Unusual ectopic ACTH syndrome in a patient with orbital neuroendocrine tumor, resulted false-positive outcome of BIPSS:a case report

Huiwen Tan, Dawei Chen, Yerong Yu, Kai Yu, Weiming He, Bowen Cai, Su Jiang, Ying Tang, Nanwei Tong, Zhenmei An
2020 BMC Endocrine Disorders  
Cushing's syndrome has been described as a complex endocrine disorder characterized with high cortisol concentration. Correct and early diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome is challenging. According to the latest guideline, bilateral inferior petrosal sinus sampling (BIPSS) is considered to be the gold standard for the differential diagnosis. However, in some unusual cases, this method may be false positive. Here, we presented a rare case of orbital neuroendocrine tumor secreting
more » ... hormone with false positive inferior petrosal sinus sampling. A 48-year-old woman was admitted to West China Hospital of Sichuan University, presenting with fatigue, whole body edema for 1 year, alopecia and skin pigmentation for 5 months. Hormonal profiles including plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) measurements and low-dose dexamethasone inhibition test suggested that the patient had Cushing's syndrome. However, during tumor location phase, the results of high-dose dexamethasone inhibition test (HDDST) contradicted desmopressin (DDAVP) stimulation test. Thus, BIPSS was employed, and its results indicated a pituitary origin. Interestingly, MRI of sellar region showed an innocent pituitary but caught a serendipitous lesion in the lateral rectus muscle of left eye, which was later proved to be an orbital neuroendocrine tumor secreting ACTH by pathological and immunohistochemical results. ACTH level of the patients was < 0.1 ng/L and cortisol level was 51.61 nmol/L 1 week after surgery. At 24 months follow-up, the patient appeared stable with no complaints nor any symptoms of Cushing's syndrome, including moon face, purple striate and central obesity. The patient's life quality also improved significantly. We reported a rare case of endogenous Cushing's syndrome due to ectopic ACTH secreting from an orbital neuroendocrine tumor. This unique case of orbital EAS suggests that orbital venous blood backflow, owning to abnormal anatomic structures, may possibly lead to false positive BIPSS results.
doi:10.1186/s12902-020-00590-9 pmid:32736557 fatcat:6ocgf5ybcza2ndnnst57d2jf3a