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Open access

Shufei Zang, Lei Shi, Jinying Zhao, Min Yang, Jun Liu, and Heyuan Ding

The aim of our study was to explore the diagnostic value of prealbumin to fibrinogen ratio (PFR) for predicting prognosis with the optimal cut-off value in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) patients. A total of 568 type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients were enrolled in this study. The values including Toronto clinical neuropathy score (TCNS), nerve conduction velocity (NCV), vibration perception threshold (VPT), blood cells count, biochemical parameters, fibrinogen and PFR were recorded. The patients were divided into tertiles based on admission PFR value. First, clinical parameters were compared among the groups. Secondly, a logistic regression and ROC analysis were performed as the statistical model. The percentage of DPN, TCNS and VPT were significantly higher in the lowest PFR tertile than in the middle PFR tertile and the highest PFR tertile (P < 0.01–0.001). NCV was significantly lower in lowest PFR tertile than in the middle PFR tertile and the highest PFR tertile (P < 0.01–0.001). The Spearman correlation analysis showed that PFR was negatively correlated with TCNS and VPT (P < 0.001), while PFR was positively correlated with median motor NCV (P < 0.001), peroneal motor NCV (P < 0.001), median sensory NCV (P < 0.001), and peroneal sensory NCV (P < 0.001). After adjusting these potentially related factors, PFR was independently related to DPN (P = 0.007). The area under ROC curve was 0.627. This study finds the first evidence to suggest PFR may be the key component associated with DPN in T2DM, while PFR might underlie the pathophysiologic features of DPN.

Open access

Min Yang, Xiangling Deng, Shunan Wang, Bo Zhou, Wenquan Niu, and Zhixin Zhang

Objectives

We aimed to identify and characterize potential factors, both individually and jointly as a nomogram, associated with short stature and pre-shortness in Chinese preschool-aged children.

Methods

Total of 9501 children aged 3–6 years were recruited from 30 kindergartens in Beijing and Tangshan from September to December 2020 using a stratified random sampling method. Effect-size estimates are expressed as odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI.

Results

The prevalence of short stature and pre-shortness in preschool-aged children was 3.9% (n = 375) and 13.1% (n = 1616), respectively. Factors simultaneously associated with the significant risk for short stature, pre-shortness and both included BMI, paternal height, maternal height, birth weight, birth height, latter birth order (≥2) and less parental patience to children. Besides, breastfeeding duration (≥12 months) was exclusively associated with pre-shortness (OR, 95% CI, P: 1.16, 1.01 to 1.33, 0.037), and childhood obesity with both short stature (3.45, 2.62 to 4.54, <0.001) and short stature/pre-shortness (1.37, 1.15 to 1.64, <0.001). Modeling of significant factors in nomograms had descent prediction accuracies, with the C-index being 77.0, 70.1 and 71.2% for short stature, pre-shortness and both, respectively (all P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Our findings indicate the joint contribution of inherited characteristics, nutrition status from the uterus to childhood, and family psychological environment to short stature and pre-shortness in Chinese preschool-aged children. Further validation in other independent groups is warranted.

Open access

Boni Xiang, Ran Tao, Xinhua Liu, Xiaoming Zhu, Min He, Zengyi Ma, Yehong Yang, Zhaoyun Zhang, Yiming Li, Zhenwei Yao, Yongfei Wang, and Hongying Ye

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate thyroid functions in Cushing’s syndrome (CS), the dynamic changes of thyroid hormones and antithyroid antibodies in Cushing’s disease (CD) pre- and postoperatively.

Design and methods

This is a retrospective study enrolling 118 patients with CS (102 CD, 10 adrenal CS and 6 ectopic adrenocorticotropic syndrome (EAS)). Thyroid functions (thyroid-stimulation hormone (TSH), T3, free T3 (FT3), T4 and free T4 (FT4)) were measured in all CS at the time of diagnosis and in all CD 3 months after transsphenoidal pituitary tumor resection. Postoperative hormone monitoring within 3 months was conducted in 9 CD patients completing remission. Twenty-eight remitted CD patients experienced hormone and antithyroid antibody evaluation preoperatively and on the 3rd, 6th and 12th month after surgery.

