Ectopic Cushing syndrome

Alternative Names

Cushing syndrome – ectopic

Definition of Ectopic Cushing syndrome

Ectopic Cushing syndrome is a condition in which a outside the pituitary or adrenal glands produces a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cushing syndrome is the result of too much glucocorticoid hormones being released over a long period of time. About 15% of Cushing syndrome cases are due to ectopic Cushing syndrome.

Symptoms

Ectopic Cushing syndrome tends to have fewer dramatic symptoms than classic Cushing syndrome, but it can occur with higher blood pressure and a lower potassium level. Weight loss may occur due to cancer.

Signs and tests

Tests that may be done include:

Treatment

The best treatment for ectopic Cushing syndrome is surgery to remove the tumor. Surgery is usually possible when the tumor is noncancerous ().

Expectations (prognosis)

Surgery to remove the tumor may lead to full recovery, but there is a chance that the tumor will come back.

Review

Elizabeth H Holt, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Yale University. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/18/2008

Endocrine glands

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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