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Open access

Jacqueline Dinnes, Irina Bancos, Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano, Vasileios Chortis, Clare Davenport, Susan Bayliss, Anju Sahdev, Peter Guest, Martin Fassnacht, Jonathan J Deeks and Wiebke Arlt

Objective

Adrenal masses are incidentally discovered in 5% of CT scans. In 2013/2014, 81 million CT examinations were undertaken in the USA and 5 million in the UK. However, uncertainty remains around the optimal imaging approach for diagnosing malignancy. We aimed to review the evidence on the accuracy of imaging tests for differentiating malignant from benign adrenal masses.

Design

A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted.

Methods

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, Science Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index, and ZETOC (January 1990 to August 2015). We included studies evaluating the accuracy of CT, MRI, or 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG)-PET compared with an adequate histological or imaging-based follow-up reference standard.

Results

We identified 37 studies suitable for inclusion, after screening 5469 references and 525 full-text articles. Studies evaluated the accuracy of CT (n=16), MRI (n=15), and FDG-PET (n=9) and were generally small and at high or unclear risk of bias. Only 19 studies were eligible for meta-analysis. Limited data suggest that CT density >10HU has high sensitivity for detection of adrenal malignancy in participants with no prior indication for adrenal imaging, that is, masses with ≤10HU are unlikely to be malignant. All other estimates of test performance are based on too small numbers.

Conclusions

Despite their widespread use in routine assessment, there is insufficient evidence for the diagnostic value of individual imaging tests in distinguishing benign from malignant adrenal masses. Future research is urgently needed and should include prospective test validation studies for imaging and novel diagnostic approaches alongside detailed health economics analysis.

Open access

Gudmundur Johannsson, Hans Lennernäs, Claudio Marelli, Kevin Rockich and Stanko Skrtic

Objective

Oral once-daily dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) replacement therapy was developed to provide a cortisol exposure−time profile that closely resembles the physiological cortisol profile. This study aimed to characterize single-dose pharmacokinetics (PK) of DR-HC 5–20mg and assess intrasubject variability.

Methods

Thirty-one healthy Japanese or non-Hispanic Caucasian volunteers aged 20−55 years participated in this randomized, open-label, PK study. Single doses of DR-HC 5, 15 (3×5), and 20mg were administered orally after an overnight fast and suppression of endogenous cortisol secretion. After estimating the endogenous cortisol profile, PK of DR-HC over 24h were evaluated to assess dose proportionality and impact of ethnicity. Plasma cortisol concentrations were analyzed using liquid chromatography−tandem mass spectrometry. PK parameters were calculated from individual cortisol concentration−time profiles.

Results

DR-HC 20mg provided higher than endogenous cortisol plasma concentrations 0−4h post-dose but similar concentrations later in the profile. Cortisol concentrations and PK exposure parameters increased with increasing doses. Mean maximal serum concentration (Cmax) was 82.0 and 178.1ng/mL, while mean area under the concentration−time curve (AUC)0−∞ was 562.8 and 1180.8h×ng/mL with DR-HC 5 and 20mg respectively. Within-subject PK variability was low (<15%) for DR-HC 20mg. All exposure PK parameters were less than dose proportional (slope <1). PK differences between ethnicities were explained by body weight differences.

Conclusions

DR-HC replacement resembles the daily normal cortisol profile. Within-subject day-to-day PK variability was low, underpinning the safety of DR-HC for replacement therapy. DR-HC PK were less than dose proportional – an important consideration when managing intercurrent illness in patients with adrenal insufficiency.

Open access

J S Carroll

Most breast cancers are driven by a transcription factor called oestrogen receptor (ER). Understanding the mechanisms of ER activity in breast cancer has been a major research interest and recent genomic advances have revealed extraordinary insights into how ER mediates gene transcription and what occurs during endocrine resistance. This review discusses our current understanding on ER activity, with an emphasis on several evolving, but important areas of ER biology.

