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Open access

Dimitra Argyro Vassiliadi, Ioannis Ilias, Maria Pratikaki, Edison Jahaj, Alice G Vassiliou, Maria Detsika, Kleio Ampelakiotou, Marina Koulenti, Konstantinos N Manolopoulos, Stamatis Tsipilis, Evdokia Gavrielatou, Aristidis Diamantopoulos, Alexandros Zacharis, Nicolaos Athanasiou, Stylianos Orfanos, Anastasia Kotanidou, Stylianos Tsagarakis, and Ioanna Dimopoulou

Objective

Following the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic, reports pointed on a high prevalence of thyroiditis-related thyrotoxicosis. Interpretation of thyroid tests during illness, however, is hampered by changes occurring in the context of non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). In order to elucidate these findings, we studied thyroid function in carefully selected cohorts of COVID-19 positive and negative patients.

Design

Cohort observational study.

Methods

We measured TSH, FT4, T3 within 24 h of admission in 196 patients without thyroid disease and/or confounding medications. In this study, 102 patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive; 41 admitted in the ICU, 46 in the ward and 15 outpatients. Controls consisted of 94 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients; 39 in the ICU and 55 in the ward. We designated the thyroid hormone patterns as consistent with NTIS, thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism.

Results

A NTIS pattern was encountered in 60% of ICU and 36% of ward patients, with similar frequencies between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients (46.0% vs 46.8%, P = NS). A thyrotoxicosis pattern was observed in 14.6% SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients vs 7.7% in ICU negative (P = NS) and, overall in 8.8% of SARS-CoV-2 positive vs 7.4% of negative patients. In these patients, thyroglobulin levels were similar to those with normal thyroid function or NTIS. The hypothyroidism pattern was rare.

Conclusions

NTIS pattern is common and relates to the severity of disease rather than SARS-CoV-2 infection. A thyrotoxicosis pattern is less frequently observed with similar frequency between patients with and without COVID-19. It is suggested that thyroid hormone monitoring in COVID-19 should not differ from other critically ill patients.

Open access

Tatsuya Kondo, Nobukazu Miyakawa, Sayaka Kitano, Takuro Watanabe, Rieko Goto, Mary Ann Suico, Miki Sato, Yuki Takaki, Masaji Sakaguchi, Motoyuki Igata, Junji Kawashima, Hiroyuki Motoshima, Takeshi Matsumura, Hirofumi Kai, and Eiichi Araki

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is often accompanied by metabolic disorders such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Heat shock response (HSR) is one of the most important homeostatic abilities but is deteriorated by chronic metabolic insults. Heat shock (HS) with an appropriate mild electrical stimulation (MES) activates HSR and improves metabolic abnormalities including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia and inflammation in metabolic disorders. To analyze the effects of HS + MES treatment on NAFLD biomarkers, three cohorts including healthy men (two times/week, n = 10), patients with metabolic syndrome (four times/week, n = 40), and patients with T2DM (n = 100; four times/week (n = 40) and two, four, seven times/week (n = 20 each)) treated with HS + MES were retrospectively analyzed. The healthy subjects showed no significant alterations in NAFLD biomarkers after the treatment. In patients with metabolic syndrome, many of the NAFLD steatosis markers, including fatty liver index, NAFLD-liver fat score, liver/spleen ratio and hepatic steatosis index and NAFLD fibrosis marker, aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase (AST/ALT) ratio, were improved upon the treatment. In patients with T2DM, all investigated NAFLD steatosis markers were improved and NAFLD fibrosis markers such as the AST/ALT ratio, fibrosis-4 index and NAFLD-fibrosis score were improved upon the treatment. Thus, HS + MES, a physical intervention, may become a novel treatment strategy for NAFLD as well as metabolic disorders.

Open access

H Vlaardingerbroek, E L T van den Akker, and A C S Hokken-Koelega

Obesity is reaching an epidemic state and has a major impact on health and economy. In most cases, obesity is caused by lifestyle factors. However, the risk of becoming obese differs highly between people. Individual's differences in lifestyle, genetic, and neuroendocrine factors play a role in satiety, hunger and regulation of body weight. In a small percentage of children and adults with obesity, an underlying hormonal or genetic cause can be found. The aim of this review is to present and compare data on the extreme ends of the obesity and undernutrition spectrum in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS), acquired hypothalamic obesity in craniopharyngioma patients, and anorexia nervosa. This may give more insight into the role of neuroendocrine factors and might give direction for future research in conditions of severe obesity and underweight.

