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Open access

Athanasios D Anastasilakis, Marina Tsoli, Gregory Kaltsas, and Polyzois Makras

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disease of not well-defined etiology that involves immune cell activation and frequently affects the skeleton. Bone involvement in LCH usually presents in the form of osteolytic lesions along with low bone mineral density. Various molecules involved in bone metabolism are implicated in the pathogenesis of LCH or may be affected during the course of the disease, including interleukins (ILs), tumor necrosis factor α, receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) and its soluble ligand RANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG), periostin and sclerostin. Among them IL-17A, periostin and RANKL have been proposed as potential serum biomarkers for LCH, particularly as the interaction between RANK, RANKL and OPG not only regulates bone homeostasis through its effects on the osteoclasts but also affects the activation and survival of immune cells. Significant changes in circulating and lesional RANKL levels have been observed in LCH patients irrespective of bone involvement. Standard LCH management includes local or systematic administration of corticosteroids and chemotherapy. Given the implication of RANK, RANKL and OPG in the pathogenesis of the disease and the osteolytic nature of bone lesions, agents aiming at inhibiting the RANKL pathway and/or osteoclastic activation, such as bisphosphonates and denosumab, may have a role in the therapeutic approach of LCH although further clinical investigation is warranted.

Open access

Sofya Gronskaia, Galina Melnichenko, Liudmila Rozhinskaya, Tatiana Grebennikova, Elizaveta Mamedova, Ekaterina Pigarova, Elena Przhialkovskaya, Larisa Dzeranova, Ivan Dedov, Valentin Fadeyev, Maria Luisa Brandi, and Zhanna Belaya

Hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism are rare endocrine disorders, characterized by low serum calcium due to inappropriate parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels or resistance to its action. There is little epidemiological information regarding chronic hypoparathyroidism in Russia. This study aims to build a registry database of Russian patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism who were referred for hospital treatment in order to conduct initial analysis of clinical presentations and hospital management. The Italian registry model was taken to be able to integrate our data in the future. Two hundred patients with hypoparathyroidism (n = 194) and pseudohypoparathyroidism (n = 6) were enrolled over 2 years (2017–2019). The most frequent cause of hypoparathyroidism was neck surgery (82.5%, mostly females), followed by idiopathic hypoparathyroidism (10%), syndromic forms of genetic hypoparathyroidism (4.5%) and forms of defective PTH action (3%). Calcium supplements and alfacalcidol were prescribed in most cases. However, a minority of patients (n = 6) needed to receive teriparatide as the only way to maintain calcium levels and to prevent symptoms of hypocalcemia. Consequently, substitution treatment with parathyroid hormone should be available in certain cases of hypoparathyroidism. This database will be useful to estimate the potential requirement for recombinant PTH in Russia and standards for clinical and therapeutic approaches.

Open access

Cristina Lamas, Elena Navarro, Anna Casterás, Paloma Portillo, Victoria Alcázar, María Calatayud, Cristina Álvarez-Escolá, Julia Sastre, Evangelina Boix, Lluis Forga, Almudena Vicente, Josep Oriola, Jordi Mesa, and Nuria Valdés

Primary hyperparathyroidism is the most frequent manifestation of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome. Bone and renal complications are common. Surgery is the treatment of choice, but the best timing for surgery is controversial and predictors of persistence and recurrence are not well known. Our study describes the clinical characteristics and the surgical outcomes, after surgery and in the long term, of the patients with MEN1 and primary hyperparathyroidism included in the Spanish Registry of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas (REGMEN). Eighty-nine patients (49 men and 40 women, 34.2 ± 13 years old) were included. Sixty-four out of the 89 underwent surgery: a total parathyroidectomy was done in 13 patients, a subtotal parathyroidectomy in 34 and a less than subtotal parathyroidectomy in 15. Remission rates were higher after a total or a subtotal parathyroidectomy than after a less than subtotal (3/4 and 20/22 vs 7/12, P < 0.05), without significant differences in permanent hypoparathyroidism (1/5, 9/23 and 0/11, N.S.). After a median follow-up of 111 months, 20 of the 41 operated patients with long-term follow-up had persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism. We did not find differences in disease-free survival rates between different techniques, patients with or without permanent hypoparathyroidism and patients with different mutated exons, but a second surgery was more frequent after a less than subtotal parathyroidectomy.

