Estradiol has been used to prevent metabolic diseases, bone loss and menopausal symptoms, even though it might raise the risk of cancer. Metformin is usually prescribed for type 2 diabetes mellitus and lowers food intake and body mass while improving insulin resistance and the lipid profile. Ovariectomized rats show increased body mass, insulin resistance and changes in the lipid profile. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate whether metformin could prevent the early metabolic dysfunction that occurs early after ovariectomy. Female Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: SHAM-operated (SHAM), ovariectomized (OVX), ovariectomized + estradiol (OVX + E2) and ovariectomized + metformin (OVX + M). Treatment with metformin diminished approximately 50% of the mass gain observed in ovariectomized animals and reduced both the serum and hepatic triglyceride levels. The hepatic levels of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) decreased after OVX, and the expression of the inactive form of hepatic acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) was also reduced. Metformin was able to increase the levels of pAMPK in the liver of OVX animals, sustaining the balance between the inactive and total forms of ACC. Estradiol effects were similar to those of metformin but with different proportions. Our results suggest that metformin ameliorates the early alterations of metabolic parameters and rescues hepatic AMPK phosphorylation and ACC inactivation observed in ovariectomized rats.
Clarissa Souza Barthem, Camila Lüdke Rossetti, Denise P Carvalho, and Wagner Seixas da-Silva
Marianne C Astor, Kristian Løvås, Anette S B Wolff, Bjørn Nedrebø, Eirik Bratland, Jon Steen-Johnsen, and Eystein S Husebye
Primary hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia (HSH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by neuromuscular symptoms in infancy due to extremely low levels of serum magnesium and moderate to severe hypocalcemia. Homozygous mutations in the magnesium transporter gene transient receptor potential cation channel member 6 (TRPM6) cause the disease. HSH can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The aim of this study was to describe the genetic, clinical and biochemical features of patients clinically diagnosed with HSH in a Norwegian cohort. Five patients in four families with clinical features of HSH were identified, including one during a national survey of hypoparathyroidism. The clinical history of the patients and their families were reviewed and gene analyses of TRPM6 performed. Four of five patients presented with generalized seizures in infancy and extremely low levels of serum magnesium accompanied by moderate hypocalcemia. Two of the patients had an older sibling who died in infancy. Four novel mutations and one large deletion in TRPM6 were identified. In one patient two linked homozygous mutations were located in exon 22 (p.F978L) and exon 23 (p.G1042V). Two families had an identical mutation in exon 25 (p.E1155X). The fourth patient had a missense mutation in exon 4 (p.H61N) combined with a large deletion in the C-terminal end of the gene. HSH is a potentially lethal condition that can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The diagnosis is easily made if serum magnesium is measured. When treated appropriately with high doses of oral magnesium supplementation, severe hypomagnesemia is uncommon and the long-term prognosis seems to be good.
Keiko Ohkuwa, Kiminori Sugino, Ryohei Katoh, Mitsuji Nagahama, Wataru Kitagawa, Kenichi Matsuzu, Akifumi Suzuki, Chisato Tomoda, Kiyomi Hames, Junko Akaishi, Chie Masaki, Kana Yoshioka, and Koichi Ito
Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare tumor among parathyroid tumors. Aspiration cytology and needle biopsy are generally not recommended for diagnostic purposes because they cause dissemination. Therefore, it is commonly diagnosed by postoperative histopathological examination. In this study, we investigated whether preoperative inflammatory markers can be used as predictors of cancer in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.
This was a retrospective study.
Thirty-six cases of parathyroid carcinoma and 50 cases of parathyroid adenoma (PA) operated with the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism and confirmed histopathologically at Ito Hospital were included in this study. Preoperative clinical characteristics and inflammatory markers (neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR)) were compared and their values in preoperative prediction were evaluated and analyzed.
