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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness

Adrenal Disorders

Adrenal Disorders

  • Cushing's Syndrome Description
  • Cushing's Syndrome Frequent Signs & Symptoms
  • Cushing's Syndrome Causes
  • Cushing's Syndrome Medical Diagnosis
  • Cushing's Syndrome Conventional Medical Treatment
  • Cushing's Syndrome Research
  • Cushing's Syndrome - Information
  • Cushing's Syndrome - Resources

  • "For Informational Use Only"
    For more detailed information contact your health care provider
    about options that may be available for your specific situation.


    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the biomedical research component of the Federal Government. It is one of the health agencies of the Public Health Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Several components of the NIH conduct and support research on Cushing's syndrome and other disorders of the endocrine system, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

    NIH-supported scientists are conducting intensive research into the normal and abnormal function of the major endocrine glands and the many hormones of the endocrine system. Identification of the corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), which instructs the pituitary gland to release ACTH, enabled researchers to develop the CRH stimulation test, which is increasingly being used to identify the cause of Cushing's syndrome.

    Improved techniques for measuring ACTH permit distinction of ACTH-dependent forms of Cushing's syndrome from adrenal tumors. NIH studies have shown that petrosal sinus sampling is a very accurate test to diagnose the cause of Cushing's syndrome in those who have excess ACTH production. The recently described dexamethasone suppression-CRH test is able to differentiate most cases of Cushing's from Pseudo Cushing's.

    As a result of this research, healthe practitioners are much better able to diagnose Cushing's syndrome and distinguish among the causes of this disorder. Since accurate diagnosis is still a problem for some patients, new tests are under study to further refine the diagnostic process.

    Many studies are underway to understand the causes of formation of benign endocrine tumors, such as those which cause most cases of Cushing's syndrome. In a few pituitary adenomas, specific gene defects have been identified and may provide important clues to understanding tumor formation. Endocrine factors may also play a role. There is increasing evidence that tumor formation is a multi-step process. Understanding the basis of Cushing's syndrome will yield new approaches to therapy.

    NIH supports research related to Cushing's syndrome at medical centers throughout the United States. Scientists are also treating patients with Cushing's syndrome at the NIH Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Health practitioners who are interested in referring a patient may contact Dr. George P. Chrousos, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, NICHD, Building 10, Room 10N262, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, telephone (301) 496-4686.


    The following materials can be found in medical libraries, many college and university libraries, and through interlibrary loan in most public libraries.

    Cooper, Paul R. "Contemporary Diagnosis and Management of Pituitary Adenomas," Park Ridge, Illinois: American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 1991.

    DeGroot, Leslie J., ed., et al. "Cushing's Syndrome," Endocrinology. Vol. 2, Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1995. 1741-1769.

    Isselbacher, Kurt J., ed., et al. "Cushing's Syndrome Etiology," Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Vol. 2, No. 13, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1994. 1960-1965.

    Wilson, Jean D., ed, et al. "Hyperfunction: Glucocorticoids: Hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome)," Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, No. 8, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1992; 536-562.

    Conn, R.B., Gomez, T., Chrousos, G.P., "Current Diagnosis," No. 8, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders 1991, 868-872.

    NCI Research Report: Cancer of the Lung. Prepared by the Office of Cancer Communications, National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 93-526.


    UTx Health Science Center--Cushing's Syndrome - Medical class notes of a highly technical, scientific nature.

    University of Arizona, Dept. of Physiology: Endocrine Lectures - Medical class notes of a highly technical, scientific nature.

    Cushing's by Scotter - A diary, of sorts, detailing a man's fight against Cushing's Syndrome.

    Med Help International - Med Help International, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to helping all who are in need, find qualified medical information and support for their medical conditions and questions, regardless of their economic status or geographic location." Lots of straightforward information in lay-language. Select library search, then enter " Cushing" in the search engine.

    University of Texas-Houston Medical School Cushing's Syndrome - Straightforward class notes, comprehensible by the lay-reader.

    Family Internet's Health Clinic, USA - Navigate to 1) Health Clinic, 2) Disease, 3) Endocrine Disease, 4) Cushing's.

    Family Internet's Pituitary Cushing's (Cushing's disease) - Different layout and slightly different information than in the pages located under Health Clinic, USA.

    The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health - Cushing's Syndrome - Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, research, literature, and contact information. Geared toward a lay-consumer audience.

    Pituitary Tumor Network Association - Deals with human pituitary tumors.

    Cushing's Syndrome and Cushing's Disease - Lots of information, photos, personal stories, and a chat room.

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Cushing's Syndrome, Page 1 (Introduction, Symptoms, & Treatment)

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Adrenal Disorders


    Cushing's Support and Research Foundation, Inc.
    65 East India Row 22B
    Boston, Massachusetts 02110
    (617) 723-3824 or (617) 723-3674
    Louise L. Pace, Founder and President

    Pituitary Network Association
    223 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., #320
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
    (805) 496-4932
    Fax: (805) 557-1161

    This e-text is not copyrighted. NIDDK encourages users to duplicate and distribute as many copies as needed. Printed single copies may be obtained from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, NIDDK, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2560, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2560.

    Publication No. 02-3007
    June 2002

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