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Open access

Carina Ankarberg-Lindgren, Aneta Gawlik, Berit Kriström, Laura Mazzanti, Elisabeth J Ruijgrok and Theo C J Sas

Objective

Transdermal estradiol patches are primarily designed for adult women. No low-dose patches are licensed for pubertal induction in hypogonadal girls. Low doses can be achieved by cutting a matrix patch into smaller pieces. However, the manufacturers do not guarantee stability or utility of cut estradiol patches. The aim of the study was to assess 1-month stability of cut estradiol patches from four different manufacturers in the laboratory at room temperature (+21°C) and at an elevated temperature (+35°C).

Design and methods

Estraderm MX 50 µg, Systen 50 µg and Oesclim 25 µg matrix patches were cut into eight pieces while Estradot 50 µg small patches were cut in half. The cut patches were stored in their respective pouches at +21°C or at +35°C for up to 1 month. The estradiol drug was extracted from the patch by ethyl acetate n-hexane and determined by radioimmunoassay.

Results

Storage at +21°C or +35°C up to 1 month did not reduce the estradiol concentration in Estraderm MX, Systen and Oesclim patches. However, although the estradiol in Estradot patches was not affected by storage at +21°C, at +35°C, estradiol decreased by 57% (±1%) in cut pieces.

Conclusions

Unused Estraderm MX, Systen and Oesclim patch pieces may be stored for at least 1 month at ≤+35°C. Where estradiol patches for children are not available, cut pieces of these or similar patches can be used for pubertal induction. The Estradot patch was too small to properly cut into low doses and not stable in elevated temperatures.

Open access

Sandrine Visentin, Gérard Michel, Claire Oudin, Béatrice Cousin, Bénédicte Gaborit, Inès Abdesselam, Marie Maraninchi, Marion Nowicki, René Valéro, Maxime Guye, Monique Bernard, Pascal Auquier, Hervé Chambost, Marie-Christine Alessi and Sophie Béliard

Background/objective

The number of long-term survivors of childhood acute leukemia (AL) is substantially growing. These patients are at high risk for metabolic syndrome (MS), especially those who received total body irradiation (TBI). The consequences of children’s irradiation on adipose tissue (AT) development in adulthood are currently unknown. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of TBI on AT of childhood AL survivors.

Design

We compared the morphological and functional characteristics of AT among survivors of childhood AL who developed MS and received (n = 12) or not received (n = 12) TBI.

Subjects/methods

Body fat distribution and ectopic fat stores (abdominal visceral and liver fat) were evaluated by DEXA, MRI and 1H-spectroscopy. Functional characteristics of subcutaneous AT were investigated by studying gene expression and pre-adipocyte differentiation in culture.

Results

Patients who have received TBI exhibited a lower BMI (minus 5 kg/m2) and a lower waist circumference (minus 14 cm), especially irradiated women. Despite the lower quantity of intra-abdominal AT, irradiated patient displayed a nearly two-fold greater content of liver fat when compared to non-irradiated patient (17 vs 9%, P = 0.008). These lipodystrophic-like features are supplemented by molecular abnormalities in subcutaneous AT of irradiated patients: decrease of gene expression of SREBP1 (minus 39%, P = 0.01) and CIDEA (minus 36%, P = 0.004) and a clear alteration of pre-adipocyte differentiation.

Conclusions

These results strongly support the direct effect of irradiation on AT, especially in women, leading to specific nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, despite lower BMI. A long-term appropriate follow-up is necessary for these patients.

Open access

Elena Izkhakov, Joseph Meyerovitch, Micha Barchana, Yacov Shacham, Naftali Stern and Lital Keinan-Boker

Objective

Thyroid cancer (TC) survivors may be at risk of subsequent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (CaV&CeV) morbidity. The 2009 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines recommended less aggressive treatment for low-risk TC patients. The aim of this study was to assess the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome of Israeli TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid disease, and the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome before (2000–2008) and after (2009–2011) implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines.

Methods

All members of the largest Israeli healthcare organization who were diagnosed with TC from 1/2000 to 12/2014 (study group) and age- and sex-matched members with no thyroid disease (controls) were included. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

The mean follow-up was 7.6 ± 4.2 and 7.8 ± 4.1 years for the study (n = 5,677, 79% women) and control (n = 23,962) groups, respectively. The former had an increased risk of new atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events (adjusted HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.39). The 5-year incidence of CaV&CeV was lower (adjusted HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.38–0.62) from 2009 to 2011 compared to 2000 to 2008, but remained higher in the study group than in the control group (adjusted HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.14–1.69).

Conclusions

This large Israeli population-based cohort study showed greater atherosclerotic CaV&CeV morbidity in TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid diseases. There was a trend toward a decreased 5-year incidence of atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events among TC survivors following the implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines, but it remained higher compared to the general population.

Open access

Anna Malczewska, Magdalena Witkowska, Karolina Makulik, Agnes Bocian, Agata Walter, Joanna Pilch-Kowalczyk, Wojciech Zajęcki, Lisa Bodei, Kjell Oberg and Beata Kos-Kudła

Introduction

Current monoanalyte biomarkers are ineffective in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). NETest, a novel multianalyte signature, provides molecular information relevant to disease biology.

