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Open access

Mette H Viuff and Claus H Gravholt

In this commentary, we discuss the state of affairs concerning the clinical care of females with Turner syndrome (TS) in Germany. TS is a rare disease and new international guidelines describe an appropriate setup for optimal clinical care. Several countries have implemented a program with centralized adult Turner syndrome clinics, which are now found in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, parts of England and possibly other countries, but hitherto not in Germany. Such an approach should ensure the availability of high quality multi-disciplinary care for all women with TS to be treated and to detect all the conditions that have been associated with TS, which typically appear at odd times during the lifetime of a female with TS. Care should be offered at no added cost for the patient, and treatment with relevant drugs should be available at reasonable cost for the individual patient. Currently, it is quite problematic that many female sex hormone preparations are not available at low cost in a number of countries. Additional problems include supply chain issue which lead to patients not being able to buy their usual drug for a certain period of time. We think it is timely that countries improve the care for individuals with rare conditions, such as TS.

Open access

E R Polina, F M Oliveira, R C Sbruzzi, D Crispim, L H Canani and K G Santos

Circulating microRNA-155 (miR-155) is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the rs767649 polymorphism in the pre-MIR155 gene is associated with miR-155 expression. However, their relationship with diabetic retinopathy (DR) is still unknown. Therefore, the aim of this case-control study was to test the hypothesis that the rs767649 polymorphism in the pre-MIR155 gene is associated with DR in South Brazilians with T2DM. We also evaluated the association of plasma levels of miR-155 with DR and the rs767649 polymorphism in a subgroup of subjects. The rs767649 polymorphism was genotyped in 139 blood donors and 546 T2DM patients (244 had no DR, 161 had non-proliferative DR and 141 had proliferative DR). miR-155 expression was quantified in 20 blood donors and 60 T2DM patients (20 from each group). Among T2DM patients, the carriership of the A allele and the A allele were more frequent in subjects with DR than in those without it (P < 0.05), and the A allele was independently associated with an increased risk of DR (adjusted OR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.12–4.01). The plasma levels of miR-155 were lower in T2DM patients than in blood donors (P < 0.001). However, the miR-155 levels did not differ according to the presence and severity of DR or according to rs767649 genotypes among T2DM patients. These findings support that the rs767649 polymorphism in the pre-MIR155 gene is associated with DR in T2DM and that the miR-155 plasma levels might be associated with T2DM. Additional studies are needed to further investigate their clinical significance in DR and T2DM.

Open access

Charlotte Janus, Dorte Vistisen, Hanan Amadid, Daniel R Witte, Torsten Lauritzen, Søren Brage, Anne-Louise Bjerregaard, Torben Hansen, Jens J Holst, Marit E Jørgensen, Oluf Pedersen, Kristine Færch and Signe S Torekov

Rationale

The hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) decreases blood glucose and appetite. Greater physical activity (PA) is associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. While acute exercise may increase glucose-induced response of GLP-1, it is unknown how habitual PA affects GLP-1 secretion. We hypothesised that habitual PA associates with greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight individuals.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis of habitual PA levels and GLP-1 concentrations in 1326 individuals (mean (s.d.) age 66 (7) years, BMI 27.1 (4.5) kg/m2) from the ADDITION-PRO cohort. Fasting and oral glucose-stimulated GLP-1 responses were measured using validated radioimmunoassay. PA was measured using 7-day combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring. From this, energy expenditure (PAEE; kJ/kg/day) and fractions of time spent in activity intensities (h/day) were calculated. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF; mL O2/kg/min) was calculated using step tests. Age-, BMI- and insulin sensitivity-adjusted associations between PA and GLP-1, stratified by sex, were evaluated by linear regression analysis.

Results

In 703 men, fasting GLP-1 concentrations were 20% lower (95% CI: −33; −3%, P = 0.02) for every hour of moderate-intensity PA performed. Higher CRF and PAEE were associated with 1–2% lower fasting GLP-1 (P = 0.01). For every hour of moderate-intensity PA, the glucose-stimulated GLP-1 response was 16% greater at peak 30 min (1; 33%, P rAUC0-30 = 0.04) and 20% greater at full response (3; 40%, P rAUC0-120 = 0.02). No associations were found in women who performed PA 22 min/day vs 32 min/day for men.

Conclusion

Moderate-intensity PA is associated with lower fasting and greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight men, possibly contributing to improved glucose and appetite regulation with increased habitual PA.

Open access

B C M Hermans, J L Derks, H J M Groen, J A Stigt, R J van Suylen, L M Hillen, E C van den Broek, E J M Speel and A-M C Dingemans

Introduction

Stage IV large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung generally presents as disseminated and aggressive disease with a Ki-67 proliferation index (PI) 40–80%. LCNEC can be subdivided in two main subtypes: the first harboring TP53/RB1 mutations (small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC)-like), the second with mutations in TP53 and STK11/KEAP1 (non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC)-like). Here we evaluated 11 LCNEC patients with only a solitary brain metastasis and evaluate phenotype, genotype and follow-up.

Methods

Eleven LCNEC patients with solitary brain metastases were analyzed. Clinical characteristics and survival data were retrieved from medical records. Pathological analysis included histomorphological analysis, immunohistochemistry (pRB and Ki-67 PI) and next-generation sequencing (TP53, RB1, STK11, KEAP1 and MEN1).

Results

All patients had N0 or N1 disease. Median overall survival (OS) was 12 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.5–18.5 months). Mean Ki-67 PI was 59% (range 15–100%). In 6/11 LCNEC Ki-67 PI was ≤40%. OS was longer for Ki-67 ≤40% compared to >40% (17 months (95% CI 11–23 months) vs 5 months (95% CI 0.7–9 months), P = 0.007). Two patients were still alive at follow-up after 86 and 103 months, both had Ki-67 ≤40%. 8/11 patients could be subclassified, and both SCLC-like (n = 6) and NSCLC-like (n = 2) subtypes were present. No MEN1 mutation was found.

Conclusion

Stage IV LCNEC with a solitary brain metastasis and N0/N1 disease show in the majority of cases Ki-67 PI ≤40% and prolonged survival, distinguishing them from general LCNEC. This unique subgroup can be both of the SCLC-like and NSCLC-like subtype.

Open access

Clarissa Souza Barthem, Camila Lüdke Rossetti, Denise P Carvalho and Wagner Seixas da-Silva

Estradiol has been used to prevent metabolic diseases, bone loss and menopausal symptoms, even though it might raise the risk of cancer. Metformin is usually prescribed for type 2 diabetes mellitus and lowers food intake and body mass while improving insulin resistance and the lipid profile. Ovariectomized rats show increased body mass, insulin resistance and changes in the lipid profile. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate whether metformin could prevent the early metabolic dysfunction that occurs early after ovariectomy. Female Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: SHAM-operated (SHAM), ovariectomized (OVX), ovariectomized + estradiol (OVX + E2) and ovariectomized + metformin (OVX + M). Treatment with metformin diminished approximately 50% of the mass gain observed in ovariectomized animals and reduced both the serum and hepatic triglyceride levels. The hepatic levels of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) decreased after OVX, and the expression of the inactive form of hepatic acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) was also reduced. Metformin was able to increase the levels of pAMPK in the liver of OVX animals, sustaining the balance between the inactive and total forms of ACC. Estradiol effects were similar to those of metformin but with different proportions. Our results suggest that metformin ameliorates the early alterations of metabolic parameters and rescues hepatic AMPK phosphorylation and ACC inactivation observed in ovariectomized rats.

Open access

Richard P Steeds, Vandana Sagar, Shishir Shetty, Tessa Oelofse, Harjot Singh, Raheel Ahmad, Elizabeth Bradley, Rachel Moore, Suzanne Vickrage, Stacey Smith, Ivan Yim, Yasir S Elhassan, Hema Venkataraman, John Ayuk, Stephen Rooney and Tahir Shah

Carcinoid heart disease (CHD) is a consequence of valvular fibrosis triggered by vasoactive substances released from neuroendocrine tumours, classically in those with metastatic disease and resulting in tricuspid and pulmonary valve failure. CHD affects one in five patients who have carcinoid syndrome (CS). Valve leaflets become thickened, retracted and immobile, resulting most often in regurgitation that causes right ventricular dilatation and ultimately, right heart failure. The development of CHD heralds a significantly worse prognosis than those patients with CS who do not develop valvular disease. Diagnosis requires a low threshold of suspicion in all patients with CS, since symptoms occur late in the disease process and clinical signs are difficult to elicit. As a result, routine screening is recommended using the biomarker, N-terminal pro-natriuretic peptide, and regular echocardiography is then required for diagnosis and follow-up. There is no direct medical therapy for CHD, but the focus of non-surgical care is to control CS symptoms, reduce tumour load and decrease hormone levels. Valve surgery improves long-term outcome for those with severe disease compared to medical management, although peri-operative mortality remains at between 10 and 20% in experienced centres. Therefore, care needs to be multidisciplinary at all stages, with clear discussion with the patient and between teams to ensure optimum outcome for these often-complex patients.

