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Open access

Sharon A Huish, Carl Jenkinson, Janet A Dunn, David J Meredith, Rosemary Bland, and Martin Hewison

Low serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is considered a consequence of elevated fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) and concomitant reduced activity of renal 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1). Current ESRD treatment strategies to increase serum calcium and suppress secondary hyperparathyroidism involve supplementation with vitamin D analogues that circumvent 1α-hydroxylase. This overlooks the potential importance of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency as a contributor to low serum 1,25(OH)2D. We investigated the effects of vitamin D (cholecalciferol) supplementation (40,000 IU for 12 weeks and maintenance dose of 20,000 IU fortnightly), on multiple serum vitamin D metabolites (25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D3 and 24,25(OH)2D3) in 55 haemodialysis patients. Baseline and 12 month data were compared using related-samples Wilcoxon signed rank test. All patients remained on active vitamin D analogues as part of routine ESRD care. 1,25(OH)2D3 levels were low at baseline (normal range: 60–120 pmol/L). Cholecalciferol supplementation normalised both serum 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D3. Median serum 25(OH)D increased from 35.1 nmol/L (IQR: 23.0–47.5 nmol/L) to 119.9 nmol/L (IQR: 99.5–143.3 nmol/L) (P < 0.001). Median serum 1,25(OH)2D3 and 24,25(OH)2D3 increased from 48.3 pmol/L (IQR: 35.9–57.9 pmol/L) and 3.8 nmol/L (IQR: 2.3–6.0 nmol/L) to 96.2 pmol/L (IQR: 77.1–130.6 pmol/L) and 12.3 nmol/L (IQR: 9–16.4 nmol/L), respectively (P < 0.001). A non-significant reduction in daily active vitamin D analogue dose occurred, 0.94 µmcg at baseline to 0.77 µmcg at 12 months (P = 0.73). The ability to synthesise 1,25(OH)2D3 in ESRD is maintained but is substrate dependent, and serum 25(OH)D was a limiting factor at baseline. Therefore, 1,25(OH)2D3 deficiency in ESRD is partly a consequence of 25(OH)D deficiency, rather than solely due to reduced 1α-hydroxylase activity as suggested by current treatment strategies.

Open access

Xiaoxia Jia, Yaxin An, Yuechao Xu, Yuxian Yang, Chang Liu, Dong Zhao, and Jing Ke

Background

Obesity is known as a common risk factor for osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Perirenal fat, surrounding the kidneys, has been reported to be unique in anatomy and biological functions. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perirenal fat and bone metabolism in patients with T2DM.

Methods

A total of 234 patients with T2DM were recruited from September 2019 to December 2019 in the cross-sectional study. The biochemical parameters and bone turnover markers (BTMs) were determined in all participants. Perirenal fat thickness (PrFT) was performed by ultrasounds via a duplex Doppler apparatus. Associations between PrFT and bone metabolism index were determined via correlation analysis and regression models.

Results

The PrFT was significantly correlated with β-C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (β-CTX) (r = −0.14, P < 0.036), parathyroid hormone (iPTH) (r = −0.18, P ≤ 0.006), and 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) (r = −0.14, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the association of PrFT and β-CTX (β = −0.136, P = 0.042) was independent of other variables.

Conclusion

This study showed a negative and independent association between PrFT and β-CTX in subjects with T2DM, suggesting a possible role of PrFT in bone metabolism. Follow-up studies and further research are necessary to validate the associations and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

Open access

Khaled Kabarra, Pegah Golabi, and Zobair M Younossi

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a spectrum of liver diseases ranging from simple fatty infiltration of liver parenchyma to the potentially progressive type of NAFLD called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Given the obesity epidemic, NAFLD and NASH have reached alarming levels globally. Recent data suggest that more than a quarter of the world population is affected by NAFLD; however, the disease prevalence is higher in certain patient population, that is, 55% prevalence rate among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Besides T2DM, NAFLD is also closely related to other metabolic abnormalities, such as visceral obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. It has been suggested that stage of liver fibrosis is the most important factor associated with mortality among patients with NAFLD. Additionally, patients with T2DM have increased risk of adverse outcomes. In addition to these metabolic abnormalities, older age and some genetic factors could pose additional risks. Patients with NAFLD and NASH have significantly impaired health-related quality of life than the general population. There is also a growing economical impact of NAFLD and NASH on healthcare systems around the globe. Despite a number of promising regimens as treatment options, healthy lifestyle modification with diet and exercise remains at the core of management of NAFLD and NASH.

