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Open access

Shruti Khare, Anurag R Lila, Hiren Patt, Chaitanya Yerawar, Manjunath Goroshi, Tushar Bandgar, and Nalini S Shah

Macroprolactinomas are the most common functional pituitary tumours. Hypotheses proposed to explain predominance of large tumours in males are: i) diagnostic delay, as hyperprolactinaemia remains under recognised in males and ii) gender-specific difference in tumour proliferation indices. Our study objectives are to compare gender differences in clinical, biochemical, radiological features, management outcomes and cabergoline responsiveness in macroprolactinomas. Drug resistance was defined as failure to achieve prolactin normalisation and >50% reduction in tumour volume with cabergoline (3.5 mg/week dose for minimum 6 months duration). The baseline characteristics of 100 patients (56 females and 44 males) with macroprolactinoma were analysed. Drug responsiveness was analysed in 88 treatment naive patients, excluding 12 post-primary trans-sphenoidal surgery cases. We found that females (30.29±10.39 years) presented at younger mean age than males (35.23±9.91 years) (P<0.01). The most common presenting symptom was hypogonadism (oligo-amenorrhoea/infertility) in females (96.15%) and symptoms of mass effect (headache and visual field defects) in males (93.18%). Baseline mean prolactin levels were significantly lower in females (3094.36±6863.01 ng/ml) than males (7927.07±16 748.1 ng/ml) (P<0.001). Maximal tumour dimension in females (2.49±1.48 cm) was smaller than males (3.93±1.53 cm) (P<0.001). In 88 treatment naïve patients, 27.77% females and 35.29% males had resistant tumours (P=0.48). On subgrouping as per maximum tumour dimension (1.1–2 cm, 2.1–4 cm and >4 cm), gender difference in response rate was insignificant. In conclusion, macroprolactinomas are equally prevalent in both sexes. Macroprolactinomas in males predominantly present with symptoms of mass effects, as against females who present with symptoms of hypogonadism. Males harbor larger tumours but are equally cabergoline responsive as those in females.

Open access

Metin Guclu, Sinem Kiyici, Zulfiye Gul, and Sinan Cavun

Aim

In the present study, we investigated the long-term effects of exenatide treatment on serum fasting ghrelin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods

Type 2 diabetic patients, who were using metformin with and without the other antihyperglycemic drugs on a stable dose for at least 3 months, were enrolled in the study. BMI>35 kg/m2 and HbA1c>7.0% were the additional inclusion criteria. Oral antihyperglycemic drugs, other than metformin, were stopped, and metformin treatment was continued at 2000 mg per day. Exenatide treatment was initiated at 5 µg per dose subcutaneously (sc) twice daily, and after one month, the dose of exenatide was increased to 10 µg twice daily. Changes in anthropometric variables, glycemic control, lipid parameters and total ghrelin levels were evaluated at baseline and following 12 weeks of treatment.

Results

Thirty-eight patients (male/female = 7/31) entered the study. The mean age of patients was 50.5 ± 8.8 years with a mean diabetes duration of 8.5 ± 4.9 years. The mean BMI was 41.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2 and the mean HbA1c of patients was 8.9 ± 1.4%. The mean change in the weight of patients was −5.6 kg and the percentage change in weight was −5.2 ± 3.7% following 12 weeks of treatment. BMI, fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c levels of patients were decreased significantly (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001; respectively), while there was no change in lipid parameters. Serum fasting ghrelin levels were significantly suppressed following 12 weeks of exenatide treatment compared with baseline values (328.4 ± 166.8 vs 245.3 ± 164.8 pg/mL) (P = 0.024).

Conclusion

These results suggest that the effects of exenatide on weight loss may be related with the suppression of serum fasting ghrelin levels, which is an orexigenic peptide.

Open access

Eva Olga Melin, Jonatan Dereke, Maria Thunander, and Magnus Hillman

Objective

Neuroinflammatory responses are implicated in depression. The aim was to explore whether depression in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) was associated with high circulating galectin-3, controlling for metabolic variables, s-creatinine, life style factors, medication and cardiovascular complications.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Methods

Participants were T1D patients (n = 283, 56% men, age 18–59 years, diabetes duration ≥1 year). Depression was assessed by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression subscale. Blood samples, anthropometrics and blood pressure were collected, and supplemented with data from medical records and the Swedish National Diabetes Registry. Galectin-3 ≥2.562 µg/l, corresponding to the 85th percentile, was defined as high galectin-3.

