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Open access

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

Background

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.

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Julie Smith, Jan Fahrenkrug, Henrik L Jørgensen, Christina Christoffersen, and Jens P Goetze

Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In white adipose tissue, activation of the natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) stimulates lipolysis. We have previously shown that natriuretic peptides are expressed in a circadian manner in the heart, but the temporal expression profile of their cognate receptors has not been examined in white adipose tissue. We therefore collected peri-renal white adipose tissue and serum from WT mice. Tissue mRNA contents of NPRs – NPR-A and NPR-C, the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1, and transcripts involved in lipid metabolism were quantified at 4-h intervals: in the diurnal study, mice were exposed to a period of 12 h light followed by 12 h darkness (n=52). In the circadian study, mice were kept in darkness for 24 h (n=47). Concomitant serum concentrations of free fatty acids, glycerol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin were measured. Per1 and Bmal1 mRNA contents showed reciprocal circadian profiles (P<0.0001). NPR-A mRNA contents followed a temporal pattern (P=0.01), peaking in the dark (active) period. In contrast, NPR-C mRNA was expressed in an antiphase manner with nadir in the active period (P=0.007). TG concentrations in serum peaked in the active dark period (P=0.003). In conclusion, NPR-A and NPR-C gene expression is associated with the expression of clock genes in white adipose tissue. The reciprocal expression may thus contribute to regulate lipolysis and energy homeostasis in a diurnal manner.

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

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

Vito Francic, Martin Keppel, Verena Schwetz, Christian Trummer, Marlene Pandis, Valentin Borzan, Martin R Grübler, Nicolas D Verheyen, Marcus E Kleber, Graciela Delgado, Angela P Moissl, Benjamin Dieplinger, Winfried März, Andreas Tomaschitz, Stefan Pilz, and Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch

Objective

Cardiovascular disease manifestation and several associated surrogate markers, such as vitamin D, have shown substantial seasonal variation. A promising cardiovascular biomarker, soluble ST2 (sST2), has not been investigated in this regard – we therefore determined if systemic levels of sST2 are affected by seasonality and/or vitamin D in order to investigate their clinical interrelation and usability.

Design

sST2 levels were measured in two cohorts involving hypertensive patients at cardiovascular risk, the Styrian Vitamin D Hypertension Trial (study A; RCT design, 8 weeks 2800 IU cholecalciferol daily) and the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study (LURIC; study B; cross-sectional design).

Methods

The effects of a vitamin D intervention on sST2 levels were determined in study A using ANCOVA, while seasonality of sST2 levels was determined in study B using ANOVA.

Results

The concentrations of sST2 remained unchanged by a vitamin D intervention in study A, with a mean treatment effect (95% confidence interval) of 0.1 (−0.6 to 0.8) ng/mL; P = 0.761), despite a rise in 25(OH)D (11.3 (9.2–13.5) ng/mL; P < 0.001) compared to placebo. In study B, seasonal variations were present in 25(OH)D levels in men and women with or without heart failure (P < 0.001 for all subgroups), while sST2 levels remained unaffected by the seasons in all subgroups.

Conclusions

Our study provides the first evidence that systemic sST2 levels are not interrelated with vitamin D levels or influenced by the seasons in subjects at cardiovascular risk.