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Grégory Mougel, Arnaud Lagarde, Frédérique Albarel, Wassim Essamet, Perrine Luigi, Céline Mouly, Magaly Vialon, Thomas Cuny, Frédéric Castinetti, Alexandru Saveanu, Thierry Brue, Anne Barlier, and Pauline Romanet

Background:

The ‘3PAs’ syndrome, associating pituitary adenoma (PA) and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL), is sometimes associated with mutations in PPGL-predisposing genes, such as SDHx or MAX. In ’3PAs’ syndrome, PAs can occur before PPGL, suggesting a new gateway into SDHx/MAX-related diseases.

Objective:

To determine the SDHx/MAX mutation prevalence in patients with isolated PAs and characterize PAs of patients with SDHx/MAX mutations.

Design:

Genes involved in PAs (AIP/MEN1/CDKN1B) or PPGLs (SDHx/MAX) were sequenced in patients with isolated PAs. We then conducted a review of cases of PA in the setting of ’3PAs’ syndrome.

Results:

A total of 263 patients were recruited. Seven (likely) pathogenic variants were found in AIP, two in MEN1, two in SDHA, and one in SDHC. The prevalence of SDHx mutations reached 1.1% (3/263). Of 31 reported patients with PAs harboring SDHx/MAX mutations (28 published cases and 3 cases reported here), 6/31 (19%) developed PA before PPGL and 8/31 (26%) had isolated PA. The age of onset was later than in patients with AIP/MEN1 mutations. PAs were mainly macroprolactinomas and showed intracytoplasmic vacuoles seen on histopathology.

Conclusions:

We discovered SDHx mutations in patients bearing PA who had no familial or personal history of PPGL. However, the question of incidental association remains unresolved and data to determine the benefit of SDHx/MAX screening in these patients are lacking. We recommend that patients with isolated PA should be carefully examined for a family history of PPGLs. A family history of PPGL, as well as the presence of intracytoplasmic vacuoles in PA, requires SDHx/MAX genetic testing of patients.

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Claudia Giavoli, Eriselda Profka, Noemi Giancola, Giulia Rodari, Federico Giacchetti, Emanuele Ferrante, Maura Arosio, and Giovanna Mantovani

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Sara De Vincentis, Maria Chiara Decaroli, Flaminia Fanelli, Chiara Diazzi, Marco Mezzullo, Fabio Morini, Davide Bertani, Jovana Milic, Federica Carli, Gianluca Cuomo, Daniele Santi, Giulia Tartaro, Simonetta Tagliavini, Maria Cristina De Santis, Laura Roli, Tommaso Trenti, Uberto Pagotto, Giovanni Guaraldi, and Vincenzo Rochira

Objective.

Hypogonadism is common in HIV-infected men. The relationship between health status, sex steroids and body composition is poorly known in HIV. The aim was to investigate the association between health status (comorbidities/frailty), body composition, and gonadal function in young-to-middle-aged HIV-infected men.

Design.

Prospective, cross-sectional, observational study.

Methods.

HIV-infected men aged<50 years and ongoing Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy were enrolled. Serum total testosterone (TT), estradiol (E2), estrone (E1) were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, LH and FSH by immunoassay. Free testosterone (cFT) was calculated by Vermeulen equation. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal CT scan. Multimorbidity (MM) and frailty were defined as ≥3 comorbidities and by a 37-item index, respectively.

Results.

A total of 316 HIV-infected men aged 45.3±5.3 years were enrolled. Body fat parameters were inversely related to cFT and TT, and directly related to E1 and E2/T ratio. Patients with MM had lower cFT (p<0.0001) and TT (p=0.036), and higher E1 (p<0.0001) and E2/T ratio (p=0.002). Frailty was inversely related to cFT (R2=0.057, p<0.0001) and TT (R2=0.013, p=0.043), and directly related to E1 (R2=0.171, p<0.0001), E2 (R2=0.041, p=0.004) and E2/T ratio (R2=0.104, p<0.0001).

Conclusions.

Lower TT and cFT, higher E1, E2/T ratio and visceral fat were independently associated to poor health status and frailty, being possible hallmarks of unhealthy conditions in adult HIV-infected men. Overall, MM, frailty and body fat mass are strictly associated to each other and to sex steroids, concurring together to functional male hypogonadism in HIV.

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Matteo Rottoli, Paolo Bernante, Angela Belvedere, Francesca Balsamo, Silvia Garelli, Maddalena Giannella, Alessandra Cascavilla, Sara Tedeschi, Stefano Ianniruberto, Elena Rosselli Del Turco, Tommaso Tonetti, Vito Marco Ranieri, Gilberto Poggioli, Lamberto Manzoli, Uberto Pagotto, Pierluigi Viale, and Michele Bartoletti

Objective:

Specific comorbidities and old age create a greater vulnerability to severe Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). While obesity seems to aggravate the course of disease, the actual impact of the BMI and the cutoff which increases illness severity are still under investigation. The aim of the study was to analyze whether the BMI represented a risk factor for respiratory failure, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and death.

Research design and methods:

A retrospective cohort study of 482 consecutive COVID-19 patients hospitalised between March 1 and April 20, 2020. Logistic regression analysis and Cox proportion Hazard models including demographic characteristics and comorbidities were carried out to predict the endpoints within 30 days from the onset of symptoms.

Results:

Of 482 patients, 104 (21.6%) had a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. At logistic regression analysis, a BMI between 30 and 34.9 kg/m2 significantly increased the risk of respiratory failure (OR: 2.32; 95% CI: 1.31–4.09, P = 0.004) and admission to the ICU (OR: 4.96; 95% CI: 2.53–9.74, P < 0.001). A significantly higher risk of death was observed in patients with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 (OR: 12.1; 95% CI: 3.25–45.1, P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for respiratory failure, admission to the ICU and death among COVID-19 patients. A BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 identifies a population of patients at high risk for severe illness, whereas a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 dramatically increases the risk of death.

Open access

Bastiaan Sol, Jeroen M.k. de Filette, Gil Awada, Steven Raeymaeckers, Sandrine Aspeslagh, C.e. Andreescu, Bart Neyns, and Brigitte Velkeniers

BACKGROUND.

Pituitary carcinomas are rare but aggressive and require maximally coordinated multimodal therapies. For refractory tumors, unresponsive to temozolomide (TMZ), therapeutic options are limited. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) may be considered for treatment as illustrated in the present case report.

CASE.

We report a patient with ACTH-secreting pituitary carcinoma, progressive after multiple lines of therapy including chemotherapy with TMZ, who demonstrated disease stabilization by a combination of ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4) and nivolumab (anti-PD-1) ICI therapy.

DISCUSSION.

Management of pituitary carcinoma beyond TMZ remains ill-defined and relies on case reports. TMZ creates, due to hypermutation, more immunogenic tumors and subsequently potential candidates for ICI therapy. This case report adds support to the possible role of ICI in the treatment of pituitary carcinoma.

CONCLUSION.

ICI therapy could be a promising treatment option for pituitary carcinoma, considering the mechanisms of TMZ-induced hