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Open access

Jing Hong, Wen-Yue Liu, Xiang Hu, Fei-Fei Jiang, Ze-Ru Xu, Fang Li, Fei-Xia Shen, and Hong Zhu

Background

A prolonged heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) has been associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the general population. However, no study to date has identified a link between prolonged QTc and the severity of PAD in patients with diabetes mellitus and foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aimed to investigate this relationship.

Methods

This multicenter study enrolled 281 patients with DFUs. The severity of PAD was classified into no severe PAD group (without stenosis or occlusion) and severe PAD group (with stenosis or occlusion) based on duplex ultrasonography. The association of prolonged QTc with severe PAD was evaluated in a multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, with the hospital as a random effect. Directed acyclic graphs were used to drive the selection of variables to fit the regression model.

Results

Patients with severe PAD had longer QTc than those without. Based on the multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, a prolonged QTc was positively associated with severe PAD (odds ratio (OR) = 2.61; 95% CI: 1.07–6.35) and severe DFUs (Wagner grade score ≥ 3) (OR = 2.87; 95% CI: 1.42–5.81).

Conclusions

A prolonged QTc was associated with severe PAD in patients with DFUs. Further research is required to ascertain whether the association is causal.

Open access

Signe Frøssing, Malin Nylander, Caroline Kistorp, Sven O Skouby, and Jens Faber

Context

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and biomarkers can be used to detect early subclinical CVD. Midregional-pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional-pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) and copeptin are all associated with CVD and part of the delicate system controlling fluid and hemodynamic homeostasis through vascular tonus and diuresis. The GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, developed for treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), improves cardiovascular outcomes in patients with T2D including a decrease in particular MR-proANP.

Objective

To investigate if treatment with liraglutide in women with PCOS reduces levels of the cardiovascular biomarkers MR-proADM, MR-proANP and copeptin.

Methods

Seventy-two overweight women with PCOS were treated with 1.8 mg/day liraglutide or placebo for 26 weeks in a placebo-controlled RCT. Biomarkers, anthropometrics, insulin resistance, body composition (DXA) and visceral fat (MRI) were examined.

Results

Baseline median (IQR) levels were as follows: MR-proADM 0.52 (0.45–0.56) nmol/L, MR-proANP 44.8 (34.6–56.7) pmol/L and copeptin 4.95 (3.50–6.50) pmol/L. Mean percentage differences (95% CI) between liraglutide and placebo group after treatment were as follows: MR-proADM −6% (−11 to 2, P = 0.058), MR-proANP −25% (−37 to −11, P = 0.001) and copeptin +4% (−13 to 25, P = 0.64). Reduction in MR-proANP concentration correlated with both increased heart rate and diastolic blood pressure in the liraglutide group. Multiple regression analyses with adjustment for BMI, free testosterone, insulin resistance, visceral fat, heart rate and eGFR showed reductions in MR-proANP to be independently correlated with an increase in the heart rate.

Conclusion

In an RCT, liraglutide treatment in women with PCOS reduced levels of the cardiovascular risk biomarkers MR-proANP with 25% and MR-proADM with 6% (borderline significance) compared with placebo. The decrease in MR-proANP was independently associated with an increase in the heart rate.

Open access

Jan Calissendorff and Henrik Falhammar

Background

Graves’ disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism. Three therapies have been used for decades: pharmacologic therapy, surgery and radioiodine. In case of adverse events, especially agranulocytosis or hepatotoxicity, pre-treatment with Lugol’s solution containing iodine/potassium iodide to induce euthyroidism before surgery could be advocated, but this has rarely been reported.

Methods

All patients hospitalised due to uncontrolled hyperthyroidism at the Karolinska University Hospital 2005–2015 and treated with Lugol’s solution were included. All electronic files were carefully reviewed manually, with focus on the cause of treatment and admission, demographic data, and effects of iodine on thyroid hormone levels and pulse frequency.

Results

Twenty-seven patients were included. Lugol’s solution had been chosen due to agranulocytosis in 9 (33%), hepatotoxicity in 2 (7%), other side effects in 11 (41%) and poor adherence to medication in 5 (19%). Levels of free T4, free T3 and heart rate decreased significantly after 5–9 days of iodine therapy (free T4 53–20 pmol/L, P = 0.0002; free T3 20–6.5 pmol/L, P = 0.04; heart rate 87–76 beats/min P = 0.0007), whereas TSH remained unchanged. Side effects were noted in 4 (15%) (rash n = 2, rash and vomiting n = 1, swelling of fingers n = 1). Thyroidectomy was performed in 26 patients (96%) and one was treated with radioiodine; all treatments were without serious complications.

Conclusion

Treatment of uncontrolled hyperthyroidism with Lugol’s solution before definitive treatment is safe and it decreases thyroid hormone levels and heart rate. Side effects were limited. Lugol’s solution could be recommended pre-operatively in Graves’ disease with failed medical treatment, especially if side effects to anti-thyroid drugs have occurred.

