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Open access

Anna Eremkina, Julia Krupinova, Ekaterina Dobreva, Anna Gorbacheva, Ekaterina Bibik, Margarita Samsonova, Alina Ajnetdinova, and Natalya Mokrysheva

Hypercalcemic crisis is a severe but rare complication of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), and data on denosumab treatment of patients with this disease is still very limited. The aim of this paper is to investigate the hypocalcemic effect of denosumab in PHPT patients with severe hypercalcemia when surgery should be delayed or is impossible for some reasons. We performed a retrospective study of 10 patients. The analysis included the use of biochemical markers of calcium-phosphorus metabolism, which were followed after the administration of 60 mg of denosumab. The trend to calcium reduction was already determined on the 3rd day after denosumab administration. In most cases the decrease in serum calcium level to the range of 2.8 mmol/L on average or lower was observed on the 7th day (P = 0.002). In addition to a significant increase in calcium levels we confirmed a significant increase in the estimated glomerular filtration rate on 7th day (P = 0.012). After that, seven patients underwent successful parathyroidectomy and achieved eucalcemia or hypocalcemia, one patient developed the recurrence of parathyroid cancer after initial surgery, while two patients with severe cardiovascular pathology refused surgery. Our study shows that denosumab is a useful tool in PHPT-associated hypercalcemia before surgery or if surgery is contraindicated.

Open access

Grethe Å Ueland, Thea Grinde, Paal Methlie, Oskar Kelp, Kristian Løvås, and Eystein S Husebye

Objective:

Autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) is a condition with ACTH-independent cortisol overproduction from adrenal incidentalomas (AI) or adrenal hyperplasia. The hypercortisolism is often mild, and most patients lack typical clinical features of overt Cushing’s syndrome (CS). ACS is not well defined and diagnostic tests lack validation.

Methods:

Retrospective study of 165 patients with AI evaluated clinically and by assay of morning plasma ACTH, late-night saliva cortisol, serum DHEA sulphate (DHEAS), 24-h urine-free cortisol, and cortisol after dexamethasone suppression.

Results:

Patients with AI (n = 165) were diagnosed as non-functioning incidentalomas (NFI) (n = 82) or ACS (n = 83) according to current European guidelines. Late-night saliva cortisol discriminated poorly between NFI and ACS, showing a high rate of false-positive (23/63) and false-negative (38/69) results. The conventional low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) did not improve the diagnostic specificity, compared with the 1 mg overnight DST. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of DHEAS in the two cohorts demonstrated an area under the curve of 0.76 (P < 0.01) with a sensitivity for ACS of 58% and a specificity of 80% using the recommended cutoff at 1.04 µmol/L (40 µg/dL).

Conclusion:

We here demonstrate in a large retrospective cohort of incidentaloma patients, that neither DHEAS, late-night saliva cortisol nor 24-h urine free cortisol are useful to discriminate between non-functioning adrenal incidentalomas and ACS. The conventional LDDST do not add further information compared with the 1 mg overnight DST. Alternative biomarkers are needed to improve the diagnostic workup of ACS.

Open access

Lina S Silva-Bermudez, Freddy J K Toloza, Maria C Perez-Matos, Russell J de Souza, Laura Banfield, Andrea Vargas-Villanueva, and Carlos O Mendivil

Objective

To estimate the effect of oral contraceptives (OC) containing different progestins on parameters of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Patients and methods

Premenopausal women aged 18 or older, who received oral contraceptives containing chlormadinone, cyproterone, drospirenone, levonorgestrel, desogestrel, dienogest, gestodene or norgestimate, for at least 3 months. Outcome variables were changes in plasma lipids, BMI, insulin resistance and plasma glucose. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for randomized trials and estimated the pooled within-group change in each outcome variable using a random-effects model. We performed subgroup analyses by study duration (<12 months vs ≥12 months) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) status.

