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March 2018

The “Moon Face” of Cushing Syndrome

Author Affiliations
  • 1Private practice, Pembroke Pines, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(3):329. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5798

From time immemorial, people have gazed at a full moon and imagined its landscape taking on the appearance of a round human face; the so-called man in the moon. Here on Earth, the moon has lent its name to describe a striking feature of Cushing syndrome: the “moon face.” This is the story behind that eponym.

In 1932, Harvey Cushing, MD (1869-1939), the noted American neurosurgeon, published 12 case histories of patients with clinical features now called Cushing syndrome, which includes the rapid development of adiposity of the face, neck, and trunk, while sparing the extremities.1 Several of these patients had basophilic pituitary adenomas.

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