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Rosemary Dineen and Mark Sherlock

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Inès Hacini, Kelly De Sousa, Sheerazed Boulkroun, Tchao Meatchi, Laurence Amar, Maria-Christina Zennaro, and Fabio L Fernandes-Rosa

Objective

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common form of secondary and curable hypertension. Different germline and somatic mutations are found in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and familial forms of the disease, while the causes of bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) remain largely unknown. Adrenalectomy is the recommended treatment for patients with APA; however, 6% of patients are not cured and show persistent PA after surgery suggesting BAH. The objective of this study was to analyze clinical data of patients with APA without biochemical success after adrenalectomy as well as the histological and genetic characteristics of their adrenal glands.

Design and methods

Clinical data of 12 patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were compared to those from 39 PA patients with hormonal cure after surgery. Histological, morphological, and genetic characterization of the adrenals was carried out by CYP11B2 and CYP11B1 immunostaining and by CYP11B2-guided NGS.

Results

Patients with absent hormonal cure displayed a longer duration of arterial hypertension and lower lateralization index of aldosterone production. In ten patients, APAs expressing CYP11B2 were identified. No difference in histological and morphological characteristics was observed between patients with or without a hormonal cure. Somatic mutations in APA driver genes were identified in all CYP11B2 positive APAs; CACNA1D mutations were the most frequent genetic abnormality.

Conclusions

Patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were diagnosed later and exhibited a lower lateralization index of aldosterone production, suggesting asymmetric aldosterone production in the context of BAH. Somatic mutations in adrenal glands from those patients indicate common mechanisms underlying BAH and APA.

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Elisavet Moutzouri, Christina Lyko, Martin Feller, Manuel Raphael Blum, Luise Adam, Steffen Blum, Stefanie Aeschbacher, Urs Fischer, Laurent Roten, Cinzia Del Giovane, Christine S Meyer-Zuern, Giulio Conte, Leo H Bonati, Giorgio Moschovitis, Michael Kühne, Juerg Beer, Drahomir Aujesky, Stefan Osswald, David Conen, and Nicolas Rodondi

Objective

To evaluate if subclinical thyroid dysfunction is associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods

Swiss-AF is a prospective cohort of community-dwelling participants aged ≥ 65 years with AF. Primary outcome was a composite endpoint of CV events (myocardial infarctions, stroke/transitory ischemic events, systemic embolism, heart failure (HF) hospitalizations, CV deaths). Secondary outcomes were component endpoints, total mortality, and AF-progression. Exposures were thyroid dysfunction categories, TSH and fT4. Sensitivity analyses were performed for amiodarone use, thyroid hormones use, and competing events.

Results

2415 patients were included (mean age: 73.2 years; 27% women). 196 (8.4%) had subclinical hypothyroidism and 53 (2.3%) subclinical hyperthyroidism. Subclinical thyroid dysfunction was not associated with CV events, during a median follow-up of 2.1 years (max 5 years): age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio (adjHR) of 0.99 (95% CI: 0.69–1.41) for subclinical hypothyroidism and 0.55 (95% CI: 0.23–1.32) for subclinical hyperthyroidism. Results remained robust following multivariable adjustment and sensitivity analyses. In euthyroid patients, fT4 levels were associated with an increased risk for the composite endpoint and HF (adjHR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.04–2.05; adjHR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.08–2.66, respectively, for the highest quintile vs the middle quintile). Results remained similar following multivariable adjustment and remained significant for HF in sensitivity analyses. No association between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and total mortality or AF-progression was found.

Conclusions

Subclinical hypothyroidism was not associated with increased CV risk in AF patients. Higher levels of fT4 with normal TSH were associated with a higher risk for HF.

Free access

Rudolf Hoermann, John E M Midgley, Rolf Larisch, and Johannes W Dietrich

Free access

Shinjan Patra, Ayan Roy, Madhukar Mittal, and Ravindra Shukla

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Christine A Simpson, Jane H Zhang, Dirk Vanderschueren, Lei Fu, Teresita C Pennestri, Roger Bouillon, David E C Cole, and Thomas O Carpenter

Objective

GC/DBP effects on response to vitamin D supplementation have not been well-studied. Thus we assessed free and total 25-OHD after vitamin D treatment across the six common GC haplotypes.

