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Open access

Richard P Steeds, Vandana Sagar, Shishir Shetty, Tessa Oelofse, Harjot Singh, Raheel Ahmad, Elizabeth Bradley, Rachel Moore, Suzanne Vickrage, Stacey Smith, Ivan Yim, Yasir S Elhassan, Hema Venkataraman, John Ayuk, Stephen Rooney, and Tahir Shah

Carcinoid heart disease (CHD) is a consequence of valvular fibrosis triggered by vasoactive substances released from neuroendocrine tumours, classically in those with metastatic disease and resulting in tricuspid and pulmonary valve failure. CHD affects one in five patients who have carcinoid syndrome (CS). Valve leaflets become thickened, retracted and immobile, resulting most often in regurgitation that causes right ventricular dilatation and ultimately, right heart failure. The development of CHD heralds a significantly worse prognosis than those patients with CS who do not develop valvular disease. Diagnosis requires a low threshold of suspicion in all patients with CS, since symptoms occur late in the disease process and clinical signs are difficult to elicit. As a result, routine screening is recommended using the biomarker, N-terminal pro-natriuretic peptide, and regular echocardiography is then required for diagnosis and follow-up. There is no direct medical therapy for CHD, but the focus of non-surgical care is to control CS symptoms, reduce tumour load and decrease hormone levels. Valve surgery improves long-term outcome for those with severe disease compared to medical management, although peri-operative mortality remains at between 10 and 20% in experienced centres. Therefore, care needs to be multidisciplinary at all stages, with clear discussion with the patient and between teams to ensure optimum outcome for these often-complex patients.

Open access

Willem de Ronde and Diederik L Smit

This review summarizes 10 years experience with male abusers of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). The typical user of AAS is male, aged between 20 and 40 and lifting weights. Illegal AAS are cheap and easily obtained via internet or local suppliers. AAS are mostly used in cycles with a duration between 6 and 18 weeks. Most AAS cycles contain multiple agents, used simultaneously in a dose vastly exceeding a substitution dose. A variety of other performance and image-enhancing drugs are commonly used, including human growth hormone, thyroid hormone, tamoxifen, clomiphene citrate and human chorionic gonadotrophin. Short-term clinical and biochemical side effects are well established. Long-term side effects are uncertain, but may include heart failure, mood-and anxiety disorders, hypogonadism and subfertility. We share our views on the management of common health problems associated with AAS abuse.

Open access

Ashley N Reeb, Andrea Ziegler, and Reigh-Yi Lin

Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) is the second most common type of thyroid cancers. In order to develop more effective personalized therapies, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate patient-derived cell lines in in vivo preclinical models before using them to test new, targeted therapies. This study evaluates the tumorigenic and metastatic potential of a panel of three human FTC cell lines (WRO, FTC-238, and TT1609-CO2) with defined genetic mutations in two in vivo murine models: an orthotopic thyroid cancer model to study tumor progression and a tail vein injection model to study metastasis. All cell lines developed tumors in the orthotopic model, with take rates of 100%. Notably, WRO-derived tumors grew two to four times faster than tumors arising from the FTC-238 and TT2609-CO2 cell lines. These results mirrored those of a tail vein injection model for lung metastasis: one hundred percent of mice injected with WRO cells in the tail vein exhibited aggressive growth of bilateral lung metastases within 35 days. In contrast, tail vein injection of FTC-238 or TT2609-CO2 cells did not result in lung metastasis. Together, our work demonstrates that these human FTC cell lines display highly varied tumorigenic and metastatic potential in vivo with WRO being the most aggressive cell line in both orthotopic and lung metastasis models. This information will be valuable when selecting cell lines for preclinical drug testing.

Open access

H A Booij, W D C Gaykema, K A J Kuijpers, M J M Pouwels, and H M den Hertog


Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is a highly prevalent and debilitating condition. However, the etiology remains incompletely understood. Literature suggests the co-prevalence of pituitary dysfunction (PD) with stroke, and the question raises whether this could be a contributing factor to the development of PSF. This study reviews the prevalence of PD after stroke and other acquired brain injuries and its association with fatigue.


