Computed Tomography and Ultrasonography of the Adrenal Glands in Paracoccidioidomycosis. Comparison with Cortisol and Aldosterone Responses to ACTH Stimulation

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  • University Hospital, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Evandro Chagas Hospital, Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fifteen patients with proven disseminated paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) had computed tomography (CT) and ultrasonography (US) performed to evaluate the form, shape, density and size of their adrenal glands. Plasma and urinary cortisol were determined and adrenal reserve assessed by measuring the cortisol and aldosterone responses to synthetic ACTH. The adrenal CT showed unilateral lesions in two cases and bilateral in another four. The US study showed more frequent alterations, unilateral in seven and bilateral in three subjects. Combining both methods increased the sensitivity to 85% of the cases. All patients had normal plasma cortisol concentrations and normal or increased urinary cortisol excretion. Plasma aldosterone concentration was also normal except in one patient with hypokalemia. Seven patients showed diminished cortisol responses, five had subnormal aldosterone responses and in five plasma aldosterone concentration increased more than normally after stimulation by ACTH. There was an incidence of limited adrenal reserve in 53% of the patients on ACTH stimulation. No correlation was evident between the disorders in adrenal steroid responses to ACTH and changes in morphology revealed by CT and/or US.