Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 257–262 | Cite as

Differences in secretion characteristics in Cushing’s disease with and without radiologically evident pituitary tumors

  • S. W. J. Lamberts
  • J. G. M. Klijn
  • F. H. de Jong
  • J. C. Birkenhäger


In a group of 22 unselected patients with Cushing’s disease 3 had a moderately enlarged pituitary fossa, while 6 patients showed asymmetry of the sella turcica at lateral tomography. This group of 9 patients with radiologically evident pituitary adenomas had: i) a higher average basal urinary excretion of 17-hydroxycorticosteroids which showed a greater day to day variation; ii) a greater (although insufficient) decrease of plasma cortisol in response to a single oral dose of 1 mg dexamethasone and a larger postdexamethasone rebound excretion of urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroids after 8 mg dexamethasone daily for two days; and iii) a larger maximal increase of plasma cortisol after lysine vasopressin administration than the other 13 patients. The increase in the size of a pituitary (micro-) adenoma in patients with Cushing’s disease is accompanied by a more severe hypercortisolism and an increased responsiveness of the pituitary-adrenal axis to the manipulations mentioned.


Cushing’s disease cortisol ACTH lysine vasopressin dexamethasone pituitary tumor 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. J. Lamberts
    • 1
  • J. G. M. Klijn
    • 1
  • F. H. de Jong
    • 1
  • J. C. Birkenhäger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine (III) and of Clinical EndocrinologyUniversity Hospital Dijkzigt, Erasmus UniversityGD RotterdamThe Netherlands

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