Results of treating childhood Cushing's disease with pituitary irradiation.

To determine the usefulness of conventional pituitary irradiation in childhood Cushing's disease, we reviewed the results of this treatment in 15 patients. Twelve were cured (mean plasma cortisol of less than 10 microgram per deciliter and 24-hour urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion of less than 7 mg per gram of creatinine) within 18 months, and 10 of the 15 were cured within nine months. Three failures required bilateral adrenalectomy. Growth resumed in 12, with adult heights of 156 to 166 cm. Sexual development proceeded normally in all 15, with normal secondary sexual characteristics and sexual function, and demonstrated fertility in four married adults. Intellectual function appeared normal. Basal and stimulated hormone levels were normal, except for subnormal (5 ng per milliliter or less) growth hormone levels after hypoglycemia in one of 12 patients. There were no complications of therapy and no progressive pituitary enlargement or hyperpigmentation. Pituitary irradiation is safe and effective therapy for childhood Cushing's disease.
AuthorsA S Jennings, G W Liddle, D N Orth
JournalThe New England journal of medicine (N Engl J Med) Vol. 297 Issue 18 Pg. 957-62 (Nov 03 1977) ISSN: 0028-4793 [Print] United States
PMID909542 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • 17-Hydroxycorticosteroids
  • Hydrocortisone
  • 17-Hydroxycorticosteroids (urine)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cushing Syndrome (diagnosis, physiopathology, radiotherapy)
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone (metabolism)
  • Male
  • Pituitary Function Tests
  • Pituitary Irradiation

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