About Ingerior petrosal sinus sampling

IPSS is a minimally-invasive neurointerventional procedure performed to sample venous blood from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.

These blood samples aid in the diagnosis of Cushing Disease, a serious condition that results from excess production of the steroid hormone, cortisol. The disease can be caused by a small tumor (microadenoma) in the pituitary gland that secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH stimulates excess production of cortisol, causing symptoms such as high blood pressure, excessive weight gain (especially face, back of neck, and upper back), diabetes, easy bruising, excessive hair growth and purple stretch marks on the abdomen.


What to expect during the procedure:

During the IPSS procedure, small tubes are guided from leg veins into small vascular channels in the skull (inferior petrosal sinuses) that drain the pituitary gland.  X-rays are used for image guidance.  A medication, corticotrophin-releasing factor, is sometimes given through an IV during the procedure to stimulate production of ACTH from the gland.  This procedure increases the accuracy of the test.


In some cases microadenomas are not visible on MRI images.

IPSS can help your endocrinologist and surgeon identify which side of the pituitary gland should be removed for cure.  This procedure can be performed as an outpatient and requires minimal sedation.

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