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Neurosurg Focus. 2007;23(3):E3.

Evaluation and management of Cushing syndrome in cases of negative sellar magnetic resonance imaging.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


The treatment of patients with Cushing disease and without magnetic resonance (MR) imaging evidence of Cushing disease (that is, negative MR imaging) is discussed in this paper. Magnetic resonance imaging is the diagnostic modality of choice in Cushing disease, but in up to 40% of these patients negative imaging can be caused by tumor-related factors and limitations in imaging techniques. In cases in which the MR imaging is negative, it is critical to make sure that the diagnosis of Cushing disease is correct. This can be accomplished by performing a complete laboratory and imaging workup, including dexamethasone suppression tests, imaging of the adrenal glands, and inferior petrosal sinus sampling when appropriate. If these evaluations suggest a pituitary source of the hypercortisolemia, then transsphenoidal surgery remains the treatment of choice. The authors favor the endoscopic approach because it gives a wider and more magnified view of the sella and allows inspection of the medial cavernous sinus walls. Radiosurgery is an effective treatment option in patients with persistent Cushing disease. When a target cannot be found on MR imaging, one can target the entire sellar region with radiosurgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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