Preoperative intact-parathyroid hormone (P = 0.0003), serum calcium (P = 0.0048), and tumor diameter (P = 0.0002) were significantly higher in parathyroid carcinoma than in PA. LMR showed a significant decrease in parathyroid carcinoma (P = 0.0062). In multivariate analysis, LMR and tumor length diameter were independent predictors. In the receiver operating characteristics analysis, the cut-off values for LMR and tumor length diameter were 4.85 and 28.0 mm, respectively, for parathyroid cancer prediction. When the two extracted factors were stratified by the number of factors held, the predictive ability improved as the number of factors increased.
In the preoperative evaluation, a combination of tumor length diameter of more than 28 mm and LMR of less than 4.85 was considered to have a high probability of cancer.
Laura J Reid, Bala Muthukrishnan, Dilip Patel, Mike S Crane, Murat Akyol, Andrew Thomson, Jonathan R Seckl, and Fraser W Gibb
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common reason for referral to endocrinology but the evidence base guiding assessment is limited. We evaluated the clinical presentation, assessment and subsequent management in PHPT.
Retrospective cohort study.
PHPT assessed between 2006 and 2014 (n = 611) in a university hospital.
Symptoms, clinical features, biochemistry, neck radiology and surgical outcomes.
Fatigue (23.8%), polyuria (15.6%) and polydipsia (14.9%) were associated with PHPT biochemistry. Bone fracture was present in 16.4% but was not associated with biochemistry. A history of nephrolithiasis (10.0%) was associated only with younger age (P = 0.006) and male gender (P = 0.037). Thiazide diuretic discontinuation was not associated with any subsequent change in calcium (P = 0.514). Urine calcium creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) was <0.01 in 18.2% of patients with confirmed PHPT. Older age (P < 0.001) and lower PTH (P = 0.043) were associated with failure to locate an adenoma on ultrasound (44.0% of scans). When an adenoma was identified on ultrasound the lateralisation was correct in 94.5%. Non-curative surgery occurred in 8.2% and was greater in those requiring more than one neck imaging modality (OR 2.42, P = 0.035).
Clinical features associated with PHPT are not strongly related to biochemistry. Thiazide cessation does not appear to attenuate hypercalcaemia. PHPT remains the likeliest diagnosis in the presence of low CCCR. Ultrasound is highly discriminant when an adenoma is identified but surgical failure is more likely when more than one imaging modality is required.
Emanuelle Nunes-Souza, Mônica Evelise Silveira, Monalisa Castilho Mendes, Seigo Nagashima, Caroline Busatta Vaz de Paula, Guilherme Guilherme Vieira Cavalcante da Silva, Giovanna Silva Barbosa, Julia Belgrowicz Martins, Lúcia de Noronha, Luana Lenzi, José Renato Sales Barbosa, Rayssa Danilow Fachin Donin, Juliana Ferreira de Moura, Gislaine Custódio, Cleber Machado-Souza, Enzo Lalli, and Bonald Cavalcante de Figueiredo
Adaptive changes in DHEA and sulfated-DHEA (DHEAS) production from adrenal zona reticularis (ZR) have been observed in normal and pathological conditions. Here we used three different cohorts to assess timing differences in DHEAS blood level changes and characterize the relationship between early blood DHEAS reduction and cell number changes in women ZR.
Materials and methods
DHEAS plasma samples (n = 463) were analyzed in 166 healthy prepubertal girls before pubarche (<9 years) and 324 serum samples from 268 adult females (31.9–83.8 years) without conditions affecting steroidogenesis. Guided by DHEAS blood levels reduction rate, we selected the age range for ZR cell counting using DHEA/DHEAS and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), tumor suppressor and cell stress marker, immunostaining, and hematoxylin stained nuclei of 14 post-mortem adrenal glands.
We confirmed that overweight girls exhibited higher and earlier DHEAS levels and no difference was found compared with the average European and South American girls with a similar body mass index (BMI). Adrenopause onset threshold (AOT) defined as DHEAS blood levels <2040 nmol/L was identified in >35% of the females >40 years old and associated with significantly reduced ZR cell number (based on PTEN and hematoxylin signals). ZR cell loss may in part account for lower DHEA/DHEAS expression, but most cells remain alive with lower DHEA/DHEAS biosynthesis.
