Cushing's Syndrome

The hormonal disorder Cushing’s syndrome can cause uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms that may significantly affect your quality of life. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, we can help.

Our team includes physicians from different specialties who have extensive experience treating people with Cushing’s syndrome. We offer comprehensive evaluations and research-backed treatments to help you optimize your hormone levels and manage a condition long term.

What is Cushing’s syndrome?

Cushing’s syndrome happens when the body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol over a long time. The most common cause of Cushing’s syndrome is a pituitary tumor (called an adenoma) that causes hormone fluctuations in your body. People with certain health conditions, such as obesity and high blood pressure, have a higher chance of developing this condition.

Cushing’s syndrome symptoms

Someone with Cushing’s syndrome may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Excessive weight gain in the midsection, face, and upper back
  • Unwanted hair growth on face, neck, and thighs
  • Feeling of extreme tiredness
  • Skin that bruises easily
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Stretch marks
  • Depression

Diagnosing Cushing’s syndrome

At AHN, physicians with different backgrounds work together to evaluate and treat patients with Cushing’s syndrome. You may see a neurosurgeon as well as an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and an endocrinologist (hormone doctor).

After performing a thorough physical examination to evaluate your symptoms, your physician may recommend:

  • Ophthalmologic testing: We offer visual field testing, optical computed tomography (CT), and other eye tests that evaluate the optic nerve and surrounding areas.
  • Bloodwork and lab tests: Our endocrinologists may recommend a series of lab tests or bloodwork to assess your body’s hormone levels.
  • CT or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: Advanced imaging of the brain can confirm the presence of a pituitary tumor and give physicians important details about its size and location.

Get comprehensive Cushing’s syndrome treatment at AHN

If you have Cushing’s syndrome, AHN’s physicians work together to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. Our hospitals use the latest technologies and therapies to treat patients. See why so many people choose AHN for pituitary neuroendocrine care.

Treatment options may include:

  • Medication: Medications work in different ways to block or lower hormone levels in the body.
  • Radiation therapy: Stereotactic radiosurgery involves a nonsurgical outpatient procedure that delivers a single, focused, high dose of radiation to a tumor. Our sophisticated and precise dosing enables our surgeons to treat tumors of different shapes and sizes.
  • Surgery: Our fellowship-trained surgeons have expertise in performing open skull base surgery and endoscopic endonasal neurosurgery. In endoscopic endonasal surgery, physicians use innovative techniques to remove tumors through the nose. It is highly effective, with many patients experiencing fewer side effects and a quicker recovery. Read more about the benefits of minimally invasive neurosurgery.

Contact us

To schedule an appointment or learn more about services at the AHN Pituitary Center, call (412) 359-8246.