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Open access

A critical evaluation of the EU-virtual consultation platform (CPMS) within the European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions

E K White, I V Wagner, C van Beuzekom, V Iotova, S F Ahmed, O Hiort, and A M Pereira

In 2017, the European Commission installed 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) for different categories of rare and complex conditions to facilitate cross-border health care via virtual case consultations in a secure Clinical Patient Management System (CPMS). The ERN for rare endocrine conditions (Endo-ERN) previously reviewed the CPMS, in which they detailed the difficulties physicians encountered with the system and proposed solutions to these that should enable the system to be used to a greater extent. This paper will further the endeavor of the first by performing a critical evaluation of the CPMS, assessing how these suggested improvements have been implemented, and if these have affected the usage of the system. The evaluation involves an assessment of CPMS usage statistics since its conception that takes into consideration the technical updates and the external factors that may have affected these, including data from a review survey following a training workshop for our new healthcare providers (HCPs) added in January 2022. It appears that the improvements made to the system since the first review, in particular the implementation of the Operational Helpdesk, have had a positive effect in increasing CPMS membership; however, the regular usage of the system continues to fluctuate. Several suggestions are made on how to further facilitate the use of CPMS by our members both individually and network-wide, by integrating CPMS activities with other network initiatives and further integrating these into national health care systems as well as looking for ways to measure patient satisfaction from the CPMS discussions outcomes.

Open access

Liver status in congenital, untreated, isolated GH deficiency

Rachel D C A Diniz, Renata M Souza, Roberto Salvatori, Alex Franca, Elenilde Gomes-Santos, Thiago O Ferrão, Carla R P Oliveira, João A M Santana, Francisco A Pereira, Rita A A Barbosa, Anita H O Souza, Rossana M C Pereira, Alécia A Oliveira-Santos, Allysson M P Silva, Francisco J Santana-Júnior, Eugênia H O Valença, Viviane C Campos, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is known to be associated with insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and low serum IGF1 levels. We have described a large cohort of patients with isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) due to the c.57+1G→A mutation in the GHRH receptor gene. These subjects have increased insulin sensitivity (IS), delayed atherosclerosis, and normal longevity. We hypothesized that, despite visceral obesity, NAFLD would be absent or mild due to the increased IS. To assess the prevalence and severity of NAFLD in adult subjects with lifetime, congenital, untreated IGHD, we studied 22 IGHD adults and 25 controls (COs) matched for age and sex. NAFLD was assessed by a comprehensive liver function panel, and ultrasonographic pattern (hyperechogenic pattern, HP) coded as follows: 0, absent; 1, mild; 2, moderate; and 3, severe. Compared with COs, IGHD individual had lower serum IGF1 (P<0.0001), higher total cholesterol (P=0.027), lower prothrombin time (P=0.017), and similar activated partial thromboplastin time and fibrinogen values. Alanine transaminase (ALT) values were similar in the two groups, but aspartate transaminase was higher in IGHD (P=0.013). However, more IGHD subjects (7/22) than COs (3/23) had ALT above the upper limit of normal (P=0.044). The prevalence of NAFLD was higher in IGHD than COs (61 vs 29%, P=0.032), and the HP score was higher in IGHD than COs (P=0.041), but severe NAFLD was not observed in any IGHD (or CO) individual. Liver HP score is increased in lifetime, untreated, congenital IGHD, but the increase in transaminases is mild, suggesting a lack of advanced forms of NAFLD.

Open access

Electronic reporting of rare endocrine conditions within a clinical network: results from the EuRRECa project

S R Ali, J Bryce, A L Priego-Zurita, M Cherenko, C Smythe, T M de Rooij, M Cools, T Danne, H Katugampola, O M Dekkers, O Hiort, A Linglart, I Netchine, A Nordenstrom, P Attila, L Persani, N Reisch, A Smyth, Z Sumnik, D Taruscio, W E Visser, A M Pereira, N M Appelman-Dijkstra, and S F Ahmed


The European Registries for Rare Endocrine Conditions (EuRRECa, includes an e-reporting registry (e-REC) used to perform surveillance of conditions within the European Reference Network (ERN) for rare endocrine conditions (Endo-ERN). The aim of this study was to report the experience of e-REC over the 3.5 years since its launch in 2018.


Electronic reporting capturing new encounters of Endo-ERN conditions was performed monthly through a bespoke platform by clinicians registered to participate in e-REC from July 2018 to December 2021.


The number of centres reporting on e-REC increased to a total of 61 centres from 22 countries. A median of 29 (range 11, 45) paediatric and 32 (14, 51) adult centres had reported cases monthly. A total of 9715 and 4243 new cases were reported in adults (age ≥18 years) and children, respectively. In children, sex development conditions comprised 40% of all reported conditions and transgender cases were most frequently reported, comprising 58% of sex development conditions. The median number of sex development cases reported per centre per month was 0.6 (0, 38). Amongst adults, pituitary conditions comprised 44% of reported conditions and pituitary adenomas (69% of cases) were most commonly reported. The median number of pituitary cases reported per centre per month was 4 (0.4, 33).


e-REC has gained increasing acceptability over the last 3.5 years for capturing brief information on new encounters of rare conditions and shows wide variations in the rate of presentation of these conditions to centres within a reference network.

