Cushing syndrome


Cushing syndrome
The constellation of symptoms and signs caused by an excess of cortisol hormone. Cushing syndrome is an extremely complex hormonal condition that involves many areas of the body. Common symptoms are thinning of the skin, weakness, weight gain, bruising, hypertension, diabetes, thin weak bones (osteoporosis), facial puffiness and, in women, cessation of menstrual periods. Ironically, one of the most common causes of Cushing syndrome is the administration of "cortisol-like medications" for the treatment of diverse diseases. All other cases of Cushing syndrome are due to the excess production of cortisol by the adrenal gland as, for example, due to: {{}}An abnormal growth of the pituitary gland, which can stimulate the adrenal gland; A benign or malignant growth within the adrenal gland itself, which produces cortisol; or Production within another part of the body (ectopic production) of a hormone that directly or indirectly stimulates the adrenal gland to make cortisol. The neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing (1869-1939) described excessive production of cortisol by the adrenal gland due specifically to an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, a benign pituitary tumor that puts out ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTropic Hormone). This drives the adrenal gland to overproduce cortisol.

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a complex of symptoms caused by hyperadrenocorticism due either to a neoplasm of the adrenal cortex or adenohypophysis, or to excessive intake of glucocorticoids. Symptoms may include adiposity of the face, neck, and trunk; kyphosis from osteoporosis of the spine; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; amenorrhea and hypertrichosis in females; impotence in males; dusky complexion with purple striae; polycythemia; and muscular wasting and weakness. When secondary to excessive pituitary secretion of corticotropin, it is known as Cushing disease. See also ectopic ACTH s. Called also Cushing or pituitary basophilism. 2. equine Cushing disease.

Moon facies, plethora, and supraclavicular fat associated with Cushing syndrome.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Cushing, Harvey Williams — born April 8, 1869, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. died Oct. 7, 1939, New Haven, Conn. U.S. surgeon. He taught principally at Harvard University and became known as the leading neurosurgeon of the early 20th century, developing many procedures and… …   Universalium


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