Open access

Lei Hu, Xiao Liu, Chong Pei, Li Xie, and Nianan He

Objective

We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of perinodular stiffness, four risk stratification systems (RSSs) (KWAK-TIRADS, ACR-TIRADS, EU-TIRADS, and C-TIRADS), and the combination of perinodular stiffness and the four RSSs in differentiating malignant from benign thyroid nodules (TNs).

Methods

A total of 788 TNs in 726 patients were examined with conventional ultrasound (US) examination and sound touch elastography (STE). All TNs were classified by each of the four RSSs. The stiffness inside (E) the TNs was measured by STE. The stiffness of the 2.0-mm perinodular region (Eshell) was measured with the Shell measurement function of STE. The diagnostic performances of four RSSs, the E values, and the Eshell values were evaluated. All TNs were further divided into subgroups based on size (≤ 10 mm group and > 10 mm group).

Results

Ninety-six TNs were classified as benign and 692 as malignant. Among the single-method approaches, ACR-TIRADS showed the highest AUC (0.77) for differentiating malignant from benign TNs for all TNs included. Eshell showed the highest AUC (0.75) in differentiating malignant from benign TNs for TNs with sizes ≤ 10 mm, and there were no significant differences in AUC among all single methods for diagnosis of TNs with sizes > 10 mm (P > 0.05). The combination of C-TIRADS and Eshell/E yielded the highest AUC for all TNs (0.83) and for TNs with size ≤ 10 mm (0.85) compared with other combinations.

Conclusions

Eshell/E combined with conventional US improves the diagnostic accuracy in TNs and may reduce unnecessary fine-needle aspiration.

Open access

Yun Cai, Jieni Yan, Yong Gu, Heng Chen, Yang Chen, Xinyu Xu, Mei Zhang, Liping Yu, Xuqin Zheng, and Tao Yang

Objective

The most common coexisting organ-specific autoimmune disease in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, there have been few clinical reports based on a large population about the prevalence of zinc transporter 8 autoantibody (ZnT8A) and other islet autoantibodies in AITD patients. We aimed to explore the presence of islet autoantibodies, ZnT8A, glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADA) and insulinoma-associated antigen 2 autoantibodies (IA-2A) compared with thyroid autoantibodies, thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin autoantibodies (TGAb) and thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies (TRAb) in patients with Graves’ disease (GD), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and T1DM patients with AITD.

Methods

Totally, 389 patients with GD, 334 patients with HT, 108 T1DM patients with AITD and 115 healthy controls (HC) were recruited in the study. Islet autoantibodies (ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A) were detected by radioligand binding assay. Thyroid autoantibodies, TPOAb and TGAb were detected by chemiluminescence assay, and TRAb was detected by RIA.

Results

The prevalence of ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A was higher in GD and HT patients than that of HC (ZnT8A: GD 8.48%, HT 10.8% vs HC 1.74%; GADA: GD 7.46%, HT 7.74% vs HC 0.870%; IA-2A: GD 4.88%, HT 3.59% vs HC 0%; All P < 0.05) but lower than that of T1DM subjects with AITD (ZnT8A: 42.6%; IA-2A: 44.4%; GADA: 74.1%; all P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

An increased prevalence of ZnT8A as well as GADA and IA-2A was found in both GD and HT patients, indicating that there is a potential link between thyroid autoimmunity and islet autoimmunity.

Open access

Espen Nordheim and Trond Geir Jenssen

Chronic kidney disease is a common complication and concomitant condition of diabetes mellitus. The treatment of patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease, including intensive control of blood sugar and blood pressure, has been very similar for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. New therapeutic targets have shown promising results and may lead to more specific treatment options for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Henghai Huang, Qijian Ding, Xiaocao Lin, Delin Li, Jingjing Zeng, and Weijin Fu

Background

Adrenal schwannomas (AS) are extremely rare neoplasms. This study shares our experience regarding the diagnosis and operative management of AS.

Methods

Clinical details, radiologic, laboratory, and pathologic findings as well as follow-up data were analysed retrospectively for 13 AS patients who accepted surgery at a tertiary referral hospital in China between 1 January 1996, and 31 December 2017.

Results

The mean age of the patients at diagnosis was 44.7 ± 13.7 years (range 19–62 years; male: female ratio, 1:1.16), of whom seven patients had unilateral AS on the right side, and the remaining six on the left side. None of the cases were hormonally active. None of the 13 cases were diagnosed as AS by CT imaging before the operation. Among the patients, ten were asymptomatic. The mean preoperative size was 7.1 ± 3.2 cm (range 1.6–12.6 cm). All patients underwent surgery, with open adrenalectomy in five patients and laparoscopy in eight patients. The mean tumor size on pathologic examination was 6.8 ± 3.0 cm (range 3.0–11.7 cm). The surgical specimens were confirmed by pathological examination. During a median follow-up of 60.8 ± 17.7 months, no patients showed recurrence or metastasis.

Conclusion

The preoperative diagnosis of AS remains difficult despite the advances in imaging examinations. After complete resection, the prognosis of AS is excellent.

Open access

Johanna Christina Penell, Mark M Kushnir, Lars Lind, Jonatan Bergquist, Jonas Bergquist, P Monica Lind, and Tord Naessen

Objectives

Circulating concentrations of endogenous steroids have systemic implications on health in elderly. However, population-based age- and ethnicity-specific data are scarce. The aim was to report sex-specific plasma concentrations of endogenous sex and adrenal steroids in elderly Swedish Caucasians, to examine the impact of BMI and to present concentrations in apparently healthy subjects.

Methods

A population-based observational study of 70-year olds, including 684 community-dwelling men and women enrolled in the PIVUS study, Sweden. Median plasma concentrations were determined using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for pregnenolone, 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-hydroxy-progesterone, 11-deoxycortisol, DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, estrone and estradiol.

Results

Plasma concentrations were significantly higher in men (n = 452) than in women (n = 232) for estradiol: median 61.3 pmol/L (95% CI, 11.4, 142.7) vs 18.4 (4.0, 127.3), for estrone: 92.8 (33.3, 206) vs 71.6 (17.8, 209) pmol/L, and for testosterone 13.8 (5.7, 28.0) vs 0.7 (0.2, 2.0) nmol/L. Higher concentrations of estrone and estradiol were observed in obese than non-obese women. Compared to non-obese men, obese men had lower concentrations of testosterone and its precursors: 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and DHEA. The subgroup of apparently healthy individuals had median values > 20% lower for estrone and estradiol in women but slightly higher for testosterone in both sexes.

Conclusions

Concentrations of estradiol, estrone and testosterone were higher in 70-year-old men than in women. BMI associated positively to estradiol and estrone in women and negatively to testosterone in men. Apparently healthy women had lower median concentrations of estradiol and estrone and men had higher median testosterone compared to all individuals.

Open access

Antonina Khoruzhenko, Françoise Miot, Claude Massart, Jacqueline Van Sande, Jacques Emile Dumont, Renaud Beauwens, and Alain Boom

Background

Long-term maintenance of functional activity of thyroid cells is an essential requirement for basic in vitro studies on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid. An important prerequisite of thyrocytes’ functional activity in vivo and in vitro is their follicle organization.

Aim

This study aimed at developing a method of cultivation of functionally active rat thyroid follicles in Matrigel under three-dimensional conditions.

Methods

Undamaged rat thyroid follicles were isolated by enzymatic digestion with collagenase/dispase, then embedded into Matrigel, and cultivated for 2 weeks. Thyroglobulin, thyroxine and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) localization were revealed by immunofluorescence analysis. Iodide organification was tested by protein-bound 125I (PBI) measurement.

Results

Integrity of the follicles was preserved during the whole period of cultivation and was confirmed by 3D reconstruction of ZO-1 localization. Thyroglobulin was detected in the thyrocyte cytoplasm, as well as in the intrafollicular lumen. Thyroxine was observed predominantly at the apical side of thyrocytes. Also, generated cultures were characterized by a high level of iodide organification: PB125I represented 39% of the total radioactivity in the Matrigel drop embedding the follicles; at the same time, methimazole almost totally inhibited this process (0.2% of total radioactivity).

Conclusion

The method of rat thyrocyte cultivation in Matrigel, as described here allows to maintain the structural integrity and the functional activity of thyroid follicles in vitro and could be used for wide ranges of basic and applied researches in thyroidology.

Open access

María L Bacigalupo, Verónica G Piazza, Nadia S Cicconi, Pablo Carabias, Andrzej Bartke, Yimin Fang, Ana I Sotelo, Gabriel A Rabinovich, María F Troncoso, and Johanna G Miquet