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Open access

W J Bom, F B M Joosten, M M G J van Borren, E P Bom, R R J P van Eekeren, and H de Boer

Objective

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is increasingly considered the prime option for treating symptomatic, benign, non-functioning thyroid nodules (NFTN). However, little is known about the degree of operator experience required to achieve optimal results. This study describes the RFA learning curve of a single-center team.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study of the first 103 patients receiving RFA treatment for a single, symptomatic, and benign NFTN, with a follow-up of at least 1 year. The primary outcome measure was technique efficacy, defined as the percentage of patients with a 6-month nodal volume reduction ratio (VRR) >50% after single-session RFA. Optimal treatment efficacy was defined as a 6-month VRR >50% achieved in at least 75% of patients. Secondary outcomes were complications of RFA and indications of secondary interventions.

Results

Median nodal volume at baseline was 12.0 mL (range 2.0–58.0 mL). A 6-month VRR >50% was achieved in 45% of the first 20 patients, 75% of the next 20, and 79% of the following 63 patients. Complications included minor bleeding (N = 4), transient hyperthyroidism (N = 4), and transient loss of voice (N = 1). Poor volume reduction or nodular regrowth led to diagnostic lobectomy in 11 patients and a second RFA in 5. Lobectomy revealed a follicular carcinoma (T2N0M0) in 2 patients. In 1 patient, nodule regrowth was caused by an intranodular solitary B-cell lymphoma.

Conclusion

About 40 procedures are required to achieve a 6-month VRR >50% in the majority of patients. Appropriate follow-up with re-evaluation is recommended for all patients with a VRR <50% and in those with regrowth to exclude underlying malignancy.

Open access

Marcus Heldmann, Krishna Chatterjee, Carla Moran, Berenike Rogge, Julia Steinhardt, Tobias Wagner-Altendorf, Martin Göttlich, Hannes Schacht, Peter Schramm, Georg Brabant, Thomas F Münte, and Anna Cirkel

Background

Thyroid hormone action is mediated by two forms of thyroid hormone receptors (α, β) with differential tissue distribution. Thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) mutations lead to resistance to thyroid hormone action in tissues predominantly expressing the β form of the receptor (pituitary, liver). This study seeks to identify the effects of mutant TRβ on pituitary size.

Methods

High-resolution 3D T1-weighted magnetic resonance images were acquired in 19 patients with RTHβ in comparison to 19 healthy matched controls. Volumetric measurements of the pituitary gland were performed independently and blinded by four different raters (two neuroradiologists, one neurologist, one neuroscientist).

Results

Patients with mutant TRβ (resistance to thyroid hormone β, RTHβ) showed elevated free tri-iodothyronine/thyroxine levels with normal thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, whereas healthy controls showed normal thyroid hormone levels. Imaging revealed smaller pituitary size in RTHβ patients in comparison to healthy controls (F(1,35) = 7.05, P  = 0.012, partial η2 = 0.17).

Conclusion

RTHβ subjects have impaired sensitivity to thyroid hormones, along with decreased size of the pituitary gland.

Open access

Anna Liori, Damaskini Polychroni, Georgios K Markantes, Maria Stamou, Sarantis Livadas, George Mastorakos, and Neoklis Georgopoulos

Adequate vitamin D levels are particularly important in pregnant women for both maternal and neonatal health. Prior studies have shown a significantly high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (VDD) among refugees. However, no study has addressed the prevalence of VDD in pregnant refugees and its effects on neonatal health. In this study, we examined the prevalence of VDD in refugee pregnant women living in Greece and compared our results with Greek pregnant inhabitants. VDD was frequent in both groups but was significantly more common in refugees (92.2 vs 67.3% of Greek women, P  = 0.003) with 70.6% of refugees having severe hypovitaminosis D (<10 ng/mL). As a result, most newborns had VDD, which affected refugee newborns to a greater extent. Our results suggest a need to screen newcomer children and pregnant women for VDD in all host countries around the world. Such a screen will appropriately guide early and effective interventions with the goal to prevent adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes.

