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Open access

Matteo Scopel, Eugenio De Carlo, Francesca Bergamo, Sabina Murgioni, Riccardo Carandina, Anna Rita Cervino, Marta Burei, Federica Vianello, Vittorina Zagonel, Matteo Fassan, and Roberto Vettor

We considered 351 patients affected by neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), followed at the University Hospital of Padua and at the Veneto Oncological Institute. Of these, 72 (20.5%) suffered from bone metastases. The sample was divided according to the timing of presentation of bone metastases into synchronous (within 6 months of diagnosis of primary tumor) and metachronous (after 6 months). We collected data on the type and grading of the primary tumor and on the features of bone metastases. Our analysis shows that the group of synchronous metastases generally presents primary tumors with a higher degree of malignancy rather than the ones of the metachronous group. This is supported by the finding of a Ki-67 level in GEP-NETs, at the diagnosis of bone metastases, significantly higher in the synchronous group. Moreover, in low-grade NETs, chromogranin A values are higher in the patients with synchronous metastases, indicating a more burden of disease. The parameters of phospho-calcium metabolism are within the normal range, and we do not find significant differences between the groups. Serious bone complications are not frequent and are not correlated with the site of origin of the primary tumor. From the analysis of the survival curves of the total sample, a cumulative survival rate of 33% at 10 years emerges. The average survival is 80 months, higher than what is reported in the literature, while the median is 84 months. In our observation period, synchronous patients tend to have a worse prognosis than metachronous ones with 52-months survival rates of 58 and 86%.

Open access

Ziting Liang, Mengge Yang, Changjuan Xu, Rong Zeng, and Liang Dong

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the effects and safety of metformin in patients with concurrent diabetes mellitus (DM) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, the China National Knowledge, and Cochrane Database were searched to find studies that examined the effects and safety of metformin in patients with concurrent DM and COPD. We conducted a meta-analysis with a risk ratio (RR) and assessed the quality of included studies and pooled evidence.

Results: Eight articles were involved. Metformin decreased the risk of COPD-related hospitalizations (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53-0.98; I2=89%) and all-cause mortality (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.36–1.01, I2=69%) in patients with concurrent DM and COPD, but didn’t increase the risk of hyperlactatemia (RR 1.14, 95%CI 0.92-1.41, I2 =8%).

Conclusions: Metformin use in patients with concurrent DM and COPD might lower COPD-related hospitalizations and the risk of all-cause mortality without increasing the risk of hyperlactatemia. Considerations should be given to conduct more high-quality randomized trials involving larger samples.

Open access

Selina Mäkinen, Neeta Datta, Yen H Nguyen, Petro Kyrylenko, Markku Laakso, and Heikki A Koistinen

Open access

Carmen Sydlik, Ilja Dubinski, Susanne Bechtold, and Heinrich Schmidt

Thyroid-stimulating hormone is generally regarded as a standard parameter for the evaluation of thyroid function. However, relying on this hormone alone can be misleading. Therefore, thyroxine/free-thyroxine levels are used in patients with levothyroxine substitution for the adjustment of therapy. Even with normal values for free thyroxine, decreased values for the free-triiodothyronine/free-thyroxine ratio have already been described in adults. In this study, the free-triiodothyronine/free-thyroxine ratio of 25 children with congenital hypothyroidism was compared with 470 healthy children seen for other reasons and then for thyroid dysfunction. Mean free thyroxine in congenital hypothyroidism was just below the upper limit of normal and significantly higher than in control group. Mean values for free triiodothyronine showed no significant difference between the two groups. The mean value for the free triiodothyronine/free-thyroxine ratio in control group was 3.23. Significantly lower ratios were found in the congenital hypothyroidism group with a mean value of 2.5, due to higher values for free thyroxine compared to free triiodothyronine. Furthermore, an increased free triiodothyronine/free-thyroxine ratio was found at higher thyroid-stimulating hormone values due to lower values for free thyroxine. In this study, we demonstrate that the free triiodothyronine/free-thyroxine ratio was significantly lower in children with congenital hypothyroidism compared to the control group. This is most likely due to the higher values for free thyroxine in this group compared to similar values for free triiodothyronine in both groups. Further studies with differentiated thyroid hormone therapy are needed in order to understand the role of peripheral euthyroidism.

Open access

Amar Osmancevic, Kristin Ottarsdottir, Margareta Hellgren, Ulf Lindblad, and Bledar Daka

Context

Obesity seems to decrease levels of testosterone. It is still unknown what role inflammation plays in the secretion of testosterone in men.

