This is a series of urgent clinical guidance documents on the management of endocrine conditions in the time of COVID-19. This clinical guidance document underwent expedited open peer review by Jérôme Bertherat (Paris, France), André Lacroix (Montreal, Canada), Alberto Pereira (Leiden, The Netherlands), and Peter Trainer (Manchester, UK)
Read the abstract below or download the entire document here
Principles of care: Clinical evaluation should guide those needing immediate investigation. Strict adherence to COVID-19 protection measures is necessary. Alternative ways of consultations (telephone, video) should be used. Early discussion with regional/national experts about the investigation and management of potential and existing patients is strongly encouraged.
Patients with moderate or severe clinical features need urgent investigation and management. Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome, especially when severe, are immunocompromised and vigorous adherence to the principles of social isolation is recommended. In patients with mild features or in whom a diagnosis is less likely, a clinical re-evaluation should be repeated at three and six months or deferred until the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 has significantly decreased; however, those individuals should be encouraged to maintain social distancing. Diagnostic pathways may need to be very different from usual recommendations in order to reduce possible exposure to SARS-CoV-2. When extensive differential diagnostic testing and/or surgery is not feasible, it should be deferred, and medical treatment should be initiated. Transsphenoidal pituitary surgery should be delayed during high SARS-CoV-2 viral prevalence. Medical management rather than surgery will be used for most patients since the short- to mid-term prognosis depends in most cases on hypercortisolism rather than its cause; it should be initiated promptly to minimize the risk of infection in these immunosuppressed patients.
The risk/benefit ratio of these recommendations will need re-evaluation every 2-3 months from April 2020 in each country (and possibly local areas) and will depend on the local health care structure and phase of a pandemic.
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