Cushing’s Syndrome

Definition: Hyperandrenocorticism: Endocrine disorder characterised by excess corticosteroids.

Causes: Iatrogenic (exogenous) cause most common, secondary to long-term glucocorticoid therapy. Syndrome more rarely due to excess endogenous adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from adrenal or pituitary tumour.

Examination: Typical presentation is central obesity; ‘lemon on sticks’ appearance with moon face. Other physical signs and symptoms include: excessive sweating, acne, skin thinning, bruising, striae and hirsutism. There may also be muscle weakness, osteoporosis, impotence, amenorrhea, infertility, hypertension, insomnia, euphoria, anxiety and depression.