Design

This double-blind, randomized study compared two vitamin D3 doses in healthy, urban-dwelling 6-month to 10-year-old children at-risk for vitamin D deficiency. Randomization was stratified by GC haplotype.

Methods

Children were randomized to receive 2800 or 7000 International Units of vitamin D3 weekly. 25-OHD and 1,25(OH)2D were sampled at baseline and after 1–6 months of supplementation.

Results and conclusions

One hundred ninety-two of 225 enrolled subjects completed the study. After one month, total 25-OHD increased with both doses and were higher with 7000 IU/week (85.5 ± 22.8 nmol/L) compared to 2800 IU/week (76.8 ± 18.0 nmol/L), despite equivalent baseline levels. No further significant increase occurred at 6 months (89.8 ± 35.5 and 74.3 ± 18.3 nmol/L, respectively). Free 25-OHD similarly changed. 25-OHD differed among GC groups at baseline. Although no significant effects of individual GC haplotypes on incremental changes were evident, a trend toward an effect of combined 'at risk' GC alleles on response was evident (P = 0.06). Total 1,25(OH)2D showed modest increases, moreso with the larger dose. In urban-dwelling children at-risk for vitamin D deficiency, 1 month of vitamin D3 2800 IU/week increased 25-OHD across all GC haplotype groups, and somewhat enhanced with 7000 IU/week with no further significant increases after 6 months of supplementation. Free 25-OHD measures offer no monitoring advantage over total 25-OHD.

Open access

Andreas Andersen, Jonatan I Bagger, Maria P A Baldassarre, Mikkel B Christensen, Kirsten U Abelin, Jens Faber, Ulrik Pedersen-Bjergaard, Jens J Holst, Tommi B Lindhardt, Gunnar Gislason, Filip K Knop, and Tina Vilsbøll

Objective

Hypoglycemia is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease including cardiac arrhythmias. We investigated the effect of hypoglycemia in the setting of acute glycemic fluctuations on cardiac rhythm and cardiac repolarization in insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes compared with matched controls without diabetes.

Design

A non-randomized, mechanistic intervention study.

Methods

Insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 21, age (mean ± s.d.): 62.8 ± 6.5 years, BMI: 29.0 ± 4.2 kg/m2, HbA1c: 6.8 ± 0.5% (51.0 ± 5.4 mmol/mol)) and matched controls (n = 21, age: 62.2 ± 8.3 years, BMI 29.2 ± 3.5 kg/m2, HbA1c: 5.3 ± 0.3% (34.3 ± 3.3 mmol/mol)) underwent a sequential hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic clamp with three steady-states of plasma glucose: (i) fasting plasma glucose, (ii) hyperglycemia (fasting plasma glucose +10 mmol/L) and (iii) hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (plasma glucose < 3.0 mmol/L). Participants underwent continuous ECG monitoring and blood samples for counterregulatory hormones and plasma potassium were obtained.

Results

Both groups experienced progressively increasing heart rate corrected QT (Fridericia’s formula) interval prolongations during hypoglycemia ((∆mean (95% CI): 31 ms (16, 45) and 39 ms (24, 53) in the group of patients with type 2 diabetes and controls, respectively) with similar increases from baseline at the end of the hypoglycemic phase (P = 0.43). The incidence of ventricular premature beats increased significantly in both groups during hypoglycemia (P = 0.033 and P < 0.0001, respectively). One patient with type 2 diabetes developed atrial fibrillation during recovery from hypoglycemia.

Conclusions

In insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes and controls without diabetes, hypoglycemia causes clinically significant and similar increases in cardiac repolarization that might increase vulnerability for serious cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

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Matthias K Auer, Dorothea Gebert, Sarah V Biedermann, Laura Bindila, Günter Stalla, Nicole Reisch, Anna Kopczak, and Johannes Fuss

Objective

Patients with craniopharyngioma (CP) frequently suffer from morbid obesity. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are involved in weight gain and rewarding behavior but have not been investigated in this context.

Design

Cross-sectional single-center study.

Methods

Eighteen patients with CP and 16 age- and sex-matched controls were included. Differences in endocannabinoids (2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA)) and endocannabinoid-like molecules (oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and arachidonic acid (AA) were measured at baseline and following endurance exercise. We further explored ECs-dynamics in relation to markers of HPA-axis activity (ACTH, cortisol, copeptin) and hypothalamic damage.