Open access

Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Philippe F Backeljauw, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverly M K Biller, Margaret C S Boguszewski, Felipe F Casanueva, Philippe Chanson, Pierre Chatelain, Catherine S Choong, David R Clemmons, Laurie E Cohen, Pinchas Cohen, Jan Frystyk, Adda Grimberg, Yukihiro Hasegawa, Morey W Haymond, Ken Ho, Andrew R Hoffman, Jeff M P Holly, Reiko Horikawa, Charlotte Höybye, Jens Otto L Jorgensen, Gudmundur Johannsson, Anders Juul, Laurence Katznelson, John J Kopchick, K O Lee, Kuk-Wha Lee, Xiaoping Luo, Shlomo Melmed, Bradley S Miller, Madhusmita Misra, Vera Popovic, Ron G Rosenfeld, Judith Ross, Richard J Ross, Paul Saenger, Christian J Strasburger, Michael O Thorner, Haim Werner and Kevin Yuen

Objective

The Growth Hormone (GH) Research Society (GRS) convened a workshop to address important issues regarding trial design, efficacy, and safety of long-acting growth hormone preparations (LAGH).

Participants

A closed meeting of 55 international scientists with expertise in GH, including pediatric and adult endocrinologists, basic scientists, regulatory scientists, and participants from the pharmaceutical industry.

Evidence

Current literature was reviewed for gaps in knowledge. Expert opinion was used to suggest studies required to address potential safety and efficacy issues.

Consensus process

Following plenary presentations summarizing the literature, breakout groups discussed questions framed by the planning committee. Attendees reconvened after each breakout session to share group reports. A writing team compiled the breakout session reports into a draft document that was discussed and revised in an open forum on the concluding day. This was edited further and then circulated to attendees from academic institutions for review after the meeting. Participants from pharmaceutical companies did not participate in the planning, writing, or in the discussions and text revision on the final day of the workshop. Scientists from industry and regulatory agencies reviewed the manuscript to identify any factual errors.

Conclusions

LAGH compounds may represent an advance over daily GH injections because of increased convenience and differing phamacodynamic properties, providing the potential for improved adherence and outcomes. Better methods to assess adherence must be developed and validated. Long-term surveillance registries that include assessment of efficacy, cost-benefit, disease burden, quality of life, and safety are essential for understanding the impact of sustained exposure to LAGH preparations.

Open access

Felix Haglund, C Christofer Juhlin, Nimrod B Kiss, Catharina Larsson, Inga-Lena Nilsson and Anders Höög

Abstract

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism is usually characterized by a monoclonal parathyroid tumor secreting excess parathyroid hormone (PTH). The main regulator of PTH secretion is calcium and the calcium–PTH set point is shifted in parathyroid tumor cells. We sought to investigate the relationship between tumor PTH and PTH mRNA expression and clinical presentation as well as the regulatory factors including phosphate, vitamin D, and fibroblast growth factor 23.

Design

A total of 154 parathyroid tumors were analyzed by PTH immunohistochemistry and chromogenic in situ hybridization of PTH mRNA. A subset of samples (n = 34) was analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR.

Results

Low tumor PTH mRNA level was significantly associated with low tumor PTH immunoreactivity (P = 0.026), but the two did not correlate with regard to histological distribution within individual tumors. Tumors displaying reduced PTH mRNA levels as compared with normal rim were significantly larger (P = 0.013) and showed higher expression of the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) (P = 0.046). Weaker tumor PTH mRNA level was significantly associated with higher concentration of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (P = 0.005). No significant correlation was seen between PTH immunoreactivity and patient biochemistry. Tumor weight was strongly associated with circulatory concentrations of calcium and PTH.

Conclusions

No areas with apparently higher PTH expression were identified, perhaps suggesting that hyper functioning parathyroid tumor subclones should be rare. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels may influence tumor PTH expression in vivo. If PTH immunoreactivity reflects the tumor calcium–PTH set point, our data imply that the main determinant of disease severity should be tumor weight.

