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Open access

L A Hughes, K McKay-Bounford, E A Webb, P Dasani, S Clokie, H Chandran, L McCarthy, Z Mohamed, J M W Kirk, N P Krone, S Allen, and T R P Cole

Disorders of sex development (DSDs) are a diverse group of conditions where the chromosomal, gonadal or anatomical sex can be atypical. The highly heterogeneous nature of this group of conditions often makes determining a genetic diagnosis challenging. Prior to next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, genetic diagnostic tests were only available for a few of the many DSD-associated genes, which consequently had to be tested sequentially. Genetic testing is key in establishing the diagnosis, allowing for personalised management of these patients. Pinpointing the molecular cause of a patient’s DSD can significantly impact patient management by informing future development needs, altering management strategies and identifying correct inheritance pattern when counselling family members. We have developed a 30-gene NGS panel, designed to be used as a frontline test for all suspected cases of DSD (both 46,XX and 46,XY cases). We have confirmed a diagnosis in 25 of the 80 patients tested to date. Confirmed diagnoses were linked to mutations in AMH, AMHR2, AR, HSD17B3, HSD3B2, MAMLD1, NR5A1, SRD5A2 and WT1 which have resulted in changes to patient management. The minimum diagnostic yield for patients with 46,XY DSD is 25/73. In 34/80 patients, only benign or likely benign variants were identified, and in 21/80 patients only variants of uncertain significance (VOUS) were identified, resulting in a diagnosis not being confirmed in these individuals. Our data support previous studies that an NGS panel approach is a clinically useful and cost-effective frontline test for patients with DSDs.

Open access

Navid Tabriz, Kilian Gloy, Astrid Schantzen, Dennis Fried, Dirk Weyhe, and Verena Uslar

Objectives

Validation of a German version of the ThyPRO-39 questionnaire for quality of life (QoL) in patients with benign thyroid diseases.

Design

Internal consistency, retest reliability, and validity were to be assessed in a test-retest study.

Methods

The ThyPRO-39 was translated based on standard methodology. A sample of 98 patients with benign thyroid diseases was tested with the ThyPRO-39de and the generic EuroQol 5D-5L. Forty-four patients with stable symptoms after 2 weeks formed the repeated measures sample. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for the ThyPRO-39de composite score and for each disease-specific scale. Intraclass correlations between the original and the repeated measures sample were calculated for each scale as well as Pearson correlations between various ThyPRO scales and the EuroQol. T-tests were used to test for differences in the goiter and hyperthyroid symptom scales between relevant patient groups and other patients.

Results

Internal consistency was between satisfactory and good, except for two scales (tiredness and cosmetic complaints/appearance). The test-retest correlation was between 0.62 and 0.8 for most scales, but below 0.5 for two scales (tiredness and impaired social life). There were significant correlations between the EuroQol index score and most aspects of the ThyPRO-39de. Only the hyperthyroid symptoms scale was specific for the relevant patient group (Graves’ disease).

Conclusion

The ThyPRO-39de may be recommended for use in clinical and research settings, especially with regards to the composite score. However, the underlying thyroid disease should always be kept in mind when interpreting the test results. A larger sample would be needed to implement further improvements.

Open access

Louise Færch, Anders Juul, Ulrik Pedersen-Bjergaard, and Birger Thorsteinsson

Objective

GH is implicated in the counter-regulatory response to hypoglycemia. We tested whether IGF1 levels are associated with occurrence of severe hypoglycemic events in patients with type 1 diabetes and whether the IGF1 concentration is influenced by glycemic control.

Methods

A total of 228 outpatients with type 1 diabetes were included in a post hoc analysis of a 1-year observational study on severe hypoglycemia. Serum total IGF1 was measured at entry into the study. The occurrence of severe episodes of hypoglycemia, mild symptomatic, and biochemical as well as hypoglycemia awareness status was assessed. Also patients were included in a multiple regression analysis to investigate the role of HbA1c in the IGF1 concentration.

Results

IGF1 levels were associated with neither severe hypoglycemia in the entire cohort (P=0.30) nor in any gender nor when confining the analysis to those with long-standing diabetes (>20 years) (n=112, P=0.68) and those with both long-standing diabetes and undetectable C-peptide (n=51, P=0.067). Levels of IGF1 were associated with neither mild symptomatic hypoglycemia (P=0.24) nor biochemical hypoglycemia (0.089) nor hypoglycemia awareness (P=0.16). At a multiple regression analysis, HbA1c was negatively associated with IGF1 (P=0.001).

Conclusion

In type 1 diabetes, circulating IGF1 levels are negatively associated with glycemic control. However, IGF1 levels were not associated with occurrence of hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia awareness in these patients.

