09.11.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2020
Evidence of Systemic Absorption of Enteral Budesonide in Patients with Fontan-Associated Protein-Losing Enteropathy
- Richard Ogden Roberts III, Michael V. Di Maria, Dania Brigham, Stephanie Hsu
To evaluate for evidence of systemic glucocorticoid absorption in cases of Fontan-associated protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) treated with enteral budesonide, we reviewed the charts of 27 patients with Fontan-associated PLE followed at Children’s Hospital Colorado from 2005 to 2018. Cases were excluded for lack of budesonide thserapy or a treatment duration of less than 6 months. Charts were examined by two endocrinologists for review of prior biochemical endocrine evaluations, alterations in linear growth, and physical exam findings consistent with steroid excess. Twelve patients met inclusion criteria. Eight had prior documented cortisol screening. Three patients were tested while on treatment with a median fasting AM cortisol of 0.9 mcg/dL; two of these had a concomitantly measured ACTH, both below the detectable limit. Five patients were tested while weaning or having discontinued budesonide, with a median fasting AM cortisol of 9.1 mcg/dL. Eleven patients had decreases in height velocity associated with starting budesonide. Six patients had documentation of cushingoid features by an endocrinologist. In this cohort of children treated with budesonide for PLE following Fontan, clinical signs of systemic glucocorticoid absorption were frequent. Cortisol secretion was suppressed while on therapy, with adrenal recovery noted once budesonide was discontinued. Growth failure and cushingoid features were common findings. While these findings should be confirmed in larger cohorts, we recommend that the evaluation for systemic absorption of exogenous steroids be considered in patients treated with long-term enteral budesonide given the potential risk for adrenal crisis in times of physiologic stressors.