Open access

Przemysław Witek, Grzegorz Zieliński, Katarzyna Szamotulska, Maria Maksymowicz and Grzegorz Kamiński

Objective

Corticotroph macroadenomas are a rare cause of Cushing's disease (CD), but their properties are not well-recognised. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and pathological aspects of corticotroph macroadenomas with particular emphasis on proliferation markers and their associations with the efficacy of surgical treatment.

Design

A prospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary referral centre in Poland.

Methods

In total, 59 patients with CD (20 macroadenomas and 39 microadenomas) were included in this study. Hormonal and imaging parameters, histopathological and ultrastructural features of the corticotroph tumours and the early surgical outcomes were evaluated.

Results

ACTH and ACTH/cortisol ratios were higher in macroadenomas (P<0.001 and P=0.002 respectively). Greater tumour volumes were associated with higher Ki-67 and p53 expression (P trend=0.009 and P trend=0.024 respectively) and the rates of sparsely granulated adenomas (P trend=0.036). Immediate postoperative remission and early biochemical remission rates were lower in macroadenomas compared to microadenomas (P<0.001). A logistic regression model showed that the immediate postoperative remission or early biochemical remission depended on tumour volume (P=0.005 and P=0.006 respectively) and invasiveness based on Knosp grades 3 and 4 for macroadenomas and a lack of surgical pseudocapsule for microadenomas (P=0.004 and P=0.007 respectively).

Conclusion

Corticotroph macroadenomas differ from the more common microadenomas not only in terms of hormonal and imaging characteristics but also in terms of immunohistochemical and ultrastructural features and proliferation markers. The early effectiveness of surgery depends primarily on tumour volume and invasiveness.

Open access

Stina T Sollid, Moira Y S Hutchinson, Vivian Berg, Ole M Fuskevåg, Yngve Figenschau, Per M Thorsby and Rolf Jorde

Objective

To determine the relationship between serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), directly measured free 25(OH)D and calculated free 25(OH)D with regard to vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) phenotypes, sex, BMI, age and season, and their interrelationship to vitamin D supplementation.

Design, patients and interventions

A randomized controlled trial with 20 000 IU of vitamin D3 per week or placebo for 12 months was designed. A total of 472 subjects, 236 in each of the intervention groups, were included in the analyses.

Main outcome measures

Baseline serum concentrations and increases in serum total 25(OH)D, directly measured free 25(OH)D, calculated free 25(OH)D and DBP.

Results

Serum total 25(OH)D and DBP concentrations were significantly lower in subjects with the phenotype Gc2/Gc2 compared to phenotypes with the Gc1S allele, and lower in males compared to females. When using directly measured free 25(OH)D, the differences related to DBP phenotypes and sexes were clearly diminished. All calculated free 25(OH)D concentrations were overestimated compared to the directly measured free 25(OH)D. Serum parathyroid hormone showed an inverse correlation with all vitamin D parameters analyzed. The increases after 12 months of vitamin D supplementation were not significantly different for any of the vitamin D parameters regardless of DBP phenotype, sex or age. Supplementation with vitamin D did not affect serum DBP.

Conclusion

Direct measurements of free 25(OH)D reduce the differences seen in total 25(OH)D between DBP phenotype groups and sexes, probably caused by differences in DBP concentrations. With conditions affecting serum DBP concentrations, direct measurements of free 25(OH)D should be considered.

Open access

Christian J Strasburger, Niki Karavitaki, Sylvère Störmann, Peter J Trainer, Ilonka Kreitschmann-Andermahr, Michael Droste, Márta Korbonits, Berit Feldmann, Kathrin Zopf, Violet Fazal Sanderson, David Schwicker, Dana Gelbaum, Asi Haviv, Martin Bidlingmaier and Nienke R Biermasz

Background

Long-acting somatostatin analogues delivered parenterally are the most widely used medical treatment in acromegaly. This patient-reported outcomes survey was designed to assess the impact of chronic injections on subjects with acromegaly.