Results

Median (quartile1, quartile3) galectin-3 (µg/l) was 1.3 (0.8, 2.9) for the 30 depressed patients, and 0.9 (0.5, 1.6) for the 253 non-depressed, P = 0.009. Depression was associated with high galectin-3 in all the 283 patients (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.5), in the 161 men (AOR 3.4), and in the 122 women (AOR 3.9). HbA1c, s-lipids, s-creatinine, blood pressure, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, cardiovascular complications and drugs (antihypertensive, lipid lowering, oral antidiabetic drugs and antidepressants) were not associated with high galectin-3.

Conclusions

This is the first study to show an association between depression and galectin-3. Depression was the only explored parameter associated with high circulating galectin-3 levels in 283 T1D patients. High galectin-3 levels might contribute to the increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality observed in persons with depression. Potentially, in the future, treatment targeting galactin-3 might improve the prognosis for patients with high galectin-3 levels.

Open access

Enrique Soto-Pedre, Paul J Newey, John S Bevan, and Graham P Leese

Purpose

High serum prolactin concentrations have been associated with adverse health outcomes in some but not all studies. This study aimed to examine the morbidity and all-cause mortality associated with hyperprolactinaemia.

Methods

A population-based matched cohort study in Tayside (Scotland, UK) from 1988 to 2014 was performed. Record-linkage technology was used to identify patients with hyperprolactinaemia that were compared to an age–sex-matched cohort of patients free of hyperprolactinaemia. The number of deaths and incident admissions with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, breast cancer, bone fractures and infectious conditions were compared by the survival analysis.

Results

Patients with hyperprolactinaemia related to pituitary tumours had no increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, all-cause cancer or breast cancer. Whilst no increased mortality was observed in patients with pituitary microadenomas (HR = 1.65, 95% CI: 0.79–3.44), other subgroups including those with pituitary macroadenomas and drug-induced and idiopathic hyperprolactinaemia demonstrated an increased risk of death. Individuals with drug-induced hyperprolactinaemia also demonstrated increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and bone fracture. However, these increased risks were not associated with the degree of serum prolactin elevation (P trend > 0.3). No increased risk of cancer was observed in any subgroup.

Conclusions

No excess morbidity was observed in patients with raised prolactin due to pituitary tumours. Although the increased morbidity and mortality associated with defined patient subgroups are unlikely to be directly related to the elevation in serum prolactin, hyperprolactinaemia might act as a biomarker for the presence of some increased disease risk in these patients.

Open access

Xichang Wang, Xiaochun Teng, Chenyan Li, Yushu Li, Jing Li, Weiping Teng, Zhongyan Shan, and Yaxin Lai

Objective

To conduct a questionnaire survey of the current clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism in China.

Methods

An online questionnaire survey was conducted in July 2020. The two questionnaires covered 35 and 8 questions about non-pregnancy and pregnancy clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism, respectively.

Results

One thousand, two hundred fifty-six physicians participated. Chief physicians and associate chief physicians accounted for 58.6% of the participants. Approximately 95.2% of the respondents chose the thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) test to clarify the etiology of thyrotoxicosis, while only 27.0% of them chose radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU). In terms of treatment for non-pregnant patients, anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) were the first choice, and most of the clinicians chose methimazole. Compared with clinicians in recent studies, Chinese physicians used serum TRAb to diagnose Graves’ disease more commonly, and there were obviously more physicians preferring ATDs. For maternal hyperthyroidism, most physicians preferred propylthiouracil administration before or during the first trimester, which is consistent with the 2016 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines. In terms of the initial ATD dose, monitoring the treatment process, indications for ATD withdrawal and treatment of special cases, the preferences of Chinese physicians were generally consistent with the guidelines.

Conclusion

Chinese physicians can generally follow the ATA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism. Moreover, there are small differences from foreign studies or the guidelines with respect to particular problems. These findings provide evidence for future clinical research in China.

