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Cushing's disease is a result of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-dependent hypercortisolism, whereby the majority of cases originate from the pituitary. In rare cases, the source of excess ACTH is from an ectopic pituitary adenoma, in which the clinical and biochemical picture can often be identical to intrasellar corticotroph adenomas.1 Ectopic pituitary adenomas are defined as an adenoma that lies outside the sella and is completely distinct from the normal intrasellar pituitary gland, they can be associated with normal pituitary and in some cases, an empty sella.
A 34-year-old woman presented with a 12-month history of a labile mood, weight gain, easy bruising, irregular menses and hypertension. The patient appeared cushingoid. Biochemical investigations demonstrated hypercortisolism: 24 h urine-free cortisol 520.7 mcg (4–50), …