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Open access

Daniel Bell, Julia Hale, Cara Go, Ben G Challis, Tilak Das, Brian Fish, and Ruth T Casey

Primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) is a common endocrine disorder that can be cured by parathyroidectomy; patients unsuitable for surgery can be treated with cinacalcet. Availability of surgery may be reduced during COVID-19, and cinacalcet can be used as bridging therapy. In this single-centre retrospective analysis, we investigated the utility and safety of cinacalcet in patients with pHPT receiving cinacalcet between March 2019 and July 2020, including pre-parathyroidectomy bridging. We reviewed and summarised the published literature. Cinacalcet dosages were adjusted by endocrinologists to achieve target calcium < 2.70 mmol/L. Eighty-six patients were identified, with the most achieving target calcium (79.1%) with a mean dose of 39.4 mg/day (±17.1 mg/day) for a median duration of 35 weeks (1–178 weeks). Calcium was normalised in a median time of 5 weeks. The majority of patients commenced cinacalcet of 30 mg/day (78 patients) with the remainder at 60 mg/day (8 patients). Forty-seven patients commencing lower dose cinacalcet (30 mg/day) achieved target calcium without requiring 60 mg/day. Baseline PTH was significantly higher in patients requiring higher doses of cinacalcet. 18.6% of patients reported adverse reactions and 4.7% discontinued cinacalcet. Patients treated with cinacalcet pre-parathyroidectomy required a higher dose and fewer achieved target calcium compared to medical treatment with cinacalcet alone. Post-operative calcium was similar to patients who were not given pre-parathyroidectomy cinacalcet. In summary, cinacalcet at an initial dose of 30 mg/day is safe and useful for achieving target calcium in patients with symptomatic or severe hypercalcaemia in pHPT, including those treated for pre-parathyroidectomy. We propose a PTH threshold of >30 pmol/L to initiate at a higher dose of 60 mg/day.

Open access

Eeva M Ryhänen, Ilkka Heiskanen, Harri Sintonen, Matti J Välimäki, Risto P Roine, and Camilla Schalin-Jäntti

Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is frequently impaired in primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) but it is unclear if surgery is beneficial. The objective was to prospectively assess HRQoL in PHPT (n=124) with the 15D instrument before and after surgery, to compare it with that of a comparable sample of the general population (n=4295), and search for predictors of HRQoL and its change. HRQoL, and clinical and laboratory parameters were measured before and at 6 and 12 months after surgery. Regression techniques were used to search for predictors of HRQoL and gains from treatment. Before surgery, PHPT patients had significantly lower mean 15D score compared to controls (0.813 vs 0.904, P<0.001). Excretion, mental function, discomfort and symptoms, distress, depression, vitality, and sexual activity were most impaired (all P<0.001). Number of medications (P=0.001) and subjective symptoms (P<0.05) but not calcium or parathyroid hormone (PTH) predicted impaired HRQoL. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was of borderline significance (P=0.051). Compared to baseline, mean 15D score improved significantly 6 months after surgery (0.813 vs 0.865, P<0.001) and the effect sustained at 1 year (0.878, P<0.001). The improvement was clinically important in 77.4% of patients (P<0.001). Educational level independently predicted improvement (P<0.005). HRQoL is severely impaired in PHPT but improves significantly after surgery. The 15D is a sensitive tool for assessing HRQoL and recognizing patients likely to benefit from surgery.

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

Bekir Cakir, F Neslihan Cuhaci Seyrek, Oya Topaloglu, Didem Ozdemir, Ahmet Dirikoc, Cevdet Aydin, Sefika Burcak Polat, Berna Evranos Ogmen, Ali Abbas Tam, Husniye Baser, Aylin Kilic Yazgan, Mehmet Kilic, Afra Alkan, and Reyhan Ersoy


Despite significant improvement in imaging quality and advanced scientific knowledge, it may still sometimes be difficult to distinguish different parathyroid lesions. The aims of this prospective study were to evaluate parathyroid lesions with ultrasound elastography and to determine whether strain index can help to differentiate parathyroid lesions.


