Marieke Stientje Velema, Aline de Nooijer, Ad R M M Hermus, Henri J L M Timmers, Jacques W M Lenders, Olga Husson and Jaap Deinum
To develop a primary aldosteronism (PA) disease-specific Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) questionnaire.
We included newly diagnosed patients with PA (n = 26), and patients with PA after adrenalectomy (n = 25) or treated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (n = 25). According to the guidelines for developing HRQoL questionnaires from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC): Phase I: systematic literature review followed by focus group meetings with patients (n = 13) resulting in a list of 94 HRQoL issues. Relevance of issues was rated by 18 other patients and by health care professionals (n = 15), resulting in 30 remaining issues. Phase II: selected issues were converted into questions. Phase III: the provisional questionnaire was pre-tested by a third group of patients (n = 45) who also completed the EORTC core Quality of Life questionnaire (QLQ-C30). Psychometric testing resulted in a final selection of questions with their scale structure.
After the collection and selection of HRQoL issues a provisional questionnaire consisting of 30 items was formed. Of these items, 26 could be assigned to one of the four scales ‘physical and mental fatigue’, ‘anxiety and stress’, ‘fluid balance’ and ‘other complaints’ cumulatively accounting for 68% of variation in all items. All scales had good reliability and validity. There was a significant correlation of all four scales with the QLQ-C30 in most cases.
We developed the first PA-specific HRQoL questionnaire (PA-QoL) using standard, methodologically proven guidelines. After completion of the final validation (phase IV, international field testing), the questionnaire can be implemented into clinical practice.
Marieke S Velema, Evie J M Linssen, Ad R M M Hermus, Hans J M M Groenewoud, Gert-Jan van der Wilt, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Jacques W M Lenders, Henri J L M Timmers and Jaap Deinum
To develop a prediction model to confirm or exclude primary aldosteronism (PA) in patients with an inconclusive salt loading test (SLT).
Diagnosis in patients with a suspicion of PA can be confirmed using an SLT. In case of inconclusive test results the decision about how to manage the patient is usually based on contextual clinical data.
We included a retrospective cohort of 276 patients in the final analysis.
All patients underwent an SLT between 2005 and 2016 in our university medical center. The SLT was inconclusive (post-infusion aldosterone levels 140–280 pmol/L) in 115 patients. An expert panel then used contextual clinical data to diagnose PA in 45 of them. Together with 101 patients with a positive SLT this resulted in a total of 146 patients with PA. A total of 11 variables were used in a multivariable logistic regression analysis. We assessed internal validity by bootstrapping techniques.
The following variables were independently associated with PA: more intense potassium supplementation, lower plasma potassium concentration, lower plasma renin concentration before SLT and higher plasma aldosterone concentration after SLT. The resulting prediction model had a sensitivity of 84.4% and a specificity of 94.3% in patients with an inconclusive SLT. The positive and negative predictive values were 90.5 and 90.4%, respectively.
We developed a prediction model for the diagnosis of PA in patients with an inconclusive SLT that results in a diagnosis that was in high agreement with that of an expert panel.
Natalie Rogowski-Lehmann, Aikaterini Geroula, Aleksander Prejbisz, Henri J L M Timmers, Felix Megerle, Mercedes Robledo, Martin Fassnacht, Stephanie M J Fliedner, Martin Reincke, Anthony Stell, Andrzej Januszewicz, Jacques W M Lenders, Graeme Eisenhofer and Felix Beuschlein
Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare but potentially harmful tumors that can vary in their clinical presentation. Tumors may be found due to signs and symptoms, as part of a hereditary syndrome or following an imaging procedure.
To investigate potential differences in clinical presentation between PPGLs discovered by imaging (iPPGLs), symptomatic cases (sPPGLs) and those diagnosed during follow-up because of earlier disease/known hereditary mutations (fPPGL).
Prospective study protocol, which has enrolled patients from six European centers with confirmed PPGLs. Data were analyzed from 235 patients (37 iPPGLs, 36 sPPGLs, 27% fPPGLs) and compared for tumor volume, biochemical profile, mutation status, presence of metastases and self-reported symptoms. iPPGL patients were diagnosed at a significantly higher age than fPPGLs (P < 0.001), found to have larger tumors (P = 0.003) and higher metanephrine and normetanephrine levels at diagnosis (P = 0.021). Significantly lower than in sPPGL, there was a relevant number of self-reported symptoms in iPPGL (2.9 vs 4.3 symptoms, P < 0.001). In 16.2% of iPPGL, mutations in susceptibility genes were detected, although this proportion was lower than that in fPPGL (60.9%) and sPPGL (21.5%). Patients with PPGLs detected by imaging were older, have higher tumor volume and more excessive hormonal secretion in comparison to those found as part of a surveillance program. Presence of typical symptoms indicates that in a relevant proportion of those patients, the PPGL diagnosis had been delayed.
Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma discovered by imaging are often symptomatic and carry a significant proportion of germline mutations in susceptibility genes.