Results

Eighty-two clinical trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All progestins (except dienogest) increased plasma TG, ranging from 12.1 mg/dL for levonorgestrel (P < 0.001) to 35.1 mg/dL for chlormadinone (P < 0.001). Most progestins also increased HDLc, with the largest effect observed for chlormadinone (+9.6 mg/dL, P < 0.001) and drospirenone (+7.4 mg/dL, P < 0.001). Meanwhile, levonorgestrel decreased HDLc by 4.4 mg/dL (P < 0.001). Levonorgestrel (+6.8 mg/dL, P < 0.001) and norgestimate (+11.5 mg/dL, P = 0.003) increased LDLc, while dienogest decreased it (–7.7 mg/dL, P = 0.04). Cyproterone slightly reduced plasma glucose. None of the progestins affected BMI or HOMA-IR. Similar results were observed in subgroups defined by PCOS or study duration.

Conclusion

Most progestins increase both TG and HDLc, their effect on LDLc varies widely. OC have minor or no effects on BMI, HOMA-IR and glycemia. The antiandrogen progestins dienogest and cyproterone displayed the most favorable metabolic profile, while levonorgestrel displayed the least favorable.

Open access

Marra Jai Aghajani, Tao Yang, Ulf Schmitz, Alexander James, Charles Eugenio McCafferty, Paul de Souza, Navin Niles, and Tara L Roberts

Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) has recently been shown to play a role in the regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, the relationship between PD-L1 expression, EMT and the inflammatory tumour microenvironment has yet to be investigated in thyroid cancer. To address this issue, we examined the expression of CD8, PD-L1 and the EMT markers E-cadherin and vimentin in a cohort of 74 papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) patients and investigated the association of these with clinicopathologic characteristics and disease-free survival (DFS). The relationship between PD-L1 and EMT was further examined in three thyroid cancer cell lines via Western blot and live cell imaging. In order to expand our in vitro findings, the normalised gene expression profiles of 516 thyroid cancer patients were retrieved and analysed from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). PD-L1 positivity was significantly higher in PTC patients exhibiting a mesenchymal phenotype (P = 0.012). Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed that PD-L1 (P = 0.045), CD8 (P = 0.038) and EMT status (P = 0.038) were all significant predictors for DFS. Sub-analysis confirmed that the poorest DFS was evident in PD-L1 positive patients with EMT features and negative CD8 expression (P < 0.0001). IFN-γ treatment induced upregulation of PD-L1 and significantly promoted an EMT phenotype in two thyroid cancer cell lines. Our findings suggest that PD-L1 signalling may play a role in stimulating EMT in thyroid cancer. EMT, CD8 and PD-L1 expression may serve as valuable predictive biomarkers in patients with PTC.

Open access

Catherine Cardot Bauters, Emmanuelle Leteurtre, Bruno Carnaille, Christine Do Cao, Stéphanie Espiard, Malo Penven, Evelyne Destailleur, Isabelle Szuster, Tonio Lovecchio, Julie Leclerc, Fredéric Frénois, Emmanuel Esquivel, Patricia L M Dahia, Emilie Ait-Yahya, Michel Crépin, and Pascal Pigny

Objective

We previously described a family in which predisposition to pheochromocytoma (PCC) segregates with a germline heterozygous KIF1B nucleotide variant (c.4442G>A, p.Ser1481Asn) in three generations. During the clinical follow-up, one proband’s brother, negative for the KIF1B nucleotide variant, developed a bilateral PCC at 31 years. This prompted us to reconsider the genetic analysis.

Design and methods

Germline DNA was analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) using a multi-gene panel plus MLPA or by whole exome sequencing (WES). Tumor-derived DNA was analyzed by SnapShot, Sanger sequencing or NGS to identify loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) or additional somatic mutations.

