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Open access

Nathalie Ly, Sophie Dubreuil, and Philippe Touraine


Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are not mandatory for reproductive life, but data suggest their synergistic action with follicle-stimulating hormone throughout ovarian folliculogenesis. We aimed to evaluate the association of IGF-1 level on clinical pregnancy rate after ovarian stimulation, with or without intrauterine insemination, in women with GH deficiency (GHD) treated with GH replacement therapy (GHRT) at conception.

Design and methods

Data from 19 women with both GHD and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism referred to our reproductive medicine department were retrospectively collected. IGF-1 levels were assessed in a single laboratory, and values were expressed in s.d. from the mean.


Amongst the seven patients receiving GHRT during ovarian stimulation, higher IGF-1 levels were significantly associated with clinical pregnancy (+0.4 s.d. vs–1.6 s.d., P = 0.03). Amongst the 24 pregnancies obtained by the 19 infertile patients, pregnancy loss was less frequent with the addition of GHRT than without (1 miscarriage out of 8 total pregnancies vs 4 miscarriages out of 16 total pregnancies).


This is the first study evaluating the association of IGF-1 level on clinical pregnancy rate in GH-treated women at conception. When taking care of female infertility due to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, practitioners should enquire about the associated GHD and IGF-1 levels. To ensure higher clinical pregnancy chances, practitioners should aim for IGF-1 values at conception, ranging from 0 s.d. to +2 s.d., and, if necessary, could discuss initiation or increase GH treatment. Prospective studies should help strengthen our results.

Open access

Susan M Webb, Jette Kristensen, Anna Nordenström, Diana Vitali, Vincent Amodru, Lenja Katharina Wiehe, and Matt Bolz-Johnson

Patient journeys are instruments developed by EURORDIS, The Voice of Rare Disease Patients in Europe, to collect patients’ experiences; they may identify gaps and areas deserving improvement, as well as elements positively considered by affected persons. As with other patient-reported experiences, they can complete the clinical evaluation and management of a specific disease, improving the often long diagnostic delay, therapy, patient education and access to knowledgeable multidisciplinary teams. This review discusses the utility of such patient-reported experience measures and summarises the experiences of patients with acromegaly, Addison’s disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia from different European countries. Despite rare endocrine diseases being varied and presenting differently, feelings of not having been taken seriously by health professionals, family and friends was a common patient complaint. Empathy and a positive patient-centred environment tend to improve clinical practice by creating a trustworthy and understanding atmosphere, where individual patient needs are considered. Offering access to adequate patient information on their disease, treatments and outcome helps to adapt to living with a chronic disease and what to expect in the future, contemplating the impact of a disease on patients’ everyday life, not only clinical outcome but also social, financial, educational, family and leisure issues is desirable; this facilitates more realistic expectancies for patients and can even lead to a reduction in health costs. Patient empowerment with patient-centred approaches to these complex or chronic diseases should be contemplated more and more, not only for the benefit of those affected but also for the entire health system.

Open access

Li Qian, Yuxiao Zhu, Yan Luo, Mu Zhang, Liping Yu, Yu Liu, and Tao Yang

We assessed the prevalence of two novel islet autoantibodies, those targeting ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 2L3 (UBE2L3) and eukaryote translation elongation factor 1 α1 (eEF1A1), in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) to evaluate their utility in T1DM diagnosis with comparison to other islet autoantibodies. We also aimed to determine whether age and ethnicity impacted their diagnostic value. Electrochemiluminescence assay was used to detect UBE2L3-Ab and eEF1A1-Ab in 193 Chinese Han and 570 American Caucasian subjects with T1DM, and 282 Chinese Han and 199 American Caucasian controls. In Chinese and American cohorts, the UBE2L3-Ab cut-off indices were 0.039 and 0.038, and the eEF1A1-Ab cut-off indices were 0.048 and 0.050, respectively. The prevalence of UBE2L3-Ab was significantly higher in the Chinese (9.33%) and American (3.86%) subjects with T1DM than in the controls (P < 0.05). The prevalence of UBE2L3-Ab in T1DM was significantly higher in Chinese than in American (P < 0.05). Albeit not statistically significant, the prevalence of UBE2L3-Ab in T1DM was slightly higher in children than in adults of both ethnicities. The differences in eEF1A1-Ab levels between subjects with T1DM and controls were not significant. Meanwhile, all American subjects with UBE2L3-Ab also harbored glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibody (GADA) or insulin autoantibody (IAA). In contrast, 2.07% of the Chinese subjects with UBE2L3-Ab positive were previously classified as autoantibody-negative based on GADA and IAA. So the prevalence of UBE2L3-Ab in T1DM patients was significantly higher than in controls and was variable according to ethnicity as well as tended to be higher in children than adults. However, UBE2L3-Ab and eEF1A1-Ab may not be reliable diagnostic biomarkers forT1DM.

