[Unexplained weight gain in a 41-year-old woman].
ABSTRACT A 41-year-old female was admitted to our clinic due to weight gain and facial edema. The patient also reported hair loss, amenorrhea and the formation of striae. The laboratory diagnostics ensured the diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. Unfortunately, the patient was among the 5-10% of patients in whom neither laboratory testing nor imaging revealed the source of the cortisol excess. Due to the dramatic decrease of her general condition, and the appearance of hypertension and diabetes mellitus we chose to refer the patient to bilateral minimally invasive adrenalectomy. The advantage of this therapeutic approach is, that it is a definitive treatment that provides immediate control of hypercortisolism. As disadvantage, the resultant permanent hypoadrenalism requires a lifelong glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement therapy. Furthermore, given that the problem was caused by occult pituitary microadenoma, Nelson's syndrome has to be considered. As only one adrenal could be excised due to technical reasons, the underlying pathology is thus not solved. In spite of this, the patient's general condition improved dramatically without need for replacement therapy. As the mortality of patients with persistent moderate hypercortisolism is increased 3,8- to 5 fold, mainly due to cardiovascular reasons, thorough surveillance for signs of recurrence is mandatory to be ready for quick intervention.