Aim(s)

Independently validate NETest to diagnose GEP-NETs and identify progression in a tertiary referral center.

Materials and methods

Cohorts are 67 pancreatic NETs (PNETs), 44 small intestine NETs (SINETs) and 63 controls. Well-differentiated (WD) PNETs, n = 62, SINETs, all (n = 44). Disease extent assessment at blood draw: anatomical (n = 110) CT (n = 106), MRI (n = 7) and/or functional 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT (n = 69) or 18F-FDG-PET/CT (n = 8). Image-positive disease (IPD) was defined as either CT/MRI or 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT/18F-FDG-PET/CT-positive. Both CT/MRI and 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT negative diagnosis in WD-NETs was considered image-negative disease (IND). NETest (normal: 20): PCR (spotted plates). Data: mean ± SD.

Results

Diagnosis

NETest was significantly increased in NETs (n = 111; 26 ± 21) vs controls (8 ± 4, p < 0.0001). Seventy-five (42 PNET, 33 SINET) were image positive. Eleven (8 PNET, 3 SINET; all WD) were IND. In IPD, NETest was significantly higher (36 ± 22) vs IND (8 ± 7, P < 0.0001). NETest accuracy, sensitivity and specificity are 97, 99 and 95%, respectively

Concordance with imaging

NETest was 92% (101/110) concordant with anatomical imaging, 94% (65/69) with 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT and 96% (65/68) dual modality (CT/MRI and 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT). In 70 CT/MRI positive, NETest was elevated in all (37 ± 22). In 40 CT/MRI negative, NETest was normal (11 ± 10) in 31. In 56 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT positive, NETest was elevated (36 ± 22) in 55. In 13 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT negative, NETest was normal (9 ± 8) in ten.

Disease status

NETest was significantly higher in progressive (61 ± 26; n = 11) vs stable disease (29 ± 14; n = 64; P < 0.0001) (RECIST 1.1).

Conclusion

NETest is an effective diagnostic for PNETs and SINETs. Elevated NETest is as effective as imaging in diagnosis and accurately identifies progression.

Open access

Ming Zhu, Bingxin Xu, Meng Wang, Shangyun Liu, Yue Zhang and Chao Zhang

Melanocortin receptors (MCRs) and their accessory proteins (MRAPs) evolutionarily first appear in the genome of sea lamprey. The most ancient melanocortin system consists of only two melanocortin receptors (slMCa and slMCb) and one MRAP2 (slMRAP2) protein, but the physiological roles have not been fully explored in this primitive species. Here, we synthesize and characterize the pharmacological features of slMRAP2 protein on two slMCRs. Our results show that the slMRAP2 protein lacks the long carboxyl terminus; it directly interacts and decreases the surface expression but enhances the α-MSH-induced agonism of slMCa and slMCb. In comparison with higher organisms such as elephant shark and zebrafish, we also demonstrate the constantly evolving regulatory function of the carboxyl terminus of MRAP2 protein, the unique antiparallel topology of slMRAP2 dimer and the homo- and hetero-dimerization of two slMCRs. This study elucidates the presence and modulation of melanocortin receptor by the accessory protein of the agnathans for the first time, which provides a better insight of the melanocortin system in ancient species of chordates.

Open access

Jia Li, Yan Zhao, Caoxin Huang, Zheng Chen, Xiulin Shi, Long Li, Zhong Chen and Xuejun Li

Objective

Exercise benefits people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of this study was to identify a panel of biomarkers and to provide the possible mechanism for the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients via an untargeted mass spectrometry-based serum metabolomics study.

Methods

NAFLD patients were classified randomly into a control group (n = 74) and a 6-month vigorous exercise (n = 68) group. Differences in serum metabolic profiles were analyzed using untargeted ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF/MS) technology. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) were used to validate the differences between these two groups, and altered metabolites were obtained by ANOVA (fold change >2, P < 0.05) and identified with the online database Metlin and an in-house database.

Results

Metabolic profiling and multiple statistical analyses of the serum samples indicated significant differences between the NAFLD patients in the control and the 6-month vigorous exercise groups. Finally, 36 metabolites were identified between the control vs exercise groups. These metabolites were mainly associated with glycerophospholipid- and sphingolipid-related pathways.

Conclusion

Our study demonstrates that glycerophospholipid and sphingolipid alterations may contribute to the mechanism underlying the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients. A LC-MS-based metabolomics approach has a potential value for screening exercise-induced biomarkers.

