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Open access

Rolf Jorde and Guri Grimnes

Objective

In addition to its skeletal effects, vitamin D may also be important for health in general. It is uncertain what level of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), marker of vitamin D status, is sufficient for these effects. With decreasing serum 25(OH)D levels there is an increase in serum PTH. The point at which this occurs has been considered as a threshold for vitamin D sufficiency. The thresholds found have varied widely and have mainly been based on observational studies. However, to truly establish a threshold for vitamin D effects, this has to be based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods

The study included 2803 subjects from a general health survey, the Tromsø study, and pooled individual person data from five vitamin D intervention studies (n = 1544). Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and change in PTH after vitamin D supplementation were related to serum 25(OH)D levels in steps of 25 nmol/L (<24, 25–49, 50–74, 75–99, and >99 nmol/L).

Results

In the Tromsø study, in the females there was a gradual decrease in serum PTH with increasing serum 25(OH)D with no apparent plateau, whereas in the males the decrease in PTH in subjects with serum 25(OH)D >74 nmol/l was marginal. In pooled RCTs, there was a significant reduction in serum PTH by vitamin D supplementation regardless of baseline serum 25(OH)D level.

Conclusions

The use of the serum PTH–25(OH)D relation from observational studies to determine a threshold for vitamin D sufficiency is highly questionable.

Open access

Marianne C Astor, Kristian Løvås, Anette S B Wolff, Bjørn Nedrebø, Eirik Bratland, Jon Steen-Johnsen, and Eystein S Husebye

Primary hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia (HSH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by neuromuscular symptoms in infancy due to extremely low levels of serum magnesium and moderate to severe hypocalcemia. Homozygous mutations in the magnesium transporter gene transient receptor potential cation channel member 6 (TRPM6) cause the disease. HSH can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The aim of this study was to describe the genetic, clinical and biochemical features of patients clinically diagnosed with HSH in a Norwegian cohort. Five patients in four families with clinical features of HSH were identified, including one during a national survey of hypoparathyroidism. The clinical history of the patients and their families were reviewed and gene analyses of TRPM6 performed. Four of five patients presented with generalized seizures in infancy and extremely low levels of serum magnesium accompanied by moderate hypocalcemia. Two of the patients had an older sibling who died in infancy. Four novel mutations and one large deletion in TRPM6 were identified. In one patient two linked homozygous mutations were located in exon 22 (p.F978L) and exon 23 (p.G1042V). Two families had an identical mutation in exon 25 (p.E1155X). The fourth patient had a missense mutation in exon 4 (p.H61N) combined with a large deletion in the C-terminal end of the gene. HSH is a potentially lethal condition that can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The diagnosis is easily made if serum magnesium is measured. When treated appropriately with high doses of oral magnesium supplementation, severe hypomagnesemia is uncommon and the long-term prognosis seems to be good.

Open access

Maria Stelmachowska-Banaś and Izabella Czajka-Oraniec

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) belong to a new group of anticancer drugs targeting T-cell proteins involved in the activation of immune response toward malignancies. Their introduction into clinical practice was a milestone in modern cancer treatment. However, the significant advantage of ICIs over conventional chemotherapy in terms of therapeutic efficacy is accompanied by new challenges related to specific side effects. ICI-induced immune system activation could lead to the loss of self-tolerance, presenting as autoimmune inflammation and dysfunction of various tissues and organs. Thus, the typical side effects of ICIs include immune-related adverse events (irAEs), among which endocrine irAEs, affecting numerous endocrine glands, have been commonly recognized. This review aimed to outline the current knowledge regarding ICI-induced endocrine disorders from a clinical perspective. We present updated information on the incidence and clinical development of ICI-induced endocrinopathies, including the most frequent thyroiditis and hypophysitis, the rarely observed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and primary adrenal insufficiency, and the recently described cases of hypoparathyroidism and lipodystrophy. Practical guidelines for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of ICI-related endocrine toxicities are also offered. Rising awareness of endocrine irAEs among oncologists, endocrinologists, and other health professionals caring for patients receiving ICIs could contribute to better safety and efficacy. As immunotherapy becomes widespread and approved for new types of malignancies, increased incidences of endocrine irAEs are expected in the future.

