Latest news on Cushing’s syndrome: three studies to review

From the desk of Dr. Lewis Blevins comes a review of three important studies on Cushing’s Syndrome:

Paediatric Cushing syndrome: a prospective, multisite, observational cohort study – The authors of this study report the largest series of pediatric Cushing syndrome that I am aware of. Children with this disorder present with growth failure, weight gain, and hypertension as well as diabetes mellitus. A majority of patients had pituitary tumors while a significant number had adrenal disease and a few had ectopic ACTH secretion.  Learn more here 

Long-Term Consequences of Cushing Syndrome: A Systematic Literature Review –  this study the authors review the literature regarding the long-term consequences of hypercortisolism and point to the fact that excess morbidity and mortality persist, even after successful treatment.   Read about it here

Accidental Cushing Syndrome – This article serves as a reminder that the most common cause of cushingoid features today is exposure to exogenous steroids. This accidental ingestion is rare. Many cushingoid patients have been treated with high doses of steroids and don’t even know it because their physicians didn’t take time to educate them about therapy such as topical, inhaled, and oral steroids, or even injectable steroids. I’m aware of a couple of patients who developed cushingoid features due to steroids, having been added to progesterone creams that they were applying to their skin. In almost all cases, ACTH levels will be low or low normal. Sometimes, depending on the steroid, cortisol levels are also low. For this reason, many patients are thought to have central adrenal insufficiency, when what they really have as a suppressed hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal axis.  Read more here

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