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Open access

Vânia Benido Silva, Liliana Fonseca, Maria Teresa Pereira, Joana Vilaverde, Clara Pinto, Fernando Pichel, Maria do Céu Almeida, and Jorge Dores

Objective

Metformin has emerged as a safe and effective pharmacological alternative to insulin in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), being associated with lower maternal weight gain and hypoglycemia risk. Nevertheless, glycemic control is unaccomplished in a considerable proportion of women only treated with metformin. We aim to determine the metformin monotherapy failure rate in GDM and to identify predictors of its occurrence.

Design and methods

This was a retrospective multicenter study including pregnant women with GDM patients who started metformin as a first-line pharmacological treatment (n  = 2891). A comparative analysis of clinical and analytical data between the group of women treated with metformin monotherapy and those needing combined therapy with insulin was performed.

Results

In 685 (23.7%) women with GDM, combined therapy to achieve adequate glycemic control was required. Higher pregestational BMI (OR 1.039; CI 95% 1.008–1.071; P-value = 0.013), higher fasting plasma glucose (PG) levels in oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) (OR 1.047; CI 95% 1.028–1.066; P-value <0.001) and an earlier gestational age (GA) at metformin introduction (0.839; CI 95% 0.796–0.885, P-value < 0.001) were independent predictive factors for metformin monotherapy failure. The best predictive cutoff values were a fasting PG in OGTT ≥87 mg/dL and GA at metformin introduction ≤29 weeks.

Conclusions

In 685 (23.7%) women, combined therapy with insulin to reach glycemic control was required. Higher pre-gestational BMI, fasting PG levels in OGTT ≥87 mg/dL and introduction of metformin ≤29 weeks of GA were independent predictive factors for metformin monotherapy failure. The early recognition of these characteristics can contribute to the establishment of individualized therapeutic strategies and attain better metabolic control during pregnancy.

Open access

Elinor Chelsom Vogt, Francisco Gómez Real, Eystein Sverre Husebye, Sigridur Björnsdottir, Bryndis Benediktsdottir, Randi Jacobsen Bertelsen, Pascal Demoly, Karl Anders Franklin, Leire Sainz de Aja Gallastegui, Francisco Javier Callejas González, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Nils Oscar Jogi, Benedicte Leynaert, Eva Lindberg, Andrei Malinovschi, Jesús Martínez-Moratalla, Raúl Godoy Mayoral, Anna Oudin, Antonio Pereira-Vega, Chantal Raherison Semjen, Vivi Schlünssen, Kai Triebner, and Marianne Øksnes

Objective

To investigate markers of premature menopause (<40 years) and specifically the prevalence of autoimmune primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) in European women.

Design

Postmenopausal women were categorized according to age at menopause and self-reported reason for menopause in a cross-sectional analysis of 6870 women.

Methods

Variables associated with the timing of menopause and hormone measurements of 17β-estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone were explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Specific immunoprecipitating assays of steroidogenic autoantibodies against 21-hydroxylase (21-OH), side-chain cleavage enzyme (anti-SCC) and 17alpha-hydroxylase (17 OH), as well as NACHT leucine-rich-repeat protein 5 were used to identify women with likely autoimmune POI.

Results

Premature menopause was identified in 2.8% of women, and these women had higher frequencies of nulliparity (37.4% vs 19.7%), obesity (28.7% vs 21.4%), osteoporosis (17.1% vs 11.6%), hormone replacement therapy (59.1% vs 36.9%) and never smokers (60.1% vs 50.9%) (P < 0.05), compared to women with menopause ≥40 years. Iatrogenic causes were found in 91 (47%) and non-ovarian causes in 27 (14%) women, while 77 (39%) women were classified as POI of unknown cause, resulting in a 1.1% prevalence of idiopathic POI. After adjustments nulliparity was the only variable significantly associated with POI (odds ratio 2.46; 95% CI 1.63–3.42). Based on the presence of autoantibodies against 21 OH and SCC, 4.5% of POI cases were of likely autoimmune origin.

Conclusion

Idiopathic POI affects 1.1% of all women and almost half of the women with premature menopause. Autoimmunity explains 4.5% of these cases judged by positive steroidogenic autoantibodies.

Open access

Randi Ugleholdt, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Pernille A H Haderslev, Bjarne Kromann-Andersen, and Claus Larsen Feltoft

Patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) are treated with α-adrenoceptor antagonists to improve peroperative hemodynamics. However, preoperative blood pressure targets differ between institutions. We retrospectively compared per- and postoperative hemodynamics in 30 patients with PPGL that were pretreated with phenoxybenzamine aiming at different blood pressure targets at two separate endocrine departments. All patients were subsequently undergoing laparoscopic surgery at Department of Urology, Herlev University hospital. Fourteen patients were treated targeting to symptomatic and significant orthostatic hypotension and 16 patients to a seated blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg. As a control group, we included 34 patients undergoing laparoscopic adrenalectomy for other reasons. The group titrated to orthostatic hypotension required a higher dose of phenoxybenzamine to achieve the blood pressure target. This group had less intraoperative systolic and diastolic blood pressure fluctuation (Mann–Whitney U test; P  < 0.05) and less periods with heart rate above 100 b.p.m. (Mann–Whitney U test; P = 0.04) as compared to the group with a preoperative blood pressure target below 130/80 mmHg. Peroperative use of intravenous fluids were similar between the two groups, but postoperatively more intravenous fluids were administered in the group with a target of ortostatism. Overall, the control group was more hemodynamic stable as compared to either group treated for PPGL. We conclude that phenoxybenzamine pretreatment targeting ortostatic hypotension may improve peroperative hemodynamic stability but causes a higher postoperative requirement for intravenous fluids. Overall, PPGL surgery is related to greater hemodynamic instability compared to adrenalectomy for other reasons.

Open access

Alberto Battezzati, Andrea Foppiani, Gianfranco Alicandro, Arianna Bisogno, Arianna Biffi, Giorgio Bedogni, Simona Bertoli, Giulia De Carlo, Erica Nazzari, and Carla Colombo

Objective

Diabetes is a frequent comorbidity in cystic fibrosis (CF), related to multiple unfavorable outcomes. During the progression of β-cell dysfunction to diabetes, insulin deficiency could possibly reduce the anabolic support to grow even in the absence of significant glycemic derangements. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated whether prepuberal insulin secretory indices are independent predictors of adult height.

Design

Observational cohort study.

Research design and methods

A longitudinal analysis of 66 CF patients (33 females) from an ongoing cohort received at prepuberal age (median age of 12 years) modified 3-h oral glucose tolerance tests with 30-min insulin and C-peptide sampling, modeling of insulin secretory and sensitivity parameters, anthropometric evaluation. The latter was repeated when adults after a median follow-up of 9 years.

Results

In alternative models, we found a positive association with either basal insulin secretion (mean 0.22, 95% CI 0.01, 0.44 z-scores) or prepuberal β-cell glucose sensitivity (mean 0.23, 95% CI 0.00, 0.46 z-scores) and adult height, while total insulin secretion was negatively related to adult height (mean −0.36, 95% CI −0.57, −0.15 z-scores or mean −0.42, 95% CI −0.69, −0.16 z-scores, respectively). The high total insulin secretion of low adult height patients was mainly due to late (>60 min) secretion and was associated with a worse glucose response during OGTT.

Conclusions

Abnormal insulin secretion associated with high glucose response during OGTT predicts a decrease in adult height z-score. Our results suggest that insulin secretory defects in CF affect growth prior to the development of fasting hyperglycemia.

Open access

Simon Chang, Arkadiusz J Goszczak, Anne Skakkebæk, Jens Fedder, Anders Bojesen, M Vakur Bor, Moniek P M de Maat, Claus H Gravholt, and Anna-Marie B Münster

Objective

Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is associated with increased risk of thrombosis. Hypogonadism and accumulating body fat in KS have a potential impact on fibrinolysis. In this study, we assessed the fibrinolytic system and the association with testosterone levels in KS.

Design

This study is a cross-sectional comparison of men with KS and age-matched male controls.

Methods

Fibrin clot lysis was evaluated by turbidity measurements and by measuring levels of individual fibrinolytic proteins in plasma samples. Fibrin clot structure was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. Total testosterone was measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Body fat was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results

In this study, 45 men with KS and 45 age- and education-matched controls were included. Men with KS had a 24% reduction in fibrin clot lysis compared with controls (46.2 ± 17.1 vs 60.6 ± 18.8 %/h, P  = 0.0003) and higher levels of fibrinogen, factor XIII (P ≤ 0.01), and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (P  = 0.04). Men with KS had lower total testosterone (P  = 0.008) and higher body fat (P  = 0.001). In KS, reduced fibrin clot lysability was associated with higher fibrinogen and body fat related to decreasing total testosterone and hypogonadism among men with KS. Fibrin clot structure was not different compared to KS and controls.

Conclusions

Fibrin clot lysis in KS was markedly reduced, potentially contributing to a prothrombotic state and increasing thrombotic risk. Hypogonadism in KS was associated with increased fibrinogen and total body fat, predicting reduced fibrin clot lysis.

Open access

Jiaxi Li, Pu Huang, Jing Xiong, Xinyue Liang, Mei Li, Hao Ke, Chunli Chen, Yang Han, Yanhong Huang, Yan Zhou, Ziqiang Luo, Dandan Feng, and Chen Chen

Objective

Ghrelin regulates body weight, food intake, and blood glucose. It also regulates insulin secretion from pancreatic islet cells. LEAP2 is a newly discovered endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue’s receptor (GHSR). It not only antagonizes the stimulation of GHSR by ghrelin but also inhibits the constitutive activation of GHSR as an inverse agonist. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients have endocrine disorders with metabolic imbalance. Plasma levels of ghrelin and LEAP2 may be changed in obese and T2D patients. However, there is no report yet on circulating LEAP2 levels or ghrelin/LEAP2 ratio in T2D patients. In this study, fasting serum ghrelin and LEAP2 levels in healthy adults and T2D patients were assessed to clarify the association of two hormones with different clinical anthropometric and metabolic parameters.

Design

A total of 16 females and 40 males, ages 23–68 years old normal (n  = 27), and T2D patients (n  = 29) were enrolled as a cross-sectional cohort.

Results

Serum levels of ghrelin were lower but serum levels of LEAP2 were higher in T2D patients. Ghrelin levels were positively correlated with fasting serum insulin levels and HOMA-IR in healthy adults. LEAP2 levels were positively correlated with age and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in all tested samples. Ghrelin/LEAP2 ratio was negatively correlated with age, fasting blood glucose, and HbA1c.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated a decrease in serum ghrelin levels and an increase in serum LEAP2 levels in T2D patients. LEAP2 levels were positively correlated with HbA1c, suggesting that LEAP2 was associated with T2D development. The ghrelin/LEAP2 ratio was closely associated with glycemic control in T2D patients showing a negative correlation with glucose and HbA1c.

Open access

Tomaž Kocjan, Gaj Vidmar, Peter Popović, and Milenko Stanković

The 20-point clinical prediction SPACE score, the aldosterone-to-lowest potassium ratio (APR), aldosterone concentration (AC) and the AC relative reduction rate after saline infusion test (SIT) have recently been proposed for primary aldosteronism (PA) subtyping prior to adrenal vein sampling (AVS). To validate those claims, we performed a retrospective cross-sectional study that included all patients at our center who had positive SIT to confirm PA and were diagnosed with either bilateral disease (BPA) according to AVS or with lateralized disease (LPA) if biochemically cured after adrenalectomy from November 2004 to the end of 2019. Final diagnoses were used to evaluate the diagnostic performance of proposed clinical prediction tools. Our cohort included 144 patients (40 females), aged 32–72 years (mean 54 years); 59 with LPA and 85 with BPA. The originally suggested SPACE score ≤8 and SPACE score >16 rules yielded about 80% positive predictive value (PPV) for BPA and LPA, respectively. Multivariate analyses with the predictors constituting the SPACE score highlighted post-SIT AC as the most important predictor of PA subtype for our cohort. APR-based tool of <5 for BPA and >15 for LPA yielded about 75% PPV for LPA and BPA. The proposed post-SIT AC <8.79 ng/dL criterion yielded 41% sensitivity and 90% specificity, while the relative post-SIT AC reduction rate of >33.8% criterion yielded 80% sensitivity and 51% specificity for BPA prediction. The application of any of the validated clinical prediction tools to our cohort did not predict the PA subtype with the high diagnostic performance originally reported.

