Inappropriate ACTH secretion with bilateral diffuse or macronodular adrenal hyperplasia is the most common cause of Cushing's syndrome. This report describes a patient with Cushing's syndrome and feminization due to ACTH-independent bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia. A 47-yr-old black man presented with Cushingoid features, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, impotence, and gynecomastia. Urinary cortisol and 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion were 94 nmol/mmol creatinine (normal, < 32) and 5.8 μmol/mmol creatinine (normal, 0.6-3.6), respectively. Both decreased by less than 30% after administration of dexamethasone (8 and 16 mg/day), and urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion did not increase after metyrapone (750 mg, orally, every 4 h for six doses). Plasma ACTH was undetectable (< 1 pmol/L) and was not stimulated by administration of metyrapone or ovine CRH. Serum testosterone was 5.2 pmol/L (normal, 7-30), FSH was 5 U/L (normal, 3-18), LH was 2.8 U/L (normal, 1.5-9.2), and estrone was 767 pmol/L (normal, 55-240). Both adrenal glands were enlarged, with a total weight of 86 g (normal, 8-10), and contained multiple nodules (diameter, > 0.5 cm) composed of two active cell types, one of which was also observed between the nodules. Cushing's syndrome with feminization due to ACTH-independent bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia is an unusual process of unknown etiology that should be included with the other known causes of Cushing's syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical