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Open access

Reem Al Argan, Abdulaziz Ramadhan, Ramanakumar V Agnihotram, Jeffrey Chankowsky, and Juan Rivera

Hypopituitarism tends to occur in large pituitary adenomas. However, similar tumors could present with strikingly different hormonal deficiencies. In this study, we looked at MRI characteristics in non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA), which could predict secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) and central hypothyroidism (CHT). We reviewed the files of patients with NFPA attending our clinic. Tumor size, invasiveness, MR-signal intensity, and gadolinium enhancement in preoperative MRI were recorded along with documented presurgical hypopituitarism profile. Logistic regression was used to predict SAI, CHT, or both (SAI/CHT) based on MRI and demographic parameters. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine their diagnostic utility. One hundred twenty-one patients were included in the study. Older age (P = 0.021), male sex (P = 0.043), stalk deviation (P < 0.0001), contrast enhancement (P = 0.029), and optic chiasma compression (P = 0.012) were associated with SAI/CHT. Adenoma vertical height, largest diameter, and estimated volume were also strongly associated with SAI/CHT (P < 0.0001). These associations remained significant in a multivariate analysis. No tumor smaller than 12 mm in vertical height, 17 mm in largest diameter, or 0.9 cm3 in volume was associated with SAI/CHT. At cut-off ≥18 mm for vertical height, ≥23 mm for largest diameter, and ≥3.2 cm3 the sensitivity was around 90–92% for detecting SAI/CHT. Only vertical height was significantly associated with any one or more pituitary hormonal deficit (P = 0.001). In conclusion, adenoma size, independent of the measurement used, remains the best predictor of SAI/CHT in NFPA. Dynamic testing to rule out SAI is probably indicated in adenomas larger than 18 mm vertical height, 23 mm largest diameter and 3.2 cm3 adenoma volume.

Open access

Yuan Liu, Siyi Guo, Jinsong Wu, Rongai Wang, Jinbo Liu, Yan Liu, Bin Lv, Nan Liu, Ling Jiang, and Xiaoli Zhang

The clinical presentation of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) differs between patients from developed and developing countries. In China, the clinical pattern has changed over the past few decades. Our aim was to elucidate general changes in the clinical characteristics of PHPT from 2010 to 2021. We enrolled 343 patients with PHPT at the Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China, from January 2010 to May 2021, including both surgical and non-surgical patients. Patients were divided into two subgroups, 2010–2016 (group A, n  = 152) and 2017–2021 (group B, n  = 191), based on the time span. We compared clinical manifestations and laboratory result data between these two groups. The mean patient age was 52.59 ± 13.55 years, and the male-to-female ratio was 1:2.54. Of the 343 patients, 183 (53.35%) had symptomatic PHPT; bone pain, urolithiasis, and fatigue were the most common symptoms. Post-operative pathology showed that 96.20% of the patients had parathyroid adenoma, whereas 2.41% had parathyroid carcinoma. Great changes occurred between 2010 and 2021; the percentage of patients with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT) increased from 36.18% in group A to 54.97% in group B. Moreover, patients in group B showed significantly lower serum calcium, alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, and urinary phosphate levels but higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels than those in group A. Clinical presentations in group B were also milder. In conclusion, the clinical characteristics of Chinese PHPT patients changed dramatically from 2010 to 2021, with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT becoming the predominant type over the last 3 years.

Open access

Yao Su, Li Chen, Dong-Yao Zhang, Xu-Pei Gan, Yan-Nan Cao, De-Cui Cheng, Wen-Yu Liu, Fei-Fei Li, Xian-Ming Xu, and Hong-Kun Wang

Objective

To investigate the characteristics of intestinal flora in overweight pregnant women and the correlation with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods

A total of 122 women were enrolled and divided into four groups according to their pre-pregnancy BMI and the presence of GDM: group 1 (n = 71) with a BMI <24 kg/m2, without GDM; group 2 (n = 27) with a BMI <24 kg/m2, with GDM; group 3 (n = 17) with a BMI ≥24 kg/m2, without GDM; and group 4 (n = 7) with a BMI ≥24 kg/m2 with GDM. Feces were collected on the day that the oral glucose tolerance test was conducted. The V3–V4 variable region of 16S rRNA was sequenced using the Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, and a bioinformatics analysis was conducted.

Results

There were differences between the four groups in the composition of intestinal flora, and it was significantly different in group 4 than in the other three groups. Firmicutes accounted for 36.4% of the intestinal flora in this group, the lowest among the four groups, while Bacteroidetes accounted for 50.1%, the highest among the four groups, making ratio of these two bacteria approximately 3:5, while in the other three groups, this ratio was reversed. In women with a BMI <24 kg/m2, the insulin resistance index (homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) in pregnant women with GDM was higher than in those without (P 3 = 0.026).

Conclusion

The composition of the intestinal flora of pregnant women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy and suffered from GDM was significantly different than women who were not overweight or did not suffer from GDM.