Open access

Ghazala Zaidi, Vijayalakshmi Bhatia, Saroj K Sahoo, Aditya Narayan Sarangi, Niharika Bharti, Li Zhang, Liping Yu, Daniel Eriksson, Sophie Bensing, Olle Kämpe, Nisha Bharani, Surendra Kumar Yachha, Anil Bhansali, Alok Sachan, Vandana Jain, Nalini Shah, Rakesh Aggarwal, Amita Aggarwal, Muthuswamy Srinivasan, Sarita Agarwal, and Eesh Bhatia

Objective

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS1) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive organ-specific autoimmunity. There is scant information on APS1 in ethnic groups other than European Caucasians. We studied clinical aspects and autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene mutations in a cohort of Indian APS1 patients.

Design

Twenty-three patients (19 families) from six referral centres in India, diagnosed between 1996 and 2016, were followed for [median (range)] 4 (0.2–19) years.

Methods

Clinical features, mortality, organ-specific autoantibodies and AIRE gene mutations were studied.

Results

Patients varied widely in their age of presentation [3.5 (0.1–17) years] and number of clinical manifestations [5 (2–11)]. Despite genetic heterogeneity, the frequencies of the major APS1 components (mucocutaneous candidiasis: 96%; hypoparathyroidism: 91%; primary adrenal insufficiency: 55%) were similar to reports in European series. In contrast, primary hypothyroidism (23%) occurred more frequently and at an early age, while kerato-conjunctivitis, urticarial rash and autoimmune hepatitis were uncommon (9% each). Six (26%) patients died at a young age [5.8 (3–23) years] due to septicaemia, hepatic failure and adrenal/hypocalcaemic crisis from non-compliance/unexplained cause. Interferon-α and/or interleukin-22 antibodies were elevated in all 19 patients tested, including an asymptomatic infant. Eleven AIRE mutations were detected, the most common being p.C322fsX372 (haplotype frequency 37%). Four mutations were novel, while six others were previously described in European Caucasians.

Conclusions

Indian APS1 patients exhibited considerable genetic heterogeneity and had highly variable clinical features. While the frequency of major manifestations was similar to that of European Caucasians, other features showed significant differences. A high mortality at a young age was observed.

Open access

Laura J Reid, Bala Muthukrishnan, Dilip Patel, Mike S Crane, Murat Akyol, Andrew Thomson, Jonathan R Seckl, and Fraser W Gibb

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common reason for referral to endocrinology but the evidence base guiding assessment is limited. We evaluated the clinical presentation, assessment and subsequent management in PHPT.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Patients

PHPT assessed between 2006 and 2014 (n = 611) in a university hospital.

Measurements

Symptoms, clinical features, biochemistry, neck radiology and surgical outcomes.

Results

Fatigue (23.8%), polyuria (15.6%) and polydipsia (14.9%) were associated with PHPT biochemistry. Bone fracture was present in 16.4% but was not associated with biochemistry. A history of nephrolithiasis (10.0%) was associated only with younger age (P = 0.006) and male gender (P = 0.037). Thiazide diuretic discontinuation was not associated with any subsequent change in calcium (P = 0.514). Urine calcium creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) was <0.01 in 18.2% of patients with confirmed PHPT. Older age (P < 0.001) and lower PTH (P = 0.043) were associated with failure to locate an adenoma on ultrasound (44.0% of scans). When an adenoma was identified on ultrasound the lateralisation was correct in 94.5%. Non-curative surgery occurred in 8.2% and was greater in those requiring more than one neck imaging modality (OR 2.42, P = 0.035).

Conclusions

Clinical features associated with PHPT are not strongly related to biochemistry. Thiazide cessation does not appear to attenuate hypercalcaemia. PHPT remains the likeliest diagnosis in the presence of low CCCR. Ultrasound is highly discriminant when an adenoma is identified but surgical failure is more likely when more than one imaging modality is required.

Open access

Sara Storvall, Helena Leijon, Eeva Ryhänen, Johanna Louhimo, Caj Haglund, Camilla Schalin-Jäntti, and Johanna Arola

Introduction

Parathyroid carcinoma represents a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism. Distinguishing carcinoma from the benign tumors underlying primary hyperparathyroidism remains challenging. The diagnostic criteria for parathyroid carcinoma are local and/or metastatic spreading. Atypical parathyroid adenomas share other histological features with carcinomas but lack invasive growth. Somatostatin receptors are commonly expressed in different neuroendocrine tumors, but whether this also holds for parathyroid tumors remains unknown.

Aim

Our aim is to examine the immunohistochemical expression of somatostatin receptor 1–5 in parathyroid typical adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas.

Methods

We used a tissue microarray construct from a nationwide cohort of parathyroid carcinomas (n = 32), age- and gender-matched typical parathyroid adenomas (n = 72) and atypical parathyroid adenomas (n = 27) for immunohistochemistry of somatostatin receptor subtypes 1–5. We separately assessed cytoplasmic, membrane and nuclear expression and also investigated the associations with histological, biochemical and clinical characteristics.

Results

All parathyroid tumor subgroups expressed somatostatin receptors, although membrane expression appeared negligible. Except for somatostatin receptor 1, expression patterns differed between the three tumor types. Adenomas exhibited the weakest and carcinomas the strongest expression of somatostatin receptor 2, 3, 4 and 5. We observed the largest difference for cytoplasmic somatostatin receptor 5 expression.

Conclusions

Parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas all express somatostatin receptor subtypes 1–5. Somatostatin receptor 5 may serve as a potential tumor marker for malignancy. Studies exploring the role of somatostatin receptor imaging and receptor-specific therapies in patients with parathyroid carcinomas are needed.

Open access

Maria Mizamtsidi, Constantinos Nastos, George Mastorakos, Roberto Dina, Ioannis Vassiliou, Maria Gazouli, and Fausto Palazzo

Primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) is a common endocrinopathy resulting from inappropriately high PTH secretion. It usually results from the presence of a single gland adenoma, multiple gland hyperplasia or rarely parathyroid carcinoma. All these conditions require different management, and it is important to be able to differentiate the underlined pathology, in order for the clinicians to provide the best therapeutic approach. Elucidation of the genetic background of each of these clinical entities would be of great interest. However, the molecular factors that control parathyroid tumorigenesis are poorly understood. There are data implicating the existence of specific genetic pathways involved in the emergence of parathyroid tumorigenesis. The main focus of the present study is to present the current optimal diagnostic and management protocols for pHPT as well as to review the literature regarding all molecular and genetic pathways that are to be involved in the pathophysiology of sporadic pHPT.

Open access

Anna Eremkina, Julia Krupinova, Ekaterina Dobreva, Anna Gorbacheva, Ekaterina Bibik, Margarita Samsonova, Alina Ajnetdinova, and Natalya Mokrysheva

Hypercalcemic crisis is a severe but rare complication of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), and data on denosumab treatment of patients with this disease is still very limited. The aim of this paper is to investigate the hypocalcemic effect of denosumab in PHPT patients with severe hypercalcemia when surgery should be delayed or is impossible for some reasons. We performed a retrospective study of 10 patients. The analysis included the use of biochemical markers of calcium-phosphorus metabolism, which were followed after the administration of 60 mg of denosumab. The trend to calcium reduction was already determined on the 3rd day after denosumab administration. In most cases the decrease in serum calcium level to the range of 2.8 mmol/L on average or lower was observed on the 7th day (P = 0.002). In addition to a significant increase in calcium levels we confirmed a significant increase in the estimated glomerular filtration rate on 7th day (P = 0.012). After that, seven patients underwent successful parathyroidectomy and achieved eucalcemia or hypocalcemia, one patient developed the recurrence of parathyroid cancer after initial surgery, while two patients with severe cardiovascular pathology refused surgery. Our study shows that denosumab is a useful tool in PHPT-associated hypercalcemia before surgery or if surgery is contraindicated.