Objective

The objective is to study the association between levels of C-reactive protein and testosterone and its role in predicting biochemical hypogonadism in men.

Design

This was a longitudinal observational study between 2002 and 2014 in Sweden.

Patients or other participants

At the first visit, a random population sample of 1400 men was included, and 645 men fulfilled a similar protocol at a 10-year follow-up visit. After exclusion, 625 men remained to be included in the final analyses.

Main outcome measure(s)

Serum concentrations of testosterone and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at both visits. Bioavailable testosterone was calculated. Biochemical hypogonadism was defined as total testosterone levels <8 nmol/L.

Results

At the first visit and in the longitudinal analyses, a strong association was found between high levels of CRP and low levels of calculated bioavailable testosterone even after adjustments for age, waist–hip ratio, hypertension, smoking, type 2 diabetes, and leisuretime physical activity (B = −0.31, 95% CI −0.49 to −0.13, P = 0.001, B = −0.26, 95% CI −0.41 to −0.11, P = 0.001). Similarly, increase with one s. d. in CRP was associated with increased risk of having hypogonadism after adjustment in the final model (odds ratio (OR) 1.76, 95% CI 1.12–2.78, P = 0.015, OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.16–2.78, P =0.008).

Conclusions

In this representative cohort of men in southwestern Sweden, high levels of CRP were longitudinally associated with low concentrations of calculated bioavailable testosterone and increased risk of biochemical hypogonadism.

Open access

Xi Cao, Ming Lu, Rong-Rong Xie, Li-Ni Song, Wei-Li Yang, Zhong Xin, Guang-Ran Yang, and Jin-Kui Yang

Aims

In this study, we determined the association between thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and diabetic macular edema (DME) by assessing the prevalence and risk factors for DME in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with different thyroid dysfunctions.

Methods

This was a retrospective cross-sectional study including 1003 euthyroid and 92 subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) T2DM patients. DME status was detected by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The association between TSH and DME and the impact of TSH on DME were analyzed.

Results

The DME prevalence was 28.3% in the SCH patients and 14.0% in the euthyroid population. The serum FT4 (P = 0.001) and FT3 (P < 0.001) levels were significantly higher in the non-DME group than in the DME group, and the TSH level (P < 0.001) was significantly lower. Four subgroups (G1–G4) were divided by TSH level, and the chi-square test indicated that even in the normal range, the TSH level was positively related to DME prevalence (P = 0.001). Subgroup data indicated that the association between TSH and DME detected by OCT (P = 0.001) was stronger than the correlation between TSH and diabetic retinopathy detected by digital retinal photographs (P = 0.027). The logistic regression model confirmed that elevated TSH was an independent risk factor for DME. The odds ratio was 1.53 (P = 0.02).

Conclusions

A high TSH level was an independent risk factor for DME. More attention should be given to the TSH level in T2DM patients due to its relationship with diabetic complications.

Open access

Sebastian Franik, Kathrin Fleischer, Barbara Kortmann, Nike M Stikkelbroeck, Kathleen D’Hauwers, Claire Bouvattier, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer, Solange Grunenwald, Tim van de Grift, Audrey Cartault, Annette Richter-Unruh, Nicole Reisch, Ute Thyen, Joanna IntHout, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, and

Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is associated with an increased risk of neuropsychological morbidity, such as learning disabilities, which may have a significant impact on socioeconomic status (SES). The objective of this study was to investigate the SES in men with KS and to associate this outcome with social participation, age at diagnosis, testosterone therapy and physical and mental health status. Men with KS were recruited in 14 clinical study centers in six European countries which participated in the European dsd-LIFE study. Two hundred five men with KS were eligible for inclusion. Male normative data from the European Social Surveys (ESS) were used for comparison. Data related to education, occupation, satisfaction with income and householding were collected. Compared to the ESS reference population, fewer men with KS achieved a high level of education (13% vs 25%, P < 0.001). There was a significant difference in having a paid job (55% vs 66%, P < 0.001), and the percentage of absence by sickness or disability was higher among men with KS (10% vs 3%, P < 0.001). Furthermore, satisfaction with current household’s income was lower (32% vs 42%, P < 0.01). Lower scores for subjective general health were associated with lower scores for these outcomes. Men with KS achieve on average lower levels of education, occupation and report less satisfaction with income compared to the ESS reference population. The presence of health problems and lower scores of subjective general health was related to lower levels of occupation and lower satisfaction with income in men with KS.