The timely relation between significant reduction of blood DHEAS levels and decreased ZR cell number at the beginning of the 40s suggests that adrenopause is an additional burden for a significant number of middle-aged women, and may become an emergent problem associated with further sex steroids reduction during the menopausal transition.
Paal Methlie, Steinar Hustad, Ralf Kellman, Bjørg Almås, Martina M Erichsen, Eystein S Husebye, and Kristian Løvås
Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) offers superior analytical specificity compared with immunoassays, but it is not available in many regions and hospitals due to expensive instrumentation and tedious sample preparation. Thus, we developed an automated, high-throughput LC–MS/MS assay for simultaneous quantification of ten endogenous and synthetic steroids targeting diseases of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and gonads.
Deuterated internal standards were added to 85 μl serum and processed by liquid–liquid extraction. Cortisol, cortisone, prednisolone, prednisone, 11-deoxycortisol, dexamethasone, testosterone, androstenedione and progesterone were resolved by ultra-high-pressure chromatography on a reversed-phase column in 6.1 min and detected by triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. The method was used to assess steroid profiles in women with Addison's disease (AD, n=156) and blood donors (BDs, n=102).
Precisions ranged from 4.5 to 10.1% relative standard deviations (RSD), accuracies from 95 to 108% and extraction recoveries from 60 to 84%. The method was practically free of matrix effects and robust to individual differences in serum composition. Most postmenopausal AD women had extremely low androstenedione concentrations, below 0.14 nmol/l, and median testosterone concentrations of 0.15 nmol/l (interquartile range 0.00–0.41), considerably lower than those of postmenopausal BDs (1.28 nmol/l (0.96–1.64) and 0.65 nmol/l (0.56–1.10) respectively). AD women in fertile years had androstenedione concentrations of 1.18 nmol/l (0.71–1.76) and testosterone concentrations of 0.44 nmol/l (0.22–0.63), approximately half of those found in BDs of corresponding age.
This LC–MS/MS assay provides highly sensitive and specific assessments of glucocorticoids and androgens with low sample volumes and is suitable for endocrine laboratories and research. Its utility has been demonstrated in a large cohort of women with AD, and the data suggest that women with AD are particularly androgen deficient after menopause.
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.
Yuan Liu, Siyi Guo, Jinsong Wu, Rongai Wang, Jinbo Liu, Yan Liu, Bin Lv, Nan Liu, Ling Jiang, and Xiaoli Zhang
The clinical presentation of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) differs between patients from developed and developing countries. In China, the clinical pattern has changed over the past few decades. Our aim was to elucidate general changes in the clinical characteristics of PHPT from 2010 to 2021. We enrolled 343 patients with PHPT at the Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China, from January 2010 to May 2021, including both surgical and non-surgical patients. Patients were divided into two subgroups, 2010–2016 (group A, n = 152) and 2017–2021 (group B, n = 191), based on the time span. We compared clinical manifestations and laboratory result data between these two groups. The mean patient age was 52.59 ± 13.55 years, and the male-to-female ratio was 1:2.54. Of the 343 patients, 183 (53.35%) had symptomatic PHPT; bone pain, urolithiasis, and fatigue were the most common symptoms. Post-operative pathology showed that 96.20% of the patients had parathyroid adenoma, whereas 2.41% had parathyroid carcinoma. Great changes occurred between 2010 and 2021; the percentage of patients with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT) increased from 36.18% in group A to 54.97% in group B. Moreover, patients in group B showed significantly lower serum calcium, alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, and urinary phosphate levels but higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels than those in group A. Clinical presentations in group B were also milder. In conclusion, the clinical characteristics of Chinese PHPT patients changed dramatically from 2010 to 2021, with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT becoming the predominant type over the last 3 years.
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.
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.