Which non-pituitary tumors can produce ACTH?

by / Wednesday, 30 June 2010 / Published in Internal Medicine


  • Oat cell/Small cell lung cancer (~25%)
  • Seen in men 3x > than in women
  • Thymomas, pancreatic islet cell tumors, and medullary carcinoma of the thyroid

Since it is an ectopic ACTH syndrome, ACTH & Cortisol are increased, and because the ACTH is very high, it is difficult to suppress even with high doses of dexamethasone.

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