Computerized analysis of brain MRI parameter dynamics in young patients with Cushing syndrome—a case-control study

Amit Tirosh, Harish RaviPrakash, Georgios Z. Papadakis, Christina Tatsi, Elena Belyavskaya, Lyssikatos Charalampos, Maya B. Lodish, Ulas Bagci, Constantine A. Stratakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Young patients with Cushing Syndrome (CS) may develop cognitive and behavioral alterations during disease course. Methods: To investigate the effects of CS on the brain, we analyzed consecutive MRI scans of patients with (n = 29) versus without CS (n = 8). Multiple brain compartments were processed for total and gray/white matter (GM/WM) volumes and intensities, and cortical volume, thickness, and surface area. Dynamics (last/baseline scans ratio per parameter) were analyzed versus cortisol levels and CS status (persistent, resolved, and non-CS). Results: Twenty-four-hour urinary free cortisol (24hUFC) measurements had inverse correlation with the intensity of subcortical GM structures and of the corpus callosum, and with the cerebral WM intensity. 24hUFC dynamics had negative correlation with volume dynamics of multiple cerebral and cerebellar structures. Patients with persistent CS had less of an increase in cortical thickness and WM intensity, and less of a decrease in WM volume compared with patients with resolution of CS. Patients with resolution of their CS had less of an increase in subcortical GM and cerebral WM volumes, but a greater increase in cortical thickness of frontal lobe versus controls. Conclusion: Changes in WM/GM consistency, intensity, and homogeneity in patients with CS may correlate with CS clinical consequences better than volume dynamics alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdgz303
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Cushing
  • Hypercortisolemia
  • Volumes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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