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Open access

Maxime Duval, Kalyane Bach-Ngohou, Damien Masson, Camille Guimard, Philippe Le Conte and David Trewick

Objective

Severe hypocalcemia (Ca <1.9 mmol/L) is often considered an emergency because of a potential risk of cardiac arrest or seizures. However, there is little evidence to support this. The aim of our study was to assess whether severe hypocalcemia was associated with immediately life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias or neurological complications.

Methods

A retrospective observational study was carried out over a 2-year period in the Adult Emergency Department (ED) of Nantes University Hospital. All patients who had a protein-corrected calcium concentration measure were eligible for inclusion. Patients with multiple myeloma were excluded. The primary outcome was the number of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and/or neurological complications during the stay in the ED.

Results

A total of 41,823 patients had protein-corrected calcium (pcCa) concentrations measured, 155 had severe hypocalcemia, 22 were excluded because of myeloma leaving 133 for analysis. Median pcCa concentration was 1.73 mmol/L (1.57–1.84). Seventeen (12.8%) patients presented a life-threatening condition, 14 (10.5%) neurological and 3 (2.2%) cardiac during ED stay. However, these complications could be explained by the presence of underlying co-morbidities and or electrolyte disturbances other than hypocalcemia. Overall, 24 (18%) patients died in hospital. Vitamin D deficiency, chronic kidney disease and hypoparathyroidism were the most frequently found causes of hypocalcemia.

Conclusion

Thirteen percent of patients with severe hypocalcemia presented a life-threatening cardiac or neurological complication on the ED. However, a perfectly valid alternative cause could account for these complications. Further research is warranted to define the precise role of hypocalcemia.

Open access

Lijin Ji, Na Yi, Qi Zhang, Shuo Zhang, Xiaoxia Liu, Hongli Shi and Bin Lu

Objective

To assess the current management of prolactinoma among endocrinologists in China.

Methods

An online survey of a large sample of endocrinologists was conducted in China. The questionnaire included 21 questions related to controversial issues about the management of prolactinomas. Doctors in the endocrinology department of a university-affiliated hospital or a comprehensive secondary hospital in 12 cities from East, West, South, North and Middle China were surveyed.

Results

A total of 290 valid questionnaires were collected, and the response rate was 40%. When hyperprolactinemia occurred, 97% of the respondents would test thyroid-stimulating hormone routinely. 22% of the respondents considered that prolactin levels <100 ng/mL exclude the presence of a prolactinoma. Only 9% of the respondents believed that prolactin >250 ng/mL could occur in all the following situations as macroprolactinoma, mircoprolactinoma, macroprolactinemia and drug-induced hyperprolactinemia. Surgery was not recommended by 272 (94%) endocrinologists as the first choice for treating microprolactinomas. 58% and 92% of endocrinologists would start drug treatment for microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas at diagnosis. 70% and 40% chose to withdraw treatment after 2–3 years of prolactin normalization in microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas. In case of pregnancy, 57% of the respondents considered bromocriptine as choice for women patients. Drug discontinuation after pregnancy was advocated in 63% and 27% for microprolactinoma and macroprolactinoma. Moreover, 44% of endocrinologists believed that breastfeeding was allowable in both micro- and macroprolactinoma.

Conclusion

This is the first study to investigate the management of prolactinomas among endocrinologists in China. We found that the current clinical treatment was not uniform. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the training of endocrinologists to improve clinical diagnosis and treatment practices.

Open access

Suvanjaa Sivalingam, Marianne Thvilum, Thomas Heiberg Brix, Laszlo Hegedüs and Frans Brandt

Background

Season of birth, an exogenous indicator of early life environment, has been linked with a higher risk of adverse health outcomes such as autoimmune thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. Whether the development and cause of hyperthyroidism is influenced by season of birth is unclarified. We aimed, at a nationwide level, to investigate whether season of birth influences the risk of hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease (GD) and/or toxic nodular goitre (TNG).

Method

Register-based nationwide cohort study. By record-linkage between Danish health registers, 36,087 and 20,537 patients with GD and TNG, respectively, were identified. Each case was matched with four controls without thyroid disease, according to age and sex. Differences in month of birth across the year were evaluated by the Walter–Elwood test. Hazard ratios, for the risk of GD and TNG in individuals born in a certain month or season of the year, were calculated using Cox regression models.

Results

Neither for GD nor for TNG could we demonstrate a significant difference in birth rate across months or seasons of the year (Walter–Elwood’s test; X2 = 5.92 and X2 = 1.27, P = 0.052 and P = 0.53, respectively).

Conclusion

Irrespective of its cause, our findings do not support the hypothesis that season of birth is significantly related to the development of hyperthyroidism.

Open access

A Al-Sharefi, P Perros and R A James

Introduction

Phaeochromocytomas/paragangliomas (PHAEO/PG) are linked to hereditary syndromes including Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1). Current guidelines do not recommend biochemical screening for PHAEO/PG in asymptomatic or normotensive patients with NF-1. This strategy may miss preventable morbidities in those patients who ultimately present with symptomatic PHAEO/PG. Our aim was to review the literature and extract data on mode of presentation and the incidence of reported adverse outcomes.

