Korean J Med.  2009 Apr;76(Suppl 1):S117-S121.

A case of ectopic Cushing's syndrome combined with papillary thyroid carcinoma

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. hjh60103@dreamwiz.com
  • 2Department of Hospital Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Locating a corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)- or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting tumor is challenging. A 69-year-old woman admitted to our hospital for generalized edema was diagnosed with ectopic Cushing's syndrome. We attempted to find an ectopic tumor and could establish no ectopic focus except a retropharyngeal mass in the neck. We diagnosed the retropharyngeal mass as thyroid papillary carcinoma and examined whether the thyroid papillary carcinoma was the ectopic focus. No relationship between thyroid papillary carcinoma and ectopic Cushing's syndrome has been established. We failed to find another ectopic focus, except for the increased uptake of the retropharyngeal mass on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Ectopic Cushing's syndrome combined with thyroid papillary carcinoma is very rare, so we report this case along with reviews of related literatures.


Ectopic CRH; Ectopic ACTH; Thyroid papillary carcinoma
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