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November 8, 1985

Autonomous Cortisol Secretion by a Lipoid Cell Tumor of the Ovary

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Drs Chetkowski, Judd, and Chang) and Pathology (Dr Nieberg), UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles; and the Department of Medicine, University of California, at San Diego (Dr Jagger).

JAMA. 1985;254(18):2628-2631. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360180132042

LIPOID cell tumors are rare ovarian neoplasms that often secrete androgens and manifest themselves with symptoms of virilization. For this reason, androgen secretion has been studied in several previous cases.1-6 Cushingoid features have also been associated with a few of these patients,1,4,7,8 but in only one was cortisol secretion by the tumor adequately documented.9 This article describes a young woman with hirsutism and amenorrhea due to a lipoid cell tumor of the ovary and hypercortisolemia. Proof is provided that the ovarian lipoid cell tumor was the source of her hypercortisolism.

Report of a Case  A 20-year-old nulligravid woman was referred to the UCLA Gynecologic Endocrinology Clinic because of hirsutism and amenorrhea. Menarche occurred at the age of 12 years and was followed by irregular menses. At the age of 15 years, the patient was first seen for evaluation of hirsutism. At that time, her serum testosterone level