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Open access

M Boering, P R van Dijk, S J J Logtenberg, K H Groenier, B H R Wolffenbuttel, R O B Gans, N Kleefstra, and H J G Bilo

Aims

Elevated sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations have been described in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), probably due to low portal insulin concentrations. We aimed to investigate whether the route of insulin administration, continuous intraperitoneal insulin infusion (CIPII), or subcutaneous (SC), influences SHBG concentrations among T1DM patients.

Methods

Post hoc analysis of SHBG in samples derived from a randomized, open-labeled crossover trial was carried out in 20 T1DM patients: 50% males, mean age 43 (±13) years, diabetes duration 23 (±11) years, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 8.7 (±1.1) (72 (±12) mmol/mol). As secondary outcomes, testosterone, 17-β-estradiol, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were analyzed.

Results

Estimated mean change in SHBG was −10.3nmol/L (95% CI: −17.4, −3.2) during CIPII and 3.7nmol/L (95% CI: −12.0, 4.6) during SC insulin treatment. Taking the effect of treatment order into account, the difference in SHBG between therapies was −6.6nmol/L (95% CI: −17.5, 4.3); −12.7nmol/L (95% CI: −25.1, −0.4) for males and −1.7nmol/L (95% CI: −24.6, 21.1) for females, respectively. Among males, SHBG and testosterone concentrations changed significantly during CIPII; −15.8nmol/L (95% CI: −24.2, −7.5) and −8.3nmol/L (95% CI: −14.4, −2.2), respectively. The difference between CIPII and SC insulin treatment was also significant for change in FSH 1.2U/L (95% CI: 0.1, 2.2) among males.

Conclusions

SHBG concentrations decreased significantly during CIPII treatment. Moreover, the difference in change between CIPII and SC insulin therapy was significant for SHBG and FSH among males. These findings support the hypothesis that portal insulin administration influences circulating SHBG and sex steroids.

Open access

Tao Mei, Jianhe Zhang, Liangfeng Wei, Xingfeng Qi, Yiming Ma, Xianhua Liu, Shaohua Chen, Songyuan Li, Jianwu Wu, and Shousen Wang

Tumor cells require large amounts of energy to sustain growth. Through the mediated transport of glucose transporters, the uptake and utilization of glucose by tumor cells are significantly enhanced in the hypoxic microenvironment. Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors with high-energy metabolisms. We aimed to investigate the role of expression of glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in pituitary adenomas, including effects on size, cystic change and hormone type. Pituitary adenomas from 203 patients were collected from January 2013 to April 2017, and immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect the expression of GLUT3 and GLUT1 in tumor specimens. GLUT3-positive expression in the cystic change group was higher than that in the non-cystic change group (P = 0.018). Proportions of GLUT3-positive staining of microadenomas, macroadenomas, and giant adenomas were 22.7 (5/22), 50.4 (66/131) and 54.0% (27/50), respectively (P = 0.022). In cases of prolactin adenoma, GLUT3-positive staining was predominant in cell membranes (P = 0.000006), while in cases of follicle-stimulating hormone or luteotropic hormone adenoma, we found mainly paranuclear dot-like GLUT3 staining (P = 0.025). In other hormonal adenomas, GLUT3 was only partially expressed, and the intensity of cell membrane or paranuclear punctate staining was weak. In contrast to GLUT3, GLUT1 expression was not associated with pituitary adenomas. Thus, our results indicate that the expression of GLUT3 in pituitary adenomas is closely related to cystic change and hormonal type. This study is the first to report a unique paranuclear dot-like GLUT3 staining pattern in pituitary adenomas.

Open access

Liza Haqq, James McFarlane, Gudrun Dieberg, and Neil Smart

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects 18–22% of women at reproductive age. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the expected benefits of lifestyle (exercise plus diet) interventions on the reproductive endocrine profile in women with PCOS. Potential studies were identified by systematically searching PubMed, CINAHL and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry (1966–April 30, 2013) systematically using key concepts of PCOS. Significant improvements were seen in women receiving lifestyle intervention vs usual care in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, mean difference (MD) 0.39 IU/l (95% CI 0.09 to 0.70, P=0.01), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, MD 2.37 nmol/l (95% CI 1.27 to 3.47, P<0.0001), total testosterone levels, MD −0.13 nmol/l (95% CI −0.22 to −0.03, P=0.008), androstenedione levels, MD −0.09 ng/dl (95% CI −0.15 to −0.03, P=0.005), free androgen index (FAI) levels, MD −1.64 (95% CI −2.94 to −0.35, P=0.01) and Ferriman–Gallwey (FG) score, MD −1.01 (95% CI −1.54 to −0.48, P=0.0002). Significant improvements were also observed in women who received exercise-alone intervention vs usual care in FSH levels, MD 0.42 IU/l (95% CI 0.11 to 0.73, P=0.009), SHBG levels, MD 3.42 nmol/l (95% CI 0.11 to 6.73, P=0.04), total testosterone levels, MD −0.16 nmol/l (95% CI −0.29 to −0.04, P=0.01), androstenedione levels, MD −0.09 ng/dl (95% CI −0.16 to −0.03, P=0.004) and FG score, MD −1.13 (95% CI −1.88 to −0.38, P=0.003). Our analyses suggest that lifestyle (diet and exercise) intervention improves levels of FSH, SHBG, total testosterone, androstenedione and FAI, and FG score in women with PCOS.