Methods

PubMed and EMBASE literature search using the keywords ‘Phaeochromocytoma’, ‘Paraganglioma’ and ‘Neurofibromatosis’ was performed looking for reported cases from 2000 to 2018.

Results

Seventy-three reports of NF-1 patients with PHAEO/PG were found. Patients were predominately women (n = 40) with a median age of 46 years (range 16–82). PHAEO/PG was found incidentally in most patients, 36/73 did not present with typical symptoms while 27 patients were normotensive at diagnosis. Thirty-one patients had adverse outcomes including metastases and death.

Conclusion

Given the protean presentation of PHAEO/PG, relying on symptomology and blood pressure status as triggers for screening, is associated with adverse outcomes. Further studies are required to ascertain whether biochemical screening in asymptomatic and normotensive patients with NF-1 can reduce the rate of adverse outcomes.

Open access

Aida Javanbakht, Massimo D’Apuzzo, Behnam Badie and Behrouz Salehian

Tumor metastasis to the pituitary gland is a rare, not well-documented and life-threatening condition associated with a shortened life span. A better understanding of its clinical manifestations could lead to earlier diagnosis, appropriate therapy and potentially improving quality of life. Therefore, we retrospectively studied the charts of patients with pituitary metastases who were treated at the City of Hope National Medical Center (Duarte, CA) from 1984 to 2018. We reviewed and analyzed tumor origin, primary pituitary clinical manifestation, duration between primary tumor diagnosis and pituitary metastasis, type of treatment and patient survival. A total of 11 patients were identified with a mean age of 59.2 years and median survival following the diagnosis of metastasis of 10 months. Breast cancer and lymphoma were the most common primary origins in these cases, and diabetes insipidus and panhypopituitarism were the most common clinical manifestations of their metastasis. We also compared our results with reports in the literature published between 1957 and 2018. A total 289 patients with pituitary metastasis have been reported in the literature. Breast cancer was the most frequent primary origin of the metastasis, and visual symptoms were the most common primary manifestation. The posterior part of the pituitary is more susceptible than the anterior to metastasis. Pituitary metastasis may occur as a consequence of successful primary tumor treatment prolonging the chance of seeding. Future studies are needed to determine the molecular mechanism of metastasis to the pituitary.

Open access

Laura J Reid, Bala Muthukrishnan, Dilip Patel, Mike S Crane, Murat Akyol, Andrew Thomson, Jonathan R Seckl and Fraser W Gibb

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common reason for referral to endocrinology but the evidence base guiding assessment is limited. We evaluated the clinical presentation, assessment and subsequent management in PHPT.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Patients

PHPT assessed between 2006 and 2014 (n = 611) in a university hospital.

Measurements

Symptoms, clinical features, biochemistry, neck radiology and surgical outcomes.

Results

Fatigue (23.8%), polyuria (15.6%) and polydipsia (14.9%) were associated with PHPT biochemistry. Bone fracture was present in 16.4% but was not associated with biochemistry. A history of nephrolithiasis (10.0%) was associated only with younger age (P = 0.006) and male gender (P = 0.037). Thiazide diuretic discontinuation was not associated with any subsequent change in calcium (P = 0.514). Urine calcium creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) was <0.01 in 18.2% of patients with confirmed PHPT. Older age (P < 0.001) and lower PTH (P = 0.043) were associated with failure to locate an adenoma on ultrasound (44.0% of scans). When an adenoma was identified on ultrasound the lateralisation was correct in 94.5%. Non-curative surgery occurred in 8.2% and was greater in those requiring more than one neck imaging modality (OR 2.42, P = 0.035).

Conclusions

Clinical features associated with PHPT are not strongly related to biochemistry. Thiazide cessation does not appear to attenuate hypercalcaemia. PHPT remains the likeliest diagnosis in the presence of low CCCR. Ultrasound is highly discriminant when an adenoma is identified but surgical failure is more likely when more than one imaging modality is required.

Open access

Robert Rapaport, Peter A Lee, Judith L Ross, Paul Saenger, Vlady Ostrow and Giuseppe Piccoli

Growth hormone (GH) is used to treat short stature and growth failure associated with growth disorders. Birth size and GH status variably modulate response to GH therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of birth size on response to GH therapy, and to determine the impact of GH status in patients born small for gestational age (SGA) on response to GH therapy. Data from the prospective, non-interventional American Norditropin Studies: Web-Enabled Research (ANSWER) Program was analyzed for several growth outcomes in response to GH therapy over 3 years. GH-naïve children from the ANSWER Program were included in this analysis: SGA with peak GH ≥10 ng/mL (20 mIU/L), SGA with peak GH <10 ng/mL (20 mIU/L), isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) born SGA, IGHD not born SGA and idiopathic short stature. For patients with IGHD, those who did not meet criteria for SGA at birth showed greater improvements in height SDS and BMI SDS than patients with IGHD who met criteria for SGA at birth. For patients born SGA, response to GH therapy varied with GH status. Therefore, unlike previous guidelines, we recommend that GH status be established in patients born SGA to optimize GH therapy.

Open access

Magnolia Ariza-Nieto, Joshua B Alley, Sanjay Samy, Laura Fitzgerald, Francoise Vermeylen, Michael L Shuler and José O Alemán

Objective

We sought to discover secreted biomarkers to monitor the recovery of physiological adiponectin levels with metabolic surgery, focusing on epigenetic changes that might predict adiponectin function.

Design

We conducted a prospective observational study of patients undergoing metabolic surgery by Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) for weight loss in a single center (IRB GHS # 1207-27).

Methods

All patients (n = 33; 27 females; 6 males) signed informed consent. Metabolites, adiponectin and MIR148A were measured in fasting plasma. We followed MIQE for transcript profiles.

Results

Patients lost on average 47 ± 12% excess BMI (%EBMI) after 12 weeks. Adiponectin pre, post or delta (post minus pre) did not correlate with %EBMIL. A decrease in adiponectin following weight loss surgery was observed in a subset of patients, chi-square test of independence rejects the null hypotheses that the liver DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and delta adiponectin are independent (chi-square statistics χ 2 = 6.9205, P = 0.00852, n = 33), as well as MIR148A and delta adiponectin are independent (chi-square statistics χ 2  = 9.6823, P = 0.00186, n = 33). The presence of plasma MIR148A allows identification of patients that appear to be adiponectin insensitive at baseline.

Conclusion

We combined the presence of plasma MIR148A, the concentration of total adiponectin and the expression of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in liver biopsy tissue to identify patients with non-physiological adiponectin. Weight loss and physical activity interventions complemented with the new method presented here could serve to monitor the physiological levels of adiponectin, thought to be important for long-term weight loss maintenance.

Open access

Maria Giannakou, Katerina Saltiki, Emily Mantzou, Eleni Loukari, Georgios Philippou, Konstantinos Terzidis, Charalampos Stavrianos, Miltiades Kyprianou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Kalliopi Karatzi and Maria Alevizaki

Objective

Increased oxidative stress has been described in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether high oxidative stress is further influenced by obesity and dietary habits in euthyroid women with HT.

Methods

Two hundred eighteen consecutive euthyroid women with HT were studied and separated in two groups; 102 with thyroxine replacement and 114 without. For the evaluation of oxidative stress, total lipid peroxide levels in serum (TOS) were measured and recoded as ‘high TOS’ vs ‘medium/low TOS’. The type of food and consumption frequency were recorded. Two binary variables were considered; normal vs low fruit consumption and daily vs sporadic vegetable consumption.

Results

‘High TOS’ was more frequent in women under thyroxine replacement (31.4% vs 14.7%, OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.2). The prevalence of ‘high TOS’ was higher among overweight/obese women compared to women with normal BMI (30.4% vs 12.5%, OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.5–6.4). Low fruit consumption was associated with increased ‘high TOS’ prevalence (30.6% vs 12.9%, OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.4–6.2). Sporadic vegetable consumption was associated with increased ‘high TOS’ prevalence compared to daily consumption (29.9% vs 13.5%, OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.3–5.7). The examined risk factors were independent and additive in their effect on TOS. At least three risk factors had to be concomitantly present for the likelihood of ‘high TOS’ to be significantly elevated.

Conclusions

Oxidative stress is increased in women with HT under thyroxine replacement. Nevertheless, normal BMI, daily fruit and vegetable consumption, all contribute in maintaining oxidative stress at low levels.

Open access

Filippo Ceccato, Elisa Selmin, Chiara Sabbadin, Miriam Dalla Costa, Giorgia Antonelli, Mario Plebani, Mattia Barbot, Corrado Betterle, Marco Boscaro and Carla Scaroni

Introduction and Aim

The purpose of replacement therapy in adrenal insufficiency (AI) is mimicking endogenous cortisol levels as closely as possible: dual release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) has been introduced to replicate the circadian cortisol rhythm. Multiple daily saliva collections could be used to assess the cortisol rhythm during real life: our aim was to study the salivary cortisol profile in AI.

Materials and Methods

We prospectively evaluated, in an observational study, 18 adult outpatients with AI (11 primary and 7 secondary AI), switched from conventional treatment (conv-HC, 25 mg/day) to the same dose of DR-HC. We collected six samples of saliva in a day, measuring cortisol (F) and cortisone (E) with LC-MS/MS. Forty-three matched healthy subjects served as controls.

Results

F levels were similar in the morning (and higher than controls) in patients treated with conv-HC or DR-HC; otherwise F levels and exposure were lower in the afternoon and evening in patients with DR-HC, achieving a cortisol profile closer to healthy controls. Daily cortisol exposure, measured with area under the curve, was lower with DR-HC. Morning F and E presented sensitivity and specificity >90% to diagnose AI (respectively threshold of 3 and 9.45 nmol/L). Total cholesterol and HbA1c levels reduced with DR-HC.

Conclusions

Salivary cortisol daily curve could be used as a new tool to assess the cortisol profiles in patients treated with conv-HC and DR-HC. A lower daily cortisol exposure was achieved with DR-HC (despite the same HC dose), especially in the afternoon-evening.