Patients with biochemically confirmed hyperparathyroidism and localised parathyroid lesions in ultrasonography were included. All patients underwent B-mode US and USE examination. Ultrasound elastography scores and strain index of lesions were determined. Strain index was defined as the ratio of strain of the thyroid parenchyma to the strain of the parathyroid lesion.


Data of 245 lesions of 230 patients were analysed. Histopathologically, there were 202 (82.45%) parathyroid adenomas, 26 (10.61%) atypical parathyroid adenomas, and 17 (6.94%) cases of parathyroid hyperplasia. Median serum Ca was significantly higher in atypical parathyroid adenoma patients than parathyroid hyperplasia patients (P = 0.019) and median PTH was significantly higher in APA compared to PA patients (P < 0.001). In 221 (90.2%) of the parathyroid lesions, USE score was 1 or 2. The median SI of atypical parathyroid adenomas was significantly higher than parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasia lesions (1.5 (0.56–4.86), 1.01 (0.21–8.43) and 0.91 (0.26–2.02), respectively, P = 0.003).


Our study revealed that SI of parathyroid lesions as well as serum calcium, parathyroid hormone levels, and B-mode US features may help to predict the atypical parathyroid adenoma. Ultrasound elastography can be used to differentiate among parathyroid lesions and guide a surgical approach.

Open access

Felix Haglund, Gustaf Rosin, Inga-Lena Nilsson, C Christofer Juhlin, Ylva Pernow, Sophie Norenstedt, Andrii Dinets, Catharina Larsson, Johan Hartman, and Anders Höög

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrinopathy, frequently caused by a parathyroid adenoma, rarely by a parathyroid carcinoma that lacks effective oncological treatment. As the majority of cases are present in postmenopausal women, oestrogen signalling has been implicated in the tumourigenesis. Oestrogen receptor beta 1 (ERB1) and ERB2 have been recently identified in parathyroid adenomas, the former inducing genes coupled to tumour apoptosis. We applied immunohistochemistry and slide digitalisation to quantify nuclear ERB1 and ERB2 in 172 parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas, and ten normal parathyroid glands. All the normal parathyroid glands expressed ERB1 and ERB2. The majority of tumours expressed ERB1 (70.6%) at varying intensities, and ERB2 (96.5%) at strong intensities. Parathyroid carcinomas expressed ERB1 in three out of six cases and ERB2 in five out of six cases. The intensity of tumour nuclear ERB1 staining significantly correlated inversely with tumour weight (P=0.011), and patients whose tumours were classified as ERB1-negative had significantly greater tumour weight as well as higher serum calcium (P=0.002) and parathyroid hormone levels (P=0.003). Additionally, tumour nuclear ERB1 was not expressed differentially with respect to sex or age of the patient. Levels of tumour nuclear ERB2 did not correlate with clinical characteristics. In conclusion, decreased ERB1 immunoreactivity is associated with increased tumour weight in parathyroid adenomas. Given the previously reported correlation with tumour-suppressive signalling, selective oestrogen receptor modulation (SERMs) may play a role in the treatment of parathyroid carcinomas. Future studies of SERMs and oestrogen treatment in PHPT should consider tumour weight as a potential factor in pharmacological responsiveness.

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


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.


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.


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


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.


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

Ann-Kristin Picke, Graeme Campbell, Nicola Napoli, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, especially as a result of our aging society, high caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle. Besides the well-known complications of T2DM on the cardiovascular system, the eyes, kidneys and nerves, bone strength is also impaired in diabetic patients. Patients with T2DM have a 40–70% increased risk for fractures, despite having a normal to increased bone mineral density, suggesting that other factors besides bone quantity must account for increased bone fragility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the complex effects of T2DM on bone including effects on bone cells, bone material properties and other endocrine systems that subsequently affect bone, discusses the effects of T2DM medications on bone and concludes with a model identifying factors that may contribute to poor bone quality and increased bone fragility in T2DM.

