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Open access

Guido Zavatta and Bart L Clarke

The first adjunctive hormone therapy for chronic hypoparathyroidism, recombinant human parathyroid hormone (1–84) (rhPTH(1–84)) was approved by the FDA in January 2015. Since the approval of rhPTH(1–84), growing interest has developed in other agents to treat this disorder in both the scientific community and among pharmaceutical companies. For several reasons, conventional therapy with calcium and activated vitamin D supplementation, magnesium supplementation as needed, and occasionally thiazide-type diuretic therapy remains the mainstay of treatment, while endocrinologists and patients are constantly challenged by limitations of conventional treatment. Serum calcium fluctuations, increased urinary calcium, hyperphosphatemia, and a constellation of symptoms that limit mental and physical functioning are frequently associated with conventional therapy. Understanding how conventional treatment and hormone therapy work in terms of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is key to effectively managing chronic hypoparathyroidism. Multiple questions remain regarding the effectiveness of PTH adjunctive therapy in preventing or slowing the onset and progression of the classical complications of hypoparathyroidism, such as chronic kidney disease, calcium-containing kidney stones, cataracts, or basal ganglia calcification. Several studies point toward an improvement in the quality of life during replacement therapy. This review will discuss current clinical and research challenges posed by treatment of chronic hypoparathyroidism.

Key points:

  • Conventional therapy with calcium and activated forms of vitamin D are currently the mainstays of treatment for most patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism.

  • Hormone therapy can be administered through FDA-approved once-daily rhPTH(1–84), or off-label multiple-daily injections of teriparatide. The former is the only FDA-approved drug, with safety and efficacy supported by a randomized placebo-controlled trial and open-label long-term extension trial data.

  • Twice-daily teriparatide has been used in children safely for up to 10 years.

  • New pharmacological options that replace the deficient hormone wi ll likely be available within the next few years.

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

Bekir Cakir, F Neslihan Cuhaci Seyrek, Oya Topaloglu, Didem Ozdemir, Ahmet Dirikoc, Cevdet Aydin, Sefika Burcak Polat, Berna Evranos Ogmen, Ali Abbas Tam, Husniye Baser, Aylin Kilic Yazgan, Mehmet Kilic, Afra Alkan, and Reyhan Ersoy

Background

Despite significant improvement in imaging quality and advanced scientific knowledge, it may still sometimes be difficult to distinguish different parathyroid lesions. The aims of this prospective study were to evaluate parathyroid lesions with ultrasound elastography and to determine whether strain index can help to differentiate parathyroid lesions.

Methods

Patients with biochemically confirmed hyperparathyroidism and localised parathyroid lesions in ultrasonography were included. All patients underwent B-mode US and USE examination. Ultrasound elastography scores and strain index of lesions were determined. Strain index was defined as the ratio of strain of the thyroid parenchyma to the strain of the parathyroid lesion.

Results

Data of 245 lesions of 230 patients were analysed. Histopathologically, there were 202 (82.45%) parathyroid adenomas, 26 (10.61%) atypical parathyroid adenomas, and 17 (6.94%) cases of parathyroid hyperplasia. Median serum Ca was significantly higher in atypical parathyroid adenoma patients than parathyroid hyperplasia patients (P = 0.019) and median PTH was significantly higher in APA compared to PA patients (P < 0.001). In 221 (90.2%) of the parathyroid lesions, USE score was 1 or 2. The median SI of atypical parathyroid adenomas was significantly higher than parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasia lesions (1.5 (0.56–4.86), 1.01 (0.21–8.43) and 0.91 (0.26–2.02), respectively, P = 0.003).

Conclusion

Our study revealed that SI of parathyroid lesions as well as serum calcium, parathyroid hormone levels, and B-mode US features may help to predict the atypical parathyroid adenoma. Ultrasound elastography can be used to differentiate among parathyroid lesions and guide a surgical approach.

