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Open access

Ermina Bach, Niels Møller, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, Mads Buhl, and Holger Jon Møller

Aims/hypothesis

The macrophage-specific glycoprotein sCD163 has emerged as a biomarker of low-grade inflammation in the metabolic syndrome and related disorders. High sCD163 levels are seen in acute sepsis as a result of direct lipopolysaccharide-mediated shedding of the protein from macrophage surfaces including Kupffer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate if low-grade endotoxinemia in human subjects results in increasing levels of sCD163 in a cortisol-dependent manner.

Methods

We studied eight male hypopituitary patients and eight age- and gender-matched healthy controls during intravenous low-dose LPS or placebo infusion administered continuously over 360 min. Furthermore, we studied eight healthy volunteers with bilateral femoral vein and artery catheters during a 360-min infusion with saline and low-dose LPS in each leg respectively.

Results:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in a gradual increase in sCD163 from 1.65 ± 0.51 mg/L (placebo) to 1.92 ± 0.46 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.005 and from 1.66 ± 0.42 mg/L (placebo) to 2.19 ± 0.56 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P = 0.006. A very similar response was observed in hypopituitary patients: from 1.59 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 1.83 ± 0.45 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.021 and from 1.52 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 2.03 ± 0.44 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P < 0.001. As opposed to systemic treatment, continuous femoral artery infusion did not result in increased sCD163.

Conclusion:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in increased sCD163 to levels seen in the metabolic syndrome in both controls and hypopituitary patients. This suggests a direct and cortisol-independent effect of LPS on the shedding of sCD163. We observed no effect of local endotoxinemia on levels of serum sCD163.

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

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

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

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

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

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.

Open access

Flavia Letícia Martins Peçanha, Reinaldo Sousa dos Santos, and Wagner Seixas da-Silva

The thyroid hormones (THs), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), are very important in organism metabolism and regulate glucose utilization. Hexokinase (HK) is responsible for the first step of glycolysis, catalyzing the conversion of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate. HK has been found in different cellular compartments, and new functions have been attributed to this enzyme. The effects of hyperthyroidism on subcellular glucose phosphorylation in mouse tissues were examined. Tissues were removed, subcellular fractions were isolated from eu- and hyperthyroid (T3, 0.25 µg/g, i.p. during 21 days) mice and HK activity was assayed. Glucose phosphorylation was increased in the particulate fraction in soleus (312.4% ± 67.1, n = 10), gastrocnemius (369.2% ± 112.4, n = 10) and heart (142.2% ± 13.6, n = 10) muscle in the hyperthyroid group compared to the control group. Hexokinase activity was not affected in brain or liver. No relevant changes were observed in HK activity in the soluble fraction for all tissues investigated. Acute T3 administration (single dose of T3, 1.25 µg/g, i.p.) did not modulate HK activity. Interestingly, HK mRNA levels remained unchanged and HK bound to mitochondria was increased by T3 treatment, suggesting a posttranscriptional mechanism. Analysis of the AKT pathway showed a 2.5-fold increase in AKT and GSK3B phosphorylation in the gastrocnemius muscle in the hyperthyroid group compared to the euthyroid group. Taken together, we show for the first time that THs modulate HK activity specifically in particulate fractions and that this action seems to be under the control of the AKT and GSK3B pathways.

Open access

Jia Liu, Min Liu, Zhe Chen, Yumei Jia, and Guang Wang

Objective

Autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) is the most common autoimmune thyroid disease. Longitudinal relaxation time mapping (T1-mapping) measured by MRI is a new technique for assessing interstitial fibrosis of some organs, such as heart and liver. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between T1-mapping value and thyroid function and determine the usefulness of T1-mapping in identifying thyroid destruction in AIT patients.

Methods

This case–control study recruited 57 drug-naïve AIT patients and 17 healthy controls. All participants were given thyroid MRI, and T1-mapping values were measured using a modified look-locker inversion-recovery sequence.

Results

AIT patients had significantly higher thyroid T1-mapping values than the healthy controls (1.077 ± 177 vs 778 ± 82.9 ms; P < 0.01). A significant increase in thyroid T1-mapping values was presented along with the increased severity of thyroid dysfunction (P < 0.01). Correlation analyses showed that increased thyroid T1-mapping values were associated with higher TSH and lower FT3 and FT4 levels (TSH: r = 0.75; FT3: r = −0.47; FT4: r = −0.72; all P < 0.01). Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis revealed a high diagnostic value of T1-mapping values for the degree of thyroid destruction (area under the curve was 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90–0.99, P < 0.01).