Open access

Mateo Amaya-Montoya, Daniela Duarte-Montero, Luz D Nieves-Barreto, Angélica Montaño-Rodríguez, Eddy C Betancourt-Villamizar, María P Salazar-Ocampo, and Carlos O Mendivil

Data on dietary calcium and vitamin D intake from Latin America are scarce. We explored the main correlates and dietary sources of calcium and vitamin D in a probabilistic, population-based sample from Colombia. We studied 1554 participants aged 18–75 from five different geographical regions. Dietary intake was assessed by employing a 157-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and national and international food composition tables. Daily vitamin D intake decreased with increasing age, from 230 IU/day in the 18–39 age group to 184 IU/day in the 60–75 age group (P -trend < 0.001). Vitamin D intake was positively associated with socioeconomic status (SES) (196 IU/day in lowest vs 234 in highest SES, P-trend < 0.001), and with educational level (176 IU/day in lowest vs 226 in highest education level, P-trend < 0.001). Daily calcium intake also decreased with age, from 1376 mg/day in the 18–39 age group to 1120 mg/day in the 60–75 age group (P -trend < 0.001). Calcium intake was lowest among participants with only elementary education, but the absolute difference in calcium intake between extreme education categories was smaller than for vitamin D (1107 vs 1274 mg/day, P-trend = 0.023). Daily calcium intake did not correlate with SES (P -trend = 0.74). Eggs were the main source of overall vitamin D, albeit their contribution decreased with increasing age. Dairy products contributed at least 48% of dietary calcium in all subgroups, mostly from cheese-containing traditional foods. SES and education were the key correlates of vitamin D and calcium intake. These findings may contribute to shape public health interventions in Latin American countries.

Open access

Sahar Hossam El Hini, Yehia Zakaria Mahmoud, Ahmed Abdelfadel Saedii, Sayed Shehata Mahmoud, Mohamed Ahmed Amin, Shereen Riad Mahmoud, and Ragaa Abdelshaheed Matta

Objective

Angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTL) 3, 4 and 8 are upcoming cardiovascular biomarkers. Experimental studies showed that thyroid hormones altered their levels. We assessed ANGPTL3, 4 and 8 as predictors of cardiovascular functions among naïve subclinical and naïve overt hypothyroidism (SCH and OH) and altered ANGPTL levels with levothyroxine replacement (LT4) and their association with improved cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular function.

Design and methods

The study was a prospective follow-up study that assessed ANGPTL3, 4 and 8 levels, vascular status (flow-mediated dilation% of brachial artery (FMD%), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), aortic stiffness index (ASI)), left ventricle (LV) parameters (ejection fraction (EF), myocardial performance index (MPI), and LV mass), well-known cardiovascular risk factors and homeostatic model for the assessment of insulin resistance, at two time points, that is, among naïve SCH, naïve OH, and healthy subjects groups; and at 6 months after achieving the euthyroid state with LT4 by calculating their increased or decreased delta changes (∆↑ or ∆↓) in longitudinal arm among LT4-hypothyroid groups.

Results

Significantly elevated levels of ANGPTL3, 4 and 8 among hypothyroid groups than the healthy subjects were reduced with LT4. Multivariate analysis revealed ANGPTLs as independent predictors of cardiovascular functions and the contributors for ANGPTL level included ANGPTL3 and 4 for impaired FMD%, and ANGPTL8 for LV mass among naïve SCH; ANGPTL3 for EF% and ANGPTL8 for CIMT in naïve OH; ∆↓ANGPTL3 for ∆↓ASI meanwhile ∆↑freeT4 for ∆↓ANGPTL3, ∆↓fasting glucose, ∆↓triglyceride, and ∆↓thyroid peroxidase antibody for ∆↓ANGPTL4 among LT4-SCH. ∆↓ANGPTL4 for ∆↓MPI and ∆↓LV mass, meanwhile ∆↓TSH and ∆↓triglyceride for ∆↓ANGPTL3, ∆↑free T3 and ∆↓HOMA-IR for ∆↓ANGPTL4, and systolic blood pressure and waist circumference for ∆↓ANGPTL8 among LT4-OH.

