Effect of cabergoline treatment on Cushing's disease caused by aberrant adrenocorticotropin-secreting macroadenoma

T. Miyoshi, F. Otsuka, M. Takeda, K. Inagaki, J. Suzuki, Toshio Ogura, I. Date, K. Hashimoto, H. Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The present case involves a 47-yr-old woman with Cushing's disease due to pituitary macroadenoma. The patient had suffered from hypertension and obesity for two yr. Her serum cortisol levels were moderately elevated throughout the observation period, and dexamethasone failed to suppress the cortisol secretion. Plasma ACTH levels were markedly high (>100 pg/ml) and did not respond to CRH provocation. Gel filtration analysis of the patient's plasma detected the existence of big ACTH molecules, which eluted with a peak of authentic 1-39 ACTH. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a 3 cm pituitary tumor occupying the sellar region and right cavernous sinus with diffuse enhancement by gadolinium. The pituitary mass was removed by transsphenoidal surgery, and was pathologically identified as compatible to ACTH-producing pituitary adenoma by immunohistochemistry. RT-PCR analysis of total cellular RNA extracted from the resected adenoma revealed a relatively high expression level of dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) mRNA. Therefore, a long-acting D2R agonist, cabergoline (0.25 to 0.5 mg/week), was administered for the remnant adenoma, which gradually reduced ACTH levels in 90 days. In addition, cranial MRI exhibited shrinkage of the remnant pituitary mass after a 6-month treatment with cabergoline. This case demonstrates the efficacy of cabergoline to treat Cushing's disease caused by pituitary macroadenoma secreting aberrant ACTH molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1059
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of endocrinological investigation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • ACTH
  • Cabergoline
  • Cushing's disease
  • Dopamine D2 receptor
  • Gel filtration analysis
  • Pituitary adenoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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