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Open access

Cheng Han Ng, Yip Han Chin, Marcus Hon Qin Tan, Jun Xuan Ng, Samantha Peiling Yang, Jolene Jiayu Kiew and Chin Meng Khoo

Purpose:

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common condition affecting people of all ages and is mainly treated with parathyroidectomy. Cinacalcet has been widely used in secondary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism, but the use of cinacalcet in PHPT is less clear.

Methods:

Searches were conducted in Medline and Embase for cinacalcet use in PHPT from induction to 10 April 2020. Articles and conferences abstracts describing the use of cinacalcet for PHPT in prospective or retrospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials restricted to English language only. We initially identified 1301 abstracts. Each article went extraction by two blinded authors on a structured proforma. Continuous outcomes were pooled with weight mean difference (WMD). Quality of included articles was assessed with Newcastle Ottwa Scale and Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0.

Results:

Twenty-eight articles were included. Normalization rate of serum Ca levels was reported at 90% (CI: 0.82 to 0.96). Serum levels of Ca and PTH levels were significantly reduced (Ca, WMD: 1.647, CI: −1.922 to −1.371; PTH, WMD: −31.218, CI: −41.671 to −20.765) and phosphate levels significantly increased (WMD: 0.498, CI: 0.400 to 0.596) after cinacalcet therapy. The higher the baseline Ca levels, the greater Ca reduction with cinacalcet treatment. Age and gender did not modify the effect of cinacalcet on serum Ca levels.

Conclusion:

The results from the meta-analysis support the use of cinacalcet as an alternative or bridging therapy to treat hypercalcemia in people with PHPT.

Open access

Mark R Postma, Pia Burman and André P van Beek

Introduction:

Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is usually the last deficiency to be substituted in hypopituitarism. In children with documented GH deficiency, treatment without delay is crucial for achieving optimal effects on growth and development. In adults, it is not known whether a delay in treatment initiation influences biochemical response and the favourable physiological effects resulting from GH replacement therapy (GHRT).

Methods:

A total of 1085 GH-deficient adults from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were included, adequately replaced with all pituitary hormones except for GH at baseline. Patients were stratified by sex and age (20–50 years and ≥50 years) and subsequently divided into two groups below and above the median duration of unsubstituted AGHD for that subgroup. The median time of unsubstituted GHD for the total cohort was 2.53 years (P5 = 0.35, P95 = 24.42).

Results:

Beneficial effects of 4 years of GHRT were observed on lipids and quality of life in all subgroups. A decrease in waist circumference was observed only in older (>50 years) patients. There was no difference in IGF-I SDS and in GH dose required to normalize IGF-I in patients with a duration of unsubstituted AGHD above or below the median. No relevant differences were found between the groups for anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life scores.

Conclusion:

In contrast to GHD in children and adolescents, no difference could be established in treatment response between early or late initiation of GHRT in AGHD in terms of required GH dose, IGF-I, metabolic health and quality of life.

Open access

Jiayang Lin, Peizhen Zhang, Yan Huang, Xueyun Wei, Dan Guo, Jianfang Liu, Deying Liu, Yajuan Deng, Bingyan Xu, Chensihan Huang, Xiaoyu Yang, Yan Lu, Lijing Jia and Huijie Zhang

Background: Glycoprotein non-metastatic protein B (Gpnmb) has been identified as a new cytokine secreted by hepatocyte that plays an important role in balancing lipid homeostasis and development of obesity and metabolic disorders. However, information is not available regarding the association between circulating Gpnmb and hyperthyroid in humans.

Methods: We measured serum Gpnmb in 180 hyperthyroid patients and 82 healthy subjects that were recruited from the clinic. Of them, 46 hyperthyroid patients received thionamide treatment for 3 months.

