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Open access

Xiaoyi Qi, Liangxian Qiu, Shijia Wang, Xiongbiao Chen, Qianwen Huang, Yixuan Zhao, Kunfu Ouyang, and Yanjun Chen

Background: Heart failure (HF) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome caused by impaired heart function. The high morbidity and mortality of HF cause a heavy burden of illness worldwide. Non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) refers to aberrant serum thyroid parameters in patients without past thyroid disease. Observational studies have indicated that NTIS is associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality in HF. This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the association between NTIS and HF prognosis.

Methods: Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database were searched for any studies reporting an association between NTIS and HF prognosis from inception to July 1st 2022. A meta-analysis was then performed. The quality of studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). The heterogeneity of the results was assessed with I2 and Cochran's Q statistics. Sensitivity analysis and publication bias analysis were also conducted.

Results: A total of 626 studies were retrieved, and 18 studies were finally included in the meta-analysis. The results showed that NTIS in HF patients was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and major cardiovascular events (MACE), but not with in-hospital mortality. The stability of the data was validated by the sensitivity analysis. There was no indication of a publication bias in the pooled results for all-cause mortality and MACE.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis showed that NTIS was associated with a worse outcome in HF patients. However, the association between NTIS and in-hospital mortality of HF patients requires further investigation.

Open access

Willem de Ronde and Diederik L Smit

This review summarizes 10 years experience with male abusers of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). The typical user of AAS is male, aged between 20 and 40 and lifting weights. Illegal AAS are cheap and easily obtained via internet or local suppliers. AAS are mostly used in cycles with a duration between 6 and 18 weeks. Most AAS cycles contain multiple agents, used simultaneously in a dose vastly exceeding a substitution dose. A variety of other performance and image-enhancing drugs are commonly used, including human growth hormone, thyroid hormone, tamoxifen, clomiphene citrate and human chorionic gonadotrophin. Short-term clinical and biochemical side effects are well established. Long-term side effects are uncertain, but may include heart failure, mood-and anxiety disorders, hypogonadism and subfertility. We share our views on the management of common health problems associated with AAS abuse.

Open access

Melinda Kertész, Szilárd Kun, Eszter Sélley, Zsuzsanna Nagy, Tamás Kőszegi, and István Wittmann


Type 2 diabetes is characterized, beyond the insulin resistance, by polyhormonal resistance. Thyroid hormonal resistance has not yet been described in this population of patients. Metformin is used to decrease insulin resistance, and at present, it is assumed to influence the effect of triiodothyronine, as well.


In this open-label, pilot, hypothesis-generating, follow-up study, 21 patients were included; all of them were euthyroid with drug naïve, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Before and after 4 weeks of metformin therapy, fructosamine, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), thyroid hormones, T3/T4 ratio, and TSH, as well as blood pressure and heart rate using ambulatory blood pressure monitor were measured. We also conducted an in vitro study to investigate the possible mechanisms of T3 resistance, assessing T3-induced Akt phosphorylation among normal (5 mM) and high (25 mM) glucose levels with or without metformin treatment in a human embryonal kidney cell line.


Metformin decreased the level of T3 (P < 0.001), the ratio of T3/T4 (P = 0.038), fructosamine (P = 0.008) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.022). All these changes were accompanied by an unchanged TSH, T4, triglyceride, plasma glucose, bodyweight, blood pressure, and heart rate. In our in vitro study, T3-induced Akt phosphorylation decreased in cells grown in 25 mM glucose medium compared to those in 5 mM. Metformin could not reverse this effect.


Metformin seems to improve T3 sensitivity in the cardiovascular system in euthyroid, type 2 diabetic patients, the mechanism of which may be supracellular.

Open access

Ashley N Reeb, Andrea Ziegler, and Reigh-Yi Lin

Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) is the second most common type of thyroid cancers. In order to develop more effective personalized therapies, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate patient-derived cell lines in in vivo preclinical models before using them to test new, targeted therapies. This study evaluates the tumorigenic and metastatic potential of a panel of three human FTC cell lines (WRO, FTC-238, and TT1609-CO2) with defined genetic mutations in two in vivo murine models: an orthotopic thyroid cancer model to study tumor progression and a tail vein injection model to study metastasis. All cell lines developed tumors in the orthotopic model, with take rates of 100%. Notably, WRO-derived tumors grew two to four times faster than tumors arising from the FTC-238 and TT2609-CO2 cell lines. These results mirrored those of a tail vein injection model for lung metastasis: one hundred percent of mice injected with WRO cells in the tail vein exhibited aggressive growth of bilateral lung metastases within 35 days. In contrast, tail vein injection of FTC-238 or TT2609-CO2 cells did not result in lung metastasis. Together, our work demonstrates that these human FTC cell lines display highly varied tumorigenic and metastatic potential in vivo with WRO being the most aggressive cell line in both orthotopic and lung metastasis models. This information will be valuable when selecting cell lines for preclinical drug testing.

