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Open access

Mikkel Andreassen, Anders Juul, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, and Niels Jørgensen


Gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)) are released from the pituitary gland and stimulate Leydig cells to produce testosterone and initiates spermatogenesis. Little is known about how and when the deterioration of semen quality occurs in patients with adult-onset gonadotropin insufficiency.

Design and methods

A retrospective study comprising 20 testosterone-deficient men (median age, 29 years) with acquired pituitary disease who delivered semen for cryopreservation before initiation of testosterone therapy. Semen variables and hormone concentrations were compared to those of young healthy men (n = 340).


Thirteen of 20 patients (65%) and 82% of controls had total sperm counts above 39 million and progressive motile spermatozoa above 32% (P = 0.05). For the individual semen variables, there were no significant differences in semen volume (median (intraquartile range) 3.0 (1.3–6.8) vs 3.2 (2.3–4.3) mL, P = 0.47), sperm concentration 41 (11–71) vs 43 (22–73) mill/mL (P = 0.56) or total sperm counts (P = 0.66). One patient had azoospermia. Patients vs controls had lower serum testosterone 5.4 (2.2–7.6) vs 19.7 (15.5–24.5) nmol/L (P = 0.001), calculated free testosterone (cfT) 145 (56–183) vs 464 (359–574) pmol/L (P < 0.001), LH 1.5 (1.1–2.1) vs 3.1 (2.3–4.0) U/L (P = 0.002) and inhibin b (P < 0.001). Levels of FSH were similar (P = 0.63). Testosterone/LH ratio and cfT/LH ratio were reduced in patients (both P < 0.001).


Despite Leydig cell insufficiency in patients with acquired pituitary insufficiency, the majority presented with normal semen quality based on the determination of the number of progressively motile spermatozoa. In addition, the data suggest reduced LH bioactivity in patients with pituitary insufficiency.

Open access

Selma Flora Nordqvist, Victor Brun Boesen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Laszlo Hegedüs, Steen Joop Bonnema, Per Karkov Cramon, Torquil Watt, Mogens Groenvold, and Jakob Bue Bjorner

Objective: ThyPRO is the standard thyroid patient-reported outcome (PRO). The change in scores that patients perceive as important remains to be ascertained. The purpose of this study was to determine values for minimal important change (MIC) for ThyPRO.

Methods: A total of 435 patients treated for benign thyroid diseases completed ThyPRO at baseline and 6 weeks following treatment initiation. At 6-weeks follow-up, patients also completed Global Rating of Change items. For each 0-100 scale, two MIC values were identified: an MIC for groups, using the ROC curve method and an MIC for individual patients, using the reliable change Index.

Results: ROC analyses provided group-MIC estimates of 6.3 to 14.3 (score range 0-100). Evaluation of area under the curve (AUC) supported the robustness for 9 of 14 scales (AUC > 0.7). Reliable change index estimates of individual-MIC were 8.0 to 21.1. For all scales but two, the individual-MIC values were larger than the group-MIC values.

Conclusions: Interpretability of ThyPRO was improved by the establishment of MIC values, which was 6.3 to 14.3 for groups and 8.0 to 21.1 for individuals. Thus, estimates of which changes are clinically relevant, are now available for future studies. We recommend using MIC values found by ROC analyses to evaluate changes in groups of patients, whereas MIC values identified by a dual criterion, including the reliability of changes, should be used for individual patients, e.g. to identify individual responders in clinical studies or practice.

Open access

Ailsa Maria Main, Maria Rossing, Line Borgwardt, Birgitte Grønkær Toft, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, and Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are tumours of the adrenal medulla and extra-adrenal sympathetic nervous system which often secrete catecholamines. Variants of the SDHX (SDHA, -AF2, -B, -C, -D) genes are a frequent cause of familial PPGLs. In this study from a single tertiary centre, we aimed to characterise the genotype–phenotype associations in patients diagnosed with germline variants in SDHX genes. We also assessed whether systematic screening of family members resulted in earlier detection of tumours. The study cohort comprised all individuals (n = 59) diagnosed with a rare variant in SDHX during a 13-year period. Patient- and pathology records were checked for clinical characteristics and histopathological findings. We found distinct differences in the clinical and histopathological characteristics between genetic variants in SDHB. We identified two SDHB variants with distinct phenotypical patterns. Family screening for SDHB variants resulted in earlier detection of tumours in two families. Patients with SDHA, SDHC and SDHD variants also had malignant phenotypes, underlining the necessity for a broad genetic screening of the proband. Our study corroborates previous findings of poor prognostic markers and found that the genetic variants and clinical phenotype are linked and, therefore, useful in the decision of clinical follow-up. Regular tumour screening of carriers of pathogenic variants may lead to an earlier diagnosis and expected better prognosis. The development of a combined algorithm with clinical, genetic, morphological, and biochemical factors may be the future for improved clinical risk stratification, forming a basis for larger multi-centre follow up studies.

