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Open access

Margaret C S Boguszewski, Cesar L Boguszewski, Wassim Chemaililly, Laurie E Cohen, Judith Gebauer, Claire Higham, Andrew R Hoffman, Michel Polak, Kevin C J Yuen, Nathalie Alos, Zoltan Antal, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverley M K Biller, George Brabant, Catherine S Y Choong, Stefano Cianfarani, Peter E Clayton, Regis Coutant, Adriane A Cardoso-Demartini, Alberto Fernandez, Adda Grimberg, Kolbeinn Guðmundsson, Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, Ken K Y Ho, Reiko Horikawa, Andrea M Isidori, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, Peter Kamenicky, Niki Karavitaki, John J Kopchick, Maya Lodish, Xiaoping Luo, Ann I McCormack, Lillian Meacham, Shlomo Melmed, Sogol Mostoufi Moab, Hermann L Müller, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Manoel H Aguiar Oliveira, Keiichi Ozono, Patricia A Pennisi, Vera Popovic, Sally Radovick, Lars Savendahl, Philippe Touraine, Hanneke M van Santen, and Gudmundur Johannsson

Growth hormone (GH) has been used for over 35 years, and its safety and efficacy has been studied extensively. Experimental studies showing the permissive role of GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) in carcinogenesis have raised concerns regarding the safety of GH replacement in children and adults who have received treatment for cancer and those with intracranial and pituitary tumours. A consensus statement was produced to guide decision-making on GH replacement in children and adult survivors of cancer, in those treated for intracranial and pituitary tumours and in patients with increased cancer risk. With the support of the European Society of Endocrinology, the Growth Hormone Research Society convened a Workshop, where 55 international key opinion leaders representing 10 professional societies were invited to participate. This consensus statement utilized: (1) a critical review paper produced before the Workshop, (2) five plenary talks, (3) evidence-based comments from four breakout groups, and (4) discussions during report-back sessions. Current evidence reviewed from the proceedings from the Workshop does not support an association between GH replacement and primary tumour or cancer recurrence. The effect of GH replacement on secondary neoplasia risk is minor compared to host- and tumour treatment-related factors. There is no evidence for an association between GH replacement and increased mortality from cancer amongst GH-deficient childhood cancer survivors. Patients with pituitary tumour or craniopharyngioma remnants receiving GH replacement do not need to be treated or monitored differently than those not receiving GH. GH replacement might be considered in GH-deficient adult cancer survivors in remission after careful individual risk/benefit analysis. In children with cancer predisposition syndromes, GH treatment is generally contraindicated but may be considered cautiously in select patients.

Open access

Jakob Skov, Ralf Kuja-Halkola, Patrik K E Magnusson, Soffia Gudbjörnsdottir, Olle Kämpe, and Sophie Bensing

Objective

Type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis frequently cluster in individuals and in families, indicating shared origins. The objective of this study was to investigate familial co-aggregation of these diseases and to quantify shared genetic and environmental factors.

Design

This study is a twin cohort study.

Methods

National health registers were used to identify cases among 110 814 Swedish twins. Co-aggregation was calculated as risk ratios for type 1 diabetes among co-twins of individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and vice-versa. Variance explained by genetics (i.e. heritability), and the proportions thereof shared between the diseases, was estimated by contrasting associations in monozygotic and dizygotic twins using structural equation models.

Results

Individuals with one disease were at a high risk for the other disease (adjusted risk ratio: 11.4 (95% CI: 8.5–15.3)). Co-aggregation was more common in monozygotic than in dizygotic pairs, with adjusted risk ratios of 7.0 (95% CI: 3.2–15.1) and 1.7 (95% CI: 0.7–4.1), respectively. Genetic effects shared across diseases accounted for 11% of the variance for type 1 diabetes and 9% of the variance for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, while environmental factors unique to individual twins, but shared across diseases, accounted for 10% of the variance for type 1 diabetes and 18% of the variance for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Conclusions

Both genes and environment unique to individual twins contribute to considerable etiologic overlap between type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. These findings add to the current knowledge on the mechanisms behind autoimmune disease clustering and could guide future research aimed at identifying pathophysiological mechanisms and intervention targets.

Free access

David S Mathiesen, Asger Lund, Jens J Holst, Filip K Knop, Thomas A Lutz, and Jonatan I Bagger

Type 2 diabetes is a common manifestation of metabolic dysfunction due to obesity and constitutes a major burden for modern health care systems, in concert with the alarming rise in obesity worldwide. In recent years, several successful pharmacotherapies improving glucose metabolism have emerged and some of these also promote weight loss, thus, ameliorating insulin resistance. However, the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes is not halted by these new anti-diabetic pharmacotherapies. Therefore, novel therapies promoting weight loss further and delaying diabetes progression are needed. Amylin, a beta cell hormone, has satiating properties and also delays gastric emptying and inhibits postprandial glucagon secretion with the net result of reducing postprandial glucose excursions. Amylin acts through the six amylin receptors, which share the core component with the calcitonin receptor. Calcitonin, derived from thyroid C cells, is best known for its role in humane calcium metabolism, where it inhibits osteoclasts and reduces circulating calcium. However, calcitonin, particularly of salmon origin, has also been shown to affect insulin sensitivity, reduce the gastric emptying rate and promote satiation. Preclinical trials with agents targeting the calcitonin receptor and the amylin receptors, show improvements in several parameters of glucose metabolism including insulin sensitivity and some of these agents are currently undergoing clinical trials. Here, we review the physiological and pharmacological effects of amylin and calcitonin and discuss the future potential of amylin and calcitonin-based treatments for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Open access

