Classification & external resources
Nelson's syndrome is the rapid enlargement of a pituitary adenoma that occurs after the removal of both adrenal glands.
Additional recommended knowledge
Removal of both adrenal glands, or bilateral adrenalectomy, is an operation for Cushing's Disease. Removal of both adrenals eliminates production of cortisol, and the lack of cortisol's negative feedback can allow any preexisting pituitary adenoma to grow unchecked. Continued growth can cause mass effects due to physical compression of brain tissue, along with increased production of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH).
The common signs and symptoms include muscle weakness and skin hyperpigmentation due to excess MSH. Nelson's syndrome is rare because bilateral adrenalectomy is now only used in extreme circumstances.
- Nelson D, Meakin J, Thorn G (1960). "ACTH-producing pituitary tumors following adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome.". Ann Intern Med 52: 560-9. PMID 14426442.
|Endocrine pathology: endocrine diseases (E00-35, 240-259)|
|Thyroid||Hypothyroidism (Iodine deficiency, Cretinism, Congenital hypothyroidism, Goitre, Myxedema) - Hyperthyroidism (Graves disease, Toxic multinodular goitre, Teratoma with thyroid tissue or Struma ovarii) - Thyroiditis (De Quervain's thyroiditis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Riedel's thyroiditis) - Euthyroid sick syndrome|
|Pancreas||Diabetes mellitus (type 1, type 2, coma, angiopathy, ketoacidosis, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy) - Hypoglycemia - Hyperinsulinism - Zollinger-Ellison syndrome|
|Parathyroid||Hypoparathyroidism (Pseudohypoparathyroidism) - Hyperparathyroidism (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary)|
|Pituitary||Hyperpituitarism (Acromegaly, Hyperprolactinaemia, SIADH) - Hypopituitarism (Simmonds' disease/Sheehan's syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Growth hormone deficiency, Diabetes insipidus) - Adiposogenital dystrophy - Empty sella syndrome|
|Adrenal||Cushing's syndrome (Nelson's syndrome, Pseudo-Cushing's syndrome) - CAH (due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency) - Hyperaldosteronism (Conn syndrome, Bartter syndrome) - Adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease) - Hypoaldosteronism|
|Gonads||ovarian dysfunction (Polycystic ovary syndrome, Premature ovarian failure) - testicular dysfunction (5-alpha-reductase deficiency) - general (Hypogonadism, Delayed puberty, Precocious puberty)|
|Other||Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome - Carcinoid syndrome - Short stature (Laron syndrome, Psychogenic dwarfism) - Gigantism - Androgen insensitivity syndrome - Progeria - Multiple endocrine neoplasia (1, 2)|