Open access

T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.

Results

Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.

Open access

Bekir Cakir, F Neslihan Cuhaci Seyrek, Oya Topaloglu, Didem Ozdemir, Ahmet Dirikoc, Cevdet Aydin, Sefika Burcak Polat, Berna Evranos Ogmen, Ali Abbas Tam, Husniye Baser, Aylin Kilic Yazgan, Mehmet Kilic, Afra Alkan and Reyhan Ersoy

Background

Despite significant improvement in imaging quality and advanced scientific knowledge, it may still sometimes be difficult to distinguish different parathyroid lesions. The aims of this prospective study were to evaluate parathyroid lesions with ultrasound elastography and to determine whether strain index can help to differentiate parathyroid lesions.

Methods

Patients with biochemically confirmed hyperparathyroidism and localised parathyroid lesions in ultrasonography were included. All patients underwent B-mode US and USE examination. Ultrasound elastography scores and strain index of lesions were determined. Strain index was defined as the ratio of strain of the thyroid parenchyma to the strain of the parathyroid lesion.

Results

Data of 245 lesions of 230 patients were analysed. Histopathologically, there were 202 (82.45%) parathyroid adenomas, 26 (10.61%) atypical parathyroid adenomas, and 17 (6.94%) cases of parathyroid hyperplasia. Median serum Ca was significantly higher in atypical parathyroid adenoma patients than parathyroid hyperplasia patients (P = 0.019) and median PTH was significantly higher in APA compared to PA patients (P < 0.001). In 221 (90.2%) of the parathyroid lesions, USE score was 1 or 2. The median SI of atypical parathyroid adenomas was significantly higher than parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasia lesions (1.5 (0.56–4.86), 1.01 (0.21–8.43) and 0.91 (0.26–2.02), respectively, P = 0.003).

Conclusion

Our study revealed that SI of parathyroid lesions as well as serum calcium, parathyroid hormone levels, and B-mode US features may help to predict the atypical parathyroid adenoma. Ultrasound elastography can be used to differentiate among parathyroid lesions and guide a surgical approach.

Open access

Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter and Heide Siggelkow

Objective

Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.

Design

Retrospective multicenter observational study.

Methods

Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.

Results

Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).

Conclusion

In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.

Open access

A H Ludwig-Slomczynska, S Borys, M T Seweryn, J Hohendorff, P Kapusta, B Kiec-Wilk, E Pitera, P P Wolkow and M T Malecki

Objective

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been used to treat diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs). Its action on the molecular level, however, is only partially understood. Some earlier data suggested NPWT may be mediated through modification of local gene expression. As methylation is a key epigenetic regulatory mechanism of gene expression, we assessed the effect of NPWT on its profile in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and neuropathic non-infected DFUs.

Methods

Of 36 included patients, 23 were assigned to NPWT and 13 to standard therapy. Due to ethical concerns, the assignment was non-randomized and based on wound characteristics. Tissue samples were obtained before and 8 ± 1 days after therapy initiation. DNA methylation patterns were checked by Illumina Methylation EPIC kit.

Results

In terms of clinical characteristics, the groups presented typical features of T2DM; however, the NPWT group had significantly greater wound area: 16.8 cm2 vs 1.4 cm2 (P = 0.0003). Initially only one region at chromosome 5 was differentially methylated. After treatment, 57 differentially methylated genes were found, mainly located on chromosomes 6 (chr6p21) and 20 (chr20p13); they were associated with DNA repair and autocrine signaling via retinoic acid receptor. We performed differential analyses pre treatment and post treatment. The analysis revealed 426 differentially methylated regions in the NPWT group, but none in the control group. The enrichment analysis showed 11 processes significantly associated with NPWT, of which 4 were linked with complement system activation. All but one were hypermethylated after NPWT.

Conclusion

The NPWT effect on DFUs may be mediated through epigenetic changes resulting in the inhibition of complement system activation.