Since individuals with Addison’s disease (AD) present considerable co-occurrence of additional autoimmune conditions, clustering of autoimmunity was also predicted among their relatives. The study was aimed to assess circulating autoantibodies in first-degree relatives of patients with AD and to correlate them with the established genetic risk factors (PTPN22 rs2476601, CTLA4 rs231775, and BACH2 rs3757247). Antibodies were evaluated using validated commercial assays, and genotyping was performed using TaqMan chemistry. The studied cohort comprised 112 female and 75 male relatives. Circulating autoantibodies were found in 69 relatives (36.9%). Thyroid autoantibodies, that is antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (aTPO) and thyroglobulin (aTg), were detectable in 25.1 and 17.1% relatives, respectively. Antibodies to 21-hydroxylase (a21OH) were found in 5.8% individuals, and beta cell-specific antibodies to ZnT8, GAD, and IA2 were found in 7.5, 8.0, and 2.7%, respectively. The prevalence of a21OH (P = 0.0075; odds ratio (OR) 7.68; 95% CI 1.903–36.0), aTPO (P < 0.0001; OR 3.85; 95% CI 1.873–7.495), and aTg (P < 0.0001; OR 7.73; 95% CI 3.112–19.65), as well as aGAD (P = 0.0303; OR 3.38; 95% CI 1.180–9.123) and aZnT8 (P = 0.032; OR 6.40; 95% CI 1.846–21.91), was significantly increased in carriers of rs2476601 T allele. Moreover, T allele appeared to be a risk factor for multiple circulating autoantibody specificities (P = 0.0009; OR 5.79; 95% CI 1.962–15.81). None of the studied autoantibodies demonstrated significant association with rs231775 in CTLA4 (P > 0.05), and only weak association was detected between BACH2 rs3757247 and circulating aTPO (P = 0.0336; OR 2.12; 95%CI 1.019–4.228). In conclusion, first-degree relatives of patients with AD, carriers of the PTPN22 rs2476601 T allele, are at particular risk of developing autoantibodies to endocrine antigens.
Marta Fichna, Piotr P Małecki, Magdalena Żurawek, Katarzyna Furman, Bolesław Gębarski, Piotr Fichna, and Marek Ruchała
Kimberly Kuiper, Hanna Swaab, Nicole Tartaglia, and Sophie van Rijn
The presence of an additional X or Y chromosome (sex chromosome trisomies, SCT) is associated with an increased risk for neurodevelopmental difficulties, including socio-emotional problems, across the life span. Studying emotion regulation in young children with SCT could signal deviations in emotional development that serve as risk markers to guide clinical care. This study explored the presence and variety of emotion regulation strategies in 75 SCT children and 81 population-based controls, aged 1–7 years, during a frustration-inducing event in which physiological (heart rate) and observational data (behavioral responses) were collected. Children with SCT were equally physiologically aroused by the event as compared to controls. However, they showed more emotion regulation difficulties in terms of behavior compared to controls that were not explicable in terms of differences in general intellectual functioning. Specifically, they had a more limited range of behavioral alternatives and tended to rely longer on inefficient strategies with increasing age. The field of practice should be made aware of these early risk findings regarding emotion regulation in SCT, which may potentially lay the foundation for later socio-emotional problems, given the significant impact of emotion regulation on child and adult mental health outcomes. The current results may help to design tailored interventions to reduce the impact of the additional sex chromosome on adaptive functioning, psychopathology, and quality of life.
Natacha Driessens, Madhu Prasai, Orsalia Alexopoulou, Christophe De Block, Eva Van Caenegem, Guy T’Sjoen, Frank Nobels, Christophe Ghys, Laurent Vroonen, Corinne Jonas, Bernard Corvilain, and Dominique Maiter
Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare disease with an increasing prevalence, which may be complicated by life-threatening adrenal crisis (AC). Good quality epidemiological data remain scarce. We performed a Belgian survey to describe the aetiology, clinical characteristics, treatment regimens, comorbidities and frequency of AC in PAI.
A nationwide multicentre study involving 10 major university hospitals in Belgium collected data from adult patients with known PAI.