Open access

Elizaveta Mamedova, Natalya Mokrysheva, Evgeny Vasilyev, Vasily Petrov, Ekaterina Pigarova, Sergey Kuznetsov, Nikolay Kuznetsov, Liudmila Rozhinskaya, Galina Melnichenko, Ivan Dedov, and Anatoly Tiulpakov

Background

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a relatively rare disorder among children, adolescents and young adults. Its development at an early age is suspicious for hereditary causes, though the need for routine genetic testing remains controversial.

Objective

To identify and describe hereditary forms of PHPT in patients with manifestation of the disease under 40 years of age.

Design

We enrolled 65 patients with PHPT diagnosed before 40 years of age. Ten of them had MEN1 mutation, and PHPT in them was the first manifestation of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome.

Methods

The other fifty-five patients underwent next-generation sequencing (NGS) of a custom-designed panel of genes, associated with PHPT (MEN1, CASR, CDC73, CDKN1A, CDKN1B, CDKN1C, CDKN2A, CDKN2C, CDKN2D). In cases suspicious for gross CDC73 deletions multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was performed.

Results

NGS revealed six pathogenic or likely pathogenic germline sequence variants: four in CDC73 c.271C>T (p.Arg91*), c.496C>T (p.Gln166*), c.685A>T (p.Arg229*) and c.787C>T (p.Arg263Cys); one in CASR c.3145G>T (p.Glu1049*) and one in MEN1 c.784-9G>A. In two patients, MLPA confirmed gross CDC73 deletions. In total, 44 sporadic and 21 hereditary PHPT cases were identified. Parathyroid carcinomas and atypical parathyroid adenomas were present in 8/65 of young patients, in whom CDC73 mutations were found in 5/8.

Conclusions

Hereditary forms of PHPT can be identified in up to 1/3 of young patients with manifestation of the disease at <40 years of age. Parathyroid carcinomas or atypical parathyroid adenomas in young patients are frequently associated with CDC73 mutations.

Open access

Xiao-Ping Qi, Jian-Zhong Peng, Xiao-Wei Yang, Zhi-Lie Cao, Xiu-Hua Yu, Xu-Dong Fang, Da-Hong Zhang, and Jian-Qiang Zhao

Background

Cutaneous lichen amyloidosis (CLA) has been reported in some multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) families affected by specific germline RET mutations C634F/G/R/W/Y or V804M, as a characteristic of the clinical manifestation in ‘MEN 2A with CLA’, one of four variants of MEN 2A, which was strictly located in the scapular region of the upper back.

Patient Findings

This study reports a large south-eastern Chinese pedigree with 17 individuals carrying the MEN 2A-harboring germline C611Y (c.1832G>A) RET mutation by Sanger sequencing. One individual presented MEN 2A-related clinical features, including typical CLA in the interscapular region; another individual exhibited neurological pruritus and scratching in the upper back but lacked CLA skin lesions. Both subjects presented with CLA or pruritic symptoms several years before the onset of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and/or pheochromocytoma. The remaining 15 RET mutation carriers did not exhibit CLA; of these, one presented with MTC and pheochromocytoma, nine with MTC only, two with elevated serum calcitonin and three younger subjects with normal serum calcitonin levels. This family’s clinical data revealed a later diagnosis of MTC (mean age, 45.9 (range: 23–73) years), a lower penetrance of pheochromocytoma (2/17, 11.8%) and CLA (1/17, 5.9%). However, no hyperparathyroidism and Hirschsprung disease were reported in this family.

Summary and Conclusions

This is the first description of a family with MEN 2A-related CLA due to a germline RET C611Y mutation, which might exhibit a novel and diversified genotype–phenotype spectrum in MEN 2A.