We performed a bibliographic literature search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases for English language studies on PD in adult patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or aneurysmatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Forty-two articles were selected for review. Up to 82% of patients were found to have any degree of PD after stroke. Growth hormone deficiency was most commonly found. In aSAH and TBI, prevalences up to 49.3% were reported. However, data differed widely between studies, mostly due to methodological differences including the diagnostic methods used to define PD and the focus on the acute or chronic phase. Data on PD and outcome after stroke, aSAH and TBI are conflicting. No studies were found investigating the association between PD and PSF. Data on the association between PD and fatigue after aSAH and TBI were scarce and conflicting, and fatigue is rarely been investigated as a primary end point.

Key messages

Data according to the prevalence of PD after stroke and other acquired brain injury suggest a high prevalence of PD after these conditions. However, the clinical relevance and especially the association with fatigue need to be established.

Open access

Hongyan Wang, Bin Wu, Zichuan Yao, Xianqing Zhu, Yunzhong Jiang, and Song Bai


Although resection is the primary treatment strategy for pheochromocytoma, surgery is associated with a high risk of morbidity. At present, there is no nomogram for prediction of severe morbidity after pheochromocytoma surgery, thus the aim of the present study was to develop and validate a nomogram for prediction of severe morbidity after pheochromocytoma surgery.


The development cohort consisted of 262 patients who underwent unilateral laparoscopic or open pheochromocytoma surgery at our center between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2016. The patients’ clinicopathological characters were recorded. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) binary logistic regression model was used for data dimension reduction and feature selection, then multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to develop the predictive model. An independent validation cohort consisted of 128 consecutive patients from 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018. The performance of the predictive model was assessed in regards to discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness.


Predictors of this model included sex, BMI, coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, tumor size, intraoperative hemodynamic instability, and surgical duration. For the validation cohort, the model showed good discrimination with an AUROC of 0.818 (95% CI, 0.745, 0.891) and good calibration (Unreliability test, P = 0.440). Decision curve analysis demonstrated that the model was also clinically useful.


A nomogram was developed to facilitate the individualized prediction of severe morbidity after pheochromocytoma surgery and may help to improve the perioperative strategy and treatment outcome.

Open access

Randi Ugleholdt, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Pernille A H Haderslev, Bjarne Kromann-Andersen, and Claus Larsen Feltoft

Patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) are treated with α-adrenoceptor antagonists to improve peroperative hemodynamics. However, preoperative blood pressure targets differ between institutions. We retrospectively compared per- and postoperative hemodynamics in 30 patients with PPGL that were pretreated with phenoxybenzamine aiming at different blood pressure targets at two separate endocrine departments. All patients were subsequently undergoing laparoscopic surgery at Department of Urology, Herlev University hospital. Fourteen patients were treated targeting to symptomatic and significant orthostatic hypotension and 16 patients to a seated blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg. As a control group, we included 34 patients undergoing laparoscopic adrenalectomy for other reasons. The group titrated to orthostatic hypotension required a higher dose of phenoxybenzamine to achieve the blood pressure target. This group had less intraoperative systolic and diastolic blood pressure fluctuation (Mann–Whitney U test; P  < 0.05) and less periods with heart rate above 100 b.p.m. (Mann–Whitney U test; P = 0.04) as compared to the group with a preoperative blood pressure target below 130/80 mmHg. Peroperative use of intravenous fluids were similar between the two groups, but postoperatively more intravenous fluids were administered in the group with a target of ortostatism. Overall, the control group was more hemodynamic stable as compared to either group treated for PPGL. We conclude that phenoxybenzamine pretreatment targeting ortostatic hypotension may improve peroperative hemodynamic stability but causes a higher postoperative requirement for intravenous fluids. Overall, PPGL surgery is related to greater hemodynamic instability compared to adrenalectomy for other reasons.

