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Open access

Erika Biegelmeyer, Iury Scanagata, Laura Alves, Murilo Reveilleau, Fernando Pereira Schwengber, and Simone Magagnin Wajner

Background

Low T3 syndrome refers to a set of thyroid hormone metabolism alterations present in the disease state. A correlation between low T3 and poor clinical outcomes in the intensive care unit is more established. Nonetheless, studies on non-critically ill patients are few and controversial.

Objective

To evaluate the prevalence and predictive value of low T3 levels on 30-day and 6-month mortality in non-critically ill patients. Secondary outcomes evaluated the length of hospital stay, overall mortality, and hospital readmission.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Methods

A total of 345 consecutive patients from the Internal Medicine ward of a tertiary hospital in southern Brazil were included and followed from October 2018 to April 2019 (6 months). Levels of total serum T3 were measured weekly, from admission to discharge, and correlated with 30-day and 6-month mortality.

Results

Prevalence of low T3 was 36.6%. Low T3 levels were associated with higher 30-day hospital mortality (15.1% vs 4.1%, P < 0.001) and higher 6-month overall mortality (31.7% vs 13.2%, P < 0.001). Total serum T3 at admission was an independent predictor of 30-day hospital mortality.

Conclusion

Low T3 levels are a prevalent condition among non-critically ill patients, and this condition is associated with poor clinical outcomes in this population. Total serum T3 levels, alone or in association with other predictive scores, were demonstrated to be an easy and valuable tool for risk stratification and should be further employed in this setting.

Open access

Wenrui Wang and Chuan Zhang

The most distinctive pathological characteristics of diabetes mellitus induced by various stressors or immune-mediated injuries are reductions of pancreatic islet β-cell populations and activity. Existing treatment strategies cannot slow disease progression; consequently, research to genetically engineer β-cell mimetics through bi-directional plasticity is ongoing. The current consensus implicates β-cell dedifferentiation as the primary etiology of reduced β-cell mass and activity. This review aims to summarize the etiology and proposed mechanisms of β-cell dedifferentiation and to explore the possibility that there might be a time interval from the onset of β-cell dysfunction caused by dedifferentiation to the development of diabetes, which may offer a therapeutic window to reduce β-cell injury and to stabilize functionality. In addition, to investigate β-cell plasticity, we review strategies for β-cell regeneration utilizing genetic programming, small molecules, cytokines, and bioengineering to transdifferentiate other cell types into β-cells; the development of biomimetic acellular constructs to generate fully functional β-cell-mimetics. However, the maturation of regenerated β-cells is currently limited. Further studies are needed to develop simple and efficient reprogramming methods for assembling perfectly functional β-cells. Future investigations are necessary to transform diabetes into a potentially curable disease.

Open access

Qi Zhang, Hongshan Wang, Yanhong Xie, Suming Huang, Ke Chen, Botian Ye, Yupeng Yang, Jie Sun, Hongyong He, Fenglin Liu, Zhenbin Shen, Weidong Chen, Kuntang Shen, Yuan Ji, and Yihong Sun

A new subcategory, grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors, is incorporated into the grading system of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms in the 2017 WHO classification in order to differentiate grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors from neuroendocrine carcinomas. The 2019 WHO classification extends the concept of grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors to gastrointestinal high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms. However, there is still limited study focusing on the gastric grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors and gastric neuroendocrine carcinomas. We retrospectively enrolled 151 gastric high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms patients, who underwent radical resection from January 2007 to December 2015. Clinicopathologic and prognostic features were studied. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was used to verify the prognostic determinants found in the Zhongshan cohort. Neuroendocrine carcinomas showed a higher Ki67 index and higher mitotic count than grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors. We identified 109 (72.2%) patients with neuroendocrine carcinomas, 12 (7.9%) patients with grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors, and 30 (19.9%) patients with mixed neuroendocrine-non-neuroendocrine neoplasms. Although neuroendocrine carcinomas demonstrated higher Ki67 index (P = 0.004) and mitoses (P = 0.001) than grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors, their prognosis after radical resection did not demonstrate significant differences (P = 0.709). Tumor size, perineural invasion, and TNM stage were independent prognostic factors of gastric high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Open access

Sarah Bakhamis, Faiqa Imtiaz, Khushnooda Ramzan, Edward De Vol, Osamah Al-Sagheir, Abdulrahman Al-Rajhi, Abdullah Alashwal, Bassam Bin Abbas, Nadia Sakati, and Afaf Al-Sagheir