Open access

Nannan Bian, Xiaomeng Sun, Biao Zhou, Lin Zhang, Qiu Wang, Yu An, Xiaohui Li, Yinhui Li, Jia Liu, Hua Meng, and Guang Wang

Objective

Bariatric surgery has become the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. Increasing evidence showed that bariatric surgery can alleviate insulin resistance and influence thyroid function. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between changes in thyroid function and adipose tissue insulin resistance (adipo-IR) after bariatric surgery.

Methods

A total of 287 non-diabetic participants with regular thyroid function were recruited and divided into the lean, overweight and obese groups. Among them, 50 morbidly obese patients submitted to bariatric surgery.

Results

The obese group had a higher level of adipo-IR, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (FT3), FT3/free thyroxine (FT4) and metabolism disorders than the lean and overweight groups. BMI was correlated with TSH, FT3, FT3/FT4 and adipo-IR (r = 0.309, 0.315, 0.322 and 0.651, respectively, all P < 0.001). Adipo-IR was significantly correlated with TSH (r = 0.402, P < 0.001), FT3 (r = 0.309, P < 0.001), and FT3/FT4 (r = 0.228, P < 0.05). Bariatric surgery resulted in a sharp decline in BMI, adipo-IR, TSH, FT3 and FT3/FT4 levels, meanwhile, metabolic disorders improved. The decrease in BMI after bariatric surgery was significantly correlated with reductions in adipo-IR (r = 0.577, P < 0.001) and TSH (r = 0.401, P = 0.005). Interestingly, the fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, adipo-IR and TSH in the higher TSH group decreased more remarkably than in the lower TSH group.

Conclusion

Obese individuals with higher TSH levels had an obvious metabolic improvement after bariatric surgery.

Open access

Marlena Mueller, Fahim Ebrahimi, Emanuel Christ, Christian Andreas Nebiker, Philipp Schuetz, Beat Mueller, and Alexander Kutz

Background

Primary hyperparathyroidism is a prevalent endocrinopathy for which surgery is the only curative option. Parathyroidectomy is primarily recommended in younger and symptomatic patients, while there are still concerns regarding surgical complications in older patients. We therefore assessed the association of age with surgical outcomes in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy in a large population in Switzerland.

Methods

Population-based cohort study of adult patients with primary hyperparathyroidism undergoing parathyroidectomy in Switzerland between 2012 and 2018. The cohort was divided into four age groups (<50 years, 50–64 years, 65–74 years, ≥75 years). The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital postoperative complications. Secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) admission, unplanned 30-day-readmission, and prolonged length of hospital stay.

Results

We studied 2642 patients with a median (IQR) age of 62 (53–71) years. Overall, 111 patients had complications including surgical re-intervention, hypocalcemia, and vocal cord paresis. As compared to <50 year-old patients, older patients had no increased risk for in-hospital complications after surgery (50–64 years: odds ratio (OR): 0.51 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.92); 65–74 years: OR: 0.72 (95% CI, 0.39 to 1.33); ≥75 years: OR: 1.03 (95% CI, 0.54 to 1.95), respectively. There was also no association of age and rates of ICU-admission and unplanned 30-day-readmission, but oldest patients had longer hospital stays (OR: 2.38 (95% CI, 1.57 to 3.60)).

Conclusion

≥50 year-old patients undergoing parathyroidectomy had comparable risk of in-hospital complications as compared with younger ones. These data support parathyroidectomy in even older patients with primary hyperparathyroidism as performed in clinical routine.