Open access

Małgorzata Więcek, Jakub Gawlik, Zuzanna Nowak, and Aneta Gawlik

Loss of fertility is one of the most important concerns facing Turner syndrome (TS) patients as they transition into adult health care. Due to the limited and rapidly decreasing ovarian reserve, many TS patients require fertility preservation (FP) techniques to preserve their reproductive potential until they are ready to pursue procreation. One has to also remember about the additional risks connected with pregnancy in TS patients. In order to determine the optimal time for introducing FP techniques and decrease the chance of an unnecessary intervention, markers and procedures assessing ovarian reserve have been developed. The exposure to potential cardiovascular complications should be determined before FP to avoid unnecessary procedures in patients with potential contraindications to pregnancy. The aim of the present review is to answer the following three questions important for successful preservation of fertility and safe pregnancy in TS: which markers of ovarian reserve should be used as selection criteria for FP? Which methods of FP are the safest and most effective? Are there any cardiovascular contraindications to FP? For each of those questions, separate literature searches have been conducted. A total of 86 articles have been included in this review: 34 for the first question, 35 for the second, and 17 for the third. Ovarian reserve markers and cardiovascular contraindications to pregnancy should be established before FP; hoverer, there are no unambiguous indicators as to which patients should be disqualified from the FP and more evidence is needed in this subject.

Open access

Ramon H.m. Dykgraaf, Sarah Schalekamp - Timmermans, M C Adank, Sjoerd A.a. van den Berg, Brigitta M.n. van de Lang - Born, Tim IM Korevaar, Ajay Kumar, Bahnu Kalra, Gopal V Savjani, Eric A.p. Steegers, Yvonne V Louwers, and Joop S.e. Laven

Objective: The primary objective of this study is to establish maternal reference values of AMH in a fertile multi-ethnic urban pregnant population and to evaluate the effect of gestational age. The secondary objective of this study is exploring the association between AMH and placental biomarkers.

Design: This study was embedded in the Generation R Study, an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study from early pregnancy onwards.

Setting: City of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, out of hospital setting.

Patients: In 5806 women serum AMH levels were determined in early pregnancy (median 13.5 weeks; 95% range 10.5–17.2).

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measures: Maternal AMH levels in early pregnancy and its association with placental biomarkers, including human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG), soluble FMS-Like Tyrosine kinase-1 (sFLT), and Placental Growth Factor (PLGF).

Results: A nomogram of AMH in early pregnancy was developed. Serum AMH levels showed a decline with advancing gestational age. Higher AMH levels were associated with a higher level of the placental biomarkers hCG and sFLT in early pregnancy. This last association was predominantly mediated by hCG. AMH levels were negatively associated with PLGF levels.

Conclusion: In this large study we show that AMH levels in early pregnancy decrease with advancing gestational age. The association between AMH and the placental biomarkers hCG, sFLT and PLGF suggests a better placental development with a lower vascular resistance in mothers with higher AMH levels. Hence AMH might be useful in predicting adverse pregnancy outcome due to impaired placental development.

Open access

Jakub Supronik, Małgorzata Szelachowska, Adam Kretowski, and Katarzyna Siewko

Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is a potentially sight-threatening and disfiguring, extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves’ disease. It often impairs patients’ quality of life, causing severe social and psychological sequelae. Intravenous glucocorticosteroids is currently the mainstay of therapy, but the efficacy is often underwhelming and recurrence rate is high. For many years, clinicians have been searching for new methods of treatment. Rituximab (RTX) is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeted against CD20 which is a surface antigen present on B cells. It is frequently used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, or various types of vasculitis. Numerous clinical trials employing RTX in the treatment of GO have shown promising results. RTX is currently considered to be a valid second-line treatment option in patients unresponsive to previous interventions or in disease reactivation. This review summarizes the available literature on this topic, including two largest, randomized, controlled studies. Potential benefits, as well as the limitations of RTX therapy, are discussed.

