Pancreatic Pathology Online

Pathology of Corticotropinoma (Ectopic ACTH Syndrome)

Dr Sampurna Roy MD            July 2016


Corticotropinoma is an islet cell tumour that secretes both low and high molecular weight Adrenocorticotropic hormone  (ACTH).

It may also simultaneously secrete gastrin, insulin, corticotrophin-releasing hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and other peptides and amines.

The symptoms reflect high blood levels of cortisol from an ACTH-induced adrenocortical hyperplasia.

The diagnosis is established by the documentation of high levels of ACTH and the failure to respond to the suppressive effects of dexamethasone.

Visit: Neoplasms of the Endocrine Tumours ; Normal Islets of Langerhans ; Apud Concept ; Islet Cell Tumours ; Alpha Cell Tumours ;  Somatostatinoma ; VIPomas ; Pancreatic Gastrinoma ; Pancreatic Polypeptide-Secreting Tumours ; Enterochromaffin Cell (Carcinoid) Tumours ; Parathyrinoma ; Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) Syndrome


Further reading:

Tumors of the endocrine pancreas.

Corticotropinomas. Early diagnosis and treatment (lecture).

Ectopic ACTH syndrome (author's transl).


The silent corticotropinoma: is clinical diagnosis possible?

Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide enhances ACTH levels in some patients with adrenocorticotropin-secreting pituitary adenomas.

Pancreatic islet cell carcinoma producing gastrin, ACTH, alpha-endorphin, somatostatin and calcitonin.

Expression of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoenzymes in the human pituitary: induction of the type 2 enzyme in corticotropinomas and other pituitary tumors.

[Histological and immunohistochemical characteristics of ACTH-secreting tumors].

Cushing's syndrome secondary to a neuroendocrine tumor: relapse after bilateral adrenalectomy.




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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