Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is a potentially sight-threatening and disfiguring, extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves’ disease. It often impairs patients’ quality of life, causing severe social and psychological sequelae. Intravenous glucocorticosteroids is currently the mainstay of therapy, but the efficacy is often underwhelming and recurrence rate is high. For many years, clinicians have been searching for new methods of treatment. Rituximab (RTX) is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeted against CD20 which is a surface antigen present on B cells. It is frequently used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, or various types of vasculitis. Numerous clinical trials employing RTX in the treatment of GO have shown promising results. RTX is currently considered to be a valid second-line treatment option in patients unresponsive to previous interventions or in disease reactivation. This review summarizes the available literature on this topic, including two largest, randomized, controlled studies. Potential benefits, as well as the limitations of RTX therapy, are discussed.
Jakub Supronik, Małgorzata Szelachowska, Adam Kretowski, and Katarzyna Siewko
Barbara J Boucher
High vitamin D deficiency rates, with rickets and osteomalacia, have been common in South Asians (SAs) arriving in Britain since the 1950s with preventable infant deaths from hypocalcaemic status-epilepticus and cardiomyopathy. Vitamin D deficiency increases common SA disorders (type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), recent trials and non-linear Mendelian randomisation studies having shown deficiency to be causal for both disorders. Ethnic minority, obesity, diabetes and social deprivation are recognised COVID-19 risk factors, but vitamin D deficiency is not, despite convincing mechanistic evidence of it. Adjusting analyses for obesity/ethnicity abolishes vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 risk prediction, but both factors lower serum 25(OH)D specifically. Social deprivation inadequately explains increased ethnic minority COVID-19 risks. SA vitamin D deficiency remains uncorrected after 70 years, official bodies using ‘education’, ‘assimilation’ and ‘diet’ as ‘proxies’ for ethnic differences and increasing pressures to assimilate. Meanwhile, English rickets was abolished from ~1940 by free ‘welfare foods’ (meat, milk, eggs, cod liver oil), for all pregnant/nursing mothers and young children (<5 years old). Cod liver oil was withdrawn from antenatal clinics in 1994 (for excessive vitamin A teratogenicity), without alternative provision. The take-up of the 2006 ‘Healthy-Start’ scheme of food-vouchers for low-income families with young children (<3 years old) has been poor, being inaccessible and poorly publicised. COVID-19 pandemic advice for UK adults in ‘lockdown’ was ‘400 IU vitamin D/day’, inadequate for correcting the deficiency seen winter/summer at 17.5%/5.9% in White, 38.5%/30% in Black and 57.2%/50.8% in SA people in representative UK Biobank subjects when recruited ~14 years ago and remaining similar in 2018. Vitamin D inadequacy worsens many non-skeletal health risks. Not providing vitamin D for preventing SA rickets and osteomalacia continues to be unacceptable, as deficiency-related health risks increase ethnic health disparities, while abolishing vitamin D deficiency would be easier and more cost-effective than correcting any other factor worsening ethnic minority health in Britain.
Liang Xue, Jianwu Wu, Jie Chen, and Yongkai Yang
We aimed to assess the factors influencing the development of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas.
A retrospective analysis was conducted on the clinical data of patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent transsphenoidal surgery. The predictors of postoperative diabetes insipidus were determined using statistical analysis.
Of the 415 patients who underwent microscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas, 196 experienced postoperative diabetes insipidus. The sinking depth of the diaphragma sellae and the difference between the preoperative and postoperative pituitary stalk deviation angles in the diabetes insipidus group were greater than those in the non-diabetes insipidus group. Logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery was higher in patients with a larger difference in their pituitary stalk deviation angles (odds ratio = 2.407, 95% CI = 1.335–4.342; P = 0.004).
The difference in the pituitary stalk deviation angle could predict the onset of diabetes insipidus after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas.
, Hiroshi Arima, Timothy Cheetham, Mirjam Christ-Crain, Deborah Cooper, Mark Gurnell, Juliana B Drummond, Miles Levy, Ann I McCormack, Joseph Verbalis, John Newell-Price, and John A H Wass
‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet’ (Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare). Shakespeare’s implication is that a name is nothing but a word, and it therefore represents a convention with no intrinsic meaning. While this may be relevant to romantic literature, disease names do have real meanings, and consequences, in medicine. Hence, there must be a very good rationale for changing the name of a disease that has a centuries-old historical context. A working group of representatives from national and international endocrinology, and pediatric endocrine societies now proposes changing the name of ‘diabetes insipidus’ to ‘arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D)’ for central etiologies, and ‘arginine vasopressin resistance (AVP-R)’ for nephrogenic etiologies. This article provides both the historical context and the rationale for this proposed name change.