Two hundred patients were included in this survey. The median age at diagnosis was 38 years (IQR 25–48) with a higher female prevalence (F/M sex ratio = 1.53). The median disease duration was 13 years (IQR 7–25). Autoimmune disease was the most common aetiology (62.5%) followed by bilateral adrenalectomy (23.5%) and genetic variations (8.5%). The majority (96%) of patients were treated with hydrocortisone at a mean daily dose of 24.5 ± 7.0 mg, whereas 87.5% of patients also received fludrocortisone. About one-third of patients experienced one or more AC over the follow-up period, giving an incidence of 3.2 crises per 100 patient-years. There was no association between the incidence of AC and the maintenance dose of hydrocortisone. As high as 27.5% of patients were hypertensive, 17.5% had diabetes and 17.5% had a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
This study provides the first information on the management of PAI in large clinical centres in Belgium, showing an increased frequency of postsurgical PAI, a nearly normal prevalence of several comorbidities and an overall good quality of care with a low incidence of adrenal crises, compared with data from other registries.
Andre Madsen, Anders Juul, and Lise Aksglaede
Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common sex chromosome disorder and genetic cause of infertility in males. A highly variable phenotype contributes to the fact that a large proportion of cases are never diagnosed. Typical hallmarks in adults include small testes and azoospermia which may prompt biochemical evaluation that typically shows extremely high follicle-stimulating hormone and low/undetectable inhibin B serum concentrations. However, in prepubertal KS individuals, biochemical parameters are largely overlapping those of prepubertal controls. We aimed to characterize clinical profiles of prepubertal boys with KS in relation to controls and to develop a novel biochemical classification model to identify KS before puberty.
Retrospective, longitudinal data from 15 prepubertal boys with KS and data from 1475 controls were used to calculate age- and sex-adjusted standard deviation scores (SDS) for height and serum concentrations of reproductive hormones and used to infer a decision tree classification model for KS.
Individual reproductive hormones were low but within reference ranges and did not discriminate KS from controls. Clinical and biochemical profiles including age- and sex-adjusted SDS from multiple reference curves provided input data to train a ‘random forest’ machine learning (ML) model for the detection of KS. Applied to unseen data, the ML model achieved a classification accuracy of 78% (95% CI, 61–94%).
Supervised ML applied to clinically relevant variables enabled computational classification of control and KS profiles. The application of age- and sex-adjusted SDS provided robust predictions irrespective of age. Specialized ML models applied to combined reproductive hormone concentrations may be useful diagnostic tools to improve the identification of prepubertal boys with KS.
Ruth Percik, Sherwin Criseno, Safwaan Adam, Kate Young, and Daniel L Morganstein
Checkpoint inhibitors are now widely used in the management of many cancers. Endocrine toxicity is amongst the most common side effects. These endocrinopathies differ from most other immune-related toxicities in frequently being irreversible and rarely requiring cessation of checkpoint inhibitor therapy. This review considers an approach to the presentation and diagnosis of endocrinopathies, compared to classical endocrine diagnosis, suggesting improvements to classification and treatment based on fundamental endocrine principles. These will help to align management with other similar endocrine conditions and standardise the diagnosis and reporting of endocrine toxicity of checkpoint inhibitors to improve both endocrine and oncological care. In particular, the importance of considering any inflammatory phase (such as painful thyroiditis or hypophysitis resulting in the pituitary enlargement), from the endocrine consequences (transient hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism, pan-hypopituitarism or isolated adrenocorticotrophic hormone deficiency), is highlighted. It is also important to consider the potential confounder of exogenous corticosteroids in adrenal suppression.
Yinqiong Huang, Zhaozhao Zhu, Zhiqin Huang, and Jingxiong Zhou
Background: Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has become a major cause of chronic kidney disease. However, early diagnosis of DKD is challenging. Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) is an intestinal microbial metabolite which might be associated with diabetes complications. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between TMAO and DKD.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. 108 T2DM patients and 33 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. Multiple logistic regression analysis and area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) were performed to evaluate the correlation between serum TMAO and DKD.
Results: Serum TMAO levels were significantly higher in DKD patients than healthy control group and the NDKD (T2DM without combined DKD) group (P < 0.05). TMAO levels were negatively correlated with eGFR and positively correlated with urea nitrogen, ACR and DKD (P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis indicated that serum TMAO was one of the independent risk factors for DKD patients (P < 0.05). In the diagnostic model, the AUROC of TMAO for the diagnosis of DKD was 0.691.