Conclusion

Elevated ANGPTL3, 4 and 8 levels are differentially independent predictors of endothelial and cardiac function and are reduced with LT4 in SCH and OH.

Open access

Mahmoud Al-Masri, Tawfiq Al-Shobaki, Hani Al-Najjar, Rafal Iskanderian, Enas Younis, Niveen Abdallah, Abdelghani Tbakhi, Hussam Haddad, Mohammad Al-Masri, Zeinab Obeid, and Awad Jarrar

Purpose

This study focuses on the oncologic influence of BRAF V600E mutations in a cohort of Middle Eastern papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients treated at a single centre. We tested the association of BRAF V600E mutation with papillary thyroid carcinoma at King Hussein Cancer Center.

Methods

Patients with histologically confirmed PTC who underwent surgical treatment between 2006 and 2015 were included in this study. Oncological outcomes, both short- and long-termed, were collected.

Results

A total of 128 patients (68% females) were included in this study with a mean age of 38 years (±13.8). The median follow-up period was 50 months. The BRAF V600E mutation was found in 71% of patients. The tumour size for patients with a negative BRAF V600E mutation was significantly larger in comparison to patients who tested positive for the mutation (3.47 cm vs 2.31 cm, respectively, P = 0.009). The two groups showed similar disease-free survival (DFS) rates; positive = 75% (median 43 months (0–168)) compared to 78% for the negative BRAF V600E mutation (median 38 months (3–142)) (P = 0.162, HR = 0.731) Furthermore, both groups showed similar overall survival rates, positive = 94.5% (median 56 months (0–228)) compared to 94.6% for the negative BRAF V600E mutation (median 43 months (3–157)) (P = 0.941, HR = 0.940).

Conclusion

BRAF V600E mutation had no effect on loco-regional recurrence, distant metastasis, overall survival, or DFS. These findings may be attributed to geographic variations or reflect that BRAF V600E may only serve as an indicator of poor prognosis in high-risk group as such.

Open access

Xingyan Liu, Mei Xu, Min Qian, and Lindong Yang

The cytochrome P450 family 17 (CYP17) is associated with hyperandrogenism in women, and the association between CYP17 gene polymorphism and the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not definitive. In order to determine whether the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism is an exposure risk for PCOS, a comprehensive meta-analysis summarizing 19 studies was performed. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95% CI were measured under five genetic models, and the stratified analyses by ethnicity, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, testosterone levels and BMI in controls were carried out to identify the causes of substantial heterogeneity. The overall results validated that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism was significantly associated with PCOS risk in four genetic models. Moreover, the outcomes of subgroup analysis by ethnicity indicated that the frequencies of the C allele of CYP17 T/C (rs74357) polymorphism were markedly higher in women from Asia than in Caucasians (T vs C: OR 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74–0.99, P < 0.05). Therefore, these findings suggested that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism played an indispensable part in increasing the susceptibility of PCOS when carrying the C allele, which proposed that the polymorphism of the CYP17 gene may be a predictive factor for the risk of PCOS or an important pathway in PCOS-associated metabolic and hormonal dysregulation.

Open access

Shatha Alharazy, M Denise Robertson, Susan Lanham-New, Muhammad Imran Naseer, Adeel G Chaudhary, and Eman Alissa

Background

Measurement of free 25-hydroyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status has been suggested as a more representative marker of vitamin D status than that of total 25(OH)D. Previously, free 25(OH)D could only be calculated indirectly; however, a newly developed direct assay for the measurement of free 25(OH)D is now available. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate directly measured total and free vitamin D levels association with metabolic health in postmenopausal healthy women living in Saudi Arabia.