Vitamin D deficiency remains a major cause of rickets worldwide. Nutritional factors are the major cause and less commonly, inheritance causes. Recently, CYP2R1 has been reported as a major factor for 25-hydroxylation contributing to the inherited forms of vitamin D deficiency. We conducted a prospective cohort study at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to review cases with 25-hydroxylase deficiency and describe their clinical, biochemical, and molecular genetic features. We analyzed 27 patients from nine different families who presented with low 25-OH vitamin D and not responding to usual treatment. Genetic testing identified two mutations: c.367+1G>A (12/27 patients) and c.768dupT (15/27 patients), where 18 patients were homozygous for their identified mutation and 9 patients were heterozygous. Both groups had similar clinical manifestations ranging in severity, but none of the patients with the heterozygous mutation had hypocalcemic manifestations. Thirteen out of 18 homozygous patients and all the heterozygous patients responded to high doses of vitamin D treatment, but they regressed after decreasing the dose, requiring lifelong therapy. Five out of 18 homozygous patients required calcitriol to improve their biochemical data, whereas none of the heterozygous patients and patients who carried the c.367+1G>A mutation required calcitriol treatment. To date, this is the largest cohort series analyzing CYP2R1-related 25-hydroxylase deficiency worldwide, supporting its major role in 25-hydroxylation of vitamin D. It is suggested that a higher percentage of CYP2R1 mutations might be found in the Saudi population. We believe that our study will help in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of similar cases in the future.

Open access

Guang-Ran Yang, Dongmei Li, and Zidian Xie

Objective

There is a lack of consensus on whether a high BMI increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR). We aimed to investigate the association between BMI, overweight, obesity, and DR using the data of diabetes respondents in the 2015 US Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

Methods

Diabetes respondents aged over 18-year-old with complete information as well as undergone fundus examination in the past 2 years or had been diagnosed with DR were included. Weighted logistic regression analyses were used to identify the association of BMI with DR.

Results

Among the 21,647 diabetes respondents, 4588 respondents had DR with a weighted prevalence of 22.5%. The mean BMI of all diabetes respondents was 31.50 ± 6.95 kg/m2 with 18,498 (86.5%) overweight and 11,353 (54.6%) obese. The mean BMI of the DR group (31.83 ± 7.41 kg/m2) was significantly higher than that of the non-DR group (31.41 ± 6.81 kg/m2, P < 0.05). The proportion of obese respondents in the DR group was higher than the non-DR group (54.3%, P < 0.001). The weighted prevalence of DR was 0.8, 13.8, 29.7, and 55.7% for the emaciation group, the normal weight group, the overweight group, and the obesity group, respectively (P < 0.001). Weighted logistic regression analysis showed that both BMI (adjusted OR = 1.004, 95% CI 1.003–1.004) and obesity (adjusted OR = 1.051, 95% CI 1.048–1.055) were associated with DR after adjusting for the confounding variables. However, overweight was not significantly associated with DR.

Conclusion

The prevalence of DR in the normal weight, overweight, and obesity groups increased gradually. Obesity, rather than overweight, was significantly associated with increased DR prevalence.

Open access

Melinda Kertész, Szilárd Kun, Eszter Sélley, Zsuzsanna Nagy, Tamás Kőszegi, and István Wittmann

Background

Type 2 diabetes is characterized, beyond the insulin resistance, by polyhormonal resistance. Thyroid hormonal resistance has not yet been described in this population of patients. Metformin is used to decrease insulin resistance, and at present, it is assumed to influence the effect of triiodothyronine, as well.

Methods

In this open-label, pilot, hypothesis-generating, follow-up study, 21 patients were included; all of them were euthyroid with drug naïve, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Before and after 4 weeks of metformin therapy, fructosamine, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), thyroid hormones, T3/T4 ratio, and TSH, as well as blood pressure and heart rate using ambulatory blood pressure monitor were measured. We also conducted an in vitro study to investigate the possible mechanisms of T3 resistance, assessing T3-induced Akt phosphorylation among normal (5 mM) and high (25 mM) glucose levels with or without metformin treatment in a human embryonal kidney cell line.

Results

Metformin decreased the level of T3 (P < 0.001), the ratio of T3/T4 (P = 0.038), fructosamine (P = 0.008) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.022). All these changes were accompanied by an unchanged TSH, T4, triglyceride, plasma glucose, bodyweight, blood pressure, and heart rate. In our in vitro study, T3-induced Akt phosphorylation decreased in cells grown in 25 mM glucose medium compared to those in 5 mM. Metformin could not reverse this effect.

Conclusion

Metformin seems to improve T3 sensitivity in the cardiovascular system in euthyroid, type 2 diabetic patients, the mechanism of which may be supracellular.

Open access

Elena V Varlamov, Dan Alexandru Niculescu, Swechya Banskota, Simona Andreea Galoiu, Catalina Poiana, and Maria Fleseriu

Purpose

The number of international acromegaly related registries is increasing; however, heterogeneity of acromegaly symptoms and signs across countries is not well described. We compared clinical disease manifestations at diagnosis between two large University referral centers from two continents.

Methods

Retrospective, comparative epidemiological study of acromegaly patients at two centers: (i) C. I. Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology, 'Carol Davila' University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest, Romania (Parhon), and (ii) Pituitary Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States (OHSU) from approved data repositories was undertaken. Data were extracted from medical charts and questionnaires. Binary logistic regression analysis was undertaken for the most frequently noted symptoms and clinical signs.

