Cushing Disease

A disease of mistaken identity

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Cushing's syndrome is a hormone disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood. This can be caused by taking glucocorticoid drugs, or by tumors that produce cortisol or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or CRH.

Cushing's disease refers to one specific cause of the syndrome: a tumor (adenoma) in the pituitary gland that produces large amounts of ACTH, which in turn elevates cortisol. It is the most common cause of Cushing's syndrome, responsible for 70% of cases excluding glucocorticoid related cases.

This pathology was described by Harvey Cushing in 1932. The syndrome is also called Itsenko-Cushing syndrome, hyperadrenocorticism or hypercorticism.

Cushing's syndrome is not confined to humans and is also a relatively common condition in domestic dogs and horses. It also occurs in cats, but rarely.

It should not be confused with Cushing's triad, a disease state resulting from increased intracranial pressure.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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