Small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix showing Cushing's syndrome caused by ectopic adrenocorticotropin hormone production

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 1991 Aug;21(4):293-8.


A uterine cervical cancer is reported in a woman who developed Cushing's syndrome. The tumor measured 1.3 x 0.7 cm, and was a pure small cell carcinoma, identical to that in the lung. The primary tumor cells showed argyrophilia with Grimelius staining and reacted positively to the anti-chromogranin antibody. Clinically, the neoplasm behaved in an aggressive manner in spite of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and the patient died of widespread metastasis. Cushing's syndrome was noted after the occurrence of liver metastasis with an elevation of the serum adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) level. At autopsy, metastatic tumor cells from the liver reacted immunohistochemically positively not only to anti-ACTH but also to antichromogranin, anti-gastrin and anti-calcitonin antibodies. This is the first report of an immunohistochemical analysis of, and comparison of primary and metastatic sites in cervical carcinoma showing Cushing's syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • ACTH Syndrome, Ectopic / etiology*
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / secondary
  • Cushing Syndrome / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone