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Open access

Jingci Chen, Yan Wu, Pengyan Wang, Huanwen Wu, Anli Tong, and Xiaoyan Chang

Introduction

Composite pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (CP) is a rare neoplasm with most cases presented as single reports. Little is known about its pathogenesis and relationship with ordinary pheochromocytoma (PCC) or paraganglioma (PGL). Our study is aimed at analyzing the status of SDH and ATRX and identifying novel genetic changes in CP.

Methods

Eighteen CP cases were collected. SDH and ATRX status was screened by immunohistochemistry. Targeted region sequencing (TRS) was successfully performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues in two cases within 3 years. Based on the TRS result, Sanger sequencing of BRAF and HRAS was performed in fifteen cases (including the two cases with TRS performed), with three cases excluded due to the limited amount of tissue.

Results

Histopathologically, all the cases were composite PCC/PGL-ganglioneuroma (GN). The GN components were either closely admixed or juxtaposed with the PCC/PGL components, with a highly variable percentage (10–80%). All cases stained positive for SDHB and ATRX. HRAS and BRAF mutations were identified during TRS. In the subsequent Sanger sequencing, 20.0% (3/15) harbored BRAF mutations (K601E and K601N) and 46.7% (7/15) harbored HRAS mutations (Q61R, Q61L, G13R). The mutation rates were both significantly higher than reported in ordinary PCC/PGL.

Conclusions

We demonstrated that composite PCC/PGL-GN might be a unique entity with frequent HRAS and BRAF mutations rather than genetic changes of SDH and ATRX. Our findings revealed the possible pathogenesis of composite PCC/PGL-GN and provided clues for potential treatment targets.

Open access

Unni Syversen, Mats Peder Mosti, Ida Maria Mynarek, Trude Seselie Jahr Vedal, Kristin Aasarød, Trude Basso, Janne E Reseland, Per Medbøe Thorsby, Bjorn O Asvold, Erik Fink Eriksen, and Astrid Kamilla Stunes

Objective

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with substantial fracture risk. Bone mineral density (BMD) is, however, only modestly reduced, suggesting impaired bone microarchitecture and/or bone material properties. Yet, the skeletal abnormalities have not been uncovered. Men with T1D seem to experience a more pronounced bone loss than their female counterparts. Hence, we aimed to examine different aspects of bone quality in men with T1D.

Design and Methods

In this cross-sectional study, men with T1D and healthy male controls were enrolled. BMD (femoral neck, total hip, lumbar spine, whole body) and spine trabecular bone score (TBS) were measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry, and bone material strength index (BMSi) was measured by in vivo impact microindentation. HbA1c and bone turnover markers were analyzed.

Results

Altogether, 33 men with T1D (43 ± 12 years) and 28 healthy male controls (42 ± 12 years) were included. Subjects with T1D exhibited lower whole-body BMD than controls (P = 0.04). TBS and BMSi were attenuated in men with T1D vs controls (P = 0.016 and P = 0.004, respectively), and T1D subjects also had a lower bone turnover. The bone parameters did not differ between subjects with or without diabetic complications. Duration of disease correlated negatively with femoral neck BMD but not with TBS or BMSi.

Conclusions

This study revealed compromised bone material strength and microarchitecture in men with T1D. Moreover, our data confirm previous studies which found a modest decrease in BMD and low bone turnover in subjects with T1D. Accordingly, bone should be recognized as a target of diabetic complications.

Open access

Siphiwe N Dlamini, Zané Lombard, Lisa K Micklesfield, Nigel Crowther, Shane A Norris, Tracy Snyman, Andrew A Crawford, Brian R Walker, and Julia H Goedecke

Circulating glucocorticoids are associated with metabolic syndrome and related cardiometabolic risk factors in non-Africans. This study investigated these associations in Africans, whose metabolic phenotype reportedly differs from Europeans. Adiposity, blood pressure, glycaemia, insulin resistance, and lipid profile, were measured in 316 African men and 788 African women living in Soweto, Johannesburg. The 2009 harmonized criteria were used to define metabolic syndrome. Serum glucocorticoids were measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cortisol was associated with greater odds presenting with metabolic syndrome (odds ratio (95% CI) =1.50 (1.04, 2.17) and higher systolic (beta coefficient, β (95% CI) =0.04 (0.01, 0.08)) and diastolic (0.05 (0.02, 0.09)) blood pressure, but higher HDL (0.10 (0.02, 0.19)) and lower LDL (−0.14 (−0.24, −0.03)) cholesterol concentrations, in the combined sample of men and women. In contrast, corticosterone was only associated with higher insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index; 0.22 (0.03, 0.41)), but this was not independent of BMI. Sex-specific associations were observed, such that both cortisol and corticosterone were associated with higher fasting glucose (standardized β (95% CI): 0.24 (0.12, 0.36) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.23) for corticosterone) and HbA1c (0.13 (0.01, 0.25) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.24) for corticosterone) in men only, but lower HbA1c (0.10 (−0.20, −0.01) for cortisol and −0.09 (−0.18, −0.03) for corticosterone) in women only. Our study reports for the first time that associations between circulating glucocorticoid concentrations and key cardiometabolic risk factors exhibit both glucocorticoid- and sex-specificity in Africans.

Open access

Yen Kheng Tan, Yu Heng Kwan, David Choon Liang Teo, Marieke Velema, Jaap Deinum, Pei Ting Tan, Meifen Zhang, Joan Joo Ching Khoo, Wann Jia Loh, Linsey Gani, Thomas F J King, Eberta Jun Hui Tan, Shui Boon Soh, Vanessa Shu Chuan Au, Tunn Lin Tay, Lily Mae Quevedo Dacay, Keng Sin Ng, Kang Min Wong, Andrew Siang Yih Wong, Foo Cheong Ng, Tar Choon Aw, Yvonne Hui Bin Chan, Khim Leng Tong, Sheldon Shao Guang Lee, Siang Chew Chai, and Troy Hai Kiat Puar

Background

In addition to increased cardiovascular risk, patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) also suffer from impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological symptoms. We assessed for changes in HRQoL and depressive symptoms in a cohort of Asian patients with PA, after surgical and medical therapy.

Methods

Thirty-four patients with PA were prospectively recruited and completed questionnaires from 2017 to 2020. HRQoL was assessed using RAND-36 and EQ-5D-3L, and depressive symptoms were assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year post-treatment.

Results

At 1 year post-treatment, significant improvement was observed in both physical and mental summative scores of RAND-36, +3.65, P = 0.023, and +3.41, P = 0.033, respectively, as well as four subscale domains (physical functioning, bodily pain, role emotional, and mental health). Significant improvement was also seen in EQ-5D dimension of anxiety/depression at 1 year post-treatment. Patients treated with surgery (n = 21) had significant improvement in EQ-5D index score post-treatment and better EQ-5D outcomes compared to the medical group (n = 13) at 1 year post-treatment. 37.9, 41.6 and 58.6% of patients had symptoms in the cognitive, affective and somatic domains of BDI-II, respectively. There was a significant improvement in the affective domain of BDI-II at 1 year post-treatment.

Conclusion

Both surgical and medical therapy improve HRQoL and psychological symptoms in patients with PA, with surgery providing better outcomes. This highlights the importance of early diagnosis, accurate subtyping and appropriate treatment of PA.

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.