Objective: Cushing's disease (CD) is a rare endocrine disorder characterized by excess secretion of ACTH due to a pituitary adenoma. Current treatment options are limited and may pose additional risks. A literature review was conducted to assess the holistic burden of CD. Design: Studies published in English were evaluated to address questions regarding the epidemiology of CD, time to diagnosis, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), treatment outcomes, mortality, prevalence of comorbidities at diagnosis, and reversibility of comorbidities following the treatment. Methods: A two-stage literature search was performed in Medline, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index, using keywords related to the epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes of CD: i) articles published from 2000 to 2012 were identified and ii) an additional hand search (all years) was conducted on the basis of bibliography of identified articles. Results: At the time of diagnosis, 58-85% of patients have hypertension, 32-41% are obese, 20-47% have diabetes mellitus, 50-81% have major depression, 31-50% have osteoporosis, and 38-71% have dyslipidemia. Remission rates following transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) are high when performed by expert pituitary surgeons (rates of 65-90%), but the potential for relapse remains (rates of 5-36%). Although some complications can be partially reversed, time to reversal can take years. The HRQoL of patients with CD also remains severely compromised after remission. Conclusions: These findings highlight the significant burden associated with CD. As current treatment options may not fully reverse the burden of chronic hypercortisolism, there is a need for both improved diagnostic tools to reduce the time to diagnosis and effective therapy, particularly a targeted medical therapy.

dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-11-1095, hdl.handle.net/1765/67809
European Journal of Endocrinology
Department of Internal Medicine

Feelders, R.A, Pulgar, S.J, Kempel, A, & Pereira, A.M. (2012). The burden of Cushing's disease: Clinical and health-related quality of life aspects. European Journal of Endocrinology (Vol. 167, pp. 311–326). doi:10.1530/EJE-11-1095