Zhengrong Jiang, Linghong Huang, Lijun Chen, Jingxiong Zhou, Bo Liang, Xuefeng Bai, Lizhen Wu, and Huibin Huang
Graves’ disease is a common autoimmune disease. Cytokines and their signalling pathways play a major part in the pathogenesis of Graves’ disease; however, the underlying mechanism needs to be clarified.
The aim of this study was to explore whether circular RNAs participate in the immunological pathology of Graves’ disease via cytokine-related signalling pathways.
Bioinformatics analysis was performed to identify differentially expressed circular RNAs and their targets and associated pathways. A total of three patients with Graves’ disease and three sex- and age-matched healthy controls were enrolled for validation with microarray analysis and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). An additional 24 patients with Graves’ disease and 24 gender- and age-matched controls were included for validation by real-time fluorescent qPCR. Flow cytometry and CCK8 assays were used to detect the apoptotic and proliferative levels of Jurkat cells (T lymphocytes) with the silenced expression of circRNA. ELISA was performed to detect the growth and apoptosis-related proteins. The competition mechanism of endogenous RNA was explored by real-time fluorescence qPCR.
A total of 366 significantly differentially expressed circular RNAs were identified in the Graves’ disease group compared to healthy controls. The level of hsa_circ_0090364 was elevated in Graves’ disease patients and positively correlated with thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibodies. Further analyses suggested that hsa_circ_0090364 may regulate the JAK-STAT pathway via the hsa-miR-378a-3p/IL-6ST/IL21R axis to promote cell growth.
These results provide novel clues into the pathophysiological mechanisms of Graves’ disease and potential targets for drug treatment.
Danielle Christine Maria van der Kaay, Anne Rochtus, Gerhard Binder, Ingo Kurth, Dirk Prawitt, Irène Netchine, Gudmundur Johannsson, Anita C S Hokken-Koelega, Miriam Elbracht, and Thomas Eggermann
The implementation of high-throughput and deep sequencing methods in routine genetic diagnostics has significantly improved the diagnostic yield in patient cohorts with growth disturbances and becomes increasingly important as the prerequisite of personalized medicine. They provide considerable chances to identify even rare and unexpected situations; nevertheless, we must be aware of their limitations. A simple genetic test in the beginning of a testing cascade might also help to identify the genetic cause of specific growth disorders. However, the clinical picture of genetically caused growth disturbance phenotypes can vary widely, and there is a broad clinical overlap between different growth disturbance disorders. As a consequence, the clinical diagnosis and therewith connected the decision on the appropriate genetic test is often a challenge. In fact, the clinician asking for genetic testing has to weigh different aspects in this decision process, including appropriateness (single gene test, stepwise procedure, comprehensive testing), turnaround time as the basis for rapid intervention, and economic considerations. Therefore, a frequent question in that context is ‘what to test when’. In this review, we aim to review genetic testing strategies and their strengths and limitations and to raise awareness for the future implementation of interdisciplinary genome medicine in diagnoses, treatment, and counselling of growth disturbances.
Xiaowen Zhang, Chen Han, Hongwei Wang, Xinghong Sun, Xin Dou, Xueying He, Di Wu, Shanmei Shen, Dalong Zhu, Xinlin Zhang, and Yan Bi
Thyroid eye disease (TED) is the major extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves’ disease (GD). Treatment choice is based on clinical activity and severity of TED, as evaluated with clinical activity score (CAS) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. We aimed to determine the relationship between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a readily available indicator of systemic inflammation, and clinical and MR imaging parameters in TED patients. Eighty-seven consecutive TED patients were included. The average signal intensity ratio (SIR), average extraocular muscle (EOM) diameter, and proptosis of the study eye were extracted from MR images. A baseline NLR ≥ 2.0 was recorded in 37 (42.5%) patients and NLR < 2.0 in 50 (57.5%) patients. TED patients with NLR ≥ 2.0 were older, had a higher CAS, average SIR, average EOM diameter and proptosis, and a lower serum thyrotrophin receptor antibody level than patients with NLR < 2.0 (all P < 0.05). All MR parameters showed significant correlation with CAS (P < 0.05). NLR correlated significantly with CAS (P = 0.001), average SIR (P = 0.004), average EOM diameter (P = 0.007), and proptosis (P = 0.007). Multiple regression revealed a significant correlation between NLR and CAS (P = 0.001), average SIR (P = 0.029), and proptosis (P = 0.037). Cox regression analysis showed that a high NLR at baseline was associated with a worse clinical outcome of TED (hazard ratio 3.7, 95% CI 1.22–11.2, P = 0.02), at a median follow-up of 25 months. In conclusion, NLR was correlated with CAS and MR imaging parameters and was associated with a worse clinical outcome of TED at follow-up in patients with TED. Additional prospective studies are needed to validate our findings.