Open access

Jes Sloth Mathiesen, Jens Peter Kroustrup, Peter Vestergaard, Per Løgstrup Poulsen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Sten Schytte, Stefano Christian Londero, Henrik Baymler Pedersen, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Jens Bentzen, Sören Möller, Mette Gaustadnes, Maria Rossing, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Kim Brixen, Christian Godballe, and Danish Thyroid Cancer Group (DATHYRCA)

A recent study proposed new TNM groupings for better survival discrimination among stage groups for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and validated these groupings in a population-based cohort in the United States. However, it is unknown how well the groupings perform in populations outside the United States. Consequently, we conducted the first population-based study aiming to evaluate if the recently proposed TNM groupings provide better survival discrimination than the current American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system (seventh and eighth edition) in a nationwide MTC cohort outside the United States. This retrospective cohort study included 191 patients identified from the nationwide Danish MTC cohort between 1997 and 2014. In multivariate analysis, hazard ratios for overall survival under the current AJCC TNM staging system vs the proposed TNM groupings with stage I as reference were 1.32 (95% CI: 0.38–4.57) vs 3.04 (95% CI: 1.38–6.67) for stage II, 2.06 (95% CI: 0.45–9.39) vs 3.59 (95% CI: 1.61–8.03) for stage III and 5.87 (95% CI: 2.02–17.01) vs 59.26 (20.53–171.02) for stage IV. The newly proposed TNM groupings appear to provide better survival discrimination in the nationwide Danish MTC cohort than the current AJCC TNM staging. Adaption of the proposed TNM groupings by the current AJCC TNM staging system may potentially improve accurateness in survival discrimination. However, before such an adaption further population-based studies securing external validity are needed.

Open access

Jes Sloth Mathiesen, Jens Peter Kroustrup, Peter Vestergaard, Kirstine Stochholm, Per Løgstrup Poulsen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Sten Schytte, Stefano Christian Londero, Henrik Baymler Pedersen, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Bjarki Ditlev Djurhuus, Jens Bentzen, Sören Möller, Mette Gaustadnes, Maria Rossing, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Kim Brixen, Anja Lisbeth Frederiksen, Christian Godballe, and the Danish Thyroid Cancer Group (DATHYRCA)

Recent studies have shown a significant increase in the temporal trend of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) incidence. However, it remains unknown to which extent sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (SMTC) and hereditary MTC (HMTC) affect the MTC incidence over time. We conducted a nationwide retrospective study using previously described RET and MTC cohorts combined with review of medical records, pedigree comparison and relevant nationwide registries. The study included 474 MTC patients diagnosed in Denmark between 1960 and 2014. In the nationwide period from 1997 to 2014, we recorded a mean age-standardized incidence of all MTC, SMTC and HMTC of 0.19, 0.13 and 0.06 per 100,000 per year, respectively. The average annual percentage change in incidence for all MTC, SMTC and HMTC were 1.0 (P = 0.542), 2.8 (P = 0.125) and −3.1 (P = 0.324), respectively. The corresponding figures for point prevalence at January 1, 2015 were 3.8, 2.5 and 1.3 per 100,000, respectively. The average annual percentage change in prevalence from 1998 to 2015 for all MTC, SMTC and HMTC was 2.8 (P < 0.001), 3.8 (P < 0.001) and 1.5 (P = 0.010), respectively. We found no significant change in the incidence of all MTC, SMTC and HMTC possibly due to our small sample size. However, due to an increasing trend in the incidence of all MTC and opposing trends of SMTC (increasing) and HMTC (decreasing) incidence, it seems plausible that an increase for all MTC seen by others may be driven by the SMTC group rather than the HMTC group.