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Open access

Yue-Yue Wang, Qian Wu, Lu Chen, Wen Chen, Tao Yang, Xiao-Quan Xu, Fei-Yun Wu, Hao Hu, and Huan-Huan Chen

Purpose

To evaluate the value of MRI-based texture analysis of extraocular muscle (EOM) and orbital fat (OF) in monitoring and predicting the response to glucocorticoid (GC) therapy in patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO).

Methods

Thirty-seven active and moderate-to-severe TAO patients (responders, n = 23; unresponders, n = 14) were retrospectively enrolled. MRI-based texture parameters (entropy, uniformity, skewness and kurtosis) of EOM and OF were measured before and after GC therapy, and compared between groups. Correlations between the changes of clinical activity score (CAS) and imaging parameters before and after treatment were assessed. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to evaluate the predictive value of identified variables.

Results

Responsive TAOs showed significantly decreased entropy and increased uniformity at EOM and OF after GC therapy (P < 0.01), while unresponders showed no significance. Changes of entropy and uniformity at EOM and OF were significantly correlated with changes of CAS before and after treatment (P < 0.05). Responders showed significantly lower entropy and higher uniformity at EOM than unresponders before treatment (P < 0.01). Entropy and uniformity of EOM and disease duration were identified as independent predictors for responsive TAOs. Combination of all three variables demonstrated optimal efficiency (area under curve, 0.802) and sensitivity (82.6%), and disease duration alone demonstrated optimal specificity (100%) for predicting responsive TAOs.

Conclusion

MRI-based texture analysis can reflect histopathological heterogeneity of orbital tissues. It could be useful for monitoring and predicting the response to GC in TAO patients.

Open access

Qi Zhang, Hongshan Wang, Yanhong Xie, Suming Huang, Ke Chen, Botian Ye, Yupeng Yang, Jie Sun, Hongyong He, Fenglin Liu, Zhenbin Shen, Weidong Chen, Kuntang Shen, Yuan Ji, and Yihong Sun

A new subcategory, grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors, is incorporated into the grading system of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms in the 2017 WHO classification in order to differentiate grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors from neuroendocrine carcinomas. The 2019 WHO classification extends the concept of grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors to gastrointestinal high grade neuroendocrine neoplasms. However, there is still limited study focusing on the gastric grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors and gastric neuroendocrine carcinomas. We retrospectively enrolled 151 gastric high grade neuroendocrine neoplasms patients, who underwent radical resection from January 2007 to December 2015. Clinicopathologic and prognostic features were studied. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was used to verify the prognostic determinants found in Zhongshan cohort. Neuroendocrine carcinomas showed higher Ki67 index and higher mitotic count than grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors. We identified 109 (72.2%) patients of neuroendocrine carcinomas, 12 (7.9%) patients of grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors and 30 (19.9%) patients of mixed neuroendocrine non-neuroendocrine neoplasms. Although neuroendocrine carcinomas demonstrated higher Ki67 index (p=0.004) and mitoses (p=0.001) than grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors, their prognosis after radical resection did not demonstrate significant differences (p=0.709). Tumor size, perineural invasion and TNM stage were independent prognostic factors of gastric high grade neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Open access

Daisuke Watanabe, Satoshi Morimoto, Noriko Morishima, and Atsuhiro Ichihara

Objective

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is divided into two major subtypes, aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and bilateral idiopathic hyperplasia (IHA) and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events. However, the nature of vascular function in PA patients remains to be determined. The aim of this study was to determine the vascular function and investigate the implications of vascular function assessments in the patients.

Methods

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), as an index of endothelial function, and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), as an index of arterial stiffness, were retrospectively compared between 42 patients with APA, 37 patients with IHA, and 42 patients with essential hypertension (EH). These values were also compared with background factors, KCNJ5 mutation and clinical outcome in terms of blood pressure reduction after adrenalectomy in the APA group.