Results

TSH, T3 and FT3 were below the reference range in 31%, 69% and 44% of the 118 CS patients. Remitted CD patients (81/102) had significantly higher TSH (P = 0.000), T3 (P = 0.000) and FT3 (P = 0.000) than those in the non-remission group (21/102). After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 showed a significant increase, with a few cases above the reference range. By 12 months, most CD patients’ thyroid functions returned to normal. Thyroid hormones (including TSH, T3 and FT3) were negatively associated with serum cortisol levels both before and after surgery. No significant changes of antithyroid autoantibodies were observed.

Conclusions

TSH, T3 and FT3 are suppressed in endogenous hypercortisolemia. After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 increased significantly, even above the reference range, but returned to normal 1 year after surgery in most cases. Antithyroid antibodies did not change significantly after remission of CD.

Open access

Min Li, Ying Chen, Jingjing Jiang, Yan Lu, Zhiyi Song, Shengjie Zhang, Chao Sun, Hao Ying, Xiaofang Fan, Yuping Song, Jialin Yang, and Lin Zhao

Objective

Recent studies have shown that neuregulin 4 (Nrg4), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of extracellular ligands, plays an important role in the prevention of obesity, insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Considering that thyroid hormone (TH) has profound effects on whole-body energy metabolism, we speculate that circulating Nrg4 levels might be altered in patients with hyperthyroidism.

Design and methods

A total of 129 hyperthyroid patients and 100 healthy subjects were recruited. Of them, 39 hyperthyroid patients received thionamide treatment for 3 months until euthyroidism. Serum Nrg4 levels were determined using the ELISA method. To further confirm the relationship between TH and Nrg4, C57BL/6 mice were treated with T3 and quantitative real-time PCR was performed to detect Nrg4 gene expression.

Results

Serum Nrg4 levels were significantly elevated in hyperthyroid patients as compared with normal controls (3.84 ± 1.63 vs 2.21 ± 1.04 ng/mL, P < 0.001). After achieving euthyroidism by thionamide treatment, serum Nrg4 levels dropped markedly from 3.57 ± 1.26 to 1.94 ± 0.72 ng/ml (P < 0.001). After adjustment for potential confounders, serum Nrg4 levels were independently associated with hyperthyroidism. The upregulation of Nrg4 expression in the livers and white adipose tissues by T3 was further confirmed by animal and cell culture experiments.

Conclusions

Serum Nrg4 levels were increased in patients with hyperthyroidism. The liver and white adipose tissue might be primary sources contributing to elevated serum Nrg4 concentrations.

Open access

Peng Fan, Chao-Xia Lu, Di Zhang, Kun-Qi Yang, Pei-Pei Lu, Ying Zhang, Xu Meng, Su-Fang Hao, Fang Luo, Ya-Xin Liu, Hui-Min Zhang, Lei Song, Jun Cai, Xue Zhang, and Xian-Liang Zhou

Liddle syndrome (LS), a monogenetic autosomal dominant disorder, is mainly characterized by early-onset hypertension and hypokalemia. Clinically, misdiagnosis or missing diagnosis is common, since clinical phenotypes of LS are variable and nonspecific. We report a family with misdiagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA), but identify as LS with a pathogenic frameshift mutation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) β subunit. DNA samples were collected from a 32-year-old proband and 31 other relatives in the same family. A designed panel including 41 genes associated with monogenic hypertension was screened using next-generation sequencing. The best candidate disease-causing variants were verified by Sanger sequencing. Genetic analysis of the proband revealed a novel frameshift mutation c.1838delC (p.Pro613Glnfs*675) in exon 13 of SCNN1B. This heterozygous mutation involved the deletion of a cytosine from a string of three consecutive cytosines located at codons 612 to 613 and resulted in deletion of the crucial PY motif and elongation of the β-ENaC protein. The identical mutation was also found in 12 affected family members. Amiloride was effective in alleviating LS for patients. There were no SCNN1A or SCNN1G mutations in this family. Our study emphasizes the importance of considering LS in the differential diagnosis of early-onset hypertension. The identification of a novel frameshift mutation of SCNN1B enriches the genetic spectrum of LS and has allowed treatment of this affected family to prevent severe complications.