Syndrome, Cushing

An abnormal growth of the pituitary gland, which can stimulate the adrenal gland;
A benign or malignant growth within the adrenal gland itself, which produces cortisol; or
Production within another part of the body (ectopic production) of a hormone that directly or indirectly stimulates the adrenal gland to make cortisol.

The neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing (1869-1939) described excessive production of cortisol by the adrenal gland due specifically to an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, a benign pituitary tumor that puts out ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTropic Hormone). This drives the adrenal gland to overproduce cortisol.

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