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Open access

Marcus Quinkler, Robert D Murray, Pinggao Zhang, Claudio Marelli, Robert Petermann, Andrea M Isidori, Bertil Ekman, and the EU-AIR Investigators

Objective

This study aimed to characterize the clinical and biochemical features of patients with primary (PAI) and secondary (SAI) adrenal insufficiency who developed adrenal crises (ACs) and estimate the incidence of ACs in these patients.

Design

Retrospective case-control analysis of the European Adrenal Insufficiency Registry (EU-AIR; NCT01661387).

Methods

Two thousand six hundred and ninety-four patients with AI (1054 PAI; 1640 SAI) enrolled in EU-AIR. Patients who developed ≥ 1 AC were matchd 1:3 with patients without ACs for age, sex and AI type. Data were collected at baseline and follow-up (mean ± s.d.: PAI 3.2 ± 1.7 years; SAI 2.9 ± 1.7 years).

Results

One hundred and forty-eight out of 2694 patients (5.5%; n  = 84 PAI; n  = 64 SAI) had an AC during the study: 6.53 (PAI) and 3.17 (SAI) ACs/100 patient-years. Of patients who experienced an AC, 16% (PAI) and 9.4% (SAI) experienced ≥ 1 AC/year. The incidence of adverse events, infectious intercurrent illnesses and infectious serious adverse events were higher in patients with ACs than without ACs. No differences were observed in BMI, HbA1c, blood pressure and frequencies of diabetes mellitus or hypertension between subgroups (PAI and SAI, with and without ACs). At baseline, PAI patients with AC had higher serum potassium (4.3 ± 0.5 vs 4.2 ± 0.4 mmol/L; P = 0.03) and lower sodium (138.5 ± 3.4 vs 139.7 ± 2.9 mmol/L; P = 0.004) than patients without AC. At last observation, SAI patients with AC had higher hydrocortisone doses than patients without AC (11.9 ± 5.1 vs 10.1 ± 2.9 mg/m2; P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that concomitant diseases and cardiovascular risk factors do not feature in the risk profile of AC; however, patients with AC had a higher incidence of infectious events.

Open access

Angela K Lucas-Herald, Jillian Bryce, Andreas Kyriakou, Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Wiebke Arlt, Laura Audi, Antonio Balsamo, Federico Baronio, Silvano Bertelloni, Markus Bettendorf, Antonia Brooke, Hedi L Claahsen van der Grinten, Justin H Davies, Gloria Hermann, Liat de Vries, Ieuan A Hughes, Rieko Tadokoro-Cuccaro, Feyza Darendeliler, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Mona Ellaithi, Olcay Evliyaoglu, Simone Fica, Lavinia Nedelea, Aneta Gawlik, Evgenia Globa, Nataliya Zelinska, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Violeta Iotova, Vilhelm Mladenov, Vandana Jain, Rajni Sharma, Farida Jennane, Colin Johnston, Gil Guerra Junior, Daniel Konrad, Odile Gaisl, Nils Krone, Ruth Krone, Katherine Lachlan, Dejun Li, Corina Lichiardopol, Lidka Lisa, Renata Markosyan, Inas Mazen, Klaus Mohnike, Marek Niedziela, Anna Nordenstrom, Rodolfo Rey, Mars Skaeil, Lloyd J W Tack, Jeremy Tomlinson, Naomi Weintrob, Martine Cools, and S Faisal Ahmed

Objectives

To determine trends in clinical practice for individuals with DSD requiring gonadectomy.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Information regarding age at gonadectomy according to diagnosis; reported sex; time of presentation to specialist centre; and location of centre from cases reported to the International DSD Registry and who were over 16 years old in January 2019.

Results

Data regarding gonadectomy were available in 668 (88%) individuals from 44 centres. Of these, 248 (37%) (median age (range) 24 (17, 75) years) were male and 420 (63%) (median age (range) 26 (16, 86) years) were female. Gonadectomy was reported from 36 centres in 351/668 cases (53%). Females were more likely to undergo gonadectomy (n = 311, P < 0.0001). The indication for gonadectomy was reported in 268 (76%). The most common indication was mitigation of tumour risk in 172 (64%). Variations in the practice of gonadectomy were observed; of the 351 cases from 36 centres, 17 (5%) at 9 centres had undergone gonadectomy before their first presentation to the specialist centre. Median age at gonadectomy of cases from high-income countries and low-/middle-income countries (LMIC) was 13.0 years (0.1, 68) years and 16.5 years (1, 28), respectively (P < 0.0001) with the likelihood of long-term retention of gonads being higher in LMIC countries.

