gms | German Medical Science

61st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC) as part of the Neurowoche 2010
Joint Meeting with the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery on the 20 September 2010

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

21 - 25 September 2010, Mannheim

DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterol-sulfate) – a new marker in Cushing's disease? Preliminary results of 15 patients

Meeting Abstract

  • Till Burkhardt - Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
  • Jens Aberle - Abteilung für Endokrinologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
  • Manuel Mengel - Praxis für Endokrinologie Wuppertal, Germany
  • Jörg Flitsch - Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 61. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) im Rahmen der Neurowoche 2010. Mannheim, 21.-25.09.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. DocP1762

doi: 10.3205/10dgnc233, urn:nbn:de:0183-10dgnc2337

Published: September 16, 2010

© 2010 Burkhardt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The objective was to determine whether perioperative levels of DHEAS correlate with levels of ACTH and cortisol and therefore are useful as a new marker for cure in patients suffering from Cushing's disease.

Methods: 15 consecutive patients suffering from Cushing's disease were treated at our department from September 2009 to March 2010 and were perioperatively monitored for ACTH, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterol-sulfate (DHEAS), a precursor of testosterone, androgens and estrogen.

Preoperative and early postoperative ACTH, cortisol and DHEAS levels were correlated with each other to determine the usefulness of DHEAS as a parameter in patients suffering from Cushing's disease.

Results: 15 consecutive patients were included. All were treated for Cushing's disease via a transsphenoidal approach. Pre- and postoperative blood checks revealed high normal to elevated levels of ACTH (mean: 52ng/l), cortisol (mean: 217μg/l) and DHEAS (mean: 2.23 mg/l) according to the pathology of Cushing's disease. Postoperative blood checks showed decreased levels of ACTH down to 17.3% (mean: 9 ng/l) of its preoperative level. DHEAS levels decreased down to 16.5% (mean: 0.37 mg/l) and cortisol levels were reduced to 6.45% (mean: 14μg/l) of its preoperative level.

Conclusions: Due to the relatively low case number, we cannot yet make a statistically significant statement. Nevertheless, these results are promising and DHEAS could be a useful marker in the diagnosis and follow up of these patients.