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Metabolism. 1996 Aug;45(8 Suppl 1):83-5.

Is there a role for somatostatin and its analogs in Cushing's syndrome?

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Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The effects of somatostatin and its analogs have been studied in different subclasses of patients with Cushing's syndrome (due to Cushing's disease, ectopic corticotropin [ACTH]- and/or corticotropin-releasing hormone [CRH]-secreting tumors, or ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome) and in patients with Nelson's syndrome. In most patients with untreated Cushing's disease, octreotide does not suppress ACTH release, a finding that is supported by in vitro studies. However, octreotide or somatostatin inhibits pathological ACTH secretion in Nelson's syndrome. Short-term octreotide treatment has caused a significant initial response (decreased serum cortisol, ACTH, and cortisoluria) in 24 of 38 (64%) patients with ectopic ACTH/CRH Cushing's syndrome, and long-term treatment caused a persistent response in 10 of 14 (71%) cases. Pentetreotide scintigraphy may help to identify those patients with ectopic ACTH/CRH tumors who will have an initial response to octreotide, and is useful for locating ectopic ACTH/CRH-secreting tumors and their metastases. To date, octreotide has been shown to temporarily suppress gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP)-induced cortisol secretion in GIP-dependent (ACTH-independent) Cushing's syndrome, but has not shown any therapeutic benefit in other forms of ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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