Conclusions

The likelihood of gonadectomy depends on the underlying diagnosis, sex of rearing and the geographical setting. Clinical benchmarks, which can be studied across all forms of DSD will allow a better understanding of the variation in the practice of gonadectomy.

Open access

Ben T McNeill, Karla J Suchacki, and Roland H Stimson

Excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue leads to obesity and its associated metabolic health consequences such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Several approaches to treat or prevent obesity including public health interventions, surgical weight loss, and pharmacological approaches to reduce caloric intake have failed to substantially modify the increasing prevalence of obesity. The (re-)discovery of active brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans approximately 15 years ago led to a resurgence in research into whether BAT activation could be a novel therapy for the treatment of obesity. Upon cold stimulus, BAT activates and generates heat to maintain body temperature, thus increasing energy expenditure. Activation of BAT may provide a unique opportunity to increase energy expenditure without the need for exercise. However, much of the underlying mechanisms surrounding BAT activation are still being elucidated and the effectiveness of BAT as a therapeutic target has not been realised. Research is ongoing to determine how best to expand BAT mass and activate existing BAT; approaches include cold exposure, pharmacological stimulation using sympathomimetics, browning agents that induce formation of thermogenic beige adipocytes in white adipose depots, and the identification of factors secreted by BAT with therapeutic potential. In this review, we discuss the caloric capacity and other metabolic benefits from BAT activation in humans and the role of metabolic tissues such as skeletal muscle in increasing energy expenditure. We discuss the potential of current approaches and the challenges of BAT activation as a novel strategy to treat obesity and metabolic disorders.

Open access

Anuradhaa Subramanian, Astha Anand, Nicola J Adderley, Kelvin Okoth, Konstantinos A Toulis, Krishna Gokhale, Christopher Sainsbury, Michael W O’Reilly, Wiebke Arlt, and Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar

Objective

Several recent observational studies have linked metabolic comorbidities to an increased risk from COVID-19. Here we investigated whether women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Design

Population-based closed cohort study between 31 January 2020 and 22 July 2020 in the setting of a UK primary care database (The Health Improvement Network, THIN).

Methods

The main outcome was the incidence of COVID-19 coded as suspected or confirmed by the primary care provider. We used Cox proportional hazards regression model with stepwise inclusion of explanatory variables (age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation, androgen excess, anovulation, vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease) to provide unadjusted and adjusted hazard risks (HR) of COVID-19 infection among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS.

Results

We identified 21 292 women with a coded diagnosis of PCO/PCOS and randomly selected 78 310 aged and general practice matched control women. The crude COVID-19 incidence was 18.1 and 11.9 per 1000 person-years among women with and without PCOS, respectively. Age-adjusted Cox regression analysis suggested a 51% higher risk of COVID-19 among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS (HR: 1.51 (95% CI: 1.27–1.80), P < 0.001). After adjusting for age and BMI, HR reduced to 1.36 (1.14–1.63)], P = 0.001. In the fully adjusted model, women with PCOS had a 28% increased risk of COVID-19 (aHR: 1.28 (1.05–1.56), P = 0.015).

Conclusion

Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and should be specifically encouraged to adhere to infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significance statement

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardio-metabolic disease, which have been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19. To investigate whether the increased metabolic risk in PCOS translates into an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, we carried out a population-based closed cohort study in the UK during its first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (January to July 2020), including 21 292 women with PCOS and 78 310 controls matched for sex, age and general practice location. Results revealed a 52% increased risk of COVID-19 infection in women with PCOS, which remained increased at 28% above controls after adjustment for age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation and other explanatory variables.

Open access

Radu Mihai and Rajesh V Thakker

Background

Permanent postsurgical hypoparathyroidism (POSH) is a major complication of anterior neck surgery in general and of thyroid surgery in particular. Depending on diagnostic criteria, up to 10% of patients undergoing bilateral thyroid surgery develop POSH. This leads to a multitude of symptoms that decrease the quality of life and burden the healthcare provision through complex needs for medication and treatment of specific complications, such as seizures and laryngospasm.

Methods

Narrative review of current medical treatments for POSH and of the experience accumulated with parathyroid allotransplantation.