Open access

A Chinoy, M Skae, A Babiker, D Kendall, M Z Mughal, and R Padidela

Background

Hypoparathyroidism is characterised by hypocalcaemia, and standard management is with an active vitamin D analogue and adequate oral calcium intake (dietary and/or supplements). Little is described in the literature about the impact of intercurrent illnesses on calcium homeostasis in children with hypoparathyroidism.

Methods

We describe three children with hypoparathyroidism in whom intercurrent illnesses led to hypocalcaemia and escalation of treatment with alfacalcidol (1-hydroxycholecalciferol) and calcium supplements.

Results

Three infants managed with standard treatment for hypoparathyroidism (two with homozygous mutations in GCMB2 gene and one with Sanjad-Sakati syndrome) developed symptomatic hypocalcaemia (two infants developed seizures) following respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses. Substantial increases in alfacalcidol doses (up to three times their pre-illness doses) and calcium supplementation were required to achieve acceptable serum calcium concentrations. However, following resolution of illness, these children developed an increase in serum calcium and hypercalciuria, necessitating rapid reduction to pre-illness dosages of alfacalcidol and oral calcium supplementation.

Conclusion

Intercurrent illness may precipitate symptomatic hypocalcaemia in children with hypoparathyroidism, necessitating increase in dosages of alfacalcidol and calcium supplements. Close monitoring is required on resolution of the intercurrent illness, with timely reduction of dosages of active analogues of vitamin D and calcium supplements to prevent hypercalcaemia, hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis.

Open access

Guido Zavatta and Bart L Clarke

The first adjunctive hormone therapy for chronic hypoparathyroidism, recombinant human parathyroid hormone (1–84) (rhPTH(1–84)) was approved by the FDA in January 2015. Since the approval of rhPTH(1–84), growing interest has developed in other agents to treat this disorder in both the scientific community and among pharmaceutical companies. For several reasons, conventional therapy with calcium and activated vitamin D supplementation, magnesium supplementation as needed, and occasionally thiazide-type diuretic therapy remains the mainstay of treatment, while endocrinologists and patients are constantly challenged by limitations of conventional treatment. Serum calcium fluctuations, increased urinary calcium, hyperphosphatemia, and a constellation of symptoms that limit mental and physical functioning are frequently associated with conventional therapy. Understanding how conventional treatment and hormone therapy work in terms of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is key to effectively managing chronic hypoparathyroidism. Multiple questions remain regarding the effectiveness of PTH adjunctive therapy in preventing or slowing the onset and progression of the classical complications of hypoparathyroidism, such as chronic kidney disease, calcium-containing kidney stones, cataracts, or basal ganglia calcification. Several studies point toward an improvement in the quality of life during replacement therapy. This review will discuss current clinical and research challenges posed by treatment of chronic hypoparathyroidism.

Key points:

  • Conventional therapy with calcium and activated forms of vitamin D are currently the mainstays of treatment for most patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism.

  • Hormone therapy can be administered through FDA-approved once-daily rhPTH(1–84), or off-label multiple-daily injections of teriparatide. The former is the only FDA-approved drug, with safety and efficacy supported by a randomized placebo-controlled trial and open-label long-term extension trial data.

  • Twice-daily teriparatide has been used in children safely for up to 10 years.

  • New pharmacological options that replace the deficient hormone wi ll likely be available within the next few years.

Open access

Jean-Philippe Bertocchio, Natalie Grosset, Lionel Groussin, Peter Kamenicky, Fabrice Larceneux, Anne Lienhardt-Roussie, Agnès Linglart, Gérard Maruani, Eric Mirallie, François Pattou, Riyad N.H. Seervai, Coralie Sido, Caroline Silve, Aurélie Vilfaillot, Antoine Tabarin, Marie-Christine Vantyghem, and Pascal Houillier

Context: Recent guidelines have provided recommendations for the care of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism. Very little is known about actual physicians’ practices or their adherence to such guidelines.