Anne Jouinot, Juliane Lippert, Mathilde Sibony, Florian Violon, Lindsay Jeanpierre, Daniel De Murat, Roberta Armignacco, Amandine Septier, Karine Perlemoine, Franck Letourneur, Brigitte Izac, Bruno Ragazzon, Karen Leroy, Eric Pasmant, Marie-Odile North, Sébastien Gaujoux, Bertrand Dousset, Lionel Groussin, Rossella Libe, Benoit Terris, Martin Fassnacht, Cristina L Ronchi, Jérôme Bertherat, and Guillaume Assie

Design

Molecular classification is important for the diagnosis and prognosis of adrenocortical tumors (ACT). Transcriptome profiles separate adrenocortical adenomas ‘C2’ from carcinomas, and identify two groups of carcinomas ‘C1A’ and ‘C1B’, of poor and better prognosis respectively. However, many ACT cannot be profiled because of improper or absent freezing procedures, a mandatory requirement so far. The main aim was to determine transcriptome profiles on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, using the new 3’-end RNA-sequencing technology. A secondary aim was to demonstrate the ability of this technique to explore large FFPE archives, by focusing on the rare oncocytic ACT variants.

Methods

We included 131 ACT: a training cohort from Cochin hospital and an independent validation cohort from Wuerzburg hospital. The 3’ transcriptome was generated from FFPE samples using QuantSeq (Lexogen, Vienna, Austria) and NextSeq500 (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA).

Results

In the training cohort, unsupervised clustering identified three groups: ‘C1A’ aggressive carcinomas (n = 28, 29%), ‘C1B’ more indolent carcinomas (n = 28, 29%), and ‘C2’ adenomas (n = 39, 41%). The prognostic value of FFPE transcriptome was confirmed in the validation cohort (5-year OS: 26% in ‘C1A’ (n = 26) and 100% in ‘C1B’ (n = 10), P  = 0.003). FFPE transcriptome was an independent prognostic factor in a multivariable model including tumor stage and Ki-67 (OS HR: 7.5, P  = 0.01). Oncocytic ACT (n = 19) did not form any specific cluster. Oncocytic carcinomas (n = 6) and oncocytic ACT of uncertain malignant potential (n = 4) were all in ‘C1B’.

Conclusions

The 3’ RNA-sequencing represents a convenient solution for determining ACT molecular class from FFPE samples. This technique should facilitate routine use and large retrospective studies.

Open access

Cheng-Hsuan Tsai, Che-Wei Liao, Xue-Ming Wu, Zheng-Wei Chen, Chien-Ting Pan, Yi-Yao Chang, Bo-Ching Lee, Chia-Tung Shun, Wen-Fen Wen, Chia-Hung Chou, Vin-Cent Wu, Chi Sheng Hung, and Yen-Hung Lin

Objective: The presence of autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) is common and potentially associated with poor outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between autonomous cortisol secretion and vascular remodeling in PA patients.

Design and Methods: We prospectively enrolled 436 PA patients from October 2006 to November 2019. ACS (defined as a cortisol level >1.8 μg/dL after a 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test) was detected in 23% of the PA patients. Propensity score matching with age, sex, systolic and diastolic blood pressure was performed. The brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was examined at baseline and one year after targeted treatment. Small arteries of periadrenal fat in 46 patients were stained with Picro Sirus red to quantify the severity of vascular fibrosis.

Results: After propensity score matching, the PA patients with ACS had a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus, higher plasma aldosterone concentration and higher aldosterone to renin ratio. The baseline mean baPWV was also significantly higher in the PA patients with ACS. After multivariable regression analysis, the presence of ACS was a significant predictor of worse baseline mean baPWV (β: 235.745, 95% CI: 59.602~411.888, P=0.010). In addition, the PA patients with ACS had worse vascular fibrosis (fibrosis area: 25.6±8.4%) compared to those without ACS (fibrosis area: 19.8±7.7%, P=0.020). After one year of PA treatment, baPWV significantly improved in both groups.

Conclusion: The presence of ACS in PA patients is associated with worse arterial stiffness and vascular remodeling.

Open access

Veronica Mericq, Isabel Huang-Doran, Dhekra Al-Naqeb, Javiera Basaure, Claudia Castiglioni, Christiaan de Bruin, Yvonne Hendriks, Enrico Bertini, Fowzan S Alkuraya, Monique Losekoot, Khalid Al-Rubeaan, Robert K Semple, and Jan M Wit

Objective

To describe clinical, laboratory, and genetic characteristics of three unrelated cases from Chile, Portugal, and Saudi Arabia with severe insulin resistance, SOFT syndrome, and biallelic pathogenic POC1A variants.