Results

FMD was significantly lower in the APA group (4.8 ± 2.1%) and IHA group (4.1 ± 1.9%) than in the EH group (5.7 ± 2.1%). CAVI did not differ significantly among groups. Although no significant correlations were seen between FMD and background factors in the IHA group, FMD correlated negatively with BMI and plasma aldosterone concentration in the APA group (rs = −0.313, rs = −0.342, respectively). KCNJ5 mutational status was not associated with FMD value. High FMD was associated with blood pressure normalization after adrenalectomy in the APA group.

Conclusions

Patients with PA displayed impaired endothelial function. Complete clinical success after adrenalectomy was associated with preserved endothelial function. This study provides a better understanding of FMD assessment in patients with PA.

Open access

Xiaoli Liu, Lanxiang Liu, Rui Wang, Xiaojiao Jia, Binbin Liu, Ning Ma, and Qiang Lu

Background

We aimed to investigate early arteriosclerosis and its risk factors in populations with prediabetes and new-onset diabetes.

Materials and methods

A total of 148 participants who did not have diabetes mellitus were assigned to three groups through an oral glucose tolerance test: the normal glucose tolerance (NGT) group; the impaired glucose regulation, also known as prediabetes group and the new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus group. The insulin resistance index was assessed using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). An ELISA was used to determine the level of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). An arteriosclerosis detector was used to measure the brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and ankle-brachial index (ABI). The baPWV, ABI, and FGF21 were used to assess early arteriosclerosis.

Results

Significant differences in age, systolic blood pressure (SBP), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-h plasma glucose (2hPG), 2-h insulin (2hINS), and HOMA-IR were found between the NGT group and the prediabetes and new-onset diabetes groups. All of the above, except 2hINS, showed an increasing trend. Moreover, the FGF21 was higher in the new-onset diabetes group than in the NGT group. The baPWV was higher in the new-onset diabetes group than in the other two groups, but no significant difference was noted in the ABI. Age, SBP, diastolic blood pressure, FPG, 2hPG, and FGF21 were positively correlated with the baPWV. In addition, FPG, SBP, FGF21, and HOMA-IR were independent risk factors for the baPWV.

Conclusions

Patients with prediabetes and new-onset diabetes may have more significant early arteriosclerosis. The blood glucose level and insulin resistance index may be independent risk factors for early arteriosclerosis.

Open access

Bharat Kumar, Madhukar Mittal, Maya Gopalakrishnan, Mahendra K Garg, and Sanjeev Misra

Objective

Plasma glucose has been correlated with in-hospital mortality among many diseases including infections. We aimed to study the plasma glucose at the admission of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at a tertiary care referral hospital at Jodhpur, India and its relation with mortality.

Design

A hospital-based clinical study of plasma glucose of COVID-19 patients conducted from May 15 to June 30, 2020 after ethical approval.

Measurements

Random blood samples at admission were collected for plasma glucose, interleukin-6 (IL6) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) after written informed consent was obtained. Plasma glucose was analyzed by the automated analyzer, IL6 by chemiluminescent immunoassay and hsCRP by immune-turbidimetric assay.

Results

A total of 386 patients were studied (female 39.6%); 11.1% had severe disease and 4.1% expired. There were 67 (17.4%) patients with known diabetes mellitus (DM). Patients with a history of DM had three times higher mortality (6/67, 9%) than those without DM (10/309, 3.1%). Patients with moderate and severe disease according to ICMR and WHO grading had higher plasma glucose than those with asymptomatic or mild disease (P < 0.0001). Plasma glucose levels at admission were significantly higher in non-survivors when compared to those who survived (297 ± 117 vs 131 ± 73; P < 0.0001). COVID-19 patients showed increased mortality with incremental plasma glucose levels. The hazard ratio for mortality was 1.128 (95% CI 0.86–14.860), 1.883 (95% CI 0.209–16.970), and 4.005 (95% CI 0.503–32.677) in random plasma glucose group of >100–200, >200–300 and >300 mg/dL, respectively, compared to those with random plasma glucose of <100 mg/dL at admission. Plasma glucose was strongly correlated with hsCRP (P < 0.001) and IL6 (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Plasma glucose at admission in hospitalized COVID-19 patients is a strong predictor of mortality.

Open access

Yardena Tenenbaum-Rakover, Osnat Admoni, Ghadir Elias-Assad, Shira London, Marie Noufi-Barhoum, Hanna Ludar, Tal Almagor, Yoav Zehavi, Charles Sultan, Rita Bertalan, Anu Bashamboo, and Kenneth McElreavey

Objective

Disorders of sex development (DSD) are defined as congenital conditions in which the development of chromosomal, gonadal and anatomical sex is atypical. Despite wide laboratory and imaging investigations, the etiology of DSD is unknown in over 50% of patients.

Methods

We evaluated the etiology of DSD by whole-exome sequencing (WES) at a mean age of 10 years in nine patients for whom extensive evaluation, including hormonal, imaging and candidate gene approaches, had not identified an etiology.

Results

The eight 46,XY patients presented with micropenis, cryptorchidism and hypospadias at birth and the 46,XX patient presented with labia majora fusion. In seven patients (78%), pathogenic variants were identified for RXFP2, HSD17B3, WT1, BMP4, POR, CHD7 and SIN3A. In two atients, no causative variants were found. Mutations in three genes were reported previously with different phenotypes: an 11-year-old boy with a novel de novo variant in BMP4; such variants are mainly associated with microphthalmia and in few cases with external genitalia anomalies in males, supporting the role of BMP4 in the development of male external genitalia; a 12-year-old boy with a known pathogenic variant in RXFP2, encoding insulin-like 3 hormone receptor, and previously reported in adult men with cryptorchidism; an 8-year-old boy with syndromic DSD had a de novo deletion in SIN3A.

Conclusions

Our findings of molecular etiologies for DSD in 78% of our patients indicate a major role for WES in early DSD diagnosis and management – and highlights the importance of rapid molecular diagnosis in early infancy for sex of rearing decisions.

Open access

Min Yang, Xiangling Deng, Shunan Wang, Bo Zhou, Wenquan Niu, and Zhixin Zhang

Objectives

We aimed to identify and characterize potential factors, both individually and jointly as a nomogram, associated with short stature and pre-shortness in Chinese preschool-aged children.

Methods

Total of 9501 children aged 3–6 years were recruited from 30 kindergartens in Beijing and Tangshan from September to December 2020 using a stratified random sampling method. Effect-size estimates are expressed as odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI.

Results

The prevalence of short stature and pre-shortness in preschool-aged children was 3.9% (n = 375) and 13.1% (n = 1616), respectively. Factors simultaneously associated with the significant risk for short stature, pre-shortness and both included BMI, paternal height, maternal height, birth weight, birth height, latter birth order (≥2) and less parental patience to children. Besides, breastfeeding duration (≥12 months) was exclusively associated with pre-shortness (OR, 95% CI, P: 1.16, 1.01 to 1.33, 0.037), and childhood obesity with both short stature (3.45, 2.62 to 4.54, <0.001) and short stature/pre-shortness (1.37, 1.15 to 1.64, <0.001). Modeling of significant factors in nomograms had descent prediction accuracies, with the C-index being 77.0, 70.1 and 71.2% for short stature, pre-shortness and both, respectively (all P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Our findings indicate the joint contribution of inherited characteristics, nutrition status from the uterus to childhood, and family psychological environment to short stature and pre-shortness in Chinese preschool-aged children. Further validation in other independent groups is warranted.

Open access

Ana Podbregar, Tomaž Kocjan, Matej Rakuša, Peter Popović, Manca Garbajs, Katja Goricar, Andrej Janez, and Mojca Jensterle

