Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Adrenal tumor – Cushing syndrome

Definition

Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor is an endocrine system disorder that occurs when there is a tumor of the adrenal gland releasing excess amounts of the hormone cortisol.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Cushing syndrome is caused by constant, high levels of the steroid hormone cortisol. A tumor on one of the adrenal glands causes about 15% of all cases of Cushing syndrome. Adrenal tumors release cortisol.

Adrenal tumors may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

Noncancerous tumors that may cause Cushing syndrome include:

  • Adrenal adenomas
  • Micronodular hyperplasia

Cancerous tumors that may cause Cushing syndrome include:

  • Adrenal carcinomas

Adrenal tumors are rare. They may develop in anyone at any age, but are much more common in adults. They are found in women more often than men.

See also:

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Ectopic Cushing syndrome
  • Exogenous Cushing syndrome

Pictures & Images

Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).


Review Date : 9/20/2008
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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