Open access

Jens P Goetze, Linda M Hilsted, Jens F Rehfeld, and Urban Alehagen

Cardiovascular risk assessment remains difficult in elderly patients. We examined whether chromogranin A (CgA) measurement in plasma may be valuable in assessing risk of death in elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure in a primary care setting. A total of 470 patients (mean age 73 years) were followed for 10 years. For CgA plasma measurement, we used a two-step method including a screening test and a confirmative test with plasma pre-treatment with trypsin. Cox multivariable proportional regression and receiver-operating curve (ROC) analyses were used to assess mortality risk. Assessment of cardiovascular mortality during the first 3 years of observation showed that CgA measurement contained useful information with a hazard ratio (HR) of 5.4 (95% CI 1.7–16.4) (CgA confirm). In a multivariate setting, the corresponding HR was 5.9 (95% CI 1.8–19.1). When adding N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) to the model, CgA confirm still possessed prognostic information (HR: 6.1; 95% CI 1.8–20.7). The result for predicting all-cause mortality displayed the same pattern. ROC analyses in comparison to NT-proBNP to identify patients on top of clinical variables at risk of cardiovascular death within 5 years of follow-up showed significant additive value of CgA confirm measurements compared with NT-proBNP and clinical variables. CgA measurement in the plasma of elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure can identify those at increased risk of short- and long-term mortality.

Open access

Alexander Tacey, Lewan Parker, Bu B Yeap, John Joseph, Ee M Lim, Andrew Garnham, David L Hare, Tara Brennan-Speranza, and Itamar Levinger

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of prednisolone on (A) high-intensity interval cycling performance and (B) post-exercise metabolic, hormonal and haematological responses. Nine young men participated in this double-blind, randomised, cross-over study. The participants completed exercise sessions (4 × 4 min cycling bouts at 90–95% of peak heart rate), 12 h after ingesting prednisolone (20 mg) or placebo. Work load was adjusted to maintain the same relative heart rate between the sessions. Exercise performance was measured as total work performed. Blood samples were taken at rest, immediately post exercise and up to 3 h post exercise. Prednisolone ingestion decreased total work performed by 5% (P < 0.05). Baseline blood glucose was elevated following prednisolone compared to placebo (P < 0.001). Three hours post exercise, blood glucose in the prednisolone trial was reduced to a level equivalent to the baseline concentration in the placebo trial (P > 0.05). Prednisolone suppressed the increase in blood lactate immediately post exercise (P < 0.05). Total white blood cell count was elevated at all time-points with prednisolone (P < 0.01). Androgens and sex hormone-binding globulin were elevated immediately after exercise, irrespective of prednisolone or placebo. In contrast, prednisolone significantly reduced the ratio of testosterone/luteinizing hormone (P < 0.01). Acute prednisolone treatment impairs high-intensity interval cycling performance and alters metabolic and haematological parameters in healthy young men. Exercise may be an effective tool to minimise the effect of prednisolone on blood glucose levels.

Open access

Akinori Sairaku, Yukiko Nakano, Yuko Uchimura, Takehito Tokuyama, Hiroshi Kawazoe, Yoshikazu Watanabe, Hiroya Matsumura, and Yasuki Kihara

Background

The impact of subclinical hypothyroidism on the cardiovascular risk is still debated. We aimed to measure the relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and the left atrial (LA) pressure.

Methods

The LA pressures and thyroid function were measured in consecutive patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, who did not have any known heart failure, structural heart disease, or overt thyroid disease.

Results

Subclinical hypothyroidism (4.5≤ thyroid-stimulating hormone <19.9 mIU/L) was present in 61 (13.0%) of the 471 patients included. More subclinical hypothyroidism patients than euthyroid patients (55.7% vs 40.2%; P=0.04).’euthyroid patients had persistent or long-standing persistent AF (55.7% vs 40.2%; P = 0.04). The mean LA pressure (10.9 ± 4.7 vs 9.1 ± 4.3 mmHg; P = 0.002) and LA V-wave pressure (17.4 ± 6.5 vs 14.3 ± 5.9 mmHg; P < 0.001) were, respectively, higher in the patients with subclinical hypothyroidism than in the euthyroid patients. After an adjustment for potential confounders, the LA pressures remained significantly higher in the subclinical hypothyroidism patients. A multiple logistic regression model showed that subclinical hypothyroidism was independently associated with a mean LA pressure of >18 mmHg (odds ratio 3.94, 95% CI 1.28 11.2; P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Subclinical hypothyroidism may increase the LA pressure in AF patients.

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

Melinda Kertész, Szilárd Kun, Eszter Sélley, Zsuzsanna Nagy, Tamás Kőszegi, and István Wittmann

Background

Type 2 diabetes is characterized, beyond the insulin resistance, by polyhormonal resistance. Thyroid hormonal resistance has not yet been described in this population of patients. Metformin is used to decrease insulin resistance, and at present, it is assumed to influence the effect of triiodothyronine, as well.

Methods

In this open-label, pilot, hypothesis-generating, follow-up study, 21 patients were included; all of them were euthyroid with drug naïve, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Before and after 4 weeks of metformin therapy, fructosamine, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), thyroid hormones, T3/T4 ratio, and TSH, as well as blood pressure and heart rate using ambulatory blood pressure monitor were measured. We also conducted an in vitro study to investigate the possible mechanisms of T3 resistance, assessing T3-induced Akt phosphorylation among normal (5 mM) and high (25 mM) glucose levels with or without metformin treatment in a human embryonal kidney cell line.

Results

Metformin decreased the level of T3 (P < 0.001), the ratio of T3/T4 (P = 0.038), fructosamine (P = 0.008) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.022). All these changes were accompanied by an unchanged TSH, T4, triglyceride, plasma glucose, bodyweight, blood pressure, and heart rate. In our in vitro study, T3-induced Akt phosphorylation decreased in cells grown in 25 mM glucose medium compared to those in 5 mM. Metformin could not reverse this effect.

Conclusion

Metformin seems to improve T3 sensitivity in the cardiovascular system in euthyroid, type 2 diabetic patients, the mechanism of which may be supracellular.

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.