Results

In most patients, POSH is controlled with regular use of calcium supplements and active vitamin D analogues but a significant proportion of patients continue to experience severe symptoms requiring repeated emergency admissions. Replacement therapy with synthetic PTH compounds (PTH1-34, Natpara® and PTH1-84, teriparatide, Forsteo®) has been assessed in multicentre trials, but the use of this medication is restricted by costs and concerns related to the risk of development of osteosarcoma. Based on recent case reports of successful allotransplantation of parathyroid tissue between siblings, there is renewed interest in this technique. Data on selection of donors, parathyroid cell preparation before allotransplantation, site and timing of transplantation, need for immunosuppression and long-term outcomes are reviewed.

Conclusion

A prospective trial to assess the efficacy of parathyroid allotransplantation in patients with severely symptomatic protracted post-surgical hypoparathyroidism is warranted.

Open access

Louise Cheryl Gregory, Peter Gergics, Marilena Nakaguma, Hironori Bando, Giuseppa Patti, Mark James McCabe, Qing Fang, Qianyi Ma, Asye Bilge Ozel, Jun Z Li, Michele Moreira Poina, Alexander Augusto de Lima Jorge, Anna F Figueredo Benedetti, Antonio Lerario, Ivo Jp Arnhold, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Mohamad Maghnie, Sally Camper, Luciani RS Carvalho, and Mehul Tulsidas Dattani

Objective: The transcription factor OTX2 is implicated in ocular, craniofacial, and pituitary development.

Design: We aimed to establish the contribution of OTX2 mutations in congenital hypopituitarism patients with/without eye abnormalities, study functional consequences, and establish OTX2 in the human brain, with a view to investigating the mechanism of action.

Methods: We screened patients from the UK (n=103), international centers (n=24), and Brazil (n=282); 145 were within the septo-optic dysplasia spectrum, and 264 had no eye phenotype. Transactivation ability of OTX2 variants was analysed in murine hypothalamic GT1-7 neurons. In situ hybridization was performed on human embryonic brain sections. Genetically engineered mice were generated with a series of C-terminal OTX2 variants.

Results: Two chromosomal deletions and six haploinsufficient mutations were identified in individuals with eye abnormalities; an affected relative of one patient harboured the same mutation without an ocular phenotype. OTX2 truncations led to significant transactivation reduction. A missense variant was identified in another patient without eye abnormalities, however studies revealed it was most likely not causative. In the mouse, truncations proximal to aa219 caused anophthalmia, while distal truncations and the missense variant were tolerated. During human embryogenesis, OTX2 was expressed in the posterior pituitary, retina, ear, thalamus, choroid plexus, and partially in the hypothalamus, but not in the anterior pituitary.

Conclusions: OTX2 mutations are rarely associated with hypopituitarism in isolation without eye abnormalities, and may be variably penetrant, even within the same pedigree. Our data suggest that the endocrine phenotypes in patients with OTX2 mutations are of hypothalamic origin.

Open access

Irina Chifu, Amelie Gerstl, Björn Lengenfelder, Dominik Schmitt, Nils Nagler, Martin Fassnacht, and Dirk Weismann

Objective

Treatment of symptomatic hyponatremia is not well established. The European guidelines recommend bolus-wise administration of 150 mL of 3% hypertonic saline. This recommendation is, however, based on low level of evidence.

Design

Observational study.

Methods

Sixty-two consecutive hyponatremic patients admitted to the emergency department or intensive care unit of the University Hospital Wuerzburg were divided in subgroups according to treatment (150 mL bolus of 3% hypertonic saline or conventional treatment) and symptom severity. Treatment target was defined as an increase in serum sodium by 5–10 mEq/L within first 24 h and maximum 8 mEq/L during subsequent 24 h.

Results

Thirty-three out of sixty-two patients (53%) were presented with moderate symptoms and 29/62 (47%) with severe symptoms. Thirty-six were treated with hypertonic saline and 26 conventionally. In the hypertonic saline group, serum sodium increased from 116 ± 7 to 123 ± 6 (24 h) and 127 ± 6 mEq/L (48 h) and from 121 ± 6 to 126 ± 5 and 129 ± 4 mEq/L in the conventional group, respectively. Overcorrection at 24 h occurred more frequent in patients with severe symptoms than with moderate symptoms (38% vs 6%, P < 0.05). Diuresis correlated positively with the degree of sodium overcorrection at 24 h (r = 0.6, P < 0.01). Conventional therapies exposed patients to higher degrees of sodium fluctuations and an increased risk for insufficient sodium correction at 24 h compared to hypertonic saline (RR: 2.8, 95% CI: 1.4–5.5).