Results: Hyperthyroid subjects had higher levels of circulating Gpnmb than healthy controls (47.8±10.1 ng/ml vs. 31.0±4.9 ng/ml, P < 0.001). Subjects with higher levels of serum free triiodothyronine (T3) and free thyroxine (T4) had higher levels of circulating Gpnmb. After thionamide treatment, levels of circulating Gpnmb in hyperthyroid subjects remarkably declined with significant improvement of thyroid function (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the change of circulating Gpnmb levels was significantly associated with basal metabolic rate (BMR) and thyroid hormones including free T3 and free T4, adjusting for age, gender, smoking and BMI before thionamide treatment. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, circulating Gpnmb was significantly associated with risks of hyperthyroidism [OR (95% CI): 1.44(1.20-1.74), P<0.001], adjusted for age, gender, BMI, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, LDL-cholesterol, ALT and AST.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that circulating Gpnmb concentrations are independently associated with hyperthyroid, suggesting that circulating Gpnmb may be a predictor of risk for hyperthyroidism and can be used for therapeutic monitoring.

Open access

David Koeckerling, Jeremy W Tomlinson and Jeremy F Cobbold

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a chronic liver disease which is closely associated with components of the metabolic syndrome. Its high clinical burden results from the growing prevalence, inherent cardiometabolic risk and potential of progressing to cirrhosis. Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease show variable rates of disease progression through a histological spectrum ranging from steatosis to steatohepatitis with or without fibrosis. The presence and severity of fibrosis are the most important prognostic factors in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This necessitates risk stratification of patients by fibrosis stage using combinations of non-invasive methods, such as composite scoring systems and/or transient elastography. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is advised, centred on amelioration of cardiometabolic risk through lifestyle and pharmacological interventions. Despite the current lack of licensed, liver-targeted pharmacotherapy, several promising agents are undergoing late-phase clinical trials to complement standard management in patients with advanced disease. This review summarises the current concepts in diagnosis and disease progression of non-alcoholic liver disease, focusing on pragmatic approaches to risk assessment and management in both primary and secondary care settings.

Open access

Chunliang Yang, Junyi Li, Fei Sun, Haifeng Zhou, Jia Yang and Chao Yang

Hyperglycemia is the consequence of blood glucose dysregulation and a driving force of diabetic complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. The serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase-1 (SGK1) has been suggested in the modulation of various pathophysiological activities. However, the role of SGK1 in blood glucose homeostasis remains less appreciated. In this review, we intend to summarize the function of SGK1 in glucose level regulation and to examine the evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of SGK1 inhibitors in hyperglycemia. Ample evidence points to the controversial roles of SGK1 in pancreatic insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which reflects the complex interplay between SGK1 activation and blood glucose fluctuation. Furthermore, SGK1 is engaged in glucose absorption and excretion in intestine and kidney and participates in the progression of hyperglycemia-induced secondary organ damage. As a net effect, blockage of SGK1 activation via either pharmacological inhibition or genetic manipulation seems to be helpful in glucose control at varying diabetic stages.

Open access

Ailsa Maria Main, Maria Rossing, Line Borgwardt, Birgitte Grønkær Toft, Åse Krogh Rasmussen and Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are tumours of the adrenal medulla and extra-adrenal sympathetic nervous system which often secrete catecholamines. Variants of the SDHX (SDHA, -AF2, -B, -C, -D) genes are a frequent cause of familial PPGLs. In this study from a single tertiary centre we aimed to characterize the genotype-phenotype associations in patients diagnosed with germline variants in SDHX genes. We also assessed whether systematic screening of family members resulted in earlier detection of tumours. The study cohort comprised all individuals (n=59) diagnosed with a rare variant in SDHX during a thirteen-year period. Patient- and pathology records were checked for clinical characteristics and histopathological findings. We found distinct differences in the clinical and histopathological characteristics between genetic variants in SDHB. We identified two SDHB variants with distinct phenotypical patterns. Family screening for SDHB variants resulted in earlier detection of tumours in two families. Patients with SDHA, SDHC and SDHD variants also had malignant phenotypes, underlining the necessity for a broad genetic screening of the proband. Our study corroborates previous findings of poor prognostic markers and found that the genetic variants and clinical phenotype are linked and therefore useful in the decision of clinical follow-up. Regular tumour screening of carriers of pathogenic variants may lead to an earlier diagnosis and expected better prognosis. The development of a combined algorithm with clinical, genetic, morphological, and biochemical factors may be the future for improved clinical risk stratification, and forming a basis for larger multi-centre follow up studies.

