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Open access

Dirk Weismann, Andreas Schneider and Charlotte Höybye

Hyponatremia (HN) is a common condition, with a large number of etiologies and a complicated treatment. Although chronic HN has been shown to be a predictor of poor outcome, sodium-increasing treatments in chronic stable and asymptomatic HN have not proven to increase life expectancy. For symptomatic HN, in contrast, the necessity for urgent treatment has broadly been accepted to avoid the development of fatal cerebral edema. On the other hand, a too rapid increase of serum sodium in chronic HN may result in cerebral damage due to osmotic demyelinisation. Recently, administration of hypertonic saline bolus has been recommended as first-line treatment in patients with moderate-to-severe symptomatic HN. This approach is easy to memorize and holds the potential to greatly facilitate the initial treatment of symptomatic HN. First-line treatment of chronic HN is fluid restriction and if ineffective treatment with tolvaptan or in some patients other agents should be considered. A number of recommendations and guidelines have been published on HN. In the present review, the management of patients with HN in relation to everyday clinical practice is summarized with focus on the acute management.

Open access

Charlotte Höybye, Erik Wahlström, Petra Tollet-Egnell and Gunnar Norstedt

The diagnostic value of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) for GH deficiency (GHD) in adults is not optimal. Molecular profiling could be used for biomarker discovery. The aim of this pilot study was to compare the serum metabolome between GHD patients and healthy controls, and identification of potential markers for diagnosis and/or for individual GH dosing. A total of ten patients with GHD, median age of 55 years and BMI of 27 kg/m2, were compared with ten healthy age- and gender-matched controls. The serum metabolic profiles were generated using gas chromatography-coupled mass spectroscopy on fasting samples taken in the morning from the controls and at baseline and during 6 months of GH replacement in the patients with GHD. The difference in low-molecular weight compounds (LMC) distinguished the healthy controls from GHD patients. Among 285 measured metabolites, 13 were identified as being most important in differentiating GHD patients from controls. Of these, 11 could not be structurally annotated but many were classified as lipids. The difference in the LMC pattern persisted despite normalisation of IGF1 following GH replacement. GH replacement increased the levels of specific fatty acid compounds and decreased the levels of certain amino acids. No metabolite changed in response to GH treatment, to the same extent as IGF1. The measurement of 285 metabolites resulted in a unique pattern in GHD, but changes in the metabolite patterns during GH treatment were limited. The utility of metabolomics to find new markers in GHD and GH replacement remains to be further elucidated.

Open access

Charlotte Höybye, Laia Faseh, Christos Himonakos, Tomasz Pielak and Jesper Eugen-Olsen

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) syndrome is associated with adverse levels of several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including metabolic inflammation. However, the impact of GHD and GH treatment on low-grade inflammation is unknown. The aim of the study was to establish the level of the low-grade inflammation biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) in adults with GHD and the response to long-term GH treatment. Measurements of suPAR and CRP were performed in bio-bank serum samples from 72 adults, 34 males and 38 females, with GHD before and during at least 5 years of GH treatment. Mean age was 52.5 ± 15.5 years, BMI 27.3 ± 5 kg/m2. Clinical evaluations and blood sampling were performed at routine visits. Data on demography, anthropometry, lab results and clinical events were retrieved from post-marketing surveillance study databases and medical records. suPAR and high-sensitive (hs) CRP were analysed using ELISA and immunochemistry, respectively. At baseline blood pressure, lipid profile and fasting glucose were within the normal reference range. Baseline geometric mean and 95% CI of suPAR was 2.9 (2.7–3.3) ng/mL and of CRP 2.3 (0.6–4.0) mg/L. Mean follow-up was 8 ± 2 years. The suPAR levels remained stable during follow-up, although individual increases were seen on occurrence or presence of co-morbidities. In contrast, levels of CRP decreased. In conclusion, the decrease in CRP and indirectly the absence of an expected increase in suPAR over time indicates a favourable effect of GH on low-grade inflammation.

Open access

Charlotte Höybye, Andreas F H Pfeiffer, Diego Ferone, Jens Sandahl Christiansen, David Gilfoyle, Eva Dam Christoffersen, Eva Mortensen, Jonathan A Leff and Michael Beckert

TransCon growth hormone is a sustained-release human growth hormone prodrug under development in which unmodified growth hormone is transiently linked to a carrier molecule. It is intended as an alternative to daily growth hormone in the treatment of growth hormone deficiency. This was a multi-center, randomized, open-label, active-controlled trial designed to compare the safety (including tolerability and immunogenicity), pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of three doses of weekly TransCon GH to daily growth hormone (Omnitrope). Thirty-seven adult males and females diagnosed with adult growth hormone deficiency and stable on growth hormone replacement therapy for at least 3 months were, following a wash-out period, randomized (regardless of their pre-study dose) to one of three TransCon GH doses (0.02, 0.04 and 0.08 mg GH/kg/week) or Omnitrope 0.04 mg GH/kg/week (divided into 7 equal daily doses) for 4 weeks. Main outcomes evaluated were adverse events, immunogenicity and growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 levels. TransCon GH was well tolerated; fatigue and headache were the most frequent drug-related adverse events and reported in all groups. No lipoatrophy or nodule formation was reported. No anti-growth hormone-binding antibodies were detected. TransCon GH demonstrated a linear, dose-dependent increase in growth hormone exposure without accumulation. Growth hormone maximum serum concentration and insulin-like growth factor 1 exposure were similar after TransCon GH or Omnitrope administered at comparable doses. The results suggest that long-acting TransCon GH has a profile similar to daily growth hormone but with a more convenient dosing regimen. These findings support further TransCon GH development.

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.