Endogenous hypercortisolism inducing reversible ocular hypertension

Shane Griffin, Timothy Boyce, Beth Edmunds, William Hills, Marjorie Grafe, Shandiz Tehrani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the clinical findings of two patients with reversible ocular hypertension secondary to endogenous hypercortisolism. Design: Retrospective, observational case series. Subjects: A 65-year-old man (patient 1) and a 21-year-old woman (patient 2) were both found to have Cushing's syndrome after presentation to our clinic with elevated intraocular pressures (IOP). Methods: Clinical histories, ophthalmic examinations including IOP measurements, optical coherence tomography of the retinal nerve fiber layer, visual field testing, magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography of two patients were reviewed between 2007 and 2019. Observations: Patient 1 demonstrated elevated IOP (maximum 26 mmHg OD and 22 mmHg OS) and bilateral disc edema. Following diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome, the patient underwent two pituitary resections and bilateral adrenalectomy, with subsequent resolution of his hypercortisolism and ocular hypertension (OHT). Patient 2 presented with blurred vision and found to have OHT (maximum 32 mmHg OU). Following diagnosis of Cushing's disease and two resections of her adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) producing pituitary adenoma, her IOPs normalized. Both patients maintained normal IOPs after resolution of their endogenous hypercortisolism and discontinuation of topical IOP-lowering medication. Conclusions and Importance: Ocular hypertension induced by endogenous hypercortisolism is, in some cases, fully reversible following normalization of cortisol levels. These findings suggest that the physiologic changes to the trabecular meshwork induced by endogenous hypercortisolism may be fully reversible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100573
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Endogenous hypercortisolism
  • Glaucoma
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Ocular hypertension
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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