Open access

Natasha Bergmann, Søren Ballegaard, Pernille Holmager, Per Bech, Åke Hjalmarson, Finn Gyntelberg, and Jens Faber

The aim of this study was to test i) whether patients having diabetes and ischemic heart disease (IHD), i.e., patients suffering from two chronic diseases, demonstrate a higher degree of chronic stress when compared with patients suffering from IHD alone, and ii) whether suffering from the two chronic diseases results in an elevation in specific elements of the chronic stress concept. A total of 361 participants with IHD were included, of whom 47 suffered from concomitant diabetes. Stress was measured by pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) and by the following questionnaires: the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), the SF-36 Quality of Life questionnaire (SF-36 QOL), the WHO-5 Well-being Index, and the clinical stress signs (CSSs) scale. Participants with diabetes and IHD had a higher MDI score, a lower SF-36 physical component summary score, and a lower score of several sub-measurements of the SF-36 mental component score when compared with patients with IHD without diabetes. No significant differences were observed regarding stress measured by the PPS measure, the WHO-5 Well-being Index, or the number of CSSs. In conclusion, the combination of diabetes and IHD seems to be associated with increased depressive symptoms, lower overall physical QOL, and reduced mental QOL on several sub-elements of the questionnaire. This should be recognized in the management of patients with double diagnoses.

Open access

Merete Gedde-Dahl, Espen Thiis-Evensen, Andreas Myklebust Tjølsen, Kjerstin Skrede Mordal, Morten Vatn, and Deidi S Bergestuen

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) arising in the small intestine are known to produce vasoactive substances, including serotonin, that may result in the carcinoid syndrome (flushing, diarrhea, bronchoconstriction, and carcinoid heart disease). Measurement of the serotonin breakdown product 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in urine is important in diagnosing and monitoring of patients with intestinal NETs. Our aim was to compare 5-HIAA measurement in 24-h urine sampling with overnight (∼8-h) sampling in patients with known NETs, or at follow-up of patients potentially cured for their NETs. Twenty-four-hour and overnight urine samples were collected from 34 patients and analyzed for urinary 5-HIAA (U5-HIAA) using HPLC. Comparison of the overnight sampling values with the 24-h values showed no difference, P=0.45, and there was a significant direct correlation between the two samples using linear regression (R=0.97, P<0.001). U5-HIAA sample collection during a nightly interval of ∼8 h appears to have the same accuracy as the 24-h collection in this group of patients.

Open access

S U Jayasinghe, S J Torres, C A Nowson, A J Tilbrook, and A I Turner

We tested the hypothesis that overweight/obese men aged 50–70 years will have a greater salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and heart rate (HR) responses to psychological stress compared with age matched lean men. Lean (BMI=20–25 kg/m2; n=19) and overweight/obese (BMI=27–35 kg/m2; n=17) men (50–70 years) were subjected to a well-characterised psychological stress (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST) at 1500 h. Concentrations of cortisol and alpha amylase were measured in saliva samples collected every 7–15 min from 1400 to 1700 h. HR was recorded using electrocardiogram. Body weight, BMI, percentage body fat, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure were significantly higher (P<0.05) in overweight/obese men compared with lean men. Both groups responded to the TSST with a substantial elevation in salivary cortisol (372%), salivary alpha amylase (123%) and HR (22%). These responses did not differ significantly between the groups (time×treatment interaction for salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and HR; P=0.187, P=0.288, P=0.550, respectively). There were no significant differences between the groups for pretreatment values, peak height, difference between pretreatment values and peak height (reactivity) or area under the curve for salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase or HR (P>0.05 for all). The results showed that, for men with a moderate level of overweight/obesity who were otherwise healthy, the response of salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and HR to acute psychological stress was not impaired.

Open access

Caroline Culen, Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Katharina Schubert, Lisa Bartha-Doering, and Gabriele Haeusler

Turner syndrome (TS), although considered a rare disease, is the most common sex chromosome abnormality in women, with an incident of 1 in 2500 female births. TS is characterized by distinctive physical features such as short stature, ovarian dysgenesis, an increased risk for heart and renal defects as well as a specific cognitive and psychosocial phenotype. Given the complexity of the condition, patients face manifold difficulties which increase over the lifespan. Furthermore, failures during the transitional phase to adult care result in moderate health outcomes and decreased quality of life. Guidelines on the optimal screening procedures and medical treatment are easy to find. However, recommendations for the treatment of the incriminating psychosocial aspects in TS are scarce. In this work, we first reviewed the literature on the cognitive and psychosocial development of girls with TS compared with normal development, from disclosure to young adulthood, and then introduce a psychosocial approach to counseling and treating patients with TS, including recommendations for age-appropriate psychological diagnostics. With this work, we aim to facilitate the integration of emphasized psychosocial care in state-of-the-art treatment for girls and women with TS.