Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 417–421 | Cite as

Evidence for ectopic ACTH production years after bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing’s syndrome: in vivo and in vitro studies

  • M. Boscaro
  • G. Merola
  • N. Sonino
  • A. M. Menegus
  • F. Sartori
  • F. Maritero


Three patients presented with hyperpigmentation and high plasma levels of ACTH 4–5 years after bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing’s “disease”. X-rays and ct-scan of the lungs showed a small pulmonary mass in all. ACTH levels (1100–2000 pg/ml) were notsuppressibile by high doses hydrocortisone. A carcinoid tumor was removed in two cases and a chemodectoma in the third. Evidence for ACTH secretion by these tumors was provided by both decrease of ACTH levels after surgery and/or in vitro studies. Both carcinoid cultures showed a basal ACTH production, which was clearly increased by LVP (10−7 M) and CRF (10−7 M). Our findings in in vitro studies suggest the presence of specific receptor sites for physiological stimuli (LVP and CRF) in tumor cell membranes.


Cushing’s syndrome ACTH ectopic production 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Boscaro
    • 1
  • G. Merola
    • 1
  • N. Sonino
    • 1
  • A. M. Menegus
    • 1
  • F. Sartori
    • 2
  • F. Maritero
    • 1
  1. 1.Semeiotica MedicaUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Clinica Chirurgica IUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

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