Open access

Barbara J Boucher

High vitamin D deficiency rates, with rickets and osteomalacia, have been common in South Asians (SAs) arriving in Britain since the 1950s with preventable infant deaths from hypocalcaemic status-epilepticus and cardiomyopathy. Vitamin D deficiency increases common SA disorders (type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), recent trials and non-linear Mendelian randomisation studies having shown deficiency to be causal for both disorders. Ethnic minority, obesity, diabetes and social deprivation are recognised COVID-19 risk factors, but vitamin D deficiency is not, despite convincing mechanistic evidence of it. Adjusting analyses for obesity/ethnicity abolishes vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 risk prediction, but both factors lower serum 25(OH)D specifically. Social deprivation inadequately explains increased ethnic minority COVID-19 risks. SA vitamin D deficiency remains uncorrected after 70 years, official bodies using ‘education’, ‘assimilation’ and ‘diet’ as ‘proxies’ for ethnic differences and increasing pressures to assimilate. Meanwhile, English rickets was abolished from ~1940 by free ‘welfare foods’ (meat, milk, eggs, cod liver oil), for all pregnant/nursing mothers and young children (<5 years old). Cod liver oil was withdrawn from antenatal clinics in 1994 (for excessive vitamin A teratogenicity), without alternative provision. The take-up of the 2006 ‘Healthy-Start’ scheme of food-vouchers for low-income families with young children (<3 years old) has been poor, being inaccessible and poorly publicised. COVID-19 pandemic advice for UK adults in ‘lockdown’ was ‘400 IU vitamin D/day’, inadequate for correcting the deficiency seen winter/summer at 17.5%/5.9% in White, 38.5%/30% in Black and 57.2%/50.8% in SA people in representative UK Biobank subjects when recruited ~14 years ago and remaining similar in 2018. Vitamin D inadequacy worsens many non-skeletal health risks. Not providing vitamin D for preventing SA rickets and osteomalacia continues to be unacceptable, as deficiency-related health risks increase ethnic health disparities, while abolishing vitamin D deficiency would be easier and more cost-effective than correcting any other factor worsening ethnic minority health in Britain.

Open access

Liang Xue, Jianwu Wu, Jie Chen, and Yongkai Yang


We aimed to assess the factors influencing the development of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas.


A retrospective analysis was conducted on the clinical data of patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent transsphenoidal surgery. The predictors of postoperative diabetes insipidus were determined using statistical analysis.


Of the 415 patients who underwent microscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas, 196 experienced postoperative diabetes insipidus. The sinking depth of the diaphragma sellae and the difference between the preoperative and postoperative pituitary stalk deviation angles in the diabetes insipidus group were greater than those in the non-diabetes insipidus group. Logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery was higher in patients with a larger difference in their pituitary stalk deviation angles (odds ratio = 2.407, 95% CI = 1.335–4.342; P = 0.004).


The difference in the pituitary stalk deviation angle could predict the onset of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas.

Open access

, Hiroshi Arima, Timothy Cheetham, Mirjam Christ-Crain, Deborah Cooper, Mark Gurnell, Juliana B Drummond, Miles Levy, Ann I McCormack, Joseph Verbalis, John Newell-Price, and John A H Wass

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet’ (Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare). Shakespeare’s implication is that a name is nothing but a word, and it therefore represents a convention with no intrinsic meaning. While this may be relevant to romantic literature, disease names do have real meanings, and consequences, in medicine. Hence, there must be a very good rationale for changing the name of a disease that has a centuries-old historical context. A working group of representatives from national and international endocrinology, and pediatric endocrine societies now proposes changing the name of ‘diabetes insipidus’ to ‘arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D)’ for central etiologies, and ‘arginine vasopressin resistance (AVP-R)’ for nephrogenic etiologies. This article provides both the historical context and the rationale for this proposed name change.

Open access

Zhengrong Jiang, Linghong Huang, Lijun Chen, Jingxiong Zhou, Bo Liang, Xuefeng Bai, Lizhen Wu, and Huibin Huang


Graves’ disease is a common autoimmune disease. Cytokines and their signalling pathways play a major part in the pathogenesis of Graves’ disease; however, the underlying mechanism needs to be clarified.


The aim of this study was to explore whether circular RNAs participate in the immunological pathology of Graves’ disease via cytokine-related signalling pathways.


Bioinformatics analysis was performed to identify differentially expressed circular RNAs and their targets and associated pathways. A total of three patients with Graves’ disease and three sex- and age-matched healthy controls were enrolled for validation with microarray analysis and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). An additional 24 patients with Graves’ disease and 24 gender- and age-matched controls were included for validation by real-time fluorescent qPCR. Flow cytometry and CCK8 assays were used to detect the apoptotic and proliferative levels of Jurkat cells (T lymphocytes) with the silenced expression of circRNA. ELISA was performed to detect the growth and apoptosis-related proteins. The competition mechanism of endogenous RNA was explored by real-time fluorescence qPCR.


A total of 366 significantly differentially expressed circular RNAs were identified in the Graves’ disease group compared to healthy controls. The level of hsa_circ_0090364 was elevated in Graves’ disease patients and positively correlated with thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibodies. Further analyses suggested that hsa_circ_0090364 may regulate the JAK-STAT pathway via the hsa-miR-378a-3p/IL-6ST/IL21R axis to promote cell growth.


These results provide novel clues into the pathophysiological mechanisms of Graves’ disease and potential targets for drug treatment.