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.
Athanasios D Anastasilakis, Marina Tsoli, Gregory Kaltsas, and Polyzois Makras
Elinor Chelsom Vogt, Francisco Gómez Real, Eystein Sverre Husebye, Sigridur Björnsdottir, Bryndis Benediktsdottir, Randi Jacobsen Bertelsen, Pascal Demoly, Karl Anders Franklin, Leire Sainz de Aja Gallastegui, Francisco Javier Callejas González, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Nils Oscar Jogi, Benedicte Leynaert, Eva Lindberg, Andrei Malinovschi, Jesús Martínez-Moratalla, Raúl Godoy Mayoral, Anna Oudin, Antonio Pereira-Vega, Chantal Raherison Semjen, Vivi Schlünssen, Kai Triebner, and Marianne Øksnes
To investigate markers of premature menopause (<40 years) and specifically the prevalence of autoimmune primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) in European women.
Postmenopausal women were categorized according to age at menopause and self-reported reason for menopause in a cross-sectional analysis of 6870 women.
Variables associated with the timing of menopause and hormone measurements of 17β-estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone were explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Specific immunoprecipitating assays of steroidogenic autoantibodies against 21-hydroxylase (21-OH), side-chain cleavage enzyme (anti-SCC) and 17alpha-hydroxylase (17 OH), as well as NACHT leucine-rich-repeat protein 5 were used to identify women with likely autoimmune POI.
Premature menopause was identified in 2.8% of women, and these women had higher frequencies of nulliparity (37.4% vs 19.7%), obesity (28.7% vs 21.4%), osteoporosis (17.1% vs 11.6%), hormone replacement therapy (59.1% vs 36.9%) and never smokers (60.1% vs 50.9%) (P < 0.05), compared to women with menopause ≥40 years. Iatrogenic causes were found in 91 (47%) and non-ovarian causes in 27 (14%) women, while 77 (39%) women were classified as POI of unknown cause, resulting in a 1.1% prevalence of idiopathic POI. After adjustments nulliparity was the only variable significantly associated with POI (odds ratio 2.46; 95% CI 1.63–3.42). Based on the presence of autoantibodies against 21 OH and SCC, 4.5% of POI cases were of likely autoimmune origin.
Idiopathic POI affects 1.1% of all women and almost half of the women with premature menopause. Autoimmunity explains 4.5% of these cases judged by positive steroidogenic autoantibodies.
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.
A Chinoy, M Skae, A Babiker, D Kendall, M Z Mughal, and R Padidela
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.
We describe three children with hypoparathyroidism in whom intercurrent illnesses led to hypocalcaemia and escalation of treatment with alfacalcidol (1-hydroxycholecalciferol) and calcium supplements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jean-Philippe Bertocchio, Natalie Grosset, Lionel Groussin, Peter Kamenický, 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, Pascal Houillier, and the investigators of the Épi-Hypo study
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.
To describe the physicians’ practice patterns and their compliance with international guidelines.
The cohort studies included were Épi-Hypo (118 physicians and 107 patients, from September 2016 to December 2019) and ePatients (110 patients, November 2019).
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).
The physicians’ specialties were mainly endocrinology (61%), nephrology (28%), family medicine (2.5%), pediatrics (2.5%), rheumatology (2%), or miscellaneous (4%) and 45% were practicing in public universities. The median number of pharmaceutical drug classes prescribed was three 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.
The care of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism involves physicians with very different practices, so guidelines should include and target other specialists as well as endocrinologists. Full adherence to the guidelines is low in France.