Open access

Mengting Yin, Qianhui Liu, Qingzhong Wang, Yong He, Haolan Song, Xin Nie, and Guixing Li

Background

The diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) remains a challenge because of increased asymptomatic PHPT or patients with normocalcaemic PHPT (NPHPT). In addition, some primary hospitals in China have no equipment to measure parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. Therefore, an additional, simple, and inexpensive laboratory biochemical marker is urgently needed. The calcium/phosphate (Ca/P) ratio and chloride/phosphate (Cl/P) ratio have been proposed as suitable tools to diagnose PHPT in Europe; however, the Ca/P ratio has never been tested in China. We aimed to conduct a confirmatory study to explore the diagnostic performance of the Ca/P ratio for PHPT in China.

Methods

From January 2015 to December 2020, a total of 155 patients who underwent parathyroidectomy (143 PHPT patients and 12 NPHPT patients) and 153 controls were enrolled in this single-center , retrospective study. Serum calcium, phosphate, parathyroid hormone, 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D (25(OH) vitamin D), chloride, alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransaminase (AST), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and creatinine levels were recorded for all the study participants. Pairwise comparisons were made between groups, and the diagnostic performance of the Ca/P ratio was determined using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

Results

Patients with PHPT had a higher Ca/P ratio than controls (P < 0.001). A Ca/P ratio above 2.94 with a sensitivity of 95.5% and specificity of 98.7% can distinguish PHPT patients from healthy individuals. This index was positively correlated with the PTH level (r = 0.875, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

The Ca/P ratio is an ideal and inexpensive indicator for diagnosing PHPT in China when using a cut-off value of 2.94.

Open access

Adrian J L Clark and Simon Buckmaster

Open access

Marek Niedziela

The term 'hyperthyroidism' refers to a form of thyrotoxicosis due to inappropriate high synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormone(s) by the thyroid. The leading cause of hyperthyroidism in adolescents is Graves’ disease (GD); however, one should also consider other potential causes, such as toxic nodular goitre (single or multinodular), and other rare disorders leading to excessive production and release of thyroid hormones. The term 'thyrotoxicosis' refers to a clinical state resulting from inappropriate high thyroid hormone action in tissues, generally due to inappropriate high tissue thyroid hormone levels. Thyrotoxicosis is a condition with multiple aetiologies, manifestations, and potential modes of therapy. By definition, the extrathyroidal sources of excessive amounts of thyroid hormones, such as iatrogenic thyrotoxicosis, factitious ingestion of thyroid hormone, or struma ovarii, do not include hyperthyroidism. The aetiology of hyperthyroidism/and thyrotoxicosis should be determined. Although the diagnosis is apparent based on the clinical presentation and initial biochemical evaluation, additional diagnostic testing is indicated. This testing should include: (1) measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) antibodies (TRAb); (2) analysis of thyroidal echogenicity and blood flow on ultrasonography; or (3) determination of radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU). A 123I or 99mTc pertechnetate scan is recommended when the clinical presentation suggests toxic nodular goitre. A question arises regarding whether diagnostic workup and treatment (antithyroid drugs, radioiodine, surgery, and others) should be the same in children and adolescents as in adults, as well as whether there are the same goals of treatment in adolescents as in adults, in female patients vs in male patients, and in reproductive or in postreproductive age. In this aspect, different treatment modalities might be preferred to achieve euthyroidism and to avoid potential risks from the treatment. The vast majority of patients with thyroid disorders require life-long treatment; therefore, the collaboration of different specialists is warranted to achieve these goals and improve patients’ quality of life.

Open access

Aditya Dutta, Ganesh Jevalikar, Rutuja Sharma, Khalid J Farooqui, Shama Mahendru, Arun Dewan, Sandeep Bhudiraja, and Ambrish Mithal

Aim

To study the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction and its association with disease severity in hospitalized patients of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

Methods

In this retrospective cohort study, thyroid function tests (TFT) of 236 hospitalized patients of COVID-19 along with demographic, comorbid, clinical, biochemical and disease severity records were analysed. Patients were divided into previous euthyroid or hypothyroid status to observe the effect of prior hypothyroidism on the severity of COVID-19.

Results

TFT abnormalities were common. Low free T3 (FT3), high thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and low TSH were seen in 56 (23.7%), 15 (6.4%) and 9 (3.8%) patients, respectively. The median levels of TSH (2.06 vs 1.26 mIU/mL, P = 0.001) and FT3 (2.94 vs 2.47 pg/mL, P < 0.001) were significantly lower in severe disease. Previous hypothyroid status (n = 43) was associated with older age, higher frequency of comorbidities, higher FT4 and lower FT3. TFT did not correlate with markers of inflammation (except lactate dehydrogenase); however, FT3 and TSH negatively correlated with outcome severity score and duration of hospital stay. Cox regression analysis showed that low FT3 was associated with severe COVID-19 (P = 0.032, HR 0.302; CI 0.101–0.904), irrespective of prior hypothyroidism.

