Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor Definition
Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor is a form of
Cushing syndrome. It occurs when a tumor of the adrenal gland releases excess amounts of the hormone cortisol.
Other forms of Cushing syndrome include:
Adrenal tumor - Cushing syndrome
Causes Cushing syndrome is a disorder that occurs when your body has a higher than normal level of the hormone cortisol. This hormone is made in the adrenal glands. Too much cortisol can be due to various problems. One such problem is a tumor on one of the adrenal glands. Adrenal tumors release cortisol.
Adrenal tumors are rare. They can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).
Noncancerous tumors that can cause Cushing syndrome include:
Cancerous tumors that may cause Cushing syndrome include an
Most people with Cushing syndrome have:
Round, red, full face ( moon face)
Slow growth rate in children
Weight gain with fat accumulation on the trunk, but fat loss from the arms, legs, and buttocks (central obesity)
Skin changes that are often seen:
Purple marks (1/2 inch or more wide), called striae, on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, and breasts
Thin skin with easy bruising
Muscle and bone changes include:
Backache, which occurs with routine activities
Bone pain or tenderness
Collection of fat between the shoulders and above the collar bone
Rib and spine fractures caused by thinning of the bones
Weak muscles, especially of the hips and shoulders
Women often have:
Excess hair growth on the face, neck, chest, abdomen, and thighs
Periods that become irregular or stop
Men may have:
Other symptoms that may occur include:
Mental changes, such as depression, anxiety, or changes in behavior
Increased thirst and urination Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.
Tests to confirm Cushing syndrome:
Tests to determine cause or complications include:
Bone mineral density
Fasting glucose Treatment
Surgery is done to remove the adrenal tumor. Often, the entire adrenal gland is removed.
Glucocorticoid replacement treatment is usually needed until the other adrenal gland recovers from surgery. You may need this treatment for 9 to 12 months.
If surgery is not possible, such as in cases of adrenal cancer, medicines can be used to stop the release of cortisol.
Patients with an adrenal tumor who have surgery have an excellent outlook. For adrenal cancer, surgery is sometimes not possible. When surgery is performed, it does not always cure the cancer.
Cancerous adrenal tumors can spread to the liver or lungs.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you develop any symptoms of Cushing syndrome.
Appropriate treatment of adrenal tumors may reduce the risk of complications in some patients with tumor-related Cushing syndrome.
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Evidence-Based Physical Diagnosis. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders. 2012:chap 13.
Stewart PM, Krone NP. The adrenal cortex. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds.
Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 15.
Susmeeta TS, Nieman LK. Cushing's syndrome: all variants, detection, and treatment.
Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am. 2011;40:379–391.
Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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