Hypercortisolism on the background of recovery of COVID-19 (сase report)


  • V. Kravchenko State Institution “V.P. Komisarenko Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • O. Rakov State Institution “V.P. Komisarenko Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • L.V. Slipachuk Bohomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine




Cushing’s syndrome, hypercortisolism, COVID-19, treatment, case report


Damage to the lung tissue is a predominant complication of the viral disease COVID-19. Recently, there have been complications from other organs, including highly vascularized endocrine glands. Regarding the adrenal glands, there are reports of their damage with a decrease in their function. Сhanging the function of the adrenal glands (AG) in patients with or after COVID-19 is important. A few adrenal autopsy studies in patients have revealed vascular thrombosis, cortical lipid degeneration, ischemic necrosis, parenchymal infarcts, and other lesions leading to a decrease in AG function. The central mechanism of adrenal dysfunction through hemorrhage and necrosis of the pituitary gland is also possible. This paper presents a rare case of the development of hypercortisolism in a young woman after recovering from COVID-19. Based on high ACTH levels (157 and 122 pg/ml), a negative nocturnal dexamethasone test, and high 24-hour urinary free (daily) cortisol excretion rates, we tentatively suspected Cushing’s disease. Chromogranin A was within the normal range of 21.35 (reference value < 100). Other tests showed an elevated dihydrotestosterone level of 780.6 pg/ml (reference values 24–368 pg/ml). The levels of other anterior pituitary hormones tested were within the normal range. According to clinical guidelines, the drug of choice for the short-term treatment of this disease is steroidogenesis inhibitors — ketoconazole. The effectiveness of such a treatment regimen was previously brought to light by others. In our case, ketoconazole was prescribed at a dose of 400 mg 2 times a day and cabergoline (dostinex) at an initial dose of 1 mg per day. Given the low levels of vitamin D in the blood serum, it was recommended to continue taking vitamin D at a dose of 4000 IU per day. It was recommended to control blood laboratory parameters — serum cortisol, ACTH, AST, ALT, electrolytes, 25(OH)D, blood glucose level after 2 months and decide on further tactics for managing the patient.


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How to Cite

Kravchenko, V., Rakov, O., & Slipachuk, L. (2022). Hypercortisolism on the background of recovery of COVID-19 (сase report). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY (Ukraine), 18(2), 133–137. https://doi.org/10.22141/2224-0721.18.2.2022.1159



Clinical Case