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What is ectopic ACTH syndrome?

A very rare condition, called ectopic (outside location) ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) syndrome, accounts for less than 1% of cases of Cushing's syndrome. It means that a tumor lying outside of the pituitary gland is making too much ACTH. The most common places for an ectopic ACTH-producing tumor are in the lung and thymus, both located in the chest. Other very rare places include the thyroid, ovary, adrenal gland, and liver. Just like a pituitary adenoma, these ACTH-producing tumors make too much ACTH and in turn cause the adrenal glands to make too much cortisol.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.