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Open access

Huguette S Brink, Aart Jan van der Lely and Joke van der Linden

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a frequent complication during pregnancy and is associated with maternal and neonatal complications. It is suggested that a disturbing environment for the foetus, such as impaired glucose metabolism during intrauterine life, may result in enduring epigenetic changes leading to increased disease risk in adult life. Hence, early prediction of GD is vital. Current risk prediction models are based on maternal and clinical parameters, lacking a strong predictive value. Adipokines are mainly produced by adipocytes and suggested to be a link between obesity and its cardiovascular complications. Various adipokines, including adiponectin, leptin and TNF&, have shown to be dysregulated in GD. This review aims to outline biomarkers potentially associated with the pathophysiology of GD and discuss the role of integrating predictive biomarkers in current clinical risk prediction models, in order to enhance the identification of those at risk.

Open access

Roxanne C S van Adrichem, Aart Jan van der Lely, Martin Huisman, Piet Kramer, Richard A Feelders, Patric J D Delhanty and Wouter W de Herder

To date, the value of fasting plasma acylated ghrelin (AG) and unacylated ghrelin (UAG) as potential novel biomarkers in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is unknown. The aims of this study are to (i) compare fasting AG and UAG levels between nonobese, nondiabetic NET patients (N=28) and age- (±3 years) and sex-matched nonobese, nondiabetic controls (N=28); and (ii) study the relationship between AG, UAG, and AG/UAG ratios and biochemical (chromogranin-A (CgA) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) levels) and clinical parameters (age at diagnosis, sex, primary tumor location, carcinoid syndrome, ENETS TNM classification, Ki-67 proliferation index, grading, prior incomplete surgery) in NET patients. Fasting venous blood samples (N=56) were collected and directly stabilized with 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride after withdrawal. Plasma AG and UAG levels were determined by ELISA. Expression of ghrelin was examined in tumor tissue by immunohistochemistry. There were no significant differences between NET patients and controls in AG (median: 62.5 pg/mL, IQR: 33.1–112.8 vs median: 57.2pg/mL, IQR: 26.7–128.3, P=0.66) and UAG in levels (median: 76.6pg/mL, IQR: 35.23–121.7 vs median: 64.9, IQR: 27.5–93.1, P=0.44). No significant correlations were found between AG, UAG, and AG/UAG ratios versus biochemical and clinical parameters in NET patients with the exception of age at diagnosis (AG: ρ= −0.47, P=0.012; AG/UAG ratio: ρ= −0.50, P=0.007) and baseline chromogranin-A levels (AG/UAG ratio: ρ= −0.44, P=0.019). In our view, fasting plasma acylated and unacylated ghrelin appear to have no value as diagnostic biomarkers in the clinical follow-up of patients with NETs.

Open access

Anita Hokken-Koelega, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Berthold Hauffa, Gabriele Häusler, Gudmundur Johannsson, Mohamad Maghnie, Jesús Argente, Jean DeSchepper, Helena Gleeson, John W Gregory, Charlotte Höybye, Fahrettin Keleştimur, Anton Luger, Hermann L Müller, Sebastian Neggers, Vera Popovic-Brkic, Eleonora Porcu, Lars Sävendahl, Stephen Shalet, Bessie Spiliotis and Maithé Tauber

Objective

Seamless transition of endocrine patients from the paediatric to adult setting is still suboptimal, especially in patients with complex disorders, i.e., small for gestational age, Turner or Prader–Willi syndromes; Childhood Cancer Survivors, and those with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency.

Methods

An expert panel meeting comprised of European paediatric and adult endocrinologists was convened to explore the current gaps in managing the healthcare of patients with endocrine diseases during transition from paediatric to adult care settings.

Results

While a consensus was reached that a team approach is best, discussions revealed that a ‘one size fits all’ model for transition is largely unsuccessful in these patients. They need more tailored care during adolescence to prevent complications like failure to achieve target adult height, reduced bone mineral density, morbid obesity, metabolic perturbations (obesity and body composition), inappropriate/inadequate puberty, compromised fertility, diminished quality of life and failure to adapt to the demands of adult life. Sometimes it is difficult for young people to detach emotionally from their paediatric endocrinologist and/or the abrupt change from an environment of parental responsibility to one of autonomy. Discussions about impending transition and healthcare autonomy should begin in early adolescence and continue throughout young adulthood to ensure seamless continuum of care and optimal treatment outcomes.

Conclusions

Even amongst a group of healthcare professionals with a great interest in improving transition services for patients with endocrine diseases, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of healthcare for transition patients.