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Open access

Luchuan Li, Baoyuan Li, Bin Lv, Weili Liang, Binbin Zhang, Qingdong Zeng, Andrew G Turner, and Lei Sheng

Background

Multiple studies have reported the increased incidence of thyroid cancer in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). However, the underlying risk factors of concomitant thyroid cancer in patients with PHPT remain unknown. The primary aim of this study was to examine the records of patients with PHPT to identify characteristics that correlated with the presence of coexisting thyroid nodules, and which may have an implication for the prediction of thyroid cancer.

Methods

Medical records of consecutive patients with PHPT (n = 318) were reviewed from January 2010 to September 2020 in two tertiary medical centers in China. Patient clinicopathological and biological data were collected and analyzed.

Results

Of a total of 318 patients with PHPT, 105 (33.0%) patients had thyroid nodules and 26 (8.2%) patients were concomitant with thyroid cancer. A total of 38 thyroid nodules taken from 26 patients were pathologically assessed to be well-differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), with 81% being papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). In 79% (30/38) of these cancers, thyroid nodules were considered suspicious following preoperative ultrasound. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender was associated with increased risk of thyroid nodules (OR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.13–3.99, P = 0.019), while lower log-transformed parathyroid hormone levels were an independent predictor of thyroid cancer in patients with PHPT (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.26–0.93, P = 0.028).

Conclusion

In conclusion, we observed a relatively high prevalence of thyroid cancer in our cohort of Chinese patients with PHPT. Evaluation of thyroid nodules by preoperative ultrasound may be advisable in patients with PHPT, particularly for females and patients with modestly elevated serum parathyroid hormone levels.

Open access

Iulia Soare, Anca Sirbu, Mihai Mircea Diculescu, Bogdan Radu Mateescu, Cristian Tieranu, Sorina Martin, Carmen Gabriela Barbu, Mirela Ionescu, and Simona Fica

Background and aim

Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a common complication in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, debates are ongoing with regard to the other involved factors, especially in younger patients. This study aimed to evaluate the parameters that contribute to decreased BMD, focusing on premenopausal women and men aged <50 years.

Methods

This study included 81 patients with IBD and 81 age-, sex- and BMI-matched controls. Blood tests were conducted on IBD patients, and a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was performed on both groups.

Results

Low BMD and fragility fracture were found to be more prevalent in IBD patients than in healthy subjects (49.3% vs 23.4%, P = 0.001 and 9.8% vs 1.2%, P = 0.01, respectively). Patients with low BMD were older, with a longer disease duration, higher faecal calprotectin (FC) levels and lower magnesium and lean mass (appreciated as appendicular skeletal muscle index (ASMI)). Multiple regression analysis revealed that ASMI, age and use of glucocorticoids were the independent parameters for decreased BMD. Although 91.3% of the patients had a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of <30 ng/mL, it was not a statistically significant factor for decreased BMD.

Conclusion

In our study, the levels of vitamin D did not seem to have an important impact on BMD. Conversely, FC, magnesium and lean mass are important factors, suggesting that good control of disease, adequate magnesium intake and increased lean mass can have a good impact on bone metabolism in patients with IBD.

Open access

Mirjana Doknic, Marko Stojanovic, Ivan Soldatovic, Tatjana Milenkovic, Vera Zdravkovic, Maja Jesic, Sladjana Todorovic, Katarina Mitrovic, Rade Vukovic, Dragana Miljic, Dragan Savic, Mihajlo Milicevic, Aleksandar Stanimirovic, Vojislav Bogosavljevic, Sandra Pekic, Emilija Manojlovic-Gacic, Aleksandar Djukic, Danica Grujicic, and Milan Petakov

Objective

To analyze metabolic parameters, body composition (BC), and bone mineral density (BMD) in childhood-onset GH deficiency (COGHD) patients during the transition period (TP).

Design

Single- center, retrospective study was performed on 170 consecutive COGHD patients (age 19.2 ± 2.0 years, range 16–25) transferred after growth completion from two pediatric clinics to the adult endocrine unit. Two separate analyses were performed: (i) cross-sectional analysis of hormonal status, metabolic parameters, BC, and BMD at first evaluation after transfer from pediatrics to the adult department; (ii) longitudinal analysis of BC and BMD dynamics after 3 years of GH replacement therapy (rhGH) in TP.

Results

COGHD was of a congenital cause (CONG) in 50.6% subjects, tumor-related (TUMC) in 23.5%, and idiopathic (IDOP) in 25.9%. TUMC patients had increased insulin and lipids levels (P < 0.01) and lower Z score at L-spine (P < 0.05) compared to CONG and IDOP groups. Patients treated with rhGH in childhood demonstrated lower fat mass and increased BMD compared to the rhGH-untreated group (P < 0.01). Three years of rhGH after growth completion resulted in a significant increase in lean body mass (12.1%) and BMD at L-spine (6.9%), parallel with a decrease in FM (5.2%).