Open access

Mojca Zerjav Tansek, Ana Bertoncel, Brina Sebez, Janez Zibert, Urh Groselj, Tadej Battelino, and Magdalena Avbelj Stefanija

Despite recent improvements in the composition of the diet, lower mineral bone density and overweight tendencies are incoherently described in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). The impact of dietary factors and plasma phenylalanine levels on growth, BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density was investigated in our cohort of patients with hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) with or without dietary treatment. The anthropometric, metabolic, BMI and other nutritional indicators and bone mineral density were compared between the group of 96 treated patients with PKU (58 classic PKU (cPKU) and 38 patients with moderate-mild PKU defined as non-classic PKU (non-cPKU)) and the untreated group of 62 patients with benign HPA. Having compared the treated and untreated groups, there were normal outcomes and no statistically significant differences in BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density. Lower body height standard deviation scores were observed in the treated as compared to the untreated group (P < 0.001), but the difference was not significant when analyzing patients older than 18 years; however, cPKU adults were shorter compared to non-cPKU treated adults (P = 0.012). Interestingly, the whole-body fat was statistically higher in non-cPKU as compared to cPKU patients. In conclusion, the dietary treatment ensured adequate nutrition without significant consequences in BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density. A low protein diet may have delayed the growth in childhood, but the treated patients gained a normal final height. Mild untreated hyperphenylalaninemia characteristic for benign HPA had no negative physiological effect on bone mineral density.

Open access

Martine Cohen-Solal, Thomas Funck-Brentano, and Pablo Ureña Torres

Mineral and bone diseases (MBD) are predominant in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and lead to several bone manifestations, from pain to skeletal fractures. Cumulative traditional clinical risk factors, such as age and gender, in addition to those related to CKD, enhance the risk of comorbidity and mortality related to fractures. Despite great advances in understanding MBD in CKD, clinical and biological targets are lacking, which leads to under-management of fractures. Optimal PTH control results in a net improvement in defining the levels of bone remodeling. In addition, circulating biomarkers such as bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and cross-linked collagen type I peptide will also provide additional information about remodeling rate, bone mineralization and the evaluation of fracture risk. Imaging techniques identify patients at risk by measurement of bone mineral density by DEXA or by high peripheral QCT, which allow the discrimination of trabecular and cortical bone. Here, we have reviewed the literature related to epidemiology and the pathophysiological role of mineral and biochemical factors involved in CKD-MBD with a special focus on fracture risk. We also provide an algorithm that could be used for the management of bone diseases and to guide treatment decisions. Finally, the combined expertise of clinicians from various disciplines is crucial for the best prevention of fractures.

Open access

Lu Liu, Chunyan Li, Peng Yang, Jian Zhu, Dongmei Gan, Le Bu, Manna Zhang, Chunjun Sheng, Hong Li, and Shen Qu

Alendronate (ALN) is a commonly used drug for the treatment of osteoporosis. Atypical femur fractures (AFFs) have been associated with long-term use of ALN and have recently become the subject of considerable attention as ALN use increases. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the relationship between ALN and AFF. The Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane library databases were searched for relevant studies published before November 6, 2014. Studies clearly reporting the relationship between ALN and AFF were selected for our analysis. From these results, the relationship between ALN and AFF was analyzed. Weighted mean differences were calculated using a random-effects model. Five studies were included in this meta-analysis. The results revealed that the use of ALN will not increase the risk of AFF in short term (P>0.05), but there will be a risk of AFF (P<0.05) with long-term (>5 years) use of ALN. These findings indicate that long-term use of ALN is a risk factor for AFF and that more attention should be paid to the clinical applications of ALN.