Results

A germline heterozygous variant of unknown significance in MAX (c.145T>C, p.Ser49Pro) was identified in the proband’s brother. Loss of the wild-type MAX allele occurred in his PCCs thus demonstrating that this variant was responsible for the bilateral PCC in this patient. The proband and her affected grandfather also carried the MAX variant but no second hit could be found at the somatic level. No other pathogenic mutations were detected in 36 genes predisposing to familial PCC/PGL or familial cancers by WES of the proband germline. Germline variants detected in other genes, TFAP2E and TMEM214, may contribute to the multiple tumors of the proband.

Conclusion

In this family, the heritability of PCC is linked to the MAX germline variant and not to the KIF1B germline variant which, however, may have contributed to the occurrence of neuroblastoma (NB) in the proband.

Open access

Stephen J Winters, Charles R Scoggins, Duke Appiah, and Dushan T Ghooray

Low plasma levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) are a marker for obesity, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. The transcription factor HNF4α is a major determinant of hepatic SHBG expression and thereby serum SHBG levels, and mediates in part the association of low SHBG with hyperinsulinemia and hepatic steatosis. We analyzed the lipidome in human liver specimens from a cohort of patients who underwent hepatic resection as a treatment for cancer, providing insight into hepatic lipids in those without extreme obesity or the clinical diagnosis of NAFLD or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Both steatosis and high HOMA-IR were associated with higher levels of saturated and unsaturated FA, other than arachidonic, with the most dramatic rise in 18:1 oleate, consistent with increased stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity. Individuals with low HOMA-IR had low levels of total hepatic fatty acids, while both low and high fatty acid levels characterized the high HOMA-IR group. Both insulin resistance and high levels of hepatic fat were associated with low expression levels of HNF4α and thereby SHBG, but the expression of these genes was also low in the absence of these determinants, implying additional regulatory mechanisms that remain to be determined. The relationship of all FA studied to HNFα and SHBG mRNAs was inverse, and similar to that for total triglyceride concentrations, irrespective of chain length and saturation vs unsaturation.

Open access

Maria Stelmachowska-Banaś and Izabella Czajka-Oraniec

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) belong to a new group of anticancer drugs targeting T-cell proteins involved in the activation of immune response toward malignancies. Their introduction into clinical practice was a milestone in modern cancer treatment. However, the significant advantage of ICIs over conventional chemotherapy in terms of therapeutic efficacy is accompanied by new challenges related to specific side effects. ICI-induced immune system activation could lead to the loss of self-tolerance, presenting as autoimmune inflammation and dysfunction of various tissues and organs. Thus, the typical side effects of ICIs include immune-related adverse events (irAEs), among which endocrine irAEs, affecting numerous endocrine glands, have been commonly recognized. This review aimed to outline the current knowledge regarding ICI-induced endocrine disorders from a clinical perspective. We present updated information on the incidence and clinical development of ICI-induced endocrinopathies, including the most frequent thyroiditis and hypophysitis, the rarely observed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and primary adrenal insufficiency, and the recently described cases of hypoparathyroidism and lipodystrophy. Practical guidelines for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of ICI-related endocrine toxicities are also offered. Rising awareness of endocrine irAEs among oncologists, endocrinologists, and other health professionals caring for patients receiving ICIs could contribute to better safety and efficacy. As immunotherapy becomes widespread and approved for new types of malignancies, increased incidences of endocrine irAEs are expected in the future.

Open access

Leyre Lorente-Poch, Sílvia Rifà-Terricabras, Juan José Sancho, Danilo Torselli-Valladares, Sofia González-Ortiz, and Antonio Sitges-Serra

Objective:

Permanent hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disease resulting most frequently from neck surgery. It has been associated with visceral calcifications but few studies have specifically this in patients with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications in patients with long-term post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism compared with a control population.

Design:

Case–control study.

Methods:

A cross-sectional review comparing 29 consecutive patients with permanent postoperative hypoparathyroidism followed-up in a tertiary reference unit for Endocrine Surgery with a contemporary control group of 501 patients who had an emergency brain CT scan. Clinical variables and prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications were recorded.