Open access

Paolo G Arduino, Dora Karimi, Federico Tirone, Veronica Sciannameo, Fulvio Ricceri, Marco Cabras, Alessio Gambino, Davide Conrotto, Stefano Salzano, Mario Carbone, and Roberto Broccoletti

The association between oral lichen planus (OLP) and hypothyroidism has been debated with conflicting results: some authors detected a statistically significant association between these two, while others did not confirm it. The aim of this study was to evaluate the thyroid status in patients with newly diagnosed OLP to test the null hypothesis that thyroid disease is not associated with an increased incidence of oral lesions, with a prospective case-control approach. A total of 549 patients have been evaluated, of whom 355 were female. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained. Patients suffering from thyroid diseases were associated with an almost 3-fold increased odds of having OLP (OR 2.85, 95% CI: 1.65–4.94), after adjusting this analysis for age, gender, body mass index, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension and hepatitis C infection. It would be appropriate to further investigate the possible concomitance of OLP among patients with thyroid disorder; endocrinologists should be aware of this association, especially because OLP is considered a potentially malignant oral disorder.

Open access

Ramjan Sanas Mohamed, Biyaser Abuelgasim, Sally Barker, Hemanth Prabhudev, Niamh M Martin, Karim Meeran, Emma L Williams, Sarah Darch, Whitlock Matthew, Tricia Tan, and Florian Wernig

Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome (CS) poses considerable diagnostic challenges. Although late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) is recommended as a first-line screening investigation, it remains the least widely used test in many countries. The combined measurement of LNSC and late-night salivary cortisone (LNS cortisone) has shown to further improve diagnostic accuracy. We present a retrospective study in a tertiary referral centre comparing LNSC, LNS cortisone, overnight dexamethasone suppression test, low-dose dexamethasone suppression test and 24-h urinary free cortisol results of patients investigated for CS. Patients were categorised into those who had CS (21 patients) and those who did not (33 patients). LNSC had a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 91%. LNS cortisone had a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 86%. With an optimal cut-off for LNS cortisone of >14.5 nmol/L the sensitivity was 95.2%, and the specificity was 100% with an area under the curve of 0.997, for diagnosing CS. Saliva collection is non-invasive and can be carried out at home. We therefore advocate simultaneous measurement of LNSC and LNS cortisone as the first-line screening test to evaluate patients with suspected CS.

Open access

Laura Chioma, Carla Bizzarri, Martina Verzani, Daniela Fava, Mariacarolina Salerno, Donatella Capalbo, Chiara Guzzetti, Laura Penta, Luigi Di Luigi, Natascia di Iorgi, Mohamad Maghnie, Sandro Loche, and Marco Cappa

Objective

This retrospective study aimed to evaluate children observed for suspected precocious puberty in five Italian centers of Pediatric Endocrinology during the first wave of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (March–September 2020), compared to subjects observed in the same period of the previous year.

Design

The study population (490 children) was divided according to the year of observation and final diagnosis: transient thelarche, non-progressive precocious puberty, central precocious puberty (CPP), or early puberty.

Results

Between March and September 2020, 338 subjects were referred for suspected precocious puberty, compared to 152 subjects in the same period of 2019 (+122%). The increase was observed in girls (328 subjects in 2020 vs 140 in 2019, P  < 0.05), especially during the second half of the period considered (92 girls from March to May vs 236 girls from June to September); while no difference was observed in boys (10 subjects in 2020 vs 12 in 2019). The percentage of girls with confirmed CPP was higher in 2020, compared to 2019 (135/328 girls (41%) vs 37/140 (26%), P  < 0.01). Anthropometric and hormonal parameters in 2019 and 2020 CPP girls were not different; 2020 CPP girls showed more prolonged use of electronic devices and a more sedentary lifestyle both before and during the pandemic, compared to the rest of the 2020 population.

Conclusions

The present findings corroborate the recently reported association between the complex lifestyle changes related to the lockdown and a higher incidence of CPP in Italian girls.

Open access

Monica F Stecchini, Zilda Braid, Candy B More, Davi C Aragon, Margaret Castro, Ayrton C Moreira, and Sonir R Antonini

Objective

To investigate the impact of early exposure to androgen excess on gonadotropin-dependent puberty (GDP) and final height (FH) of patients with androgen-secreting adrenocortical tumors (ACT) in childhood.

Methods

Retrospective cohort study. Occurrence of GDP and achievement of FH were evaluated. Central precocious puberty (CPP) and early fast puberty (EFP) were considered pubertal disorders. Patients with normal puberty and pubertal disorders were compared.

Results

The study included 63 patients (44F), followed in a single institution from 1975 until 2017. At diagnosis of ACT, median age was 25.8 months; duration of signs, 6 months; stature SDS, 0.5 (−3.6 to 3.9) and bone age advancement, 14.7 months (−27.9 to 85.4). To date, 37 patients developed GDP: 26 had normal puberty; one, precocious thelarche; seven, CPP and three, EFP. GnRHa effectively treated CPP/EFP. Tall stature and older age at diagnosis of ACT were associated with risk of CPP alone (RR 4.17 (95% CI 1.17–14.80)) and CPP/EFP (RR 3.0 (95% CI 1.04–8.65)). Recurrence/metastasis during follow-up were associated with risk of CPP alone (RR 4.17 (95% CI 1.17–14.80)) and CPP/EFP (RR 3.0 (95% CI 1.12–8.02)). Among the 19 patients that reached FH, stature SDS dropped from 1.4 to −0.02 since diagnosis of ACT (P = 0.01). Seventeen achieved normal FH. There was no difference in FH SDS between patients with normal puberty and pubertal disorders (P = 0.75).