Open access

M von Wolff, C T Nakas, M Tobler, T M Merz, M P Hilty, J D Veldhuis, A R Huber, and J Pichler Hefti

Humans cannot live at very high altitude for reasons, which are not completely understood. Since these reasons are not restricted to cardiorespiratory changes alone, changes in the endocrine system might also be involved. Therefore, hormonal changes during prolonged hypobaric hypoxia were comprehensively assessed to determine effects of altitude and hypoxia on stress, thyroid and gonadal hypothalamus–pituitary hormone axes. Twenty-one male and 19 female participants were examined repetitively during a high-altitude expedition. Cortisol, prolactin, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), fT4 and fT3 and in males follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and total testosterone were analysed as well as parameters of hypoxemia, such as SaO2 and paO2 at 550 m (baseline) (n = 40), during ascent at 4844 m (n = 38), 6022 m (n = 31) and 7050 m (n = 13), at 4844 m (n = 29) after acclimatization and after the expedition (n = 38). Correlation analysis of hormone concentrations with oxygen parameters and with altitude revealed statistical association in most cases only with altitude. Adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes were affected by increasing altitude. Adrenal axis and prolactin were first supressed at 4844 m and then activated with increasing altitude; thyroid and gonadal axes were directly activated or suppressed respectively with increasing altitude. Acclimatisation at 4844 m led to normalization of adrenal and gonadal but not of thyroid axes. In conclusion, acclimatization partly leads to a normalization of the adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes at around 5000 m. However, at higher altitude, endocrine dysregulation is pronounced and might contribute to the physical degradation found at high altitude.

Open access

E Kohva, P J Miettinen, S Taskinen, M Hero, A Tarkkanen, and T Raivio

Background

We describe the phenotypic spectrum and timing of diagnosis and management in a large series of patients with disorders of sexual development (DSD) treated in a single pediatric tertiary center.

Methods

DSD patients who had visited our tertiary center during the survey period (between 2004 and 2014) were identified based on an ICD-10 inquiry, and their phenotypic and molecular genetic findings were recorded from patient charts.

Results

Among the 550 DSD patients, 53.3% had 46,XY DSD; 37.1% had sex chromosome DSD and 9.6% had 46,XX DSD. The most common diagnoses were Turner syndrome (19.8%, diagnosed at the mean age of 4.7 ± 5.5 years), Klinefelter syndrome (14.5%, 6.8 ± 6.2 years) and bilateral cryptorchidism (23.1%). Very few patients with 46,XY DSD (7%) or 46,XX DSD (21%) had molecular genetic diagnosis. The yearly rate of DSD diagnoses remained stable over the survey period. After the release of the Nordic consensus on the management of undescended testes, the age at surgery for bilateral cryptorchidism declined significantly (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Our results show that (i) Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome, the most frequent single DSD diagnoses, are still diagnosed relatively late; (ii) a temporal shift was observed in the management of bilateral cryptorchidism, which may favorably influence patients’ adulthood semen quality and (iii) next-generation sequencing methods are not fully employed in the diagnostics of DSD patients.

Open access

Valentina Guarnotta, Silvia Lucchese, Mariagrazia Irene Mineo, Donatella Mangione, Renato Venezia, Piero Luigi Almasio, and Carla Giordano

Objective

The aim of this study is to clarify, in girls with premature pubarche (PP), the influence of premature androgenization on the prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Design and patients

Ninety-nine PP girls, 63 who developed PCOS and 36 who did not develop PCOS, were retrospectively included. Clinical, anthropometric, and metabolic parameters were evaluated at the time of diagnosis of PP and after 10 years from menarche to find predictive factors of PCOS.

