Update on subclinical Cushing's syndrome

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Purpose of reviewThe present review summarizes recent findings in the diagnosis and treatment of subclinical Cushing's syndrome, a condition of subtle cortisol dysregulation with a spectrum of clinical and biochemical abnormalities.Recent findingsThe diagnosis of subclinical Cushing's syndrome is suggested by abnormal suppression to dexamethasone in a patient with an adrenal mass. The natural history of this disorder includes progression in a minority of cases, and increased cardiovascular disease in patients with more severe and progressive disease, much as is found in overt Cushing's syndrome. In patients with an abnormal response to dexamethasone, additional biochemical and metabolic features increase confidence in the ability of adrenalectomy to reverse clinical abnormalities. In addition, bilateral masses and larger masses are more likely to be associated with hypercortisolism.SummaryWe review the recent literature on subclinical cortisol secretion and suggest that additional studies are needed to define optimal diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

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