Conclusion: Elevated levels of serum TMAO levels were positively associated with the risk of DKD in T2DM patients, which might be a potential biomarker for DKD.
Wolfgang Högler, Agnès Linglart, Anna Petryk, Priya S Kishnani, Lothar Seefried, Shona Fang, Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, Keiichi Ozono, Kathryn Dahir, and Gabriel Ángel Martos-Moreno
Hypophosphatasia, an inborn error of metabolism characterized by impaired bone mineralization, can affect growth. This study evaluated relationships between anthropometric parameters (height, weight, and body mass index) and clinical manifestations of hypophosphatasia in children.
Data from children (aged <18 years) with hypophosphatasia were analyzed from the observational Global Hypophosphatasia Registry.
Anthropometric parameters were evaluated by age group (<2 years and ≥2 years) at assessment. The frequency of hypophosphatasia manifestations was compared between children with short stature (< percentile) and those with normal stature.
This analysis included 215 children (54.4% girls). Short stature presented in 16.1% of children aged <2 years and 20.4% of those aged ≥2 years at assessment. Among those with available data (n = 62), height was below the target height (mean: −0.66 standard deviations). Substantial worsening of growth (mean delta height z score: −1.45; delta weight z score: −0.68) occurred before 2 years of age, while in those aged ≥2 years, anthropometric trajectories were maintained (delta height z score: 0.08; delta weight z score: 0.13). Broad-ranging hypophosphatasia manifestations (beyond dental) were observed in most children.
Short stature was not a consistent characteristic of children with hypophosphatasia, but growth impairment was observed in those aged <2 years, indicating that hypophosphatasia might affect growth plate activity during infancy. In addition, a broad range of clinical manifestations occurred in those above and below the third percentile for height, suggesting that height alone may not accurately reflect hypophosphatasia disease burden and that weight is less affected than longitudinal growth.
Qiankai Jin, Guoqing Huang, Xiaoqing Tian, Yimeng Shu, Ximisinuer Tusongtuoheti, and Yushan Mao
The aim of this study was to elaborate the link of thyroid hormones (THs) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a Chinese euthyroid employee population with MetS component(s).
An annual health checkup was performed on employees in 2019. Anthropometric parameters, metabolic parameters, and thyroid function were measured. A questionnaire was used in conjunction with Zhenhai Lianhua Hospital database to receive employees' medication records and thyroid surgical history records.
A total of 5486 eligible employees were included; the prevalence of MetS was generally higher in males than in females (38.9 vs. 30.4%, P < 0.001). Among employees with central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), the prevalence of MetS was 68.8, 63.6, 68.2, 48.8, and 60.0% in males and 72.6, 63.3, 61.3, 42.3, and 42.3% in females, respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine (FT4) quartiles had no significant impact on MetS. Free triiodothyronine/free thyroxine (FT3/FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3)) quartiles were positively associated with the increased odds ratio (OR) for MetS and dyslipidemia (hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL-C), regardless of gender. In males, FT3 and FT3/FT4 quartiles were positively associated with the OR for central obesity, whereas FT4 quartiles were negatively associated; both FT3 and FT4 quartiles were positively associated with increased OR of hyperglycemia, while similar results were not observed in females. Interaction analysis indicated no significant effect of gender and TH interactions on risk of MetS.
High FT3 and FT3/FT4 were strongly linked with MetS and dyslipidemia in our study, even in the euthyroid individuals. Tighter control of thyroid function was necessary for those with preexisting MetS component(s).
Nathalia Gbp Ferreira, Joao Madeira, Peter Gergics, Renata Kertsz, Juliana Moreira Marques, Nicholas Silvestre de Souza Trigueiro, Anna Flavia Figueredo Benedetti, Bruna V Azevedo, Bianca Helena Ventura Fernandes, Debora D Bissegatto, Isabela Peixoto Biscotto, Qing Fang, Qianyi Ma, Asye Bilge Ozel, Jun Li, Sally A Camper, Alexander A L Jorge, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Ivo Jp Arnhold, and Luciani R Carvalho
Context: Congenital hypopituitarism is a genetically heterogeneous condition. Whole exome sequencing (WES) is a promising approach for molecular diagnosis of patients with this condition.
