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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

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusion

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

Objective

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.

Design

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.

Methods

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

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

Franca Genest, Michael Schneider, Andreas Zehnder, Dominik Lieberoth-Leden, and Lothar Seefried

Purpose

Aging and concurrent constitutional changes as sarcopenia, osteoporosis and obesity are associated with progressive functional decline. Coincidence and mutual interference of this risk factors require further evaluation.

Methods

Cross-sectional evaluation of musculoskeletal health in a community-dwelling cohort of men aged 65–90 years. Objectives included descriptive analysis of age-related decline in physical performance, prevalence of osteoporosis (FRAX-Score), sarcopenia (EWGSOP criteria) and obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) and their coincidence/interference.

Results

Based on 507 participants assessed, aging was associated with progressive functional deterioration, regarding power (chair rise test −1.54% per year), performance (usual gait speed −1.38% per year) and muscle force (grip strength −1.52% per year) while muscle mass declined only marginally (skeletal muscle index −0.29% per year). Prevalence of osteoporosis was 41.8% (n = 212) while only 22.9% (n = 116) of the participants met the criteria for sarcopenia and 23.7% (n = 120) were obese. Osteosarcopenia was found in n = 79 (15.6%), sarcopenic obesity was present in 14 men (2.8%). A combination of all three conditions could be confirmed in n = 8 (1.6%). There was an inverse correlation of BMI with physical performance whereas osteoporosis and sarcopenia did not interfere with functional outcomes.

Conclusion

Based on current definitions, there is considerable overlap in the prevalence of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, while obesity appears to be a distinct problem. Functional decline appears to be associated with obesity rather than osteoporosis or sarcopenia. It remains to be determined to what extend obesity itself causes performance deficits or if obesity is merely an indicator of insufficient activity eventually predisposing to functional decline.

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.

Open access

Ulla Schmidt, Birte Nygaard, Ebbe Winther Jensen, Jan Kvetny, Anne Jarløv, and Jens Faber

Background

A recent randomized controlled trial suggests that hypothyroid subjects may find levothyroxine (l-T4) and levotriiodothyronine combination therapy to be superior to l-T4 monotherapy in terms of quality of life, suggesting that the brain registered increased T3 availability during the combination therapy.

Hypothesis

Peripheral tissue might also be stimulated during T4/T3 combination therapy compared with T4 monotherapy.

Methods

Serum levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), pro-collagen-1-N-terminal peptide (PINP), and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (representing hepatocyte, osteoblast, and cardiomyocyte stimulation respectively) were measured in 26 hypothyroid subjects in a double-blind, randomized, crossover trial, which compared the replacement therapy with T4/T3 in combination (50 μg T4 was substituted with 20 μg T3) to T4 alone (once daily regimens). This was performed to obtain unaltered serum TSH levels during the trial and between the two treatment groups. Blood sampling was performed 24 h after the last intake of thyroid hormone medication.

Results

TSH remained unaltered between the groups ((median) 0.83 vs 1.18 mU/l in T4/T3 combination and T4 monotherapy respectively; P=0.534). SHBG increased from (median) 75 nmol/l at baseline to 83 nmol/l in the T4/T3 group (P=0.015) but remained unaltered in the T4 group (67 nmol/l); thus, it was higher in the T4/T3 vs T4 group (P=0.041). PINP levels were higher in the T4/T3 therapy (48 vs 40 μg/l (P<0.001)). NT-proBNP did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions

T4/T3 combination therapy in hypothyroidism seems to have more metabolic effects than the T4 monotherapy.

Open access

Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter, and Heide Siggelkow

Objective

Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.

Design

Retrospective multicenter observational study.

Methods

Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.

Results

Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).

Conclusion

In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.