Open access

Katherine U Gaynor, Irina V Grigorieva, Samantha M Mirczuk, Sian E Piret, Kreepa G Kooblall, Mark Stevenson, Karine Rizzoti, Michael R Bowl, M Andrew Nesbit, Paul T Christie, William D Fraser, Tertius Hough, Michael P Whyte, Robin Lovell-Badge, and Rajesh V Thakker

Hypoparathyroidism is genetically heterogeneous and characterized by low plasma calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. X-linked hypoparathyroidism (XLHPT) in two American families is associated with interstitial deletion-insertions involving deletions of chromosome Xq27.1 downstream of SOX3 and insertions of predominantly non-coding DNA from chromosome 2p25.3. These could result in loss, gain, or movement of regulatory elements, which include ultraconserved element uc482, which could alter SOX3 expression. To investigate this, we analysed SOX3 expression in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cells from three affected males, three unaffected males, and four carrier females from one XLHPT family. SOX3 expression was similar in all individuals, indicating that the spatiotemporal effect of the interstitial deletion-insertion on SOX3 expression postulated to occur in developing parathyroids did not manifest in lymphoblastoids. Expression of SNTG2, which is duplicated and inserted into the X chromosome, and ATP11C, which is moved telomerically, were also similarly expressed in all individuals. Investigation of male hemizygous (Sox3 −/Y and uc482 −/Y) and female heterozygous (Sox3 +/ and uc482 +/ ) knockout mice, together with wild-type littermates (male Sox3 +/Y and uc482 +/Y, and female Sox3 +/+ and uc482 +/+), revealed Sox3 −/Y, Sox3 +/ , uc482 /Y, and uc482 +/ mice to have normal plasma biochemistry, compared to their respective wild-type littermates. When challenged with a low calcium diet, all mice had hypocalcaemia, and elevated plasma PTH concentrations and alkaline phosphatase activities, and Sox3 −/Y, Sox3 +/ , uc482 −/Y, and uc482 +/ mice had similar plasma biochemistry, compared to wild-type littermates. Thus, these results indicate that absence of Sox3 or uc482 does not cause hypoparathyroidism and that XLHPT likely reflects a more complex mechanism.

Open access

Lasse Oinonen, Antti Tikkakoski, Jenni Koskela, Arttu Eräranta, Mika Kähönen, Onni Niemelä, Jukka Mustonen, and Ilkka Pörsti

Parathyroid hormone has been related with the risk of hypertension, but the matter remains controversial. We examined the association of parathyroid hormone with central blood pressure and its determinants in 622 normotensive or never-treated hypertensive subjects aged 19–72 years without diabetes, cardiovascular or renal disease, or cardiovascular medications. The methods were whole-body impedance cardiography and analyses of pulse wave and heart rate variability. Cardiovascular function was examined in sex-specific tertiles of plasma parathyroid hormone (mean concentrations 3.0, 4.3 and 6.5 pmol/L, respectively) during head-up tilt. Explanatory factors for haemodynamics were further investigated using linear regression analyses. Mean age was 45.0 (s.d. 11.7) years, BMI 26.8 (4.4) kg/m2, seated office blood pressure 141/90 (21/12) mmHg, and 309 subjects (49.7%) were male. Only five participants had elevated plasma parathyroid hormone and calcium concentrations. Highest tertile of parathyroid hormone presented with higher supine and upright aortic diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) and augmentation index (P < 0.01), and higher upright systemic vascular resistance (P < 0.05) than the lowest tertile. The tertiles did not present with differences in pulse wave velocity, cardiac output, or measures of heart rate variability. In linear regression analyses, parathyroid hormone was an independent explanatory factor for aortic systolic (P = 0.005) and diastolic (P = 0.002) blood pressure, augmentation index (P = 0.002), and systemic vascular resistance (P = 0.031). To conclude, parathyroid hormone was directly related to central blood pressure, wave reflection, and systemic vascular resistance in subjects without cardiovascular comorbidities and medications. Thus, parathyroid hormone may play a role in the pathophysiology of primary hypertension.

