Etomidate in the management of hypercortisolaemia in Cushing's syndrome: a review

Veronica A Preda, Jonathan Sen, Niki Karavitaki, Ashley B. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


This review addresses the practical usage of intravenous etomidate as a medical therapy in Cushing's syndrome. We reviewed the relevant literature, using search terms 'etomidate', 'Cushing's syndrome', 'adrenocortical hyperfunction', 'drug therapy' and 'hypercortisolaemia' in a series of public databases. There is a paucity of large randomised controlled trials, and data on its use rely only on small series, case study reports and international consensus guideline recommendations. Based on these, etomidate is an effective parenteral medication for the management of endogenous hypercortisolaemia, particularly in cases with significant biochemical disturbance, sepsis and other serious complications such as severe psychosis, as well as in preoperative instability. We suggest treatment protocols for the safe and effective use of etomidate in Cushing's syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

An erratum to this article exists in the European Journal of Endocrinology (2013) vol. 168 (2) p. X1. DOI: 10.1530/EJE-12-0274e.


  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Etomidate
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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