Acromegaly and Cushing's syndrome associated with a foregut carcinoid tumor.


Journal Article

We report an 18-yr-old youth with a metastatic foregut carcinoid tumor, Cushing's syndrome, and hypersomatotropic gigantism. Administration of cyproheptadine caused a dramatic fall in urinary cortisol excretion and plasma ACTH levels associated with clinical remission of the Cushing's syndrome. GH secretion was not affected by cyproheptadine administration. Ectopic ACTH secretion was confirmed by RIA of tumor extracts and immunohistochemical demonstration of ACTH-containing cells in hepatic metastases. There were two sources of GH production demonstrated in this patient. Ectopic secretion of GH by the carcinoid hepatic metastases was documented by both RIA and immunohistochemical techniques. A somatotrophic pituitary tumor was also present. The histological characteristics of this tumor suggest adenomatous hyperplasia rather than de novo neoplastic change as the likely mechanism of its pathogenesis. GH releasing factor-like activity was demonstrated in extracts of plasma and in extracts of the carcinoid tumor. We conclude that cyproheptadine exerted an effect on the ectopic ACTH-producing cells but not on the ectopic GH-producing cells or on adenohypophyseal GH secretion. Production of a GH releasing factor-like activity by the carcinoid tumor may have caused the pituitary somatotrophic tumor.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leveston, SA; McKeel, DW; Buckley, PJ; Deschryver, K; Greider, MH; Jaffe, BM; Daughaday, WH

Published Date

  • October 1, 1981

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 682 - 689

PubMed ID

  • 6270170

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6270170

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-972X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1210/jcem-53-4-682


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States