Significance statement

Endocrinology includes a very wide range of rare conditions and their occurrence is often difficult to measure. By using an electronic platform that allowed monthly reporting of new clinical encounters of several rare endocrine conditions within a defined network that consisted of several reference centres in Europe, the EuRRECa project shows that a programme of e-surveillance is feasible and acceptable. The data that have been collected by the e-reporting of rare endocrine conditions (e-REC) can allow the continuous monitoring of rare conditions and may be used for clinical benchmarking, designing new studies or recruiting to clinical trials.

Open access

Lifetime congenital isolated GH deficiency does not protect from the development of diabetes

Taísa A R Vicente, Ívina E S Rocha, Roberto Salvatori, Carla R P Oliveira, Rossana M C Pereira, Anita H O Souza, Viviane C Campos, Elenilde G Santos, Rachel D C Araújo Diniz, Eugênia H O Valença, Carlos C Epitácio-Pereira, Mario C P Oliveira, Andrea Mari, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira


Adult subjects with untreated, lifetime, isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) due to a homozygous GHRH receptor gene mutation (MUT/MUT) residing in Itabaianinha, Brazil, present with lower BMI, higher prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), increased insulin sensitivity (IS), and reduced β-cell function (βCF) when compared with non-BMI-matched homozygous normal controls. However, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in this cohort is unknown. Comparing their IS and βCF with BMI-matched individuals heterozygous for the same mutation (MUT/N) may be useful to elucidate the role of the GH–IGF1 axis in IS and βCF. The purposes of this work were to verify the prevalence of IGT and DM in adult MUT/MUT subjects from this kindred and to compare IS and βCF in MUT/MUT and MUT/N.


Cross-sectional study.


We studied most (51) of the living IGHD adults of this kindred who are GH naive. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) could be performed in 34 subjects, fasting glucose was measured in 15, while two had a previous diagnosis of DM. The OGTT results of 24 MUT/MUT subjects were compared with those of 25 BMI-matched MUT/N subjects. IS was assessed by homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA–IR), quantitative IS check index, and oral glucose IS index for 2 and 3 h. βCF was assayed by HOMA-β, insulinogenic index, and the area under the curve of insulin:glucose ratio.


The prevalence of DM and IGT in IGHD was 15.68 and 38.23% respectively. IS was increased and βCF was reduced in MUT/MUT in comparison with MUT/N.


Lifetime, untreated IGHD increases IS, impairs βCF, and does not provide protection from diabetes.

Open access

Starting point for benchmarking outcomes and reporting of pituitary adenoma surgery within the European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions (Endo-ERN): results from a meta-analysis and survey study

Amir H Zamanipoor Najafabadi, Merel van der Meulen, Ana Luisa Priego Zurita, S Faisal Ahmed, Wouter R van Furth, Evangelia Charmandari, Olaf Hiort, Alberto M Pereira, Mehul Dattani, Diana Vitali, Johan P de Graaf, and Nienke R Biermasz


The European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions (Endo-ERN) aims to organize high-quality healthcare throughout Europe, including care for pituitary adenoma patients. As surgery is the mainstay of treatment, we aimed to describe the current surgical practice and published surgical outcomes of pituitary adenoma within Endo-ERN.

Design and Methods

Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting surgical outcomes of pituitary adenoma patients within Endo-ERN MTG6 pituitary reference centers between 2010 and 2019. A survey was completed by reference centers on their current surgical practice.


A total of 18 out of 43 (42%) reference centers located in 7 of the 20 (35%) MTG6-represented countries published 48 articles. Remission rates were 50% (95% CI: 42–59) for patients with acromegaly, 68% (95% CI: 60–75) for Cushing’s disease, and 53% (95% CI: 39–66%) for prolactinoma. Gross total resection was achieved in 49% (95% CI: 37–61%) of patients and visual improvement in 78% (95% CI: 68–87). Mortality, hemorrhage, and carotid injury occurred in less than 1% of patients. New-onset hypopituitarism occurred in 16% (95% CI: 11–23), transient diabetes insipidus in 12% (95% CI: 6–21), permanent diabetes insipidus in 4% (95% CI: 3–6), syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) in 9% (95% CI: 5–14), severe epistaxis in 2% (95% CI: 0–4), and cerebrospinal fluid leak in 4% (95% CI: 2–6). Thirty-five (81%) centers completed the survey: 54% were operated endoscopically and 57% were together with an ENT surgeon.


The results of this study could be used as a first benchmark for the outcomes of pituitary adenoma surgery within Endo-ERN. However, the heterogeneity between studies in the reporting of outcomes hampers comparability and warrants outcome collection through registries.