, Volume 66, Issue 15, pp 686-689

The effect of sodium valproate in Cushing's disease, Nelson's syndrome and Addison's disease

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Summary

We investigated the effect of sodium valproate on plasma ACTH and serum cortisol concentrations in different pathological states of ACTH hypersecretion. Five patients with pituitary dependent Cushing's syndrome, two patients with Nelson's syndrome and five patients with Addison's disease were studied. Neither a single dose nor long term administration of sodium valproate resulted in a significant decrease of plasma ACTH levels in patients with Cushing's disease and Nelson's syndrome. Furthermore, the response of ACTH and cortisol to stimulation with lysine-vasopressin was unaffected during acute and chronic treatment. Patients with Addison's disease showed a slight attenuation of the ACTH response to lysine-vasopressin as compared to placebo but the difference was not statistically significant. In conclusion: sodium valproate does not appear to be effective in controlling ACTH hypersecretion in pituitary dependent Cushing's syndrome.