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Adrenal Suppression in Infants Treated with Topical Ocular Glucocorticoids

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PURPOSE: To analyze the incidence of adrenal suppression and the glucocorticoid (GC) dose per kilogram body weight given in infants treated with standard protocol for topical ophthalmic GCs after congenital cataract surgery.

DESIGN: Retrospective, consecutive case series.

PARTICIPANTS: All children younger than 2 years of age who underwent operation for congenital cataract between January 2011 and May 2015 in 1 center.

METHODS: Patient charts were reviewed to collect data on results and timing of a standard corticotropin (adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]) stimulation test and GC dose per kilogram body weight.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of adrenal suppression in children tested on GC treatment. Glucocorticoid dose per kilogram body weight.

RESULTS: Among 26 consecutive infants, 15 (58%) were tested while they were still on GC treatment. Ten of these 15 infants (67%) had adrenal suppression, 2 of whom had obvious clinical signs of Cushing's syndrome and 1 of whom had signs of Addisonian crises during general anesthesia. Eleven of the 26 infants (42%) were tested at a median time of 21 days (range, 6-89) after treatment cessation, and they all had normal test results. Children with suppressed adrenal function had received cumulative GC doses per body weight that were significantly higher the last 5 days before testing compared with children with normal test results. Infants with adrenal suppression were treated with hydrocortisone replacement therapy. Adrenal function recovered after a median of 3.1 months (range, 2.3 months to 2.3 years).

CONCLUSIONS: Two thirds of the infants tested during treatment with a standard GC protocol after congenital cataract surgery showed adrenal suppression. There was a significant association between the cumulative daily dose of GCs and the test result. Because adrenal suppression is a serious but treatable condition, we recommend a systematic assessment of adrenal function in infants treated with doses of topical ocular GCs comparable to our regimen and careful evaluations of other treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOphthalmology
Volume125
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1638-1643
Number of pages5
ISSN0161-6420
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 54708104