Open access

H A Booij, W D C Gaykema, K A J Kuijpers, M J M Pouwels, and H M den Hertog


Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is a highly prevalent and debilitating condition. However, the etiology remains incompletely understood. Literature suggests the co-prevalence of pituitary dysfunction (PD) with stroke, and the question raises whether this could be a contributing factor to the development of PSF. This study reviews the prevalence of PD after stroke and other acquired brain injuries and its association with fatigue.


We performed a bibliographic literature search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases for English language studies on PD in adult patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or aneurysmatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Forty-two articles were selected for review. Up to 82% of patients were found to have any degree of PD after stroke. Growth hormone deficiency was most commonly found. In aSAH and TBI, prevalences up to 49.3% were reported. However, data differed widely between studies, mostly due to methodological differences including the diagnostic methods used to define PD and the focus on the acute or chronic phase. Data on PD and outcome after stroke, aSAH and TBI are conflicting. No studies were found investigating the association between PD and PSF. Data on the association between PD and fatigue after aSAH and TBI were scarce and conflicting, and fatigue is rarely been investigated as a primary end point.

Key messages

Data according to the prevalence of PD after stroke and other acquired brain injury suggest a high prevalence of PD after these conditions. However, the clinical relevance and especially the association with fatigue need to be established.

Open access

Randi Ugleholdt, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Pernille A H Haderslev, Bjarne Kromann-Andersen, and Claus Larsen Feltoft

Patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) are treated with α-adrenoceptor antagonists to improve peroperative hemodynamics. However, preoperative blood pressure targets differ between institutions. We retrospectively compared per- and postoperative hemodynamics in 30 patients with PPGL that were pretreated with phenoxybenzamine aiming at different blood pressure targets at two separate endocrine departments. All patients were subsequently undergoing laparoscopic surgery at Department of Urology, Herlev University hospital. Fourteen patients were treated targeting to symptomatic and significant orthostatic hypotension and 16 patients to a seated blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg. As a control group, we included 34 patients undergoing laparoscopic adrenalectomy for other reasons. The group titrated to orthostatic hypotension required a higher dose of phenoxybenzamine to achieve the blood pressure target. This group had less intraoperative systolic and diastolic blood pressure fluctuation (Mann–Whitney U test; P  < 0.05) and less periods with heart rate above 100 b.p.m. (Mann–Whitney U test; P = 0.04) as compared to the group with a preoperative blood pressure target below 130/80 mmHg. Peroperative use of intravenous fluids were similar between the two groups, but postoperatively more intravenous fluids were administered in the group with a target of ortostatism. Overall, the control group was more hemodynamic stable as compared to either group treated for PPGL. We conclude that phenoxybenzamine pretreatment targeting ortostatic hypotension may improve peroperative hemodynamic stability but causes a higher postoperative requirement for intravenous fluids. Overall, PPGL surgery is related to greater hemodynamic instability compared to adrenalectomy for other reasons.

Open access

Caroline Culen, Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Katharina Schubert, Lisa Bartha-Doering, and Gabriele Haeusler

Turner syndrome (TS), although considered a rare disease, is the most common sex chromosome abnormality in women, with an incident of 1 in 2500 female births. TS is characterized by distinctive physical features such as short stature, ovarian dysgenesis, an increased risk for heart and renal defects as well as a specific cognitive and psychosocial phenotype. Given the complexity of the condition, patients face manifold difficulties which increase over the lifespan. Furthermore, failures during the transitional phase to adult care result in moderate health outcomes and decreased quality of life. Guidelines on the optimal screening procedures and medical treatment are easy to find. However, recommendations for the treatment of the incriminating psychosocial aspects in TS are scarce. In this work, we first reviewed the literature on the cognitive and psychosocial development of girls with TS compared with normal development, from disclosure to young adulthood, and then introduce a psychosocial approach to counseling and treating patients with TS, including recommendations for age-appropriate psychological diagnostics. With this work, we aim to facilitate the integration of emphasized psychosocial care in state-of-the-art treatment for girls and women with TS.

