Abnormal diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion in patients after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Il Y. Shin, Hye M. Joo, Yong G. Chung, Min S. Kim, Jung W. Park, Ryun S. Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Substantial evidence suggests that impairment of the hypothalamus-pituitary system can occur following an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Given that the diurnal cortisol rhythm is primarily controlled by the hypothalamusâ€"pituitary system, this study examined whether changes in diurnal cortisol rhythm occurred after aSAH. Cortisol concentrations were measured in the saliva samples collected from patients after aSAH and other types of cerebral hemorrhage (non-aSAH) in the post-awakening period and at night (21:00 h), and the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and diurnal cortisol decline were determined. The area under the cortisol curve from immediately after to 45 min after awakening (CARauc) in the aSAH patient group was comparable to that in the non-aSAH or healthy control groups. However, an obvious cortisol peak was not found after the awakening period, and the morning/nighttime cortisol ratio in the aSAH patient group was significantly lower than that in other examined groups due to higher nighttime cortisol concentrations. In aSAH patients, the CARauc and nighttime cortisol concentrations were negatively correlated with the Fisher CT grade. These results indicate that the diurnal cortisol rhythm is not regulated normally after aSAH, and cortisol secretory activity decreases as the volume of subarachnoid bleeding increases. Our findings will be helpful to understand altered hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis function after aSAH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • HPA axis dysfunction
  • aSAH
  • cortisol awakening response
  • diurnal cortisol decline
  • hemorrhage severity
  • salivary cortisol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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