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Open access

Selma Flora Nordqvist, Victor Brun Boesen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Laszlo Hegedüs, Steen Joop Bonnema, Per Karkov Cramon, Torquil Watt, Mogens Groenvold, and Jakob Bue Bjorner

Objective

ThyPRO is the standard thyroid patient-reported outcome (PRO). The change in scores that patients perceive as important remains to be ascertained. The purpose of this study was to determine values for minimal important change (MIC) for ThyPRO.

Methods

A total of 435 patients treated for benign thyroid diseases completed ThyPRO at baseline and 6 weeks following treatment initiation. At 6 weeks follow-up, patients also completed Global Rating of Change items. For each 0–100 scale, two MIC values were identified: An MIC for groups, using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method and an MIC for individual patients, using the Reliable Change Index.

Results

ROC analyses provided group-MIC estimates of 6.3–14.3 (score range 0–100). Evaluation of area under the curve (AUC) supported the robustness for 9 of 14 scales (AUC > 0.7). Reliable Change Index estimates of individual-MIC were 8.0–21.1. For all scales but two, the individual-MIC values were larger than the group-MIC values.

Conclusions

Interpretability of ThyPRO was improved by the establishment of MIC values, which was 6.3–14.3 for groups and 8.0–21.1 for individuals. Thus, estimates of which changes are clinically relevant, are now available for future studies. We recommend using MIC values found by ROC analyses to evaluate changes in groups of patients, whereas MIC values identified by a dual criterion, including the reliability of changes, should be used for individual patients, for example, to identify individual responders in clinical studies or practice.

Open access

Irfan Vardarli, Manuel Weber, Frank Weidemann, Dagmar Führer, Ken Herrmann, and Rainer Görges

Objective

The usefulness of routine calcitonin measurement for early detection of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in patients with nodular thyroid disease (NTD) has been investigated in various studies. Recently, a Cochrane review has been published on this issue, but a meta-analysis is lacking yet. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis.

Methods

We performed an electronic search using PubMed/Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library. Studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of routine calcitonin measurement for detecting MTC in patients with NDT were selected. Statistics were performed by using Stata software, risk of bias was assessed using Review Manager version 5.3.

Results

Seventeen studies, involving 74,407 patients were included in the study. Meta-analysis, using the bivariate random effects model and the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (HSROC) curve revealed the following pooled estimates: sensitivity 0.99 (95% CI, 0.81–1.00), specificity 0.99 (95% CI, 0.97–0.99), positive likelihood ratio (L+) 72.4 (95% CI, 32.3–162.1), and negative likelihood ratio (L−) 0.01 (95% CI, 0.00–0.23). Meta-regression analysis showed that the threshold of basal calcitonin is an independent factor, but in particular performing stimulation test is not an independent factor.

Conclusions

We showed that routine basal serum calcitonin measurement in the management of patients with thyroid nodules is valuable for the detection of MTC. However, the published cut-off values should be considered and, if applicable, the patients monitored in a wait-and-see strategy by experienced physicians to avoid overtreatment.

Open access

Franca Genest, Michael Schneider, Andreas Zehnder, Dominik Lieberoth-Leden, and Lothar Seefried

Purpose

Aging and concurrent constitutional changes as sarcopenia, osteoporosis and obesity are associated with progressive functional decline. Coincidence and mutual interference of this risk factors require further evaluation.

Methods

Cross-sectional evaluation of musculoskeletal health in a community-dwelling cohort of men aged 65–90 years. Objectives included descriptive analysis of age-related decline in physical performance, prevalence of osteoporosis (FRAX-Score), sarcopenia (EWGSOP criteria) and obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) and their coincidence/interference.

Results

Based on 507 participants assessed, aging was associated with progressive functional deterioration, regarding power (chair rise test −1.54% per year), performance (usual gait speed −1.38% per year) and muscle force (grip strength −1.52% per year) while muscle mass declined only marginally (skeletal muscle index −0.29% per year). Prevalence of osteoporosis was 41.8% (n = 212) while only 22.9% (n = 116) of the participants met the criteria for sarcopenia and 23.7% (n = 120) were obese. Osteosarcopenia was found in n = 79 (15.6%), sarcopenic obesity was present in 14 men (2.8%). A combination of all three conditions could be confirmed in n = 8 (1.6%). There was an inverse correlation of BMI with physical performance whereas osteoporosis and sarcopenia did not interfere with functional outcomes.

