Testing & Diagnosis for Cushing's Syndrome in Children

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Contact the Department of Neurosurgey

  • 1-617-355-6008
  • International: 1-617-355-5209

How do doctors diagnose an overactive adrenal glands?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child’s doctor will order specific blood and/or urine tests to measure hormone levels.

How can doctors tell if my child has Cushing’s syndrome?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child’s doctor may request some or all of the following procedures:

  • x-ray - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film
  • 24-hour urinary test (urine is collected over a 24-hour period to measure corticosteroid hormones)
  • computerized tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body
  • dexamethasone suppression test (to differentiate whether the excess production of corticotropins originates from the pituitary gland or tumors elsewhere)
  • corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulation test (to differentiate whether the cause is a pituitary tumor or an adrenal tumor)
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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