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Open access

Espen Nordheim and Trond Geir Jenssen

Chronic kidney disease is a common complication and concomitant condition of diabetes mellitus. The treatment of patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease, including intensive control of blood sugar and blood pressure, has been very similar for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. New therapeutic targets have shown promising results and may lead to more specific treatment options for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Henghai Huang, Qijian Ding, Xiaocao Lin, Delin Li, Jingjing Zeng, and Weijin Fu

Background

Adrenal schwannomas (AS) are extremely rare neoplasms. This study shares our experience regarding the diagnosis and operative management of AS.

Methods

Clinical details, radiologic, laboratory, and pathologic findings as well as follow-up data were analysed retrospectively for 13 AS patients who accepted surgery at a tertiary referral hospital in China between 1 January 1996, and 31 December 2017.

Results

The mean age of the patients at diagnosis was 44.7 ± 13.7 years (range 19–62 years; male: female ratio, 1:1.16), of whom seven patients had unilateral AS on the right side, and the remaining six on the left side. None of the cases were hormonally active. None of the 13 cases were diagnosed as AS by CT imaging before the operation. Among the patients, ten were asymptomatic. The mean preoperative size was 7.1 ± 3.2 cm (range 1.6–12.6 cm). All patients underwent surgery, with open adrenalectomy in five patients and laparoscopy in eight patients. The mean tumor size on pathologic examination was 6.8 ± 3.0 cm (range 3.0–11.7 cm). The surgical specimens were confirmed by pathological examination. During a median follow-up of 60.8 ± 17.7 months, no patients showed recurrence or metastasis.

Conclusion

The preoperative diagnosis of AS remains difficult despite the advances in imaging examinations. After complete resection, the prognosis of AS is excellent.

Open access

Johanna Christina Penell, Mark M Kushnir, Lars Lind, Jonatan Bergquist, Jonas Bergquist, P Monica Lind, and Tord Naessen

Objectives

Circulating concentrations of endogenous steroids have systemic implications on health in elderly. However, population-based age- and ethnicity-specific data are scarce. The aim was to report sex-specific plasma concentrations of endogenous sex and adrenal steroids in elderly Swedish Caucasians, to examine the impact of BMI and to present concentrations in apparently healthy subjects.

Methods

A population-based observational study of 70-year olds, including 684 community-dwelling men and women enrolled in the PIVUS study, Sweden. Median plasma concentrations were determined using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for pregnenolone, 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-hydroxy-progesterone, 11-deoxycortisol, DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, estrone and estradiol.

Results

Plasma concentrations were significantly higher in men (n = 452) than in women (n = 232) for estradiol: median 61.3 pmol/L (95% CI, 11.4, 142.7) vs 18.4 (4.0, 127.3), for estrone: 92.8 (33.3, 206) vs 71.6 (17.8, 209) pmol/L, and for testosterone 13.8 (5.7, 28.0) vs 0.7 (0.2, 2.0) nmol/L. Higher concentrations of estrone and estradiol were observed in obese than non-obese women. Compared to non-obese men, obese men had lower concentrations of testosterone and its precursors: 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and DHEA. The subgroup of apparently healthy individuals had median values > 20% lower for estrone and estradiol in women but slightly higher for testosterone in both sexes.

Conclusions

Concentrations of estradiol, estrone and testosterone were higher in 70-year-old men than in women. BMI associated positively to estradiol and estrone in women and negatively to testosterone in men. Apparently healthy women had lower median concentrations of estradiol and estrone and men had higher median testosterone compared to all individuals.

Open access

Antonina Khoruzhenko, Françoise Miot, Claude Massart, Jacqueline Van Sande, Jacques Emile Dumont, Renaud Beauwens, and Alain Boom

Background

Long-term maintenance of functional activity of thyroid cells is an essential requirement for basic in vitro studies on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid. An important prerequisite of thyrocytes’ functional activity in vivo and in vitro is their follicle organization.

Aim

This study aimed at developing a method of cultivation of functionally active rat thyroid follicles in Matrigel under three-dimensional conditions.