Open access

Julie Smith, Jan Fahrenkrug, Henrik L Jørgensen, Christina Christoffersen, and Jens P Goetze

Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In white adipose tissue, activation of the natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) stimulates lipolysis. We have previously shown that natriuretic peptides are expressed in a circadian manner in the heart, but the temporal expression profile of their cognate receptors has not been examined in white adipose tissue. We therefore collected peri-renal white adipose tissue and serum from WT mice. Tissue mRNA contents of NPRs – NPR-A and NPR-C, the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1, and transcripts involved in lipid metabolism were quantified at 4-h intervals: in the diurnal study, mice were exposed to a period of 12 h light followed by 12 h darkness (n=52). In the circadian study, mice were kept in darkness for 24 h (n=47). Concomitant serum concentrations of free fatty acids, glycerol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin were measured. Per1 and Bmal1 mRNA contents showed reciprocal circadian profiles (P<0.0001). NPR-A mRNA contents followed a temporal pattern (P=0.01), peaking in the dark (active) period. In contrast, NPR-C mRNA was expressed in an antiphase manner with nadir in the active period (P=0.007). TG concentrations in serum peaked in the active dark period (P=0.003). In conclusion, NPR-A and NPR-C gene expression is associated with the expression of clock genes in white adipose tissue. The reciprocal expression may thus contribute to regulate lipolysis and energy homeostasis in a diurnal manner.

Open access

S U Jayasinghe, S J Torres, C A Nowson, A J Tilbrook, and A I Turner

We tested the hypothesis that overweight/obese men aged 50–70 years will have a greater salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and heart rate (HR) responses to psychological stress compared with age matched lean men. Lean (BMI=20–25 kg/m2; n=19) and overweight/obese (BMI=27–35 kg/m2; n=17) men (50–70 years) were subjected to a well-characterised psychological stress (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST) at 1500 h. Concentrations of cortisol and alpha amylase were measured in saliva samples collected every 7–15 min from 1400 to 1700 h. HR was recorded using electrocardiogram. Body weight, BMI, percentage body fat, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure were significantly higher (P<0.05) in overweight/obese men compared with lean men. Both groups responded to the TSST with a substantial elevation in salivary cortisol (372%), salivary alpha amylase (123%) and HR (22%). These responses did not differ significantly between the groups (time×treatment interaction for salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and HR; P=0.187, P=0.288, P=0.550, respectively). There were no significant differences between the groups for pretreatment values, peak height, difference between pretreatment values and peak height (reactivity) or area under the curve for salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase or HR (P>0.05 for all). The results showed that, for men with a moderate level of overweight/obesity who were otherwise healthy, the response of salivary cortisol, salivary alpha amylase and HR to acute psychological stress was not impaired.

Open access

Natasha Bergmann, Søren Ballegaard, Pernille Holmager, Per Bech, Åke Hjalmarson, Finn Gyntelberg, and Jens Faber

The aim of this study was to test i) whether patients having diabetes and ischemic heart disease (IHD), i.e., patients suffering from two chronic diseases, demonstrate a higher degree of chronic stress when compared with patients suffering from IHD alone, and ii) whether suffering from the two chronic diseases results in an elevation in specific elements of the chronic stress concept. A total of 361 participants with IHD were included, of whom 47 suffered from concomitant diabetes. Stress was measured by pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) and by the following questionnaires: the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), the SF-36 Quality of Life questionnaire (SF-36 QOL), the WHO-5 Well-being Index, and the clinical stress signs (CSSs) scale. Participants with diabetes and IHD had a higher MDI score, a lower SF-36 physical component summary score, and a lower score of several sub-measurements of the SF-36 mental component score when compared with patients with IHD without diabetes. No significant differences were observed regarding stress measured by the PPS measure, the WHO-5 Well-being Index, or the number of CSSs. In conclusion, the combination of diabetes and IHD seems to be associated with increased depressive symptoms, lower overall physical QOL, and reduced mental QOL on several sub-elements of the questionnaire. This should be recognized in the management of patients with double diagnoses.