Results

The study included 216 patients (87 Parhon, 129 OHSU). Age, sex, and median delay in diagnosis were similar between centers. IGF-1 index was higher in patients at Parhon (3.3 vs 2.1, P < 0.001). The top five symptoms at both centers were enlarged hands/feet, headache, arthralgia, fatigue, and irregular menses in women. A significant difference was noted for multiple signs and symptoms frequency, often > 20 percentage points between centers. Center was a predictor of many signs and symptoms, independent of acromegaly biochemical severity or disease duration.

Conclusion

We show in the first comparative study that differences in medical practice, documentation, and likely cultural differences can influence patients’ symptom(s) reporting and screening patterns in geographically different populations. Pooling data into large multicenter international registry databases may lead to loss of regional characteristics and thus a mixed overall picture of combined cohorts.

Open access

Anna Sjöström, Susanne Rysz, Henrik Sjöström, and Charlotte Höybye

Acute systemic diseases, such as severe infections, can lead to electrolyte and acid-base alterations. To study the presence of electrolyte imbalance in severe COVID-19, we investigated the frequency and consequences of changes in electrolyte and acid-base patterns over time. We performed a retrospective cohort study including 406 patients with severe COVID-19. Levels of electrolytes, base excess, pH, serum osmolality, and hematocrit, the first 2 weeks of hospitalization, were collected daily from the laboratory database and clinical data from patients’ medical records. We found that hyponatremia was present in 57% of the patients at admission and 2% in hypernatremia. However, within 2 weeks of hospitalization 42% of the patients developed hypernatremia, more frequently in critically ill patients. Lower levels of sodium and potassium during admission were associated with the need for mechanical ventilation. Decreased pH at admission was associated with both death and the need for mechanical ventilation. Hypernatremia in the ICU was combined with rising base excess and a higher pH. In the group without intensive care, potassium levels were significantly lower in the patients with severe hypernatremia. Presence of hypernatremia during the first 2 weeks of hospitalization was associated with 3.942 (95% CI 2.269–6.851) times higher odds of death. In summary, hypernatremia was common and associated with longer hospital stay and a higher risk of death, suggesting that the dynamics of sodium are an important indicator of severity in COVID-19.

Open access

Christine Rode Andreasen, Andreas Andersen, Filip Krag Knop, and Tina Vilsbøll

In recent years, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) have become central in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). In addition to their glucose-lowering properties with low risk of hypoglycaemia, GLP-1RAs reduce body weight and show promising results in reducing cardiovascular risk and renal complications in high-risk individuals with T2D. These findings have changed guidelines on T2D management over the last years, and GLP-1RAs are now widely used in overweight patients with T2D as well as in patients with T2D and cardiovascular disease regardless of glycaemic control. The currently available GLP-1RAs have different pharmacokinetic profiles and differ in their ability to improve glycaemia, reduce body weight and in their cardio- and renal protective potentials. Understanding how these agents work, including insights into their pleiotropic effects on T2D pathophysiology, may improve their clinical utilisation and be useful for exploring other indications such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we provide an overview of approved GLP-1RAs, their clinical effects and mode of action, and we offer insights into the potential of GLP-1RAs for other indications than T2D. Finally, we will discuss the emerging data and therapeutic potential of using GLP-1RAs in combinations with other receptor agonists.

Open access

Caroline Y Hayashi, Danilo T A Jaune, Cristiano C Oliveira, Bárbara P Coelho, Hélio A Miot, Mariângela E A Marques, José Vicente Tagliarini, Emanuel C Castilho, Carlos S P Soares, Flávia R K Oliveira, Paula Soares, and Gláucia M F S Mazeto

Background

Thyroid nodules diagnosed as 'atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance' (AUS/FLUS) or 'follicular neoplasm/suspected follicular neoplasm' (FN/SFN), according to Bethesda’s classification, represent a challenge in clinical practice. Computerized analysis of nuclear images (CANI) could be a useful tool for these cases. Our aim was to evaluate the ability of CANI to correctly classify AUS/FLUS and FN/SFN thyroid nodules for malignancy.

Methods

We studied 101 nodules cytologically classified as AUS/FLUS (n = 68) or FN/SFN (n = 33) from 97 thyroidectomy patients. Slides with cytological material were submitted for manual selection and analysis of the follicular cell nuclei for morphometric and texture parameters using ImageJ software. The histologically benign and malignant lesions were compared for such parameters which were then evaluated for the capacity to predict malignancy using the classification and regression trees gini model. The intraclass coefficient of correlation was used to evaluate method reproducibility.

Results

In AUS/FLUS nodule analysis, the benign and malignant nodules differed for entropy (P < 0.05), while the FN/SFN nodules differed for fractal analysis, coefficient of variation (CV) of roughness, and CV-entropy (P < 0.05). Considering the AUS/FLUS and FN/SFN nodules separately, it correctly classified 90.0 and 100.0% malignant nodules, with a correct global classification of 94.1 and 97%, respectively. We observed that reproducibility was substantially or nearly complete (0.61–0.93) in 10 of the 12 nuclear parameters evaluated.

Conclusion

CANI demonstrated a high capacity for correctly classifying AUS/FLUS and FN/SFN thyroid nodules for malignancy. This could be a useful method to help increase diagnostic accuracy in the indeterminate thyroid cytology.