Results

Under resting conditions, independent of differences in BMI, 2-AG levels were more than twice as high in CP patients compared to controls. In contrast, 2-AG and OEA level increased in response to exercise in controls but not in CP patients, while AEA levels decreased in controls. As expected, exercise increased ACTH and copeptin levels in controls only. In a mixed model analysis across time and group, HPA measures did not provide additional information for explaining differences in 2-AG levels. However, AEA levels were negatively influenced by ACTH and copeptin levels, while OEA levels were negatively predicted by copeptin levels only. There were no significant differences in endocannabinoids depending on hypothalamic involvement.

Conclusion

Patients with CP show signs of a dysregulated endocannabinoid system under resting conditions as well as following exercise in comparison to healthy controls. Increased 2-AG levels under resting conditions and the missing response to physical activity could contribute to the metabolic phenotype of CP patients.

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Virginie Atquet, Orsalia Alexopoulou, and Dominique Maiter

Objectives

We aimed to investigate the clinical, biochemical, histological and radiological characteristics as well as the response to somatostatin analogs (SSA) in a large cohort of acromegaly patients with a paradoxical GH response (PR) to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Design

Retrospective study.

Methods

Of 110 patients with acromegaly included in our study, 30 (PR+; 27%) had a paradoxical GH increase of more than 25% relative to basal GH levels during OGTT.

Results

At diagnosis, PR+ patients were older than PR− patients (52 ± 16 years vs 44 ± 14 years, P < 0.05) and had smaller pituitary tumors (40% microadenomas vs 19%, P < 0.05), which were less often invasive (17% vs 35%, P < 0.05), overall more secreting (insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)/tumoral surface: 2.35 ULN/cm2 (0.28–9.06) vs 1.08 (0.17–7.87), P = 0.011), and more often hypointense on T2-weighted MRI (92% vs 48%, P = 0.001). While the rate of remission after surgery was similar in the two groups (69%), a better response to SSA treatment was observed in PR+ patients, either before (IGF-1 reduction of > 50% after 3–6 months in 77% vs 49%, P = 0.023) or after surgery (normalization of IGF-1 in 100% vs 44%, P = 0.011).

Conclusions

Our study demonstrates that in acromegaly, a paradoxical GH increase during OGTT is associated with particular features of somatotroph adenomas and with a better prognosis in terms of response to SSA.

Open access

Marika Paalanne, Marja Vääräsmäki, Sanna Mustaniemi, Marjaana Tikanmäki, Karoliina Wehkalampi, Hanna-Maria Matinolli, Johan Eriksson, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Laure Morin-Papunen, and Eero Kajantie

Objective

It has been suggested that adverse early life exposures increase the risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in later life. We hypothesized that women born preterm would have more biochemical and clinical signs of PCOS than women born at term.

Design

The ESTER Preterm Birth Study participants were born in Northern Finland and identified from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort and the Finnish Medical Birth Register. Altogether, 74 women born very or moderately preterm (<34 gestational weeks, VMPT), 127 born late preterm (at 34–36 weeks, LPT), and 184 born full term (≥37 weeks, controls) were included in the analysis (mean age: 23.2 years).

Methods

We measured serum total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and calculated the free androgen index (FAI). PCOS according to the clinical and biochemical signs was defined either as hirsutism and oligoamenorrhea (via questionnaire) or as oligoamenorrhea and elevated testosterone levels (>2.4 nmol/L).

Results

Women born VMPT/LPT exhibited 33.0% (8.7, 62.8)/16.4% (−2.0, 38.1) higher testosterone, 28.5% (5.3, 45.9)/24.1% (5.6, 38.9) lower SHBG levels, and 64.6% (19.4, 127.1)/42.5% (11.1, 82.9) higher FAI than controls after adjusting for age and recruitment cohort, maternal BMI, smoking, and pregnancy disorders, parental education, history of hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction or stroke, and subject’s birth weight s.d. Odds ratios for having PCOS were 1.67 (0.44, 6.23)/3.11 (1.26, 7.70).

Conclusions

Women born preterm have a more hyperandrogenic hormonal profile, and those born LPT are approximately three times more likely at risk to have PCOS compared to women born at term.