Open access

Barbara J Boucher

Our knowledge of vitamin D has come a long way since the 100 years it took for doctors to accept, between 1860 and 1890, that both sunlight and cod liver oil (a well-known folk remedy) cured and prevented rickets. Vitamins D2/D3 were discovered exactly a hundred years ago, and over the last 50 years vitamin D has been found to have many effects on virtually all human tissues and not just on bone health, while mechanisms affecting the actions of vitamin D at the cellular level are increasingly understood, but deficiency persists globally. Observational studies in humans have shown that better provision of vitamin D is strongly associated, dose-wise, with reductions in current and future health risks in line with the known actions of vitamin D. Randomised controlled trials, commonly accepted as providing a ‘gold standard’ for assessing the efficacy of new forms of treatment, have frequently failed to provide supportive evidence for the expected health benefits of supplementation. Such RCTs, however, have used designs evolved for testing drugs while vitamin D is a nutrient; the appreciation of this difference is critical to identifying health benefits from existing RCT data and for improving future RCT design. This report aims, therefore, to provide a brief overview of the evidence for a range of non-bony health benefits of vitamin D repletion; to discuss specific aspects of vitamin D biology that can confound RCT design and how to allow for them.

Open access

Eric Seidel, Gudrun Walenda, Clemens Messerschmidt, Benedikt Obermayer, Mirko Peitzsch, Paal Wallace, Rohini Bahethi, Taekyeong Yoo, Murim Choi, Petra Schrade, Sebastian Bachmann, Gerhard Liebisch, Graeme Eisenhofer, Dieter Beule, and Ute I Scholl

Mitotane is the only drug approved for the therapy of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). Its clinical use is limited by the occurrence of relapse during therapy. To investigate the underlying mechanisms in vitro, we here generated mitotane-resistant cell lines. After long-term pulsed treatment of HAC-15 human adrenocortical carcinoma cells with 70 µM mitotane, we isolated monoclonal cell populations of treated cells and controls and assessed their respective mitotane sensitivities by MTT assay. We performed exome sequencing and electron microscopy, conducted gene expression microarray analysis and determined intracellular lipid concentrations in the presence and absence of mitotane. Clonal cell lines established after pulsed treatment were resistant to mitotane (IC50 of 102.2 ± 7.3 µM (n = 12) vs 39.4 ± 6.2 µM (n = 6) in controls (biological replicates, mean ± s.d., P = 0.0001)). Unlike nonresistant clones, resistant clones maintained normal mitochondrial and nucleolar morphology during mitotane treatment. Resistant clones largely shared structural and single nucleotide variants, suggesting a common cell of origin. Resistance depended, in part, on extracellular lipoproteins and was associated with alterations in intracellular lipid homeostasis, including levels of free cholesterol, as well as decreased steroid production. By gene expression analysis, resistant cells showed profound alterations in pathways including steroid metabolism and transport, apoptosis, cell growth and Wnt signaling. These studies establish an in vitro model of mitotane resistance in ACC and point to underlying molecular mechanisms. They may enable future studies to overcome resistance in vitro and improve ACC treatment in vivo.

Open access

Stefan Pilz, Armin Zittermann, Christian Trummer, Verena Theiler-Schwetz, Elisabeth Lerchbaum, Martin H Keppel, Martin R Grübler, Winfried März, and Marlene Pandis

Vitamin D testing and treatment is a subject of controversial scientific discussions, and it is challenging to navigate through the expanding vitamin D literature with heterogeneous and partially opposed opinions and recommendations. In this narrative review, we aim to provide an update on vitamin D guidelines and the current evidence on the role of vitamin D for human health with its subsequent implications for patient care and public health issues. Vitamin D is critical for bone and mineral metabolism, and it is established that vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets and osteomalacia. While many guidelines recommend target serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations of ≥50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL), the minimum consensus in the scientific community is that serum 25(OH)D concentrations below 25–30 nmol/L (10–12 ng/mL) must be prevented and treated. Using this latter threshold of serum 25(OH)D concentrations, it has been documented that there is a high worldwide prevalence of vitamin D deficiency that may require public health actions such as vitamin D food fortification. On the other hand, there is also reason for concern that an exploding rate of vitamin D testing and supplementation increases costs and might potentially be harmful. In the scientific debate on vitamin D, we should consider that nutrient trials differ from drug trials and that apart from the opposed positions regarding indications for vitamin D treatment we still have to better characterize the precise role of vitamin D for human health.

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

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.