Cushing Syndrome Induced by Serial Occipital Nerve Blocks Containing Corticosteroids


Address all correspondence to Dr. Patrick Lavin, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2100 Pierce Avenue, #351, Nashville, TN 37212.


A patient with chronic daily headaches developed overt signs of Cushing syndrome during treatment with serial occipital nerve block injections. Investigation demonstrated an exogenous source of corticosteroids as the cause of the Cushing syndrome in this patient, thus, implicating the corticosteroid component of the occipital nerve blocks. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Cushing syndrome caused by occipital nerve blockade. Caution is warranted in employing even usual therapeutic doses of synthetic corticosteroids, particularly in long-acting or depot preparations.