Conclusions

Gonadotropin-dependent pubertal disorders are common in patients with androgen-secreting ACT in childhood. FH is usually not impaired. The study reinforces the importance of close follow-up after surgery to identify and treat consequences of early exposure to androgen excess.

Open access

Adriano N Cury, Verônica T Meira, Osmar Monte, Marília Marone, Nilza M Scalissi, Cristiane Kochi, Luís E P Calliari, and Carlos A Longui

Background/aims

Treatments for Graves' disease (GD) in children and adolescents include oral antithyroid drugs (ATDs), near total thyroidectomy, and radioactive iodine (RAI). ATDs remain the preferred choice in this age group, but because persistent remission occurs in 30% of cases, RAI is becoming a common option for definitive therapy.

Methods

We performed a review of 65 medical records of GD patients under age 19 years who were followed between 1985 and 2005.

Results

The prevalence of GD was higher in females (3:1) and during puberty (for both genders). If no remission was detected during ATD treatment, RAI was indicated when the following criteria were present: non-compliance, relapse, or side effects that were related to ATDs, large goiter, and long-term use of ATDs. The majority of patients developed hypothyroidism within 6 months after RAI. A progressive higher dose regimen was implemented in the last 10 years of the study period. A second RAI dose was necessary in eight cases. During the follow-up period, three pregnancies occurred. One patient with a thyroid nodule and benign cytology was detected.

Conclusions

RAI therapy is effective and safe in the treatment of GD in children and adolescents.

Open access

David P Sonne, Asger Lund, Jens Faber, Jens J Holst, Tina Vilsbøll, and Filip K Knop

Bile acids are possible candidate agents in newly identified pathways through which energy expenditure may be regulated. Preclinical studies suggest that bile acids activate the enzyme type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase, which deiodinates thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active triiodothyronine (T3). We aimed to evaluate the influence of bile acid exposure and incretin hormones on thyroid function parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones (total T3 and free T4) were measured in plasma from two human studies: i) 75 g-oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and three isocaloric (500 kcal) and isovolaemic (350 ml) liquid meals with increasing fat content with concomitant ultrasonographic evaluation of gallbladder emptying in 15 patients with type 2 diabetes and 15 healthy age, gender and BMI-matched controls (meal-study) and ii) 50 g-OGTT and isoglycaemic intravenous glucose infusions (IIGI) alone or in combination with glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and/or GLP2, in ten patients with type 2 diabetes (IIGI-study). In both studies, TSH levels declined (P<0.01) similarly following all meal and infusion stimuli. T3 and T4 concentrations did not change in response to any of the applied stimuli. TSH levels declined independently of the degree of gallbladder emptying (meal-study), route of nutrient administration and infusion of gut hormones. In conclusion, intestinal bile flow and i.v. infusions of the gut hormones, GIP, GLP1 and/or GLP2, do not seem to affect thyroid function parameters. Thus, the presence of a ‘gut–thyroid–pituitary’ axis seems questionable.

Open access

Chiara Mele, Maria Teresa Samà, Alessandro Angelo Bisoffi, Marina Caputo, Valentina Bullara, Stefania Mai, Gillian Elisabeth Walker, Flavia Prodam, Paolo Marzullo, Gianluca Aimaretti, and Loredana Pagano

The associative link relating insulin resistance (IR) and adipokines to the occurrence and phenotype of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between IR and adipokines in DTC patients, as compared with carriers of benign thyroid diseases (BTD) and healthy controls. This observational study enrolled 77 subjects phenotyped as DTC (N = 30), BTD (N = 27) and healthy subjects (N = 20). Each subject underwent preoperative analysis of anthropometric parameters, thyroid function and autoimmunity, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and levels of unacylated (UAG) and acylated ghrelin (AG), obestatin, leptin and adiponectin. Multivariate regression models were used to test the predictive role of metabolic correlates on thyroid phenotypes and DTC extension. The three groups showed similar age, gender distribution, smoking habit, BMI and thyroid parameters. Obestatin was significantly higher in DTC group compared to BTD (P < 0.05) and control subjects (P < 0.0001). DTC and BTD groups showed higher levels of UAG (P < 0.01) and AG (P < 0.05). Leptin levels were comparable between groups, whereas adiponectin levels were lower in DTC compared to BTD group (P < 0.0001) and controls (P < 0.01). In parallel, HOMA-IR was higher in DTC than BTD (P < 0.05) and control group (P < 0.01). Stepwise multivariable regression analysis showed that obestatin and UAG were independent predictors of DTC (P = 0.01 for both). In an analysis restricted to the DTC group, obestatin levels were associated with the absence of lymph node metastases (P < 0.05). Our results highlight a potential association between metabolic setting, circulating adipokines and thyroid cancer phenotype.