Open access

Kirsten Davidse, Anneloes van Staa, Wanda Geilvoet, Judith P van Eck, Karlijn Pellikaan, Janneke Baan, Anita C S Hokken-Koelega, Erica L T van den Akker, Theo Sas, Sabine E Hannema, Aart Jan van der Lely, and Laura C G de Graaff

Introduction

Transition from paediatric to adult endocrinology can be challenging for adolescents, their families and healthcare professionals. Previous studies have shown that up to 25% of young adults with endocrine disorders are lost to follow-up after moving out of paediatric care. This poses a health risk for young adults, which can lead to serious and expensive medical acute and long-term complications.

Methods

In order to understand and prevent dropout, we studied electronic medical records of patients with endocrine disorders. These patients were over 15 years old when they attended the paediatric endocrine outpatient clinic (OPC) of our hospital in 2013–2014 and should have made the transfer to adult care at the time of the study.

Results

Of 387 adolescents, 131 had an indication for adult follow-up within our university hospital. Thirty-three (25%) were lost to follow-up. In 24 of them (73%), the invitation for the adult OPC had never been sent. We describe the failures in logistic processes that eventually led to dropout in these patients.

Conclusion

We found a 25% dropout during transfer from paediatric to adult tertiary endocrine care. Of all dropouts, 73% could be attributed to the failure of logistic steps. In order to prevent these dropouts, we provide practical recommendations for patients and paediatric and adult endocrinologists.

Open access

Glenville Jones

Vitamin D has many physiological functions including upregulation of intestinal calcium and phosphate absorption, mobilization of bone resorption, renal reabsorption of calcium as well as actions on a variety of pleiotropic functions. It is believed that many of the hormonal effects of vitamin D involve a 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-vitamin D receptor-mediated transcriptional mechanism involving binding to the cellular chromatin and regulating hundreds of genes in many tissues. This comprehensive historical review provides a unique perspective of the many steps of the discovery of vitamin D and its deficiency disease, rickets, stretching from 1650 until the present. The overview is divided into four distinct historical phases which cover the major developments in the field and in the process highlighting the: (a) first recognition of rickets or vitamin D deficiency; (b) discovery of the nutritional factor, vitamin D and its chemical structure; (c) elucidation of vitamin D metabolites including the hormonal form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3; (d) delineation of the vitamin D cellular machinery, functions and vitamin D-related diseases which focused on understanding the mechanism of action of vitamin D in its many target cells.

Open access

Anela Blažević, Anand M Iyer, Marie-Louise F van Velthuysen, Johannes Hofland, Peter M van Koestveld, Gaston J H Franssen, Richard A Feelders, Marina Zajec, Theo M Luider, Wouter W de Herder, and Leo J Hofland

Background

Increased levels of serotonin secretion are associated with mesenteric fibrosis (MF) in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs). However, the profibrotic potential of serotonin differs between patients, and in this study, we aimed to gain an understanding of the mechanisms underlying this variability. To this end, we analyzed the proteins involved in tryptophan metabolism in SI-NETs.

Methods

Proteomes of tumor and stroma from primary SI-NETs and paired mesenteric metastases of patients with MF (n  = 6) and without MF (n  = 6) were identified by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The differential expression of proteins involved in tryptophan metabolism between patients with and without MF was analyzed. Concurrently, monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) expression was analyzed in the tumor and stromal compartment by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and reported as intensity over area (I/A).

Results

Of the 42 proteins involved in tryptophan metabolism, 20 were detected by LC-MS. Lower abundance of ten proteins was found in mesenteric metastases stroma in patients with MF. No differential expression was found in primary SI-NETs. In patients with MF, IHC showed lower MAO-A expression in the stroma of the primary SI-NETs (median 4.2 I/A vs 6.5 I/A in patients without MF, P = 0.003) and mesenteric metastases (median 2.1 I/A vs 2.8 I/A in patients without MF, P= 0.019).

Conclusion

We found a decreased expression of tryptophan and serotonin-metabolizing enzymes in the stroma in patients with MF, most notably in the mesenteric stroma. This might account for the increased profibrotic potential of serotonin and explain the variability in the development of SI-NET-associated fibrotic complications.