Objective: To describe the practice patterns and their compliance with international guidelines.

Design: Cohort studies: Épi-Hypo (118 Physicians and 107 patients, from 09/2016 to 12/2019) and ePatients (110 patients, November 2019).

Methods: Internet-based cohorts involving all settings at a nationwide level (France). Participants were i) physicians treating patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism and patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism either participating in the ii) Épi-Hypo study (Épi-Hypo 2019 patients) or iii) Hypoparathyroidism France, the national representative association (ePatients).

Results: The physicians’ specialties were mainly endocrinology (61%), nephrology (28%), family medicine (2.5%), pediatrics (2.5%), rheumatology (2%) or miscellaneous (4%). Forty-five percent were practicing in public universities. The median number of pharmaceutical drug classes prescribed was 3 per patient. The combination of active vitamin D and calcium salt was given to 59% and 58% of ePatients and Épi-Hypo 2019 patients, respectively. Eighty-five percent of ePatients and 87% of physicians reported monitoring plasma calcium concentrations at a steady state at least twice a year. In 32% and 26% of cases, respectively, ePatients and physicians reported being fully in accordance with international guidelines that recommend targeting symptoms, plasma calcium and phosphate values, and urine calcium excretion.

Conclusions: The care of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism involves physicians with very different practices, so guidelines should include and target not only endocrinologists. Full adherence to the guidelines is low in France.

Open access

Katherine U Gaynor, Irina V Grigorieva, Samantha M Mirczuk, Sian E Piret, Kreepa G Kooblall, Mark Stevenson, Karine Rizzoti, Michael R Bowl, M Andrew Nesbit, Paul T Christie, William D Fraser, Tertius Hough, Michael P Whyte, Robin Lovell-Badge, and Rajesh V Thakker

Hypoparathyroidism is genetically heterogeneous and characterized by low plasma calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. X-linked hypoparathyroidism (XLHPT) in two American families is associated with interstitial deletion-insertions involving deletions of chromosome Xq27.1 downstream of SOX3 and insertions of predominantly non-coding DNA from chromosome 2p25.3. These could result in loss, gain, or movement of regulatory elements, which include ultraconserved element uc482, which could alter SOX3 expression. To investigate this, we analysed SOX3 expression in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cells from three affected males, three unaffected males, and four carrier females from one XLHPT family. SOX3 expression was similar in all individuals, indicating that the spatiotemporal effect of the interstitial deletion-insertion on SOX3 expression postulated to occur in developing parathyroids did not manifest in lymphoblastoids. Expression of SNTG2, which is duplicated and inserted into the X chromosome, and ATP11C, which is moved telomerically, were also similarly expressed in all individuals. Investigation of male hemizygous (Sox3−/Y and uc482−/Y) and female heterozygous (Sox3+/ and uc482+/) knockout mice, together with wild-type littermates (male Sox3+/Y and uc482+/Y, and female Sox3+/+ and uc482+/+), revealed Sox3−/Y, Sox3+/, uc482/Y, and uc482+/ mice to have normal plasma biochemistry, compared to their respective wild-type littermates. When challenged with a low calcium diet, all mice had hypocalcaemia, and elevated plasma PTH concentrations and alkaline phosphatase activities, and Sox3−/Y, Sox3+/, uc482−/Y, and uc482+/ mice had similar plasma biochemistry, compared to wild-type littermates. Thus, these results indicate that absence of Sox3 or uc482 does not cause hypoparathyroidism and that XLHPT likely reflects a more complex mechanism.

Open access

Leyre Lorente-Poch, Sílvia Rifà-Terricabras, Juan José Sancho, Danilo Torselli-Valladares, Sofia González-Ortiz, and Antonio Sitges-Serra

Objective:

Permanent hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disease resulting most frequently from neck surgery. It has been associated with visceral calcifications but few studies have specifically this in patients with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications in patients with long-term post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism compared with a control population.