Methods

Undamaged rat thyroid follicles were isolated by enzymatic digestion with collagenase/dispase, then embedded into Matrigel, and cultivated for 2 weeks. Thyroglobulin, thyroxine and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) localization were revealed by immunofluorescence analysis. Iodide organification was tested by protein-bound 125I (PBI) measurement.

Results

Integrity of the follicles was preserved during the whole period of cultivation and was confirmed by 3D reconstruction of ZO-1 localization. Thyroglobulin was detected in the thyrocyte cytoplasm, as well as in the intrafollicular lumen. Thyroxine was observed predominantly at the apical side of thyrocytes. Also, generated cultures were characterized by a high level of iodide organification: PB125I represented 39% of the total radioactivity in the Matrigel drop embedding the follicles; at the same time, methimazole almost totally inhibited this process (0.2% of total radioactivity).

Conclusion

The method of rat thyrocyte cultivation in Matrigel, as described here allows to maintain the structural integrity and the functional activity of thyroid follicles in vitro and could be used for wide ranges of basic and applied researches in thyroidology.

Open access

María L Bacigalupo, Verónica G Piazza, Nadia S Cicconi, Pablo Carabias, Andrzej Bartke, Yimin Fang, Ana I Sotelo, Gabriel A Rabinovich, María F Troncoso, and Johanna G Miquet

Open access

Heike Hoyer-Kuhn, Angela Huebner, Anette Richter-Unruh, Markus Bettendorf, Tilman Rohrer, Klaus Kapelari, Stefan Riedl, Klaus Mohnike, Helmuth-Günther Dörr, Friedrich-Wilhelm Roehl, Katharina Fink, Reinhard W Holl, and Joachim Woelfle

Objective

Treatment of classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is necessary to compensate for glucocorticoid/mineralocorticoid deficiencies and to suppress androgen excess. Hydrocortisone (HC) is preferred in growing children with classic CAH but recommendations regarding dosage/administration are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to evaluate HC dosing in children with CAH in relation to chronological age, sex, and phenotype based on a multicenter CAH registry.

Design

The CAH registry was initiated in 1997 by the AQUAPE in Germany. On December 31st 2018, data from 1571 patients were included.

Methods

A custom-made electronic health record software is used at the participating centers. Pseudonymized data are transferred for central analysis. Parameters were selected based on current guidelines. Descriptive analyses and linear regression models were implemented with SAS 9.4.

Results

We identified 1288 patients on exclusive treatment with hydrocortisone three times daily (604 boys; median age 7.2 years; 817 salt-wasting phenotype, 471 simple-virilizing phenotype). The mean (lower-upper quartiles) daily HC dose (mg/m² body surface area) was 19.4 (18.9–19.8) for patients <3 months (n = 329), 15.0 (14.6–15.3) for age ≥3–12 months (n = 463), 14.0 (13.7–14.3) for age 1–5.9 years (n = 745), 14.2 (14.0–14.5) for age 6 years to puberty entry (n = 669), and 14.9 (14.6–15.2) during puberty to 18 years (n = 801). Fludrocortisone was administered in 74.1% of patients with a median daily dosage of 88.8 µg.

Conclusion

Our analyses showed that still a high proportion of children are treated with HC doses higher than recommended. This evaluation provides comprehensive information on nationwide hydrocortisone substitution dosages in children with CAH underlining the benefit of systematic data within a registry to assess daily practice.

Open access

Alice Costantini, Mari H Muurinen, and Outi Mäkitie

In the last decade, the widespread use of massively parallel sequencing has considerably boosted the number of novel gene discoveries in monogenic skeletal diseases with short stature. Defects in genes playing a role in the maintenance and function of the growth plate, the site of longitudinal bone growth, are a well-known cause of skeletal diseases with short stature. However, several genes involved in extracellular matrix composition or maintenance as well as genes partaking in various biological processes have also been characterized. This review aims to describe the latest genetic findings in spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias, spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasias, and some monogenic forms of isolated short stature. Some examples of novel genetic mechanisms leading to skeletal conditions with short stature will be described. Strategies on how to successfully characterize novel skeletal phenotypes with short stature and genetic approaches to detect and validate novel gene-disease correlations will be discussed in detail. In summary, we review the latest gene discoveries underlying skeletal diseases with short stature and emphasize the importance of characterizing novel molecular mechanisms for genetic counseling, for an optimal management of the disease, and for therapeutic innovations.

Open access

Qingrong Pan, Shuxin Gao, Xia Gao, Ning Yang, Zhi Yao, Yanjin Hu, Li Miao, Zhe Chen, and Guang Wang

Objective

It has been found that both serum homocysteine (Hcy) and serum creatinine levels were increased in hypothyroidism patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between serum Hcy and kidney function in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Methods

A total of 448 subjects were enrolled and divided into three groups: hypothyroidism (n = 129), subclinical hypothyroidism (n = 141), and control group (n = 168). Anthropometric information, metabolic parameters, serum Hcy and creatinine levels, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were analyzed.

Results

Compared with healthy subjects, patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism had significantly higher serum Hcy and creatinine levels and lower eGFR level (all P < 0.001). Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.220, P = 0.009), and in hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.422, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex and BMI, eGFR was still significantly correlated with serum Hcy in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.05). Levothyroxine treatment resulted in significantly decreased Hcy and increased eGFR in hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.001). The decrease in Hcy was correlated with the increased eGFR after treatment (P = 0.001).

Conclusion

Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients. After levothyroxine treatment, a correlation was found between the decrease in serum Hcy and the increase in eGFR in hypothyroidism patients.

Open access

Athanasios Zervas, George Chrousos, and Sarantis Livadas

‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, a fairytale that is widely known across the Western world, was originally written by the Brothers Grimm, and published in 1812 as ‘Snow White’. Though each dwarf was first given an individual name in the 1912 Broadway play, in Walt Disney’s 1937 film ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, they were renamed, and the dwarfs have become household names. It is well known that myths, fables, and fairytales, though appearing to be merely children’s tales about fictional magical beings and places, have, more often than not, originated from real facts. Therefore, the presence of the seven brothers with short stature in the story is, from an endocrinological point of view, highly intriguing, in fact, thrilling. The diversity of the phenotypes among the seven dwarfs is also stimulating, although puzzling. We undertook a differential diagnosis of their common underlying disorder based on the original Disney production’s drawings and the unique characteristics of these little gentlemen, while we additionally evaluated several causes of short stature and, focusing on endocrine disorders that could lead to these clinical features among siblings, we have, we believe, been able to reveal the underlying disease depicted in this archetypal tale.

Open access

Melony C Fortuin-de Smidt, Amy E Mendham, Jon Hauksson, Ali Alhamud, Darko Stefanovski, Olah Hakim, Jeroen Swart, Louise M Goff, Steven E Kahn, Tommy Olsson, and Julia H Goedecke

The role of ectopic fat, insulin secretion and clearance in the preservation ofβ-cell function in black African women with obesity who typically present with hyperinsulinaemia is not clear. We aim to examine the associations between disposition index (DI, an estimate of β-cell function), insulin secretion and clearance and ectopic fat deposition. This is a cross-sectional study of 43 black South African women (age 20–35 years) with obesity (BMI 30–40 kg/m2) and without type 2 diabetes that measured the following: DI, insulin sensitivity (SI), acute insulin response (AIRg), insulin secretion rate (ISR), hepatic insulin extraction and peripheral insulin clearance (frequently sampled i.v. glucose tolerance test); pancreatic and hepatic fat, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal s.c. adipose tissue (aSAT) volume (MRI), intra-myocellular (IMCL) and extra-myocellular fat content (EMCL) (magnetic resonance spectroscopy). DI correlated positively with peripheral insulin clearance (β 55.80, P = 0.002). Higher DI was associated with lower VAT, pancreatic fat and soleus fat, but VAT explained most of the variance in DI (32%). Additionally, higher first phase ISR (P = 0.033) and lower hepatic insulin extraction (P = 0.022) were associated with lower VAT, independent from SI, rather than with ectopic fat. In conclusion, peripheral insulin clearance emerged as an important correlate of DI. However, VAT was the main determinant of a lower DI above ectopic fat depots. Importantly, VAT, but not ectopic fat, is associated with both lower insulin secretion and higher hepatic insulin extraction. Prevention of VAT accumulation in young black African women should, therefore, be an important target for beta cell preservation.