Most data on the natural history of nonfunctioning adrenal incidentalomas (NFAI) are provided by follow-ups up to 5 years. We conducted a 10.5 (9.1–11.9)-year prospective follow-up study of NFAI in 67 participants (20 (29.9%) males, 47 (70.1%) females) of mean age 57.9 (52.3–63.9) years and BMI 27.42 (24.07–30.56) kg/m2). We also evaluated the associations between baseline BMI and changes of NFAIs’ characteristics at follow-up. Progression to mild autonomous cortisol excess (MACE) was observed in 15 (22 %) patients, with 14 of them having post overnight dexamethasone suppression test (ODST) cortisol between 50 and138 nmol/L and only one > 138 nmol/L. The progression rate was significantly higher in overweight and obese than in normal-weight subjects. Patients that developed MACE had a significantly higher baseline mean cortisol after 1 mg ODST. Tumor enlargement ≥10 mm occurred in 8.9% of patients. In comparison with reports of shorter observational periods, we observed a higher growth rate ≥ 10 mm and higher progression rate from NFAI to MACE, particularly in overweight and obese subjects. All tumors had persistent radiological characteristics typical for adrenal adenoma. We concluded that the duration of the follow-up period is an important factor in characterizing the natural history of NFAI. Higher baseline BMI and higher baseline cortisol after ODST might predict the long-term likelihood of progression in hormonal activity. The magnitudes of observed progressions in growth or hormonal activity were clinically insignificant. Our long-term follow-up, therefore, clearly supports the general view that a long-term monitoring of patients with NFAI is not necessary.

Open access

Weidi Wang, Lingjun Kong, Hongkun Guo, and Xiangjin Chen

Abstract

Background

The presence of clinically negative nodules on the contralateral lobe is common in patients with unilateral papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). The appropriate operational strategies of contralateral thyroid nodules remain controversial. In this study, we analyzed clinical features that could be predictors for malignancy of contralateral thyroid nodules coexisting with diagnosed unilateral PTMC.

Methods

The literatures published from January 2000 to December 2019 were searched in PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, CNKI, and Wan Fang database. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI was used to describe categorical variables. Heterogeneity among studies was examined by the Q test and I2 test; potential publication bias was detected by Harbord test and ‘trim and fill’ method.

Results

In this meta-analysis, 2541 studies were searched and 8 studies were finally included. The results showed that the rate of carcinoma in contralateral nodules was 23% (OR = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.18–0.29). The pooled data indicated that contralateral malignancy was not associated with age, gender, primary lesion size, ipsilateral central lymph node metastasis and multifocality of contralateral lesion. The following variables have correlations with an increased risk of contralateral malignancy: multifocality of primary carcinomas (OR = 3.93, 95% CI = 2.70–5.73, P < 0.0001), capsular invasion (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.10–2.36, P = 0.01), and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.13–2.20, P = 0.008).

Conclusions

Based on our meta-analysis, the rate at which contralateral malignancies are preoperatively misdiagnosed as benign is 23%. The risk factors for contralateral malignancy in unilateral PTMC patients with contralateral clinical negative nodules include multifocality of primary carcinomas, capsular invasion, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Open access

Meihua Jin, Woo Kyung Lee, Mi-Hyeon You, Ahreum Jang, Sheue-yann Cheng, Won Gu Kim, Min Ji Jeon, and Yu-Mi Lee

Background

Catabolism of serine via serine hydroxymethyltransferase2 (SHMT2) through the mitochondrial one-carbon unit pathway is important in tumorigenesis. Therefore, SHMT2 may play a role in thyroid cancer.

Methods

Thyroid tissue samples and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were used to evaluate SHMT2 expression in thyroid tissues and the association with clinical outcomes.

Results

SHMT2 protein expression was evaluated in thyroid tissues consisting of 52 benign nodules, 129 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) and matched normal samples, and 20 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC). ATCs presented the highest (95.0%) positivity of SMHT2 protein expression. PTCs showed the second highest (73.6%) positivity of SHMT2 expression, which was significantly higher than that of benign nodules (19.2%, P = 0.016) and normal thyroid tissues (0%, P < 0.001). Analysis of TCGA data showed that SHMT2 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was significantly higher in tumors than in normal tissues (P < 0.001). When we classified thyroid cancer into high and low groups according to SHMT2 mRNA expression levels, the thyroid differentiation score for the high SHMT2 group was significantly lower than that of the low SHMT2 group (P < 0.001). There was also a significant correlation between SHMT2 mRNA expression and the stemness index (r = 0.41, P < 0.001). The high SHMT2 group had more advanced TNM stages and shorter progression-free survival rates than the low SHMT2 group (P < 0.01 and P = 0.007, respectively).

Conclusion

SHMT2 expression is higher in thyroid cancers than normal or benign tissues and is associated with de-differentiation and poor clinical outcomes. Thus, SHMT2 might be useful as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for thyroid cancer.