Open access

Marianna Martino, Paolo Falcioni, Giulia Giancola, Alessandro Ciarloni, Gianmaria Salvio, Francesca Silvetti, Augusto Taccaliti, and Giorgio Arnaldi

Objective

Dysnatremia is common in hospitalized patients, often worsening the prognosis in pneumopathies and critical illnesses. Information on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)-related hyponatremia is partially conflicting, whereas data on hypernatremia in this context are scarce. We assessed, in a cohort of COVID-19 inpatients: the prevalence of sodium alterations at admission and throughout their hospitalization; their association with inflammation/organ damage indexes; their short-term prognostic impact.

Study design and methods

117 patients (81 males, 64 ± 13 years) hospitalized for COVID-19 between 1 March and 30 April 2020 were retrospectively followed-up for their first 21 days of stay by collecting all serum sodium measurements, basal CRP and serum lactate levels, maximum IL-6 and information on care setting, required ventilation, length of hospitalization, in-hospital death.

Results

At admission, 26.5% patients had hyponatremia, and 6.8% had hypernatremia. During their hospitalization, 13.7% patients experienced both disorders ('mixed dysnatremia'). Lower sodium levels at admission were correlated with higher C reactive protein (CRP) (P = 0.039) and serum lactate levels (P = 0.019), but not interleukin-6 (IL-6). Hypernatremia and a wider sodium variability were associated with maximum required ventilation, need for ICU assistance and duration of the hospitalization. Mean estimated time to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission was 20 days shorter in patients exposed to sodium alterations at any time of their hospital course (log-rank test P = 0.032).

Conclusions

Sodium alterations frequently affect hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Hyponatremia could indicate pulmonary involvement, whereas hypernatremia is associated to prolonged hospitalization and the need for intensive care/mechanical ventilation, particularly when resulting from prior hyponatremia. Optimizing in-hospital sodium balance is crucial to improve patients’ prognosis.

Open access

Kyoungjune Pak, Seongho Seo, Myung Jun Lee, Keunyoung Kim, Sunghwan Suh, Hyung-Jun Im, and In Joo Kim

Brain dopamine neurotransmission is regulated by the dopamine transporter (DAT), which drives reuptake of extracellular dopamine into the presynaptic neurons. We hypothesized that the glucose loading dose would affect the striatal DAT availability. An i.v. bolus injection of 18F-FP-CIT was administered after infusion of low-dose glucose (300 mg/kg), high-dose glucose (600 mg/kg) or placebo (normal saline). The emission data were acquired over 90 min in 23 healthy male subjects. Substantial increases of binding potential (BPNDs) from ventral striatum (VST), caudate nucleus, and putamen were observed after low-dose glucose loading (+26.0, +87.0, and +37.8%) and after high-dose glucose loading (+10.4, +51.9, and +22.0%). BPNDs of the caudate nucleus and putamen showed significant differences (P = 0.0472 and 0.0221) after placebo, low-dose glucose, and high-dose glucose loading. BPNDs in the caudate nucleus and putamen after placebo, low-dose glucose, and high-dose glucose loading were positively intercorrelated with each other. In conclusion, striatal DAT changes after physiological glucose loading, but not after supraphysiological glucose loading in humans. DAT availabilities after placebo, low-dose glucose, high-dose glucose loading were correlated to each other in the caudate nucleus and putamen, but not in the VST. Therefore, sub-regional variability in DAT regulatory mechanisms mediated by insulin may exist in humans.

Open access

Clara Lundetoft Clausen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Trine Holm Johannsen, Linda Maria Hilsted, Niels Erik Skakkebæk, Pal Bela Szecsi, Lise Pedersen, Thomas Benfield, and Anders Juul

The hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid hormone axis might be affected in COVID-19, but existing studies have shown varying results. It has been hypothesized that hyperinflammation, as reflected by the secretion of cytokines, might induce thyroid dysfunction among patients with COVID-19. We explored thyroid hormone involvement in the acute phase of symptomatic COVID-19 and its possible associations with cytokine levels and mortality risk. This was a single-center study of 116 consecutive patients hospitalized for moderate-to-severe COVID-19 disease. Serum concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), and 45 cytokines/chemokines were measured in all patients within 3 days of admission. Data were extracted retrospectively through a manual review of health records. At admission, 95 (81.9%) were euthyroid; while 21 (18.1%) had biochemically thyroid dysfunction including subclinical thyrotoxicosis (n = 11), overt thyrotoxicosis (n = 2), hypothyroidism (n = 1), non-thyroidal illness (n = 2), and normal TSH but high free T4 (n = 5). TSH levels were inversely correlated with IL-8 (r s = –0.248), IL-10 (r s = –0.253), IL-15 (r s = –0.213), IP-10 (r s = –0.334), and GM-CSF (r s = –0.254). Moreover, IL-8 levels, IP-10, and GM-CSF were significantly higher in patients with serum TSH < 0.4 mIU/L. Lastly, a two-fold increment of IL-8 and IL-10 was associated with significantly higher odds of having TSH < 0.4 mIU/L (odds ratio 1.86 (1.11–3.10) and 1.78 (1.03–3.06)). Serum TSH was not associated with 30- or 90-day mortality. In conclusion, this study suggests that fluctuations of TSH levels in patients with COVID-19 may be influenced by circulating IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, IP-10, and GM-CSF as previously described in autoimmune thyroid diseases.

Open access

Yuanyuan Li, Dongmei Li, and Xingbo Cheng

Objective

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is common worldwide and seriously threatens maternal and infant health. The expression of non-coding (ncRNA) is tissue-specific and highly stable in eukaryotic cells and the circulatory system, which can act as an early molecular marker of GDM.

Methods

The differential expression of lncRNA and mRNA in the peripheral blood of patients with GDM (experimental group) and healthy pregnant women (control group) was analysed via lncRNA gene chip. Employing biological function clustering and KEGG signalling pathway analysis, we selected the mRNAs and lncRNAs closely related to the insulin signalling pathway of GDM to analyse the possible regulatory mechanism in the pathogenesis of GDM. The sequencing results were further verified via quantitative PCR (Q-PCR).

Results

LncRNA microarray analysis revealed 7498 genes (3592 upregulated, 3906 downregulated) differentially expressed in the GDM group and healthy pregnant women control group, including 1098 differentially expressed lncRNAs (609 upregulated, 489 downregulated). According to the regulatory pathway of the lncRNA mRNA network, 6 lncRNAs and 4 mRNAs were found to play a significant role in insulin resistance.

Conclusions

The lncRNAs ERMP1, TSPAN32 and MRPL38 form a co-expression network with TPH1, which is mainly involved in the tryptophan metabolism pathway and in the development of GDM. Moreover, lncRNA RPL13P5 forms a co-expression network with the TSC2 gene via the PI3K-AKT and insulin signalling pathways, which are involved in the process of insulin resistance in GDM.

Open access

Xichang Wang, Xiaochun Teng, Chenyan Li, Yushu Li, Jing Li, Weiping Teng, Zhongyan Shan, and Yaxin Lai

Objective

To conduct a questionnaire survey of the current clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism in China.

Methods

An online questionnaire survey was conducted in July 2020. The two questionnaires covered 35 and 8 questions about non-pregnancy and pregnancy clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism, respectively.

Results

One thousand, two hundred fifty-six physicians participated. Chief physicians and associate chief physicians accounted for 58.6% of the participants. Approximately 95.2% of the respondents chose the thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) test to clarify the etiology of thyrotoxicosis, while only 27.0% of them chose radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU). In terms of treatment for non-pregnant patients, anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) were the first choice, and most of the clinicians chose methimazole. Compared with clinicians in recent studies, Chinese physicians used serum TRAb to diagnose Graves’ disease more commonly, and there were obviously more physicians preferring ATDs. For maternal hyperthyroidism, most physicians preferred propylthiouracil administration before or during the first trimester, which is consistent with the 2016 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines. In terms of the initial ATD dose, monitoring the treatment process, indications for ATD withdrawal and treatment of special cases, the preferences of Chinese physicians were generally consistent with the guidelines.

Conclusion

Chinese physicians can generally follow the ATA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism. Moreover, there are small differences from foreign studies or the guidelines with respect to particular problems. These findings provide evidence for future clinical research in China.