Open access

Ananda A Santana-Ribeiro, Giulliani A Moreira-Brasileiro, Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira, Roberto Salvatori, Vitor O Carvalho, Claudia K Alvim-Pereira, Carlos R Araújo-Daniel, Júlia G Reis-Costa, Alana L Andrade-Guimarães, Alécia A Oliveira-Santos, Edgar R Vieira and Miburge B Gois-Junior

Objectives

Walking and postural balance are extremely important to obtain food and to work. Both are critical for quality of life and ability to survive. While walking reflects musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary systems, postural balance depends on body size, muscle tone, visual, vestibular and nervous systems. Since GH and IGF-I act on all these systems, we decided to study those parameters in a cohort of individuals with severe short stature due to untreated isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) caused by a mutation in the GHRH receptor gene. These IGHD subjects, despite reduction in muscle mass, are very active and have normal longevity.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study, we assessed walking (by a 6-min walk test), postural balance (by force platform) and fall risk (by the 'Timed Up and Go' test) in 31 IGHD and 40 matched health controls.

Results

The percentage of the walked distance measured in relation to the predicted one was similar in groups, but higher in IGHD, when corrected by the leg length. Absolute postural balance data showed similar velocity of unipodal support in the two groups, and better values, with open and closed eyes and unipodal support, in IGHD, but these differences became non-significant when corrected for height and lower-limb length. The time in 'Timed Up and Go' test was higher in IGHD cohort, but still below the cut-off value for fall risk.

Conclusion

IGHD subjects exhibit satisfactory walking and postural balance, without increase in fall risk.

Open access

Weixi Wang, Rulai Han, Lei Ye, Jing Xie, Bei Tao, Fukang Sun, Ran Zhuo, Xi Chen, Xiaxing Deng, Cong Ye, Hongyan Zhao and Shu Wang

Objective

Up to 40% of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) patients may have adrenal cortical tumors. However, adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare. The clinical manifestations, prevalence, inheritance and prognosis of ACC associated with MEN1 remain unclear. Here we report the clinical manifestations and prevalence of ACC in patients with MEN1.

Design and methods

A retrospective analysis of ACC associated with MEN1 patients at a single tertiary care center from December 2001 to June 2017. Genetic analysis of MEN1 and other ACC associated genes, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of MEN1 locus, immunohistochemistry staining of menin, P53 and β-catenin in ACC tissue were performed.

Results

Two related patients had ACC associated with MEN1. The father had ENSAT stage IV tumor with excessive production of cortisol; the daughter had nonfunctional ENSAT stage I tumor. Both patients carried novel germline heterozygous mutation (c.400_401insC) of MEN1. The wild-type MEN1 allele was lost in the resected ACC tissue from the daughter with no menin staining. The ACC tissue had nuclear β-catenin staining, with heterozygous CTNNB1 mutation of 357del24 and P53 staining in only 20% cells.

Conclusions

ACC associated with MEN1 is rare and may occur in familial aggregates.

Open access

Nicola Tufton, Lucy Shapiro, Anju Sahdev, Ajith V Kumar, Lee Martin, William M Drake, Scott A Akker and Helen L Storr

Objective

Phaeochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are rare in children. A large proportion of these are now understood to be due to underlying germline mutations. Here we focus on succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) gene mutation carriers as these tumours carry a high risk of malignant transformation. There remains no current consensus with respect to optimal surveillance for asymptomatic carriers and those in whom the presenting tumour has been resected.

Method

We undertook a retrospective analysis of longitudinal clinical data of all children and adolescents with SDHB mutations followed up in a single UK tertiary referral centre. This included index cases that pre-dated the introduction of surveillance screening and asymptomatic carriers identified through cascade genetic testing. We also conducted a literature review to inform a suggested surveillance protocol for children and adolescents harbouring SDHB mutations.

Results

Clinical outcomes of a total of 38 children are presented: 8 index cases and 30 mutation-positive asymptomatic carriers with 175 patient years of follow-up data. Three of the eight index cases developed metachronous disease and two developed metastatic disease. Of the 30 asymptomatic carriers, 3 were found to have PGLs on surveillance screening.

Conclusions

Surveillance screening was well tolerated in our paediatric cohort and asymptomatic paediatric subjects. Screening can identify tumours before they become secretory and/or symptomatic, thereby facilitating surgical resection and reducing the chance of distant spread. We propose a regular screening protocol commencing at age 5 years in this at-risk cohort of patients.

Open access

Weiwei He, Bin Wang, Kaida Mu, Jing Zhang, Yanping Yang, Wei Yao, Sheli Li and Jin-an Zhang

Background

Accumulating data have shown that interleukin-27 (IL27) polymorphisms are linked to the susceptibility of some autoimmune diseases. We assessed whether there was an association between three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL27 gene and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs).

Methods

Three SNPs (rs153109, rs17855750 and rs181206) of IL27 gene were genotyped by Hi-SNP high-throughput genotyping in 843 patients with AITDs (516 Graves’ disease (GD) and 327 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT)) and 677 healthy controls in Chinese Han population.

Results

Compared with controls, rs153109 displayed significant associations with GD in allele and genotype frequencies (P = 0.002 and P = 0.008, respectively) and rs17855750 displayed significant associations with HT in allele frequencies (P = 0.02), whereas no differences in genotype or allele frequencies were found between AITD patients and controls at rs181206.

Conclusion

Our study, for the first time, showed the significant association of the IL27 gene SNPs with AITD.