TITLE

Bilateral adrenal enlargement and non-suppressible hypercortisolism as a presenting feature of gastric cancer

AUTHOR(S)
Biswas, M; Smith, JC; Davies, JS
PUB. DATE
November 2004
SOURCE
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry;Nov2004, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p494
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In patients with cancer, adrenal enlargement due to either metastatic disease or diffuse non-metastatic hyperplasia is increasingly recognized with modern imaging techniques. Dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, characterized by non-suppressible hypercortisolism, has also been described in neoplasia in the absence of ectopic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) production. In the majority of cases of malignancy-associated hypercortisolism, it might be expected that the presence of malignant disease would be clinically apparent, thus rendering a detailed endocrinological evaluation of the HPA axis unnecessary. However, in the present case we describe a patient with occult malignancy presenting with bilateral adrenocortical enlargement and non-suppressible hypercortisolism that was not due to the ectopic ACTH syndrome. There were no clinical Cushingoid features other than hypertension and new-onset diabetes mellitus. Detailed diagnostic investigations for the possibility of Cushing's syndrome were performed before the underlying diagnosis of gastric adenocarcinoma eventually became apparent. Characteristics and potential mechanisms of non-suppressible hypercortisolism in cancer are discussed. We believe that this scenario will occur with greater frequency in the future, given the increasing early use of sophisticated high-resolution imaging for the evaluation of suspected intra-abdominal pathology.
ACCESSION #
22630850

 

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