Conclusion

Sodium increase was more constant with hypertonic saline, but overcorrection rate was high, especially in severely symptomatic patients. Reducing bolus-volume and reevaluation before repeating bolus infusion might prevent overcorrection. Symptoms caused by hypovolemia can be misinterpreted as severely symptomatic hyponatremia and diuresis should be monitored.

Open access

Irina Bacila, Nicole Freeman, Eleni Daniel, Marija Sandrk, Jillian Bryce, Salma Rashid Ali, Zehra Yavas Abali, Navoda Atapattu, Tania A Bachega, Antonio Balsamo, Niels Birkebæk, Oliver Blankenstein, Walter Bonfig, Martine Cools, Eduardo Correa Costa, Feyza Darendeliler, Silvia Einaudi, Heba Hassan Elsedfy, Martijn Finken, Evelien Gevers, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Claire E Higham, Violeta Iotova, Hetty J van der Kamp, Marta Korbonits, Ruth E Krone, Corina Lichiardopol, Andrea Luczay, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Tatjana Milenkovic, Mirela C Miranda, Klaus Mohnike, Uta Neumann, Rita Ortolano, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Ajay Thankamony, Jeremy W Tomlinson, Ana Vieites, Liat de Vries, S Faisal Ahmed, Richard J Ross, and Nils P Krone

Objective

Despite published guidelines no unified approach to hormone replacement in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) exists. We aimed to explore geographical and temporal variations in the treatment with glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in CAH.

Design

This retrospective multi-center study, including 31 centers (16 countries), analyzed data from the International-CAH Registry.

Methods

Data were collected from 461 patients aged 0–18 years with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency (54.9% females) under follow-up between 1982 and 2018. Type, dose and timing of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement were analyzed from 4174 patient visits.

Results

The most frequently used glucocorticoid was hydrocortisone (87.6%). Overall, there were significant differences between age groups with regards to daily hydrocortisone-equivalent dose for body surface, with the lowest dose (median with interquartile range) of 12.0 (10.0–14.5) mg/m2/day at age 1–8 years and the highest dose of 14.0 (11.6–17.4) mg/m2/day at age 12–18 years. Glucocorticoid doses decreased after 2010 in patients 0–8 years (P < 0.001) and remained unchanged in patients aged 8–18 years. Fludrocortisone was used in 92% of patients, with relative doses decreasing with age. A wide variation was observed among countries with regards to all aspects of steroid hormone replacement.

Conclusions

Data from the I-CAH Registry suggests international variations in hormone replacement therapy, with a tendency to treatment with high doses in children.

Open access

Anna-Pauliina Iivonen, Juho Kärkinen, Venkatram Yellapragada, Virpi Sidoroff, Henrikki Almusa, Kirsi Vaaralahti, and Taneli Raivio

Abstract

Patients with deletions in chromosome 9q31.2 may exhibit delayed puberty, craniofacial phenotype including cleft lip/palate, and olfactory bulb hypoplasia. We report a patient with congenital HH with anosmia (Kallmann syndrome, KS) and a de novo 2.38 Mb heterozygous deletion in 9q31.2.

The deletion breakpoints (determined with whole genome linked-read sequencing) were in the FKTN gene (9:108,331,353) and in a non-coding area (9:110,707,332) (hg19). The deletion encompassed six protein-coding genes (FKTN, ZNF462, TAL2, TMEM38B, RAD23B, and KLF4). ZNF462 haploinsufficiency was consistent with patient’s Weiss-Kruszka syndrome (craniofacial phenotype, developmental delay, and sensorineural hearing loss), but did not explain his KS. In further analyses, he did not carry rare sequence variants in 32 known KS genes in whole exome sequencing and displayed no aberrant splicing of 15 KS genes that were expressed in peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptome. The deletion was 1.8 Mb upstream of a KS candidate gene locus (PALM2AKAP2), but did not suppress its expression.

In conclusion, this is the first report of a patient with Weiss-Kruszka syndrome and KS. We suggest that patients carrying a microdeletion in 9q31.2 should be evaluated for the presence of KS and KS-related features.