Conclusions

AIT patients have higher thyroid T1-mapping values than the healthy controls, and the T1-mapping values increased with the progression of thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid T1-mapping value might be a new index to quantitatively evaluate the degree of thyroid destruction in AIT patients.

Open access

Federica Saponaro, Alessandro Saba, Sabina Frascarelli, Concetta Prontera, Aldo Clerico, Marco Scalese, Maria Rita Sessa, Filomena Cetani, Simona Borsari, Elena Pardi, Antonella Marvelli, Claudio Marcocci, Claudio Passino, and Riccardo Zucchi

Objectives

The aims of this paper were to evaluate the levels of Vitamin D (VitD) in patients with heart failure (HF), compared to a control group, to assess the effects of VitD on HF outcome and to compare VitD measurement between LIAISON immunoassay and HPLC-MS-MS methods in this population.

Design and Methods

We collected clinical, biochemical and outcome data from 247 patients with HF and in a subgroup of 151 patients, we measured VitD both with LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS.

Results

HF patients had statistically lower 25OHD levels (45.2 ± 23.7 nmol/L vs 58.2 ± 24.0 nmol/L, P < 0.001) and a statistically higher prevalence of VitD insufficiency (61.1% vs 39.5%, P < 0.001) and deficiency (24.7% vs 6.6%, P < 0.001), compared to healthy controls. There was a significant inverse relationship between baseline 25OHD and risk of HF-related death, with a HR of 0.59 (95% CI 0.37–0.92, P = 0.02), confirmed in a multivariate adjusted analysis. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses showed that VitD insufficiency was associated with reduced survival in HF patients (log rank P = 0.017). There was a good agreement between LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS (Cohen’s kappa coefficient 0.70), but the prevalence of VitD insufficiency was significantly higher with the former compared to the latter method (58.3%, n = 88 vs 55.6%, n = 84, P < 0.001). LIAISON underestimated the 25OHD levels and showed a mean relative bias of −0.739% with 95% of limits of agreement (−9.00 to +7.52%), when compared to HPLC-MS-MS.

Conclusions

25OHD levels adequately measured by HPLC-MS-MS showed to be low in HF population and to be correlated with HF-related risk of death.

Open access

L Johnsen, N B Lyckegaard, P Khanal, B Quistorff, K Raun, and M O Nielsen

Objective

We aimed to test, whether fetal under- or overnutrition differentially program the thyroid axis with lasting effects on energy metabolism, and if early-life postnatal overnutrition modulates implications of prenatal programming.

Design

Twin-pregnant sheep (n = 36) were either adequately (NORM), under- (LOW; 50% of NORM) or overnourished (HIGH; 150% of energy and 110% of protein requirements) in the last-trimester of gestation. From 3 days-of-age to 6 months-of-age, twin lambs received a conventional (CONV) or an obesogenic, high-carbohydrate high-fat (HCHF) diet. Subgroups were slaughtered at 6-months-of-age. Remaining lambs were fed a low-fat diet until 2½ years-of-age (adulthood).

Methods

Serum hormone levels were determined at 6 months- and 2½ years-of-age. At 2½ years-of-age, feed intake capacity (intake over 4-h following 72-h fasting) was determined, and an intravenous thyroxine tolerance test (iTTT) was performed, including measurements of heart rate, rectal temperature and energy expenditure (EE).

Results

In the iTTT, the LOW and nutritionally mismatched NORM:HCHF and HIGH:CONV sheep increased serum T3, T3:T4 and T3:TSH less than NORM:CONV, whereas TSH was decreased less in HIGH, NORM:HCHF and LOW:HCHF. Early postnatal exposure to the HCHF diet decreased basal adult EE in NORM and HIGH, but not LOW, and increased adult feed intake capacity in NORM and LOW, but not HIGH.

Conclusions: The iTTT revealed a differential programming of central and peripheral HPT axis function in response to late fetal malnutrition and an early postnatal obesogenic diet, with long-term implications for adult HPT axis adaptability and associated consequences for adiposity risk.