Open access

Yuka Goto, Yoshie Otsuka, Kenji Ashida, Ayako Nagayama, Nao Hasuzawa, Shimpei Iwata, Kento Hara, Munehisa Tsuruta, Nobuhiko Wada, Seiichi Motomura, Yuji Tajiri and Masatoshi Nomura

Background and Aims:

It is currently unclear whether sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor administration can improve the insulin sensitivity as well as rapidly reduce plasma glucose concentrations in humans during the early phase of treatment initiation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of SGLT2 inhibitor on insulin sensitivity in the early phase of treatment initiation.

Methods and Results

This single-center, open label, and single-arm prospective study recruited 20 patients (14 men) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined the patients’ metabolic parameters before and 1 week after SGLT2 inhibitor (10 mg/day of empagliflozin) administration. The glucose infusion rate (GIR) was evaluated using the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp technique. Changes in laboratory and anthropometric parameters before and after SGLT2 inhibitor administration were analyzed according to the change in the GIR. The BMI, body fat amount, skeletal muscle amount, systolic blood pressure, and triglyceride level significantly decreased along with the treatment, while urinary glucose level and log GIR value significantly increased. Notably, changes in the GIR after SGLT2 inhibitor administration, which indicated improvement in peripheral insulin sensitivity, were negatively correlated with T2DM duration and positively with reduction in fluctuation of daily plasma glucose profiles before and after treatment.

Conclusion

SGLT2 inhibitor improved insulin sensitivity in the skeletal muscle independent of anthropometric changes. Patients with short duration of T2DM and insulin resistance can be good candidates for short-term SGLT2 inhibitor administration to improve insulin sensitivity in the skeletal muscle.

Open access

Ferdinand Roelfsema, Peter Y Liu, Rebecca Yang, Paul Takahashi and Johannes D Veldhuis

Background:

Interleukin-2 (IL-2), one of the proinflammatory cytokines, is used in the treatment of certain malignancies. In some studies, transient increases in cortisol and ACTH secretion occurred. Thus, this agent may be used as an experimental probe of adrenal cortisol secretion.

Objective:

This study quantifies the effects of low and moderate doses of IL-2 on cortisol secretion and assesses the modulation by age, dose and body composition.

Site:

Mayo Clinical Translational Research Unit.

Subjects:

Study comprised 35 healthy men, 17 young and 18 older.

Methods:

Randomized prospective double-blind saline-controlled study of IL-2 administration in two doses with concurrent 10-min blood sampling for 24 h.

Outcome measures:

Deconvolution analysis and approximate entropy of cortisol secretion.

Results:

Low-dose IL-2 administration increased nocturnal pulsatile cortisol secretion from 1460 ± 160 to 2120 ± 220 nmol/L/8 h in young subjects and from 1680 ± 105 to 1960 ± 125 nmol/L/8 h (treatment P < 0.0001, but more in young than older, P = 0.02). Comparable results were obtained for total cortisol secretion (P treatment <0.0001, age effect P = 0.005). The higher IL-2 dose caused a large increase in young (P < 0.0001), but not in older (P = 0.90) subjects. This dose also increased approximate entropy from 0.877 ± 0.041 to 1.024 ± 0.049 (P = 0.008), pointing to reduced secretory orderliness. Incremental cortisol (nocturnal) secretion correlated negatively with visceral fat mass (R = −0.41, P = 0.019).

