Neuroendocrine carcinoma (carcinoid) of the thymus associated with Cushing’s syndrome
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Neuroendocrine carcinoma (carcinoid) of the thymus associated with Cushing's syndrome is a rare disease. Recent evidence suggests that these tumors form part of a continuous spectrum ranging from well-differentiated carcinomas to small cell carcinomas. We report two new cases and review the 23 cases reported in the literature since 1972. The different diagnostic modalities are discussed, and an algorithm for the diagnosis of ectopic secretion of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) is presented. In the future, the advent of radiologic and nuclear imaging as well as more accurate workup should help to diagnose these tumors at an earlier stage and improve the long-term outcome.
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