, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 1-5
Date: 27 Oct 2009

Carcinoid tumor of the thymus associated with Cushing′s syndrome and dysgeusia: case report and review of the literature

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A 30-year-old man was hospitalized with edema, polyuria, and abnormalities in taste. ACTH and cortisol levels at admission were markedly elevated, even after attempted suppression with 8 mg dexamethasone. A thoracic–abdominal CT revealed an anterior mediastinal lesion and hyperplasia of both adrenal glands. After excision of the mediastinal mass, which confirmed the presence of a carcinoid thymic tumor, the patient became totally asymptomatic, with normal ACTH and cortisol levels. A carcinoid thymic tumor has a poor prognosis, especially when it is associated with Cushing’s syndrome. Most patients will present recidivism or metastasis within 5 years after surgery. However, the low number of cases available for analysis makes it difficult to establish optimum therapeutic approaches.