Acute Pulmonary Edema in Patients with Cushing’s Syndrome

Mitra Niafar, Mehrnoush Toufan, Nooshin Milanchian, Farhad Niafar, Kavous Shahsavari Nia



Dyspnea refers to difficulty in breathing, and short and shallow breaths. This sign is seen in numerous diseases due to pulmonary, cardiac, metabolic and neurological causes. Among cardiac causes, heart failure is considered the main cause of dyspnea.

Cardiac failure is a clinical syndrome associated with a set of symptoms (dyspnea, and fatigue) and signs (edema and rales). Common causes of cardiac failure include: myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart diseases, and cardiomyopathy. Among uncommon causes of heart failure, endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome can be cited. Cushing’s syndrome can present itself in less common forms such as dyspnea due to heart failure. Cushing’s syndrome’s cardiovascular complications usually occur due to hypertension, end organ damage such as left ventricular heart failure, diastolic and ischemic myocardial heart failure, which are rather seen in chronic cases of the disease and are often irreversible.

Transient heart failure in patients with Cushing’s syndrome, due to adrenal adenoma, has been reported in a number of patients. In this case report, a patient is introduced who presented to emergency department with severe dyspnea (FC III), and was ultimately diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome after work up. Three months after treatment of Cushing’s syndrome, dramatic improvement was observed in this patient’s cardiac function.

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