Conclusion

The effect of rhGH in childhood is invaluable for metabolic status, BC, and BMD in transition to adulthood. Tumor-related COGHD subjects are at higher risk for metabolic abnormalities, alteration of body composition, and decreased BMD, compared to those with COGHD of other causes. Continuation of rhGH in transition is important for improving BC and BMD in patients with persistent COGHD.

Open access

Ivar Følling, Anna B Wennerstrøm, Tor J Eide, and Hilde Loge Nilsen

Introduction

Phaeochromocytomas are tumours originating in the medulla of the adrenal gland. They produce catecholamines, and some tumours also produce ectopic hormones. Two types of glucose imbalances occur in phaeochromocytoma patients, hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemic attacks. Therefore, we tested whether insulin transcript (INS), insulin, and a hybrid read-through transcript between exons from insulin and insulin-like growth factor 2 (INS-IGF2) were expressed in phaeochromocytomas.

Methods

We measured the expression of insulin using immunohistochemistry. The expression of INS-IGF2 was determined by qRT-PCR in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue from 20 phaeochromocytomas. The expression of INS and INS-IGF2 transcriptswas also analysed in 182 phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas using publicly available datasets in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Database.

Results

Of 20 phaeochromocytomas, 16 stained positive for insulin. The distribution of positive cells was mostly scattered, with some focal expression indicating clonal expansion. Nineteen tumours expressed high levels of INS and INS-IGF2 transcripts. The expression of the two transcripts corresponded closely. In the TCGA dataset, phaeochromocytoma expresses higher levels of INS and INS-IGF2 transcripts compared to the normal non-tumour adrenal glands. Thus, the expression of INS and INS-IGF2 seems to be a general phenomenon in phaeochromocytoma.

Conclusion

Most phaeochromocytomas contain cells that overexpress INS and INS-IGF2 transcripts. Most tumours also display heterogeneous expression of polypeptides immunoreactive to monoclonal anti-insulin antibodies. Clinically this may relate to both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemic attacks seen in patients with phaeochromocytoma as well as autocrine tumour growth.

Open access

Chun-feng Lu, Xiao-qin Ge, Yan Wang, Jian-bin Su, Xue-qin Wang, Dong-mei Zhang, Feng Xu, Wang-shu Liu, and Min Su

Background

Prolonged heart rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval may reflect poor prognosis of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Serum adenosine deaminase (ADA) levels are related to hyperglycemia, insulin resistance (IR) and inflammation, which may participate in diabetic complications. We investigated the association of serum ADA levels with prolonged QTc interval in a large-scale sample of patients with T2D.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, a total of 492 patients with T2D were recruited. Serum ADA levels were determined by venous blood during fasting. QTc interval was estimated from resting 12-lead ECGs, and prolonged QTc interval was defined as QTc > 440 ms.

Results

In this study, the prevalence of prolonged QTc interval was 22.8%. Serum ADA levels were positively associated with QTc interval (r = 0.324, P < 0.0001). The proportion of participants with prolonged QTc interval increased significantly from 9.2% in the first tertile (T1) to 24.7% in the second tertile (T2) and 39.0% in the third tertile (T3) of ADA (P for trend < 0.001). After adjusting for other possible risk factors by multiple linear regression analysis, serum ADA level was still significantly associated with QTc interval (β = 0.217, t = 3.400, P < 0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that female (OR 5.084, CI 2.379–10.864, P < 0.001), insulin-sensitizers treatment (OR 4.229, CI 1.290–13.860, P = 0.017) and ADA (OR 1.212, CI 1.094–1.343, P < 0.001) were independent contributors to prolonged QTc interval.

Conclusions

Serum ADA levels were independently associated with prolonged QTc interval in patients with T2D.

Open access

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

Objective

Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy is effective for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients with lung metastasis. However, some patients have a poor prognosis despite the RAI accumulation. The utility of inflammatory biomarkers, including neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), has been reported as a prognostic factor for many carcinomas. This study aimed to investigate the risk factors related to DTC patient survival with RAI-avid lung metastasis and to attempt risk stratification.

Design and methods

This retrospective study included 123 patients with RAI-accumulating lung metastatic DTC. The cause-specific survival (CSS) rate from the time of detection of lung metastasis was tested using the Kaplan–Meier log-rank test, and the multivariate analysis was calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model. NLR was retrospectively calculated using the blood sample collected before initial RAI treatment. The NLR cutoff value was 2.6 on the ROC curve.

Results

Age ≥ 55 years at the time of operative treatment, follicular carcinoma, lung metastasis tumor ≥ 10 mm in diameter, age ≥ 55 years at the time of detection of lung metastasis, age ≥ 55 years at the time of RAI treatment, and NLR ≥ 2.6 at the initial RAI treatment were predictive of decreased CSS. Multivariate analysis identified that the independent prognostic factors were lung metastatic tumor ≥ 10 mm in diameter and NLR ≥ 2.6. Patients in the high-risk group with both factors had significantly lower CSS rates than those in the low- and intermediate-risk groups with one or none of these factors.

Conclusions

The high-risk group patients had significantly poorer survival, and these patients could be considered as future candidates for tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

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.