Prolonged steroid dependence in adult patients with glioma

Emmanuel C. Mantilla, Jessica Abramowitz, Tu Dan, Edward Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: Prolonged use of glucocorticoids (GC) in glioma treatment can lead to adrenal insufficiency (AI) and subsequent steroid dependence due to suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This is challenging to diagnose due to its nonspecific clinical symptoms erroneously ascribed to treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors predisposing patients with gliomas to develop AI. Patients and Methods: Charts in the neurooncology clinic from July 2018 to March 2019 were reviewed. Inclusion criteria included >18 y/o with WHO Grade II-IV gliomas, and secondary AI. Demographic profile, tumor characteristics, and treatment profile were compared. Results: The majority of patients were started on high dose dexamethasone at >8 mg daily, and were on dexamethasone for 4-8 months. The minimum dose needed to prevent symptoms was 0.5 mg to 2 mg daily. The majority received standard radiation doses ranging from 54-60 Gy. Most patients had radiation exposure to the HPA axis within the prescription isodose levels. Conclusion: Prolonged steroid dependency can result from chronic GC use in patients with glioma. Dose and duration of GC are risk factors for its development. Radiation exposure to the HPA axis may also be a contributing factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2059-2064
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency
  • Steroid dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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