Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

CONTEXT: Patients with primary (PAI) and secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) experience bone metabolism alterations, possibly due to excessive replacement. Dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) has shown promising effects on several parameters, but bone metabolism has seldom been investigated. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the long-term effects of once-daily DR-HC on bone in PAI and SAI. METHODS: Patients on immediate-release glucocorticoid therapy were evaluated before and up to 6 years (range, 4-6) after switching to equivalent doses of DR-HC, yielding data on bone turnover markers, femoral and lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD), and trabecular bone score (TBS). RESULTS: Thirty-two patients (19 PAI, 18 female), median age 52 years (39.4-60.7), were included. At baseline, osteopenia was observed in 38% of patients and osteoporosis in 9%, while TBS was at least partially degraded in 41.4%. Higher body surface area-adjusted glucocorticoid doses predicted worse neck (P < .001) and total hip BMD (P < .001). Longitudinal analysis showed no significant change in BMD. TBS showed a trend toward decrease (P = .090). Bone markers were stable, albeit osteocalcin levels significantly varied. PAI and SAI subgroups behaved similarly, as did patients switching from hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate. Compared with men, women exhibited worse decline in TBS (P = .017) and a similar trend for neck BMD (P = .053). CONCLUSION: After 6 years of chronic DR-HC replacement, BMD and bone markers remained stable. TBS decline is more likely due to an age-related derangement of bone microarchitecture rather than a glucocorticoid effect. Our data confirm the safety of DR-HC replacement on bone health in both PAI and SAI patients.

Original publication




Journal article


J Endocr Soc

Publication Date





adrenal insufficiency, bone metabolism, dual-release hydrocortisone, glucocorticoids, osteoporosis, trabecular bone score