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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cushing's syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Adrenal cortex adenoma
  • Adrenal hyperfunction resulting from pituitary acth excess
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Ectopic ACTH syndrome
  • Ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone syndrome
More Names
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What causes Cushing's syndrome?

Cushing's syndrome is caused by long-term exposure of the body's tissues to cortisol, a hormone that is naturally produced by the adrenal gland. Exposure to too much cortisol can result from long-term use of synthetic glucocorticoid hormones used to treat inflammatory illnesses. Excess levels of cortisol may also result from pituitary adenomas (benign tumors of the pituitary gland) which secrete increased amounts of adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH), a substance that controls the release of cortisol. Tumors of the adrenal gland or other areas of the body may also cause cortisol imbalances.[1]  
Last updated: 2/26/2013

  1. NINDS Cushing's Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). October 26, 2010; Accessed 2/26/2013.