Results

Young females with PP showed a PCOS prevalence of 64% and showed a higher prevalence of familial history of diabetes (P = 0.004) and a lower prevalence of underweight (P = 0.025) than PP-NO-PCOS. In addition, girls with PP-PCOS showed higher BMI (P < 0.001), waist circumference (P < 0.001), total testosterone (P = 0.026), visceral adiposity index (VAI) (P = 0.013), total cholesterol (P < 0.001), LDL-cholesterol (P < 0.001), non-HDL cholesterol (P < 0.001) and lower age of menarche (P = 0.015), ISI-Matsuda (P < 0.001), DIo (P = 0.002), HDL cholesterol (P = 0.026) than PP-NO-PCOS. Multivariate analysis showed that WC (P = 0.049), ISI-Matsuda (P < 0.001), oral disposition index (DIo) (P < 0.001), VAI (P < 0.001), total testosterone (P < 0.001) and LDL-cholesterol (P < 0.001) are independent predictive factors for PCOS in girls with PP.

Conclusions

Our study established a strong association between multiple risk factors and development of PCOS in PP girls. These risk factors are predominantly related to the regulation of glucose, lipid, and androgen metabolism. Among these factors, WC, ISI-Matsuda, DIo, VAI, total testosterone, and LDL-cholesterol predict PCOS.

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

Anita Hokken-Koelega, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Berthold Hauffa, Gabriele Häusler, Gudmundur Johannsson, Mohamad Maghnie, Jesús Argente, Jean DeSchepper, Helena Gleeson, John W Gregory, Charlotte Höybye, Fahrettin Keleştimur, Anton Luger, Hermann L Müller, Sebastian Neggers, Vera Popovic-Brkic, Eleonora Porcu, Lars Sävendahl, Stephen Shalet, Bessie Spiliotis, and Maithé Tauber

Objective

Seamless transition of endocrine patients from the paediatric to adult setting is still suboptimal, especially in patients with complex disorders, i.e., small for gestational age, Turner or Prader–Willi syndromes; Childhood Cancer Survivors, and those with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency.

Methods

An expert panel meeting comprised of European paediatric and adult endocrinologists was convened to explore the current gaps in managing the healthcare of patients with endocrine diseases during transition from paediatric to adult care settings.

Results

While a consensus was reached that a team approach is best, discussions revealed that a ‘one size fits all’ model for transition is largely unsuccessful in these patients. They need more tailored care during adolescence to prevent complications like failure to achieve target adult height, reduced bone mineral density, morbid obesity, metabolic perturbations (obesity and body composition), inappropriate/inadequate puberty, compromised fertility, diminished quality of life and failure to adapt to the demands of adult life. Sometimes it is difficult for young people to detach emotionally from their paediatric endocrinologist and/or the abrupt change from an environment of parental responsibility to one of autonomy. Discussions about impending transition and healthcare autonomy should begin in early adolescence and continue throughout young adulthood to ensure seamless continuum of care and optimal treatment outcomes.

Conclusions

Even amongst a group of healthcare professionals with a great interest in improving transition services for patients with endocrine diseases, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of healthcare for transition patients.

Open access

Veronica Kieffer, Kate Davies, Christine Gibson, Morag Middleton, Jean Munday, Shashana Shalet, Lisa Shepherd, and Phillip Yeoh

This competency framework was developed by a working group of endocrine specialist nurses with the support of the Society for Endocrinology to enhance the clinical care that adults with an endocrine disorder receive. Nurses should be able to demonstrate that they are functioning at an optimal level in order for patients to receive appropriate care. By formulating a competency framework from which an adult endocrine nurse specialist can work, it is envisaged that their development as professional practitioners can be enhanced. This is the second edition of the Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing. It introduces four new competencies on benign adrenal tumours, hypo- and hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. The authors and the Society for Endocrinology welcome constructive feedback on the document, both nationally and internationally, in anticipation that further developments and ideas can be incorporated into future versions.

Open access

Yao Chen and Shu-ying Fang

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogenous endocrine disorder with typical symptoms of oligomenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Extensive evidence indicates that PCOS is a genetic disease and numerous biochemical pathways have been linked with its pathogenesis. A number of genes from these pathways have been investigated, which include those involved with steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, action of gonadotropin and gonadal hormones, folliculogenesis, obesity and energy regulation, insulin secretion and action and many others. In this review, we summarize the historical and recent findings in genetic polymorphisms of PCOS from the relevant publications and outline some genetic polymorphisms that are potentially associated with the risk of PCOS. This information could uncover candidate genes associating with PCOS, which will be valuable for the development of novel diagnostic and treatment platforms for PCOS patients.