Conclusion

Based on current definitions, there is considerable overlap in the prevalence of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, while obesity appears to be a distinct problem. Functional decline appears to be associated with obesity rather than osteoporosis or sarcopenia. It remains to be determined to what extend obesity itself causes performance deficits or if obesity is merely an indicator of insufficient activity eventually predisposing to functional decline.

Open access

M Ingenwerth, T Brandenburg, D Führer-Sakel, M Goetz, F Weber, H Dralle, H-U Schildhaus, K W Schmid, and S Theurer

Medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC) are rare and aggressive neuroendocrine tumors of the thyroid. About 70% of MTC are sporadic; approximately 50% of those harbor somatic RET mutation. DLL3 is widely expressed in many neuroendocrine tumors and has been evaluated as a potential therapeutic target. Since stromal desmoplasia in sporadic MTC has been identified as a reliable predictor of aggressive behavior and development of lymph node metastases, a possible correlation of DLL3 expression with the presence of stromal desmoplasia was of particular interest. 59 paraffin-embedded samples of sporadic MTC with (44 cases) and without (15 cases) stromal desmoplasia and known lymph node status were included. DLL3 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry; no expression (0%), low expression (1–49%) and high expression (≥50%) were correlated with clinicopathological data. The proportion of DLL3 positivity was significantly correlated with both stromal desmoplasia (P < 0.0001) and lymph node metastases (P < 0.0001). MTC without stromal desmoplasia consistently lack DLL3 expression. This is the first study to focus on MTC regarding DLL3 expression and the relationship to various factors. Our results demonstrate that expression of DLL3 in MTC represents a reliable surrogate marker for stromal desmoplasia and lymph node metastases and might be an indicator for aggressive clinical behavior. DLL3 expression in ≥50% of tumor cells virtually excludes MTC without stromal desmoplasia. DLL3 was discussed as a potential therapeutic target in malignant tumors of other locations with positive immunohistochemical reaction and might therefore be a new therapeutic option in MTC, as well.

Open access

Bliss Anderson and Daniel L Morganstein

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are now widely used in the treatment of multiple cancers. The major toxicities of these treatments are termed immune-related adverse events and endocrine dysfunction is common. Thyroid disease, hypopituitarism and a form of diabetes resembling type 1 diabetes are now all well described, with different patterns emerging with different checkpoint inhibitors. We review the presentation and management of the common endocrine immune-related adverse events, and discuss a number of recent advances in the understanding of these important, potentially life threatening toxicities. We also discuss some remaining dilemmas in management.

Open access

Liangming Li, Yuan Wei, Chunlu Fang, Shujing Liu, Fu Zhou, Ge Zhao, Yaping Li, Yuan Luo, Ziyi Guo, Weiqun Lin, and Wenqi Yang

Exercise has been recommended as an important strategy to improve glucose metabolism in obesity. Adipose tissue fibrosis is associated with inflammation and is implicated in glucose metabolism disturbance and insulin resistance in obesity. However, the effect of exercise on the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exercise retarded the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis and ameliorated glucose homeostasis in diet-induced obese mice. To do so, obesity and adipose tissue fibrosis in mice were induced by high-fat diet feeding for 12 weeks and the mice subsequently received high-fat diet and exercise intervention for another 12 weeks. Exercise alleviated high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Continued high-fat diet feeding exacerbated collagen deposition and further increased fibrosis-related gene expression in adipose tissue. Exercise attenuated or reversed these changes. Additionally, PPARγ, which has been shown to inhibit adipose tissue fibrosis, was observed to be increased following exercise. Moreover, exercise decreased the expression of HIF-1α in adipose fibrosis, and adipose tissue inflammation was inhibited. In conclusion, our data indicate that exercise attenuates and even reverses the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis, providing a plausible mechanism for its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism in obesity.