Design

Observational study.

Methods

Probands’ phenotypes, including short stature, dysmorphism, and insulin resistance, were compared with previous reports.

Results

Cases 1 (female) and 3 (male) were homozygous for known pathogenic POC1A variants: c.649C>T, p.(Arg217Trp) and c.241C>T, p.(Arg81*), respectively. Case 2 (male) was compound heterozygous for p.(Arg217Trp) variant and the rare missense variant c.370G>A, p.(Asp124Asn). All three cases exhibited severe insulin resistance, acanthosis nigricans, elevated serum triglycerides and decreased HDL, and fatty liver, resembling three previously reported cases. All three also reported severe muscle cramps. Aggregate analysis of the six known cases with biallelic POC1A variants and insulin resistance showed decreased birth weight and length mean (s.d.): −2.8 (0.9) and −3.7 (0.9) SDS, respectively), severe short stature mean (s.d.) height: −4.9 (1.7) SDS) and moderate microcephaly (mean occipitofrontal circumference −3.0 (range: −4.7 to −1.2)). These findings were similar to those reported for patients with SOFT syndrome without insulin resistance. Muscle biopsy in Case 3 showed features of muscle involvement secondary to a neuropathic process.

Conclusions

Patients with SOFT syndrome can develop severe dyslipidaemic insulin resistance, independent of the exonic position of the POC1A variant. They also can develop severe muscle cramps. After diagnosis, patients should be regularly screened for insulin resistance and muscle complaints.

Free access

Decio Armanini, Chiara Sabbadin, Luigi De Marco, and Luciana Bordin

In a recent paper, Subramanian and collaborators reported a 52% increased risk of COVID-19 infection in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and an incidence nearly twice that of women without PCOS. The authors focused, as important factors of the increased prevalence of infection, both the inflammatory characteristic of PCOS and the increase in androgens that facilitate the entry of the virus into the cells of the target organs. We asked 200 consecutive, unvaccinated women with PCOS who had been followed with spironolactone for more than 4 months, about COVID-19 infection and found only four patients who were infected. None of the infected patients were hospitalized and only one had fever and other manifestations of the syndrome, but these symptoms resolved in a few days. The other three reported only mild or minimal symptoms. This observation needs confirmation with specific studies, considering the possibility that many other patients may have been infected by being asymptomatic and not swabbing for COVID-19. Spironolactone can increase the circulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and antagonize the androgen receptor, preventing activation of transmembrane protease serine 2 in cells of the respiratory tract and other tissues. Drug also has potent anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic actions by antagonizing the mineralocorticoid receptor in target tissues and inflammatory cells. From Subramanian's study and reported observations, a proper evaluation of the use of spironolactone in COVID-19 in both PCOS and the general population is urged.

Free access

Frederic Castinetti, Jean-Baptiste De Freminville, Carole Guerin, Erika Cornu, Gabrielle Sarlon, and Laurence Amar

The question of systematic use of a pharmacological treatment before surgery in patients diagnosed with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) remains highly controversial. While recent guidelines suggest that this should be used in all patients, some experienced teams consider it unnecessary in some cases, provided the surgery is performed in a dedicated center that has expert endocrinologists, cardiologists, surgeons, and anesthetists. This controversy is aimed at shedding light on the potential benefits and risks of such a treatment, focusing specifically on alpha blockers which are considered as the first-line medical treatments in patients with PPGL. After discussing the rationale for alpha blockers, hemodynamic instability, tolerance, and acute cardiac complications will then be discussed in the first part of the manuscript, defending a systematic use. The second section will focus on blood pressure control, tolerance of alpha blockers, and also the management of normotensive PPGL, examining the daily risks of PPGL and arguing against the systematic use of a preoperative pharmacological treatment before surgery. Finally, we will discuss the concept of expert centers and define the patients in whom the risk/benefit profile would favor the use of this preoperative treatment.

Restricted access

Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Alexander S Busch, Emmie N Upners, Margit Bistrup Fischer, Katharina M Main, Anna-Maria Andersson, Trine Holm Johannsen, Casper P. Hagen, and Anders Juul

Objective: Little is known about the ratio between luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) during infancy. This study aimed to evaluate serum and urinary LH/FSH as a marker of sex with age-specific cutoffs in healthy infants.

Design: A prospective, longitudinal cohort study of healthy infants aged 0-1.2 years.

Methods: In total, 236 healthy infants (122 boys, 114 girls) from The COPENHAGEN Minipuberty Study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02784184), with 567 serum and 603 urine samples, were included. Measures of diagnostic accuracy, including sensitivity and specificity, were used to assess the ability of LH/FSH to detect sex in healthy infants.

Results: In both serum and urine, LH/FSH was highest in males with minimal overlap between the sexes. In contrast to isolated LH and FSH concentrations, LH/FSH ratios in both serum and urine were excellent markers of sex from 0-1.2 years with median sensitivities and specificities ranging from 93-100% with correspondingly narrow 95% confidence intervals.

Conclusions: Serum and urinary LH/FSH ratios are excellent discriminators of sex in healthy infants during the entire first year of life. The clinical role and application of the ratio remains to be elucidated.