Objectives: To conduct WES in a patient with congenital hypopituitarism born to consanguineous parents, CDH2 screening in a cohort of patients with congenital hypopituitarism, and functional testing of a novel CDH2 variant.
Design: Genomic DNA from a proband and her consanguineous parents was analyzed by WES. Copy number variants were evaluated. The genetic variants were filtered for population frequency (ExAC, 1000 genomes, gnomAD and ABraOM), in silico prediction of pathogenicity, and gene expression in pituitary and/or hypothalamus. Genomic DNA from 145 patients was screened for CDH2 by Sanger sequencing.
Results: One female patient with deficiencies in GH, TSH, ACTH, LH, and FSH and ectopic posterior pituitary gland contained a rare homozygous c.865G>A (p.Val289Ile) variant in CDH2. To determine whether the p.Val289Ile variant in CDH2 affects cell adhesion properties, we stably transfected L1 fibroblast lines, labeled the cells with lipophilic dyes, and quantified aggregation. Large aggregates formed in cells expressing wild type CDH2, but aggregation was impaired in cells transfected with variant CDH2 or non-transfected.
Conclusion: A homozygous CDH2 allelic variant was found in 1 hypopituitarism patient, and the variant impaired cell aggregation function in vitro. No disease-causing variants were found in 145 other patients screened for CDH2 variants. Thus, CDH2 is a candidate gene for hypopituitarism that needs to be tested in different populations.
Julia Herteux, Simon Johannes Geiger, Christina Starchl, Johanna Windisch, Theresa Lerchl, Adelina Tmava-Berisha, Gerit Wünsch, Kathrin Eller, Astrid Fahrleitner-Pammer, and Karin Amrein
Chronic hypoparathyroidism (HP) is associated with acute and chronic complications, especially those related to hypocalcemia. We aimed to analyze details on hospital admissions and the reported deaths in affected patients.
Design and methods
In a retrospective analysis, we reviewed the medical history of 198 patients diagnosed with chronic HP over a continuous period of up to 17 years at the Medical University Graz.
The mean age in our mostly female cohort (70.2%) was 62.6 ± 18.7 years. The etiology was predominantly postsurgical (84.8%). About 87.4% of patients received standard medication (oral calcium/vitamin D), 15 patients (7.6%) used rhPTH1–84/Natpar® and 10 patients (4.5%) had no/unknown medication. Two hundred and nineteen emergency room (ER) visits and 627 hospitalizations were documented among 149 patients, and 49 patients (24.7%) did not record any hospital admissions. According to symptoms and decreased serum calcium levels, 12% of ER (n = 26) visits and 7% of hospitalizations (n = 44) were likely attributable to HP. A subgroup of 13 patients (6.5%) received kidney transplants prior to the HP diagnosis. In eight of these patients, parathyroidectomy for tertiary renal hyperparathyroidism was the cause of permanent HP. The mortality was 7.8% (n = 12), and the causes of death appeared to be unrelated to HP. Although the awareness for HP was low, calcium levels were documented in 71% (n = 447) of hospitalizations.
Acute symptoms directly related to HP did not represent the primary cause of ER visits. However, comorbidities (e.g. renal/cardiovascular diseases) associated with HP played a key role in hospitalizations and deaths.
Hypoparathyroidism (HP) is the most common complication after anterior neck surgery. Yet, it remains underdiagnosed as well as undertreated, and the burden of disease and long-term complications are usually underestimated. There are few detailed data on emergency room (ER) visits hospitalizations and death in patients with chronic HP, although acute symptoms due to hypo-/hypercalcemia are easily detectable. We show that HP is not the primary cause for presentation but that hypocalcemia is a typical laboratory finding (when ordered) and thus may contribute to subjective symptoms. Patients often present with renal/cardiovascular/oncologic illness for which HP is known to be a contributing factor. A small but very special group (n = 13, 6.5%) are patients after kidney transplantations who showed a high ER hospitalization rate. Surprisingly, HP was never the cause for their frequent hospitalizations but rather the result of chronic kidney disease. The most frequent cause for HP in these patients was parathyroidectomy due to tertiary hyperparathyroidism. The causes of death in 12 patients appeared to be unrelated to HP, but we found a high prevalence of chronic organ damages/comorbidities related to it in this group. Less than 25% documented HP correctly in the discharge letters, which indicates a high potential for improvement.