.7-72.6). Patients with CD saw a decrease in IOP at 1 month following surgery, and this improvement was maintained for another 2 months. Researchers conclude that endogenous hypercortisolemia should be included as part of the glaucoma assessment due to the increased risk of ocular hypertension in CD. Ophthalmologists and neuroendocrinologists should use their judgment in light of this finding.