Methods

A sample of 302 postmenopausal women aged ≥50 years (n  = 302) living in Saudi Arabia were recruited in a cross-sectional study design. Blood samples were collected from subjects for measurement of serum levels of total 25(OH)D, directly measured free 25(OH)D, metabolic bone parameters, lipid profile, and other biochemical tests.

Results

A positive correlation was found between directly measured free and total 25(OH)D (r = 0.64, P< 0.0001). Total but not free 25(OH)D showed significant association with serum intact parathyroid hormone (P = 0.004), whilst free 25(OH)D but not total 25(OH)D showed a significant association with total cholesterol and LDL-C (P = 0.032 and P = 0.045, respectively).

Conclusions

Free 25(OH)D and total 25(OH)D were found to be consistently correlated but with different associations to metabolic health parameters. Further research is needed to determine which marker of vitamin D status would be the most appropriate in population studies.

Open access

Jan Kvasnička, Ondřej Petrák, Tomáš Zelinka, Judita Klímová, Barbora Kološová, Květoslav Novák, David Michalský, Jiří Widimský Jr, and Robert Holaj

Background

Pheochromocytomas (PHEO) are tumours with the ability to produce, metabolize and secrete catecholamines. Catecholamines overproduction leads to the decrease of longitudinal function of the left ventricle (LV) measured by speckle-tracking echocardiography. Patients with PHEO have a lower magnitude of global longitudinal strain (GLS) than patients with essential hypertension. GLS normalization is expected after resolution of catecholamine overproduction.

Methods

Twenty-four patients (14 females and 10 males) with a recent diagnosis of PHEO have been examined before and 1 year after adrenalectomy. An echocardiographic examination including speckle-tracking analysis with the evaluation of GLS and regional longitudinal strain (LS) in defined groups of LV segments (basal, mid-ventricular and apical) was performed.

Results

One year after adrenalectomy, the magnitude of GLS increased (−14.3 ± 1.8 to −17.7 ± 1.6%; P < 0.001). When evaluating the regional LS, the most significant increase in the differences was evident in the apical segment compared to mid-ventricular and basal segments of LV (−5.4 ± 5.0 vs −1.9 ± 2.7 vs −1.6 ± 3.8; P < 0.01).

Conclusions

In patients with PHEO, adrenalectomy leads to an improvement of subclinical LV dysfunction represented by the increasing magnitude of GLS, which is the most noticeable in apical segments of LV.

Open access

Sarah Zaheer, Kayla Meyer, Rebecca Easly, Omar Bayomy, Janet Leung, Andrew W Koefoed, Mahyar Heydarpour, Roy Freeman, and Gail K Adler

Glucocorticoid use is the most common cause of secondary osteoporosis. Poor skeletal health related to glucocorticoid use is thought to involve inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, a key pathway in osteoblastogenesis. Sclerostin, a peptide produced primarily by osteocytes, is an antagonist of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, raising the possibility that sclerostin is involved in glucocorticoids’ adverse effects on bone. The aim of this study was to determine whether an acute infusion of cosyntropin (i.e. ACTH(1–24)), which increases endogenous cortisol, increases serum sclerostin levels as compared to a placebo infusion. This study was performed using blood samples obtained from a previously published, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, cross-over study among healthy men and women who received infusions of placebo or cosyntropin after being supine and fasted overnight (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02339506). A total of 17 participants were analyzed. There was a strong correlation (R2 = 0.65, P < 0.0001) between the two baseline sclerostin measurements measured at the start of each visit, and men had a significantly higher average baseline sclerostin compared to women. As anticipated, cosyntropin significantly increased serum cortisol levels, whereas cortisol levels fell during placebo infusion, consistent with the diurnal variation in cortisol. There was no significant effect of cosyntropin as compared to placebo infusions on serum sclerostin over 6–24 h (P = 0.10). In conclusion, this randomized, placebo-controlled study was unable to detect a significant effect of a cosyntropin infusion on serum sclerostin levels in healthy men and women.