Results:

From a cohort of 46 patients diagnosed with permanent hypoparathyroidism, 29 were included in the study. The mean duration of disease was 9.2 ± 7 years. Age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia were similarly distributed in case and control groups. The prevalence of carotid artery and basal ganglia calcifications was 4 and 20 times more frequent in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism, respectively. After propensity score matching of the 28 the female patients, 68 controls were matched for age and presence of cardiovascular factors. Cases showed a four-fold prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications, whereas that of carotid calcifications was similar between cases and controls.

Conclusion:

A high prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications was observed in patients with post-surgical permanent hypoparathyroidism. It remains unclear whether carotid artery calcification may also be increased.

Open access

Sanjeet Kumar Jaiswal, Vijaya Sarathi, Saba Samad Memon, Robin Garg, Gaurav Malhotra, Priyanka Verma, Ravikumar Shah, Manjeet Kaur Sehemby, Virendra A Patil, Swati Jadhav, Anurag Ranjan Lila, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Introduction:

177Lu-DOTATATE-based peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is a promising therapy for metastatic and/or inoperable pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL). We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of and identify predictors of response to 177Lu-DOTATATE therapy in metastatic and/or inoperable PPGL.

Methods:

This retrospective study involved 15 patients of metastatic or unresectable PPGL, who received 177Lu-DOTATATE PRRT therapy. Clinical, biochemical (plasma-free normetanephrine), and radiological (anatomical and functional) responses were compared before and after the last therapy.

Results:

A total of 15 patients (4 PCC, 4 sPGL, 5 HNPGL, 1 PCC + sPGL, 1 HNPGL + sPGL) were included. The median duration of follow up was 27 (range: 11–62) months from the start of PRRT. Based on the RECIST (1.1) criteria, progressive disease was seen in three (20%), stable disease in eight (53%), partial response in one (7%), and minor response in three (20%) and controlled disease in 12 (80%). On linear regression analysis the presence of PGL (P= 0.044) and baseline SUVmax >21 (P < 0.0001) were significant positive predictors of early response to PRRT. Encouraging safety profiles were noted with no long term nephrotoxicity and hematotoxicity.

Conclusion:

177Lu-DOTATATE therapy is an effective and safe modality of treatment for patients with metastatic/inoperable PPGL. Although it is not prudent to withhold PRRT in metastatic PPGL with baseline SUVmax < 21, baseline SUVmax >21 can be used to predict early response to PRRT.

Open access

Ling Hu, Ting Li, Xiao-Ling Yin, and Yi Zou

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of thyroid nodules (TN) and metabolic syndrome (MS) and to analyze the correlation between TN and the components of MS.

Methods:

A total of 1526 subjects were divided into two groups: a TN group and a non-thyroid nodules (NTN) group. The height, weight, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose level, fasting plasma insulin level, serum lipid profile, uric acid level, serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level, free triiodothyronine (FT3) level, and free thyroxine (FT4) level of each patient were measured. Insulin resistance (IR) was estimated by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Fatty liver and TN were detected by color Doppler ultrasonography.

Results:

(i) The overall prevalence of TN was 39.5%; it was significantly higher in women than in men (P < 0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (ii) The overall prevalence of MS was 25.6%; it was significantly higher in men than in women (P < 0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (iii) FT3 was significantly lower in the TN group than in the NTN group (P < 0.01). (iv) BMI, triglycerides, and HOMA-IR were higher in the TN group than in the NTN group (P < 0.05). (v) The existence of TN was significantly associated with overweight/obesity (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.024–1.089), and with insulin resistance (IR) (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.645–2.368), after adjusting for age and sex.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of thyroid nodules and metabolic syndrome in the Nanchang area increases with age, and overweight/obesity and IR in patients are associated with thyroid nodules.