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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 2061935, 7 pages
Research Article

Depression and Anxiety Scores Are Associated with Amygdala Volume in Cushing’s Syndrome: Preliminary Study

1Endocrinology/Medicine Departments, Hospital Sant Pau, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBER-ER, Unidad 747), IIB-Sant Pau, ISCIII and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain
2Neuroradiology Unit, Hospital de Sant Pau and IIB-Sant Pau, UAB, Barcelona, Spain
3INNDACYT, Avda. Europa 20, Planta Baja Puerta D 08907, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Alicia Santos; tac.uaptnas@sotnasa

Received 2 February 2017; Revised 31 March 2017; Accepted 26 April 2017; Published 18 May 2017

Academic Editor: Margaret A. Niznikiewicz

Copyright © 2017 Alicia Santos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Cushing’s syndrome (CS) has repeatedly been associated with hippocampal volume reductions, while little information is available on the amygdala, another structure rich in glucocorticoid receptors. The aim of the study was to analyze amygdala volume in patients with CS and its relationship with anxiety, depression, and hormone levels. Material and Methods. 39 CS patients (16 active and 23 patients in remission) and 39 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level completed anxiety (STAI) and depression tests (BDI-II) and underwent a 3 Tesla brain MRI and endocrine testing. Amygdala volumes were analysed with FreeSurfer software. Results. Active CS patients had smaller right (but not left) amygdala volumes when compared to controls (). Left amygdala volumes negatively correlated with depression scores (, ) and current anxiety state scores (, ) in active CS patients and with anxiety trait scores (, ) in patients in remission. No correlations were found between current ACTH, urinary free cortisol or blood cortisol levels, and amygdala volumes in either patient group. Conclusion. Patients with active CS have a smaller right amygdala volume in comparison to controls, while left amygdala volumes are associated with mood state in both patient groups.