Conclusions

Functional thyroid abnormalities (low FT3 and low TSH) are frequently seen in hospitalized patients of COVID-19. Although these abnormalities did not correlate with markers of inflammation, this study shows that low FT3 at admission independently predicts the severity of COVID-19.

Open access

Sandeep Kumar, Anurag Ranjan Lila, Saba Samad Memon, Vijaya Sarathi, Virendra A Patil, Santosh Menon, Neha Mittal, Gagan Prakash, Gaurav Malhotra, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Risk of metastatic disease in the cluster 2-related pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL) is low. In MEN2 patients, identification of origin of metastases from pheochromocytoma (PCC) or medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is challenging as both are of neuroendocrine origin. We aim to describe our experience and perform a systematic review to assess prevalence, demographics, biochemistry, diagnostic evaluation, management, and predictors of cluster 2-related metastatic PPGL. Retrospective analysis of 3 cases from our cohort and 43 cases from world literature was done. For calculation of prevalence, all reported patients (n = 3063) of cluster 2 were included. We found that the risk of metastasis in cluster 2-related PPGL was 2.6% (2% in RET, 5% in NF1, 4.8% in TMEM127 and 16.7% in MAX variation). In metastatic PCC in MEN2, median age was 39 years, bilateral tumors were present in 71% and median tumor size was 9.7 cm (range 4–19) with 43.5% mortality. All patients had a primary tumor size ≥4 cm. Origin of primary tumor was diagnosed by histopathology of metastatic lesion in 11 (57.9%), 131I-MIBG scan in 6 (31.6%), and selective venous sampling and CT in 1 (5.3%) patient each. In subgroup of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), median age was 46 years (range 14–59) with median tumor size 6 cm and 57% mortality. To conclude, the risk of metastatic disease in cluster 2-related PPGL is low, being especially high in tumors with size ≥4 cm and associated with high mortality. One-third patients of NF1 with metastatic PPGL had presented in second decade of life. Long-term studies are needed to formulate management recommendations.

Open access

Ying Xu, Lei Li, Jihong Zheng, Meng Wang, Bopei Jiang, Yue Zhai, Liumei Lu, Cong Zhang, Zhe Kuang, Xiaomei Yang, Li-Na Jin, Gufa Lin, and Chao Zhang

As a member of the seven-transmembrane rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptor superfamily, the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) is vital for the regulation of energy homeostasis and rhythms synchronizing in mammals, and its pharmacological effect could be directly influenced by the presence of melanocortin receptor accessory proteins (MRAPs), MRAP1 and MRAP2. The tetrapod amphibian Xenopus laevis (xl) retains higher duplicated genome than extant teleosts and serves as an ideal model system for embryonic development and physiological studies. However, the melanocortin system of the Xenopus laevis has not yet been thoroughly evaluated. In this work, we performed sequence alignment, phylogenetic tree, and synteny analysis of two xlMC3Rs. Co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assay further confirmed the co-localization and in vitro interaction of xlMC3Rs with xlMRAPs on the plasma membrane. Our results demonstrated that xlMRAP2.L/S could improve α-MSH-stimulated xlMC3Rs signaling and suppress their surface expression. Moreover, xlMC3R.L showed a similar profile on the ligands and surface expression in the presence of xlMRAP1.L. Overall, the distinct pharmacological modulation of xlMC3R.L and xlMC3R.S by dual MRAP2 proteins elucidated the functional consistency of melanocortin system during genomic duplication of tetrapod vertebrates.

Open access

João Castro-Teles, Bernardo Sousa-Pinto, Sandra Rebelo, and Duarte Pignatelli

Objective

Pheochromocytomas are a hallmark feature of von Hippel–Lindau disease (vHL). To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review with meta-analysis evaluating the frequency of pheochromocytomas and/or paragangliomas (PPGLs) in patients with vHL, as well as among patients with different vHL subtypes.

Design

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Methods

We searched on MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science. We included primary studies assessing participants with vHL and reporting on the frequency of PPGL. We performed random-effects meta-analysis to quantitatively assess the frequency of PPGL, followed by meta-regression and subgroup analysis. Risk of bias analysis was performed to assess primary studies’ methodological quality.

Results

We included 80 primary studies. In 4263 patients with vHL, the pooled frequency of PPGL was 19.4% (95% CI = 15.9–23.6%, I 2 = 86.1%). The frequency increased to 60.0% in patients with vHL type 2 (95% CI = 53.4–66.3%, I 2 = 54.6%) and was determined to be of 58.2% in patients with vHL type 2A (95% CI = 49.7–66.3%, I 2 = 36.2%), compared to 49.8% in vHL type 2B (95% CI = 39.9–59.7%, I 2 = 42.7%), and 84.1% in vHL type 2C (95% CI = 75.1–93.1%, I 2 = 0%). In meta-regression analysis, more recent studies were associated with a higher frequency of PPGL. All studies had at least one internal validity item classified as 'high risk of bias,' with 13% studies having low risk of bias in all external validity items.

Conclusions

PPGLs are a common manifestation of vHL. Despite methodological limitations and differences across primary studies, our results point to the importance of PPGL screening in patients with vHL.