Open access

Felix Haglund, Gustaf Rosin, Inga-Lena Nilsson, C Christofer Juhlin, Ylva Pernow, Sophie Norenstedt, Andrii Dinets, Catharina Larsson, Johan Hartman, and Anders Höög

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrinopathy, frequently caused by a parathyroid adenoma, rarely by a parathyroid carcinoma that lacks effective oncological treatment. As the majority of cases are present in postmenopausal women, oestrogen signalling has been implicated in the tumourigenesis. Oestrogen receptor beta 1 (ERB1) and ERB2 have been recently identified in parathyroid adenomas, the former inducing genes coupled to tumour apoptosis. We applied immunohistochemistry and slide digitalisation to quantify nuclear ERB1 and ERB2 in 172 parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas, and ten normal parathyroid glands. All the normal parathyroid glands expressed ERB1 and ERB2. The majority of tumours expressed ERB1 (70.6%) at varying intensities, and ERB2 (96.5%) at strong intensities. Parathyroid carcinomas expressed ERB1 in three out of six cases and ERB2 in five out of six cases. The intensity of tumour nuclear ERB1 staining significantly correlated inversely with tumour weight (P=0.011), and patients whose tumours were classified as ERB1-negative had significantly greater tumour weight as well as higher serum calcium (P=0.002) and parathyroid hormone levels (P=0.003). Additionally, tumour nuclear ERB1 was not expressed differentially with respect to sex or age of the patient. Levels of tumour nuclear ERB2 did not correlate with clinical characteristics. In conclusion, decreased ERB1 immunoreactivity is associated with increased tumour weight in parathyroid adenomas. Given the previously reported correlation with tumour-suppressive signalling, selective oestrogen receptor modulation (SERMs) may play a role in the treatment of parathyroid carcinomas. Future studies of SERMs and oestrogen treatment in PHPT should consider tumour weight as a potential factor in pharmacological responsiveness.

Open access

Melissa Braga, Zena Simmons, Keith C Norris, Monica G Ferrini, and Jorge N Artaza

Skeletal muscle wasting is a serious disorder associated with health conditions such as aging, chronic kidney disease and AIDS. Vitamin D is most widely recognized for its regulation of calcium and phosphate homeostasis in relation to bone development and maintenance. Recently, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve muscle performance and reduce the risk of falls in vitamin D deficient older adults. However, little is known of the underlying molecular mechanism(s) or the role it plays in myogenic differentiation. We examined the effect of 1,25-D3 on myogenic cell differentiation in skeletal muscle derived stem cells. Primary cultures of skeletal muscle satellite cells were isolated from the tibialis anterior, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of 8-week-old C57/BL6 male mice and then treated with 1,25-D3. The efficiency of satellite cells isolation determined by PAX7+ cells was 81%, and they expressed VDR. Incubation of satellite cells with 1,25-D3 induces increased expression of: (i) MYOD, (ii) MYOG, (iii) MYC2, (iv) skeletal muscle fast troponin I and T, (v) MYH1, (vi) IGF1 and 2, (vii) FGF1 and 2, (viii) BMP4, (ix) MMP9 and (x) FST. It also promotes myotube formation and decreases the expression of MSTN. In conclusion, 1,25-D3 promoted a robust myogenic effect on satellite cells responsible for the regeneration of muscle after injury or muscle waste. This study provides a mechanistic justification for vitamin D supplementation in conditions characterized by loss of muscle mass and also in vitamin D deficient older adults with reduced muscle mass and strength, and increased risk of falls.

Open access

Georgios Kontogeorgos, Zoi Mamasoula, Emily Krantz, Penelope Trimpou, Kerstin Landin-Wilhelmsen, and Christine M Laine

Objective: Hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT) is a rare endocrine disorder in which insufficient levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) lead to low serum calcium levels and muscular cramps. The aim was to study the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and comorbidities in patients with HypoPT compared with the general population and estimate the need of treatment with PTH-analogue.

Design: Patients with HypoPT were identified and compared with a population sample. Short Form-36 (SF-36) and EuroQol-5 Dimensions Visual Analogue Scale (EQ5D-VAS) questionnaires were used. All patients were followed-up at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital outpatient clinic.

