Congenital deficiency of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (apparent mineralocorticoid excess syndrome): diagnostic value of urinary free cortisol and cortisone

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The syndrome of apparent mineralocorticoid excess (AME) is an inherited form of hypertension. This disorder results from an inability of the enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-OHSD) to inactivate cortisol to cortisone. The diagnosis of AME is usually based on an elevated ratio of cortisol to cortisone reduced metabolites in the urine [tetrahydrocortisol plus allotetrahydrocortisol to tetrahydrocortisone (THF+alloTHF/THE)]. The principal site of "A" ring reduction is the liver, but AME arises from mutation in the gene encoding 11beta-OHSD2 in the kidney. We used a gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric method to measure the urinary free cortisol (UFF) and free cortisone (UFE) in 24 patients affected by the two variants of AME [19 with the classical form (type I) and 5 with the mild form called AME type II] in order to provide a more reproducible in vivo measure of the renal enzymatic activity. Type I patients were divided into two groups: children under 12 and adults. UFF levels (microg/24 h) did not differ between under-12 controls and AME type I children (mean+/-SD, 9+/-4 and 15+/-12, respectively), but was significantly higher in affected adults compared to controls: (62+/-32 vs 29+/-8, p


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endocrinological investigation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • cortisone, cortisol, gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry, hypertension, apparent mineralocorticoid syndrome