Conclusion:

In healthy men, IL-2 injection drives pulsatile cortisol secretion in a dose-dependent way in young, but not older, individuals and erodes cortisol secretory orderliness at a higher dose in young subjects. Cortisol responses are diminished with increasing abdominal visceral fat mass.

Open access

Anne Jouinot, Juliane Lippert, Martin Fassnacht, Bruno de La Villeon, Amandine Septier, Mario Neou, Karine Perlemoine, Silke Appenzeller, Mathilde Sibony, Sébastien Gaujoux, Bertrand Dousset, Rossella Libe, Lionel Groussin, Cristina L Ronchi, Guillaume Assié and Jérôme Bertherat

Background:

The prognosis of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is heterogeneous. Genomic studies have identified ACC subgroups characterized by specific molecular alterations, including features measured at DNA level (somatic mutations, chromosome alterations, DNA methylation), which are closely associated with outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate intratumor heterogeneity of prognostic molecular markers at the DNA level.

Methods:

Two different tissue samples (primary tumor, local recurrence or metastasis) were analyzed in 26 patients who underwent surgery for primary or recurrent ACC. DNA-related biomarkers with prognostic role were investigated in frozen and paraffin-embedded samples. Somatic mutations of p53/Rb and Wnt/β-catenin pathways were assessed using next-generation sequencing (n = 26), chromosome alteration profiles were determined using SNP arrays (n = 14) and methylation profiles were determined using four-gene bisulfite pyrosequencing (n = 12).

Results:

Somatic mutations for ZNRF3, TP53, CTNN1B and CDKN2A were found in 7, 6, 6 and 4 patients, respectively, with intratumor heterogeneity in 8/26 patients (31%). Chromosome alteration profiles were ‘Noisy’ (numerous and anarchic alterations) in 8/14 and ‘Chromosomal’ (extended patterns of loss of heterozygosity) in 5/14 of the study samples. For these profiles, no intratumor heterogeneity was observed. Methylation profiles were hypermethylated in 5/12 and non-hypermethylated in 7/12 of the study samples. Intratumor heterogeneity of methylation profiles was observed in 2/12 patients (17%).

Conclusions:

Intratumor heterogeneity impacts DNA-related molecular markers. While somatic mutation can differ, prognostic DNA methylation and chromosome alteration profile seem rather stable and might be more robust for the prognostic assessment.

Open access

Salem A Beshyah, Khawla F. Ali and Hussein F Saadi

Introduction: Appropriate dose adjustments of glucocorticoids replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency (AI) is vital.

Objective: We sought to scope physicians’ perceptions, and practices regarding Ramadan fasting (RF) impact on the management of AI.

Methods: A web-based survey of a convenience sample of endocrinologists.

Results: Nearly two-thirds of 145 respondents (64.1%) were adult endocrinologists and almost half (49%) saw more than 10 hypoadrenal patients per year. Most respondents (78.6%) prescribed hydrocortisone, while the minority prescribed other preparations. The glucocorticoid doses were reportedly divided twice daily by 70.8% and thrice daily by 22.2% of respondents. Respondents recognized RF as having potential consequences in adrenal insufficiency patients included causing hypoglycaemia, undue tiredness, and fatigue, hypotension, feeling dizzy, and light-headedness. Symptoms of under-replacement were thought to happen in the late afternoon by 59.3% of respondents. Almost half (45.5%) of respondents thought that RF has some probable or definite impact on glucocorticoid therapy that certainly warrants specific concern and possible action. Three quarters (76.4%) of respondents confirmed providing specific management recommendations during RF. The most frequently reported recommendation was taking in the usual morning dose of hydrocortisone just before pre-dawn meal (Suhor) (57.8%). A third switch patients from hydrocortisone to prednisolone/prednisone. Half reported providing patients with specific recommendations regarding breaking their fast and/or seeking help if hypoadrenal symptoms occur.

Conclusions: There is a remarkable variation in the physicians’ perceptions and practices regarding the management of AI during Ramadan. This warrants professional effort to increase the awareness and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines.