ECTOPIC CUSHING SYNDROME: A 10-YEAR EXPERIENCE FROM A TERTIARY CARE CENTER IN SOUTHERN INDIA.
Sathyakumar Samantha,Paul Thomas Vizhalil,Asha Hesargatta Shyamsunder,Gnanamuthu Birla Roy,Paul M J,Abraham Deepak Thomas,Rajaratnam Simon,Thomas Nihal
Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
OBJECTIVE:Ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion is a less common cause of Cushing syndrome and is seen in 5 to 10% of cases with endogenous hypercortisolemia. We hereby describe our experience of patients with ectopic ACTH syndrome, who have been managed over the past 10 years at a tertiary care center in Southern India. METHODS:The inpatient and outpatient records of patients from 2006 to 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. The clinical features, clinical history, biochemical values, imaging features, including radiologic findings and positron emission tomography scans, management, details of follow-up, and outcomes, were documented. We compared the biochemical findings in these patients with 20 consecutive patients with Cushing disease (Cushing syndrome of pituitary origin). RESULTS:A total of 21 patients were studied. The median age at presentation was 34 years (range, 19 to 55 years). Seven patients had thymic carcinoid, 7 had bronchial carcinoid, 3 had lung malignancies, 2 had medullary carcinoma thyroid, 1 patient had a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, and 1 patient had an occult source of ACTH. The most common clinical features at presentation were muscle weakness (95%), hyperpigmentation (90%), facial puffiness (76%), easy bruising (61%), edema (57%), and striae (52%). Extensive acne was seen in a large number of patients (43%). Only 3 patients (14%) had central obesity. The median 8 am cortisol was 55.5 μg/dL (range, 3.8 to 131 μg/dL), median 8 am ACTH was 207 pg/mL (range, 31.1 to 703 pg/mL), and the median 24-hour urinary free cortisol was 2,484 μg (range, 248 to 25,438 μg). Basal cortisol and ACTH, as well as midnight cortisol and ACTH level, were markedly higher in patients with ectopic Cushing syndrome as compared to patients with Cushing disease. Twelve of 21 patients had developed life-threatening infections by follow-up. Nine patients had undergone surgical intervention to address the primary tumor. However, only 1 patient exhibited a complete cure on follow-up. CONCLUSION:In our series, ectopic Cushing syndrome was most commonly seen in association with intrathoracic tumors such as bronchial or thymic carcinoid. Hyperpigmentation and proximal myopathy were frequent, while central obesity was uncommon. Early and rapid control of hypercortisolemia was important in order to prevent life-threatening infections and metabolic complications. ABBREVIATIONS:ACTH = adrenocorticotropic hormone CT = computed tomography DOTATATE = Ga-DOTA-Tyr-octreotate ECS = ectopic Cushing syndrome FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose MTC = medullary thyroid cancer NET = neuroendocrine tumor PET = positron emission tomography.