Emmanuelle Noirrit, Mélissa Buscato, Marion Dupuis, Bernard Payrastre, Coralie Fontaine, Jean-François Arnal, and Marie-Cécile Valera
Estrogen–progestin therapy was previously considered as the standard of care for managing bothersome symptoms associated with menopause, but it increases risks of breast cancer and of thromboembolism. The combination of conjugated estrogen (CE) with bazedoxifene (BZA) named tissue-selective estrogen complex (TSEC) was designed to minimize or even abrogate the undesirable effects on breast, while maintaining the beneficial effects such as prevention of osteoporosis and suppression of climacteric symptoms. The risk on thromboembolism associated with TSEC is unknown, although the clinical available data are reassuring. The aim of this study was to define the impact of a chronic administration of CE, BZA or CE + BZA on hemostasis and thrombosis in ovariectomized mice. As expected, CE, but not BZA neither CE + BZA, induced uterine and vagina hypertrophy. As previously demonstrated for 17β-estradiol (E2), we found that CE (i) increased tail-bleeding time, (ii) prevented occlusive thrombus formation in injured carotid artery and (iii) protected against collagen/epinephrine-induced thromboembolism. Thus, whereas BZA antagonized CE action on reproductive tissues, it had no impact on the effect of CE on hemostasis, thromboembolism and arterial thrombosis in mice. CE + BZA shared the anti-thrombotic actions of CE in these mouse models. If a similar process is at work in women, CE combined with BZA could contribute to minimize the risk of thrombosis associated with hormone replacement therapy.
Keina Nishio, Akiko Tanabe, Risa Maruoka, Kiyoko Nakamura, Masaaki Takai, Tatsuharu Sekijima, Satoshi Tunetoh, Yoshito Terai, and Masahide Ohmichi
Although surgical menopause may increase the risks of osteoporosis, few studies have investigated the influence of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of treatments for gynecological malignancies on bone mineral density (BMD).
This study enrolled 35 premenopausal women (15 ovarian cancers (OCs), 9 endometrial cancers (ECs), and 11 cervical cancers (CCs)) who underwent surgical treatment that included bilateral oophorectomy with or without adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy in OC and EC patients, or concurrent chemo-radiation therapy (CCRT) in CC patients according to the established protocols at the Osaka Medical College Hospital between 2006 and 2008. The BMD of the lumbar spine (L1–L4) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and urine cross-linked telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx) and bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) were assessed for evaluation of bone resorption and bone formation respectively. These assessments were performed at baseline and 12 months after treatment.
Although the serum BAP was significantly increased only in the CC group, a rapid increase in the bone resorption marker urinary NTx was observed in all groups. The BMD, 12 months after CCRT was significantly decreased in the CC group at 91.9±5.9% (P<0.05 in comparison to the baseline).
This research suggests that anticancer therapies for premenopausal women with gynecological malignancies increase bone resorption and may reduce BMD, particularly in CC patients who have received CCRT. Therefore, gynecologic cancer survivors should be educated about these potential risks and complications.
Alessandro Brancatella and Claudio Marcocci
Thyroid hormones stimulate bone turnover in adults by increasing osteoclastic bone resorption. TSH suppressive therapy is usually applied in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) to improve the disease outcome. Over the last decades several authors have closely monitored the potential harm suffered by the skeletal system. Several studies and meta-analyses have shown that chronic TSH suppressive therapy is safe in premenopausal women and men. Conversely, in postmenopausal women TSH suppressive therapy is associated with a decrease of bone mineral density, deterioration of bone architecture (quantitative CT, QCT; trabecular bone score, TBS), and, possibly, an increased risk of fractures. The TSH receptor is expressed in bone cells and the results of experimental studies in TSH receptor knockout mice and humans on whether low TSH levels, as opposed to solely high thyroid hormone levels, might contribute to bone loss in endogenous or exogenous thyrotoxicosis remain controversial. Recent guidelines on the use of TSH suppressive therapy in patients with DTC give value not only to its benefit on the outcome of the disease, but also to the risks associated with exogenous thyrotoxicosis, namely menopause, osteopenia or osteoporosis, age >60 years, and history of atrial fibrillation. Bone health (BMD and/or preferably TBS) should be evaluated in postmenopausal women under chronic TSH suppressive therapy or in those patients planning to be treated for several years. Antiresorptive therapy could also be considered in selected cases (increased risk of fracture or significant decline of BMD/TBS during therapy) to prevent bone loss.
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.