Open access

Robert Rapaport, Jan M Wit, and Martin O Savage

The terms ‘idiopathic short stature’ (ISS) and ‘small for gestational age’ (SGA) were first used in the 1970s and 1980s. ISS described non-syndromic short children with undefined aetiology who did not have growth hormone (GH) deficiency, chromosomal defects, chronic illness, dysmorphic features or low birth weight. Despite originating in the pre-molecular era, ISS is still used as a diagnostic label today. The term ‘SGA’ was adopted by paediatric endocrinologists to describe children born with low birth weight and/or length, some of whom may experience lack of catch-up growth and present with short stature. GH treatment was approved by the FDA for short children born SGA in 2001, and by the EMA in 2003, and for the treatment of ISS in the US, but not Europe, in 2003. These approvals strengthened the terms ‘SGA’ and ‘ISS’ as clinical entities. While clinical and hormonal diagnostic techniques remain important, it is the emergence of genetic investigations that have led to numerous molecular discoveries in both ISS and SGA subjects. The primary message of this article is that the labels ISS and SGA are not definitive diagnoses. We propose that the three disciplines of clinical evaluation, hormonal investigation and genetic sequencing should have equal status in the hierarchy of short stature assessments and should complement each other to identify the true pathogenesis in poorly growing patients.

Open access

Huma Qamar, Nandita Perumal, Eszter Papp, Alison D Gernand, Abdullah Al Mahmud, and Daniel E Roth

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) reflects inadequate growth in-utero and is prevalent in low resource settings. This study aimed to assess the association of maternal delivery parathyroid hormone (PTH) – a regulator of bone turnover and calcium homeostasis – with newborn anthropometry, to identify regulators of PTH, and to delineate pathways by which maternal PTH regulates birth size using path analysis. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from participants (n = 537) enrolled in the Maternal Vitamin D for Infant Growth trial in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Primary exposures were maternal delivery intact PTH (iPTH) or whole PTH (wPTH) and outcomes were gestational age- and sex-standardized z-scores for birth length (LAZ), weight (WAZ), and head circumference (HCAZ). Hypothesized regulators of PTH included calcium and protein intake, vitamin D, magnesium, fibroblast-like growth factor-23 (FGF23), and C-reactive protein. Maternal iPTH was not associated with birth size in linear regression analyses; however, in path analysis models, every SD increase in log(iPTH) was associated with 0.08SD (95% CI: 0.002, 0.162) higher LAZ. In linear regression and path analysis models, wPTH was positively associated with WAZ. Vitamin D suppressed PTH, while FGF23 was positively associated with PTH. In path analysis models, higher magnesium was negatively associated with LAZ; FGF23 was positively associated and protein intake was negatively associated with LAZ, WAZ, and HCAZ. Higher maternal PTH in late pregnancy is unlikely to contribute to IUGR. Future studies should investigate maternal FGF23, magnesium and protein intake as regulators of fetal growth, particularly in settings where food insecurity and IUGR are public health problems.

Open access

Kelly Brewer, Isabel Nip, Justin Bellizzi, Jessica Costa-Guda, and Andrew Arnold

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism is most often caused by a sporadic single-gland parathyroid adenoma (PTA), a tumor type for which cyclin D1 is the only known and experimentally validated oncoprotein. However, the molecular origins of its frequent overexpression have remained mostly elusive. In this study, we explored a potential tumorigenic mechanism that could increase cyclin D1 stability through a defect in molecules responsible for its degradation.

Methods

We examined two tumor suppressor genes known to modulate cyclin D1 ubiquitination, PRKN and FBXO4 (FBX4), for evidence of classic two-hit tumor suppressor inactivation within a cohort of 82 PTA cases. We examined the cohort for intragenic inactivating and splice site mutations by Sanger sequencing and for locus-associated loss of heterozygosity (LOH) by microsatellite analysis.

Results

We identified no evidence of bi-allelic tumor suppressor inactivation of PRKN or FBXO4 via inactivating mutation or splice site perturbation, neither in combination with nor independent of LOH. Among the 82 cases, we encountered previously documented benign single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 35 tumors at frequencies similar to those reported in the germlines of the general population. Eight cases exhibited intragenic LOH at the PRKN locus, in some cases extending to cover at least an additional 1.7 Mb of chromosome 6q25-26. FBXO4 was not affected by LOH.

Conclusion:

The absence of evidence for specific bi-allelic inactivation in PRKN and FBXO4 in this sizeable cohort suggests that these genes only rarely, if ever, serve as classic driver tumor suppressors responsible for the growth of PTAs.