Revisiting Cushing Syndrome, Milder Forms Are Now a Common Occurrence: A Single-Center Cohort of 76 Subjects

Arza Rosset, Yona Greenman, Etty Osher, Naftali Stern, Karen Tordjman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Guidelines recommend initiating testing for Cushing syndrome (CS) based on strong clinical suspicion. Our recent experience suggests the absence of classical stigmata in the majority of patients with CS. We aimed to confirm this premise by revisiting the clinical features of this syndrome in a modern series of patients from a single center. Methods: Computerized records of subjects with CS diagnosed at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center between 2000 and 2018 were reviewed. A Cushing inventory score, including all clinical components of the syndrome, was computed for each subject. Data were compared between the subtypes and evaluated in light of those in the literature. Results: Of the 76 subjects with CS (60 women/16 men), 49 (64.5%) had Cushing disease; 16 (21.1%), adrenal adenoma; 7 (9.2%), adrenocortical carcinoma; and 4 (5.3%), ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion. In only 15 of 74 cases (20.3%), clinical suspicion of CS led to testing. Catabolic signs of CS were present in less than 30% of cases. The most common symptom was weight gain (52/67, 77.6%), and the most common comorbidity was hypertension (47/76, 61.8%). There were no differences in the Cushing inventory score between the subtypes. Signs, symptoms, and comorbidities were all significantly less common than in the classical syndrome. Conclusions: Modern-day CS presents with subtler features than in the past. Initiating a testing cascade solely based on a strong clinical suspicion may lead to underdiagnosis of milder cases. A concerted effort to devise cost-efficient testing for CS in the current era is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-865
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cushing's syndrome
  • diagnosis
  • guidelines
  • modern era presentation
  • screening


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