Design:

Case–control study.

Methods:

A cross-sectional review comparing 29 consecutive patients with permanent postoperative hypoparathyroidism followed-up in a tertiary reference unit for Endocrine Surgery with a contemporary control group of 501 patients who had an emergency brain CT scan. Clinical variables and prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications were recorded.

Results:

From a cohort of 46 patients diagnosed with permanent hypoparathyroidism, 29 were included in the study. The mean duration of disease was 9.2 ± 7 years. Age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia were similarly distributed in case and control groups. The prevalence of carotid artery and basal ganglia calcifications was 4 and 20 times more frequent in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism, respectively. After propensity score matching of the 28 the female patients, 68 controls were matched for age and presence of cardiovascular factors. Cases showed a four-fold prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications, whereas that of carotid calcifications was similar between cases and controls.

Conclusion:

A high prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications was observed in patients with post-surgical permanent hypoparathyroidism. It remains unclear whether carotid artery calcification may also be increased.

Open access

Kaiyu Pan, Chengyue Zhang, Xiaocong Yao, and Zhongxin Zhu

Aim

Ensuring adequate calcium (Ca) intake during childhood and adolescence is critical to acquire good peak bone mass to prevent osteoporosis during older age. As one of the primary strategies to build and maintain healthy bones, we aimed to determine whether dietary Ca intake has an influence on bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study composed of 10,092 individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Dietary Ca intake and total BMD were taken as independent and dependent variables, respectively. To evaluate the association between them, we conducted weighted multivariate linear regression models and smooth curve fittings.

Results

There was a significantly positive association between dietary Ca intake and total BMD. The strongest association was observed in 12–15 year old whites, 8–11 year old and 16–19 year old Mexican Americans, and 16–19 year old individuals from other race/ethnicity, in whom each quintile of Ca intake was increased. We also found that there were significant inflection points in females, blacks, and 12–15 year old adolescents group, which means that their total BMD would decrease when the dietary Ca intake was more than 2.6–2.8 g/d.

Conclusions

This cross-sectional study indicated that a considerable proportion of children and adolescents aged 8–19 years would attain greater total BMD if they increased their dietary Ca intake. However, higher dietary Ca intake (more than 2.6–2.8 g/d) is associated with lower total BMD in females, blacks, and 12–15 year old adolescents group.

Open access

Anping Su, Yanping Gong, Wenshuang Wu, Rixiang Gong, Zhihui Li, and Jingqiang Zhu

Background

The effect of parathyroid autotransplantation on hypoparathyroidism is not fully understood. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of autotransplantation of a parathyroid gland on the incidence of hypoparathyroidism and recovery of parathyroid function at 6 months after total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection for papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Methods

All patients with autotransplantation of a parathyroid gland (no inadvertent parathyroidectomy) (group A), in situ preservation of all parathyroid glands (no autotransplantation and inadvertent parathyroidectomy) (group B) or inadvertent removal of a parathyroid gland (no autotransplantation) (group C) who underwent first-time total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection for papillary thyroid carcinoma between January 2013 and June 2016 were included retrospectively.

Results

Of the 702 patients, 383, 297 and 22 were respectively included in the groups A, B and C. The overall rates of transient and permanent hypoparathyroidism were 37.6% and 1.0%. The incidence of transient hypoparathyroidism was 43.9, 29.0 and 45.5% (A vs B, P = 0.000; A vs C, P = 1.000), and the incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism was 1.0, 0.7 and 4.5% (P > 0.05). The recovery rates of serum parathyroid hormone levels were 71.4, 72.2 and 66.0% at 6-month follow-up (P > 0.05).

Conclusion

Autotransplantation of a parathyroid gland does not affect the incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism, but increases the risk of transient hypoparathyroidism when the rest of parathyroid glands are preserved in situ. At least 2 parathyroid glands should be preserved during total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection to prevent permanent hypoparathyroidism.