Methods

The survey was conducted in nine pituitary centres in Germany, UK and The Netherlands. The questionnaire was developed by endocrinologists and covered aspects of acromegaly symptoms, injection-related manifestations, emotional and daily life impact, treatment satisfaction and unmet medical needs.

Results

In total, 195 patients participated, of which 112 (57%) were on octreotide (Sandostatin LAR) and 83 (43%) on lanreotide (Somatuline Depot). The majority (>70%) of patients reported acromegaly symptoms despite treatment. A total of 52% of patients reported that their symptoms worsen towards the end of the dosing interval. Administration site pain lasting up to a week following injection was the most frequently reported injection-related symptom (70% of patients). Other injection site reactions included nodules (38%), swelling (28%), bruising (16%), scar tissue (8%) and inflammation (7%). Injection burden was similar between octreotide and lanreotide. Only a minority of patients received injections at home (17%) and 5% were self-injecting. Over a third of patients indicated a feeling of loss of independence due to the injections, and 16% reported repeated work loss days. Despite the physical, emotional and daily life impact of injections, patients were satisfied with their treatment, yet reported that modifications that would offer major improvement over current care would be ‘avoiding injections’ and ‘better symptom control’.

Conclusion

Lifelong injections of long-acting somatostatin analogues have significant burden on the functioning, well-being and daily lives of patients with acromegaly.

Open access

Maarit K Koskinen, Olli Helminen, Jaakko Matomäki, Susanna Aspholm, Juha Mykkänen, Marjaana Mäkinen, Ville Simell, Mari Vähä-Mäkilä, Tuula Simell, Jorma Ilonen, Mikael Knip, Riitta Veijola, Jorma Toppari and Olli Simell

Objective

We aimed to characterize insulin responses to i.v. glucose during the preclinical period of type 1 diabetes starting from the emergence of islet autoimmunity.

Design and methods

A large population-based cohort of children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes was observed from birth. During regular follow-up visits islet autoantibodies were analysed. We compared markers of glucose metabolism in sequential intravenous glucose tolerance tests between 210 children who were positive for multiple (≥2) islet autoantibodies and progressed to type 1 diabetes (progressors) and 192 children testing positive for classical islet-cell antibodies only and remained healthy (non-progressors).

Results

In the progressors, the first phase insulin response (FPIR) was decreased as early as 4–6 years before the diagnosis when compared to the non-progressors (P=0.001). The difference in FPIR between the progressors and non-progressors was significant (P<0.001) in all age groups, increasing with age (at 2 years: difference 50% (95% CI 28–75%) and at 10 years: difference 172% (95% CI 128–224%)). The area under the 10-min insulin curve showed a similar difference between the groups (P<0.001; at 2 years: difference 36% (95% CI 17–58%) and at 10 years: difference 186% (95% CI 143–237%)). Insulin sensitivity did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions

FPIR is decreased several years before the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, implying an intrinsic defect in β-cell mass and/or function.

Open access

D B Allen, P Backeljauw, M Bidlingmaier, B M K Biller, M Boguszewski, P Burman, G Butler, K Chihara, J Christiansen, S Cianfarani, P Clayton, D Clemmons, P Cohen, F Darendeliler, C Deal, D Dunger, E M Erfurth, J S Fuqua, A Grimberg, M Haymond, C Higham, K Ho, A R Hoffman, A Hokken-Koelega, G Johannsson, A Juul, J Kopchick, P Lee, M Pollak, S Radovick, L Robison, R Rosenfeld, R J Ross, L Savendahl, P Saenger, H Toft Sorensen, K Stochholm, C Strasburger, A Swerdlow and M Thorner

Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.