Methods: From the medical records between 2007 and 2020, 203 patients with HypoPT were identified and compared with a population sample (n=414), from the WHO MONICA project, Gothenburg, Sweden. Of the 203 patients who met the diagnostic criteria, 164 were alive and 65% answered the HRQoL questionnaires.

Results: Patients with HypoPT, 80% postsurgical, and controls had similar age (60 years) and sex distribution (80% women). Patients had lower SF-36 summary component scores for physical [40.0(IQR:21) versus 51.2(IQR:14.6); p<0.001] and mental [43.1(IQR:17.4) versus 56.1(IQR:13.3); p<0.001] well-being, irrespective of etiology or calcium levels. Individuals with HypoPT had more medications and lower renal function, but not higher mortality, than controls. Low HRQoL together with low calcium were present in 23% of individuals with HypoPT.

Conclusion: HRQoL was markedly lower in patients with HypoPT than in controls and independent of serum calcium levels. Treatment with PTH-analogue could be considered at least among patients with both low HRQoL and low calcium levels.

Open access

Marie Reeberg Sass, Nicolai Jacob Wewer Albrechtsen, Jens Pedersen, Kristine Juul Hare, Nis Borbye-Lorenzen, Katalin Kiss, Tina Vilsbøll, Filip Krag Knop, Steen Seier Poulsen, Niklas Rye Jørgensen, Jens Juul Holst, Cathrine Ørskov, and Bolette Hartmann

Objective:

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a key hormone in regulation of calcium homeostasis and its secretion is regulated by calcium. Secretion of PTH is attenuated during intake of nutrients, but the underlying mechanism(s) are unknown. We hypothesized that insulin acts as an acute regulator of PTH secretion.

Methods:

Intact PTH was measured in plasma from patients with T1D and matched healthy individuals during 4-h oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and isoglycemic i.v. glucose infusions on 2 separate days. In addition, expression of insulin receptors on surgical specimens of parathyroid glands was assessed by immunochemistry (IHC) and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Results:

The inhibition of PTH secretion was more pronounced in healthy individuals compared to patients with T1D during an OGTT (decrementalAUC0–240min: −5256 ± 3954 min × ng/L and −2408 ± 1435 min × ng/L, P = 0.030). Insulin levels correlated significantly and inversely with PTH levels, also after adjusting for levels of several gut hormones and BMI (P = 0.002). Expression of insulin receptors in human parathyroid glands was detected by both IHC and qPCR.

Conclusion:

Our study suggests that insulin may act as an acute regulator of PTH secretion in humans.

Open access

Luchuan Li, Baoyuan Li, Bin Lv, Weili Liang, Binbin Zhang, Qingdong Zeng, Andrew G Turner, and Lei Sheng

Background

Multiple studies have reported the increased incidence of thyroid cancer in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). However, the underlying risk factors of concomitant thyroid cancer in patients with PHPT remain unknown. The primary aim of this study was to examine the records of patients with PHPT to identify characteristics that correlated with the presence of coexisting thyroid nodules, and which may have an implication for the prediction of thyroid cancer.

Methods

Medical records of consecutive patients with PHPT (n = 318) were reviewed from January 2010 to September 2020 in two tertiary medical centers in China. Patient clinicopathological and biological data were collected and analyzed.

Results

Of a total of 318 patients with PHPT, 105 (33.0%) patients had thyroid nodules and 26 (8.2%) patients were concomitant with thyroid cancer. A total of 38 thyroid nodules taken from 26 patients were pathologically assessed to be well-differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), with 81% being papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). In 79% (30/38) of these cancers, thyroid nodules were considered suspicious following preoperative ultrasound. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender was associated with increased risk of thyroid nodules (OR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.13–3.99, P = 0.019), while lower log-transformed parathyroid hormone levels were an independent predictor of thyroid cancer in patients with PHPT (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.26–0.93, P = 0.028).

Conclusion

In conclusion, we observed a relatively high prevalence of thyroid cancer in our cohort of Chinese patients with PHPT. Evaluation of thyroid nodules by preoperative ultrasound may be advisable in patients with PHPT, particularly for females and patients with modestly elevated serum parathyroid hormone levels.