E K White, I V Wagner, C van Beuzekom, V Iotova, S F Ahmed, O Hiort, and A M Pereira
In 2017, the European Commission installed 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) for different categories of rare and complex conditions to facilitate cross-border health care via virtual case consultations in a secure Clinical Patient Management System (CPMS). The ERN for rare endocrine conditions (Endo-ERN) previously reviewed the CPMS, in which they detailed the difficulties physicians encountered with the system and proposed solutions to these that should enable the system to be used to a greater extent. This paper will further the endeavor of the first by performing a critical evaluation of the CPMS, assessing how these suggested improvements have been implemented, and if these have affected the usage of the system. The evaluation involves an assessment of CPMS usage statistics since its conception that takes into consideration the technical updates and the external factors that may have affected these, including data from a review survey following a training workshop for our new healthcare providers (HCPs) added in January 2022. It appears that the improvements made to the system since the first review, in particular the implementation of the Operational Helpdesk, have had a positive effect in increasing CPMS membership; however, the regular usage of the system continues to fluctuate. Several suggestions are made on how to further facilitate the use of CPMS by our members both individually and network-wide, by integrating CPMS activities with other network initiatives and further integrating these into national health care systems as well as looking for ways to measure patient satisfaction from the CPMS discussions outcomes.
Silvia Ciancia, Vanessa Dubois, and Martine Cools
Both in the United States and Europe, the number of minors who present at transgender healthcare services before the onset of puberty is rapidly expanding. Many of those who will have persistent gender dysphoria at the onset of puberty will pursue long-term puberty suppression before reaching the appropriate age to start using gender-affirming hormones. Exposure to pubertal sex steroids is thus significantly deferred in these individuals. Puberty is a critical period for bone development: increasing concentrations of estrogens and androgens (directly or after aromatization to estrogens) promote progressive bone growth and mineralization and induce sexually dimorphic skeletal changes. As a consequence, safety concerns regarding bone development and increased future fracture risk in transgender youth have been raised. We here review published data on bone development in transgender adolescents, focusing in particular on differences in age and pubertal stage at the start of puberty suppression, chosen strategy to block puberty progression, duration of puberty suppression, and the timing of re-evaluation after estradiol or testosterone administration. Results consistently indicate a negative impact of long-term puberty suppression on bone mineral density, especially at the lumbar spine, which is only partially restored after sex steroid administration. Trans girls are more vulnerable than trans boys for compromised bone health. Behavioral health measures that can promote bone mineralization, such as weight-bearing exercise and calcium and vitamin D supplementation, are strongly recommended in transgender youth, during the phase of puberty suppression and thereafter.
Zhiyan Yu, Yueyue Wu, Rui Zhang, Yue Li, Shufei Zang, and Jun Liu
This study aimed to investigate the association of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver fibrosis with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
In this study, 1243 patients with T2DM (T2DM with coexistent NAFLD, n = 760; T2DM with no NAFLD, n = 483) were analysed. Non-invasive markers, NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS) and fibrosis index based on four factors (FIB-4), were applied to evaluate NAFLD fibrosis risk.
There was no significant difference in bone mineral density (BMD) between the NAFLD group and the non-NAFLD group or between males and females after adjusting for age, BMI and gender. In postmenopausal women, there was an increased risk of osteoporosis (odds ratio (OR): 4.41, 95% CI: 1.04–18.70, P = 0.039) in the FIB-4 high risk group compared to the low risk group. Similarly, in women with high risk NFS, there was an increased risk of osteoporosis (OR: 5.98, 95% CI: 1.40–25.60, P = 0.043) compared to the low risk group. Among men over 50 years old, there was no significant difference in bone mineral density between the NAFLD group and the non-NAFLD group and no significant difference between bone mineral density and incidence of osteopenia or osteoporosis among those with different NAFLD fibrosis risk.
There was a significant association of high risk for NAFLD liver fibrosis with osteoporosis in postmenopausal diabetic women but not men. In clinical practice, gender-specific evaluation of osteoporosis is needed in patients with T2DM and coexistent NAFLD.