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Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling Specialist

RIA Neurovascular -  - Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

RIA Neurovascular

Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery & Endovascular Neurosurgical Radiologists located in Englewood near Denver, Colorado

If you have signs of Cushing syndrome, your doctor may suggest inferior petrosal sinus sampling to check your cortisol levels to confirm your diagnosis. The talented neurovascular surgeons at RIA Neurovascular in Denver, Colorado, provide inferior petrosal sinus sampling and collaborate with your endocrinologist to create a treatment plan to restore your health. Call RIA Neurovascular to schedule a consultation today if you have a referral for inferior petrosal sinus sampling.

Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling Q & A

What is inferior petrosal sinus sampling?

Your inferior petrosal sinuses are the venous cavities near the back of the base of your skull. The sinuses allow blood to drain out of your head and pituitary gland into your jugular vein so it can return to your heart and lungs and continue its journey around your body. 

Inferior petrosal sinus sampling is a procedure to collect blood samples from these cavities. The procedure is most often used to diagnose Cushing syndrome. Elevated cortisol levels in blood samples from your inferior petrosal sinus indicate Cushing syndrome. 

What is Cushing syndrome?

Cushing syndrome, also called hypercortisolism, is a condition that develops when you’re exposed to elevated cortisol levels for a long time. It causes a variety of symptoms, including weight gain and fatty tissue build-up on your upper back, between your shoulders, and on your face. You may also notice that cuts or skin abrasions take a long time to heal, your skin bruises easily, and you have pink or purple stretch marks on your abdomen, thighs, arms, and chest. 

The exact cause of Cushing syndrome isn’t fully understood. Research indicates that certain medications or a pituitary gland tumor can trigger the hyperactivity. However, Cushing syndrome can also emerge independently. 

What happens during inferior petrosal sinus sampling?

Inferior petrosal sinus sampling is a minimally invasive catheter procedure. While you’re sedated, your surgeon uses contrast dye and fluoroscopy to feed a catheter through a small incision in your thigh through your body and into your inferior petrosal sinuses. 

Depending on your condition, your surgeon may inject a corticotropin-releasing factor to stimulate hormone production in your pituitary gland to increase the accuracy of the test. Your surgeon extracts a sample of the blood in your inferior petrosal sinuses to measure your hormone levels. 

The test not only confirms Cushing syndrome and its origin in your pituitary gland, but it also helps locate the part of your pituitary gland causing the problem. Your surgeon works with your endocrinologist to compare the results of your inferior petrosal sinus sampling with MRIs to plan future treatment, including the surgical removal of part of your pituitary gland if necessary. 

If you have a referral for inferior petrosal sinus sampling and are looking for expert neurovascular surgeons, call RIA Neurovascular or schedule an appointment online today.