Open access

Ramjan Sanas Mohamed, Biyaser Abuelgasim, Sally Barker, Hemanth Prabhudev, Niamh M Martin, Karim Meeran, Emma L Williams, Sarah Darch, Whitlock Matthew, Tricia Tan, and Florian Wernig

Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome (CS) poses considerable diagnostic challenges. Although late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) is recommended as a first-line screening investigation, it remains the least widely used test in many countries. The combined measurement of LNSC and late-night salivary cortisone (LNS cortisone) has shown to further improve diagnostic accuracy. We present a retrospective study in a tertiary referral centre comparing LNSC, LNS cortisone, overnight dexamethasone suppression test, low-dose dexamethasone suppression test and 24-h urinary free cortisol results of patients investigated for CS. Patients were categorised into those who had CS (21 patients) and those who did not (33 patients). LNSC had a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 91%. LNS cortisone had a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 86%. With an optimal cut-off for LNS cortisone of >14.5 nmol/L the sensitivity was 95.2%, and the specificity was 100% with an area under the curve of 0.997, for diagnosing CS. Saliva collection is non-invasive and can be carried out at home. We therefore advocate simultaneous measurement of LNSC and LNS cortisone as the first-line screening test to evaluate patients with suspected CS.

Open access

Keiko Ohkuwa, Kiminori Sugino, Ryohei Katoh, Mitsuji Nagahama, Wataru Kitagawa, Kenichi Matsuzu, Akifumi Suzuki, Chisato Tomoda, Kiyomi Hames, Junko Akaishi, Chie Masaki, Kana Yoshioka, and Koichi Ito

Objective

Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare tumor among parathyroid tumors. Aspiration cytology and needle biopsy are generally not recommended for diagnostic purposes because they cause dissemination. Therefore, it is commonly diagnosed by postoperative histopathological examination. In this study, we investigated whether preoperative inflammatory markers can be used as predictors of cancer in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.

Design

This was a retrospective study.

Methods

Thirty-six cases of parathyroid carcinoma and 50 cases of parathyroid adenoma (PA) operated with the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism and confirmed histopathologically at Ito Hospital were included in this study. Preoperative clinical characteristics and inflammatory markers (neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR)) were compared and their values in preoperative prediction were evaluated and analyzed.

Results

Preoperative intact-parathyroid hormone (P  = 0.0003), serum calcium (P  = 0.0048), and tumor diameter (P  = 0.0002) were significantly higher in parathyroid carcinoma than in PA. LMR showed a significant decrease in parathyroid carcinoma (P  = 0.0062). In multivariate analysis, LMR and tumor length diameter were independent predictors. In the receiver operating characteristics analysis, the cut-off values for LMR and tumor length diameter were 4.85 and 28.0 mm, respectively, for parathyroid cancer prediction. When the two extracted factors were stratified by the number of factors held, the predictive ability improved as the number of factors increased.

Conclusion

In the preoperative evaluation, a combination of tumor length diameter of more than 28 mm and LMR of less than 4.85 was considered to have a high probability of cancer.

Open access

Martijn J J Finken, Aleid J G Wirix, Ines A von Rosenstiel-Jadoul, Bibian van der Voorn, Mai J M Chinapaw, Michaela F Hartmann, Joana E Kist-van Holthe, Stefan A Wudy, and Joost Rotteveel

Objective

Childhood obesity is associated with alterations in hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis activity. We tested the hypothesis that multiple alterations in the metabolism of glucocorticoids are required for the development of hypertension in children who become overweight.

Methods

Spot urine for targeted gas chromatography-mass spectrometry steroid metabolome analysis was collected from (1) overweight/hypertensive children (n  = 38), (2) overweight/non-hypertensive children (n  = 83), and (3) non-overweight/non-hypertensive children (n  = 56).

Results

The mean (± s.d.) age of participants was 10.4 ± 3.4 years, and 53% of them were male. Group 1 and group 2 had higher excretion rates of cortisol and corticosterone metabolites than group 3 (869 (interquartile range: 631–1352) vs 839 (609–1123) vs 608 (439–834) μg/mmol creatinine × m2 body surface area, P < 0.01, for the sum of cortisol metabolites), and group 1 had a higher excretion rate of naive cortisol than group 3. Furthermore, groups differed in cortisol metabolism, in particular in the activities of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases, as assessed from the ratio of cortisol:cortisone metabolites (group 2 < group 3), 5α-reductase (group 1 > group 2 or 3), and CYP3A4 activity (group 1 < group 2 or 3).

Discussion

The sequence of events leading to obesity-associated hypertension in children may involve an increase in the production of glucocorticoids, downregulation of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 activity, and upregulation of 5α-reductase activity, along with a decrease in CYP3A4 activity and an increase in bioavailable cortisol.