Until quite recently, the management of children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) had focussed on the use of recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy to normalise final adult height. However, research over the past two decades that has demonstrated deficits in bone health and cardiac function, as well as impaired quality of life in adults with childhood-onset GHD (CO-GHD), has questioned this practice. Some of these studies suggested that there may be short-term benefits of rhGH in certain group of adolescents with GHD during transition, although the impact of GHD and replacement during the transition period has not been adequately investigated and its long-term benefits remain unclear. GH therapy remains expensive and well-designed long-term studies are needed to determine the cost effectiveness and clinical benefit of ongoing rhGH during transition and further into adulthood. In the absence of compelling data to justify widespread continuation of rhGH into adult life, there are several questions related to its use that remain unanswered. This paper reviews the effects of growth hormone deficiency on bone health, cardiovascular function, metabolic profile and quality of life during transition and young adulthood.
Growth hormone deficiency during young adulthood and the benefits of growth hormone replacement
M Ahmid, C G Perry, S F Ahmed, and M G Shaikh
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.
Outcome of COVID-19 infections in patients with adrenal insufficiency and excess
Hanna F Nowotny, Jillian Bryce, Salma R Ali, Roberta Giordano, Federico Baronio, Irina Chifu, Lea Tschaidse, Martine Cools, Erica LT van den Akker, Henrik Falhammar, Natasha M Appelman-Dijkstra, Luca Persani, Guglielmo Beccuti, Ian L Ross, Simona Grozinsky-Glasberg, Alberto M Pereira, Eystein S Husebye, Stefanie Hahner, S Faisal Ahmed, and Nicole Reisch
Information on clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) infection in patients with adrenal disorders is scarce.
A collaboration between the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) Rare Disease Committee and European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions via the European Registries for Rare Endocrine Conditions allowed the collection of data on 64 cases (57 adrenal insufficiency (AI), 7 Cushing’s syndrome) that had been reported by 12 centres in 8 European countries between January 2020 and December 2021.
Of all 64 patients, 23 were males and 41 females (13 of those children) with a median age of 37 and 51 years. In 45/57 (95%) AI cases, COVID-19 infection was confirmed by testing. Primary insufficiency was present in 45/57 patients; 19 were affected by Addison’s disease, 19 by congenital adrenal hyperplasia and 7 by primary AI (PAI) due to other causes. The most relevant comorbidities were hypertension (12%), obesity (n = 14%) and diabetes mellitus (9%). An increase by a median of 2.0 (IQR 1.4) times the daily replacement dose was reported in 42 (74%) patients. Two patients were administered i.m. injection of 100 mg hydrocortisone, and 11/64 were admitted to the hospital. Two patients had to be transferred to the intensive care unit, one with a fatal outcome. Four patients reported persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, all others complete remission.
This European multicentre questionnaire is the first to collect data on the outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with adrenal gland disorders. It suggests good clinical outcomes in case of duly dose adjustments and emphasizes the importance of patient education on sick day rules.
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.
Development of a pediatric differentiated thyroid carcinoma registry within the EuRRECa project: rationale and protocol
S C Clement, W E Visser, C A Lebbink, D Albano, H L Claahsen-van der Grinten, A Czarniecka, R P Dias, M P Dierselhuis, I Dzivite-Krisane, R Elisei, A Garcia-Burillo, L Izatt, C Kanaka-Gantenbein, H Krude, L Lamartina, K Lorenz, M Luster, R Navardauskaitė, M Negre Busó, K Newbold, R P Peeters, G Pellegriti, A Piccardo, A L Priego, A Redlich, L de Sanctis, M Sobrinho-Simões, A S P van Trotsenburg, F A Verburg, M Vriens, T P Links, S F Ahmed, and H M van Santen
Although differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) is the most frequent endocrine pediatric cancer, it is rare in childhood and adolescence. While tumor persistence and recurrence are not uncommon, mortality remains extremely low. Complications of treatment are however reported in up to 48% of the survivors. Due to the rarity of the disease, current treatment guidelines are predominantly based on the results of small observational retrospective studies and extrapolations from results in adult patients. In order to develop more personalized treatment and follow-up strategies (aiming to reduce complication rates), there is an unmet need for uniform international prospective data collection and clinical trials.
Methods and analysis
The European pediatric thyroid carcinoma registry aims to collect clinical data for all patients ≤18 years of age with a confirmed diagnosis of DTC who have been diagnosed, assessed, or treated at a participating site. This registry will be a component of the wider European Registries for Rare Endocrine Conditions project which has close links to Endo-ERN, the European Reference Network for Rare Endocrine Conditions. A multidisciplinary expert working group was formed to develop a minimal dataset comprising information regarding demographic data, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. We constructed an umbrella-type registry, with a detailed basic dataset. In the future, this may provide the opportunity for research teams to integrate clinical research questions.
Ethics and dissemination
Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants and/or their parents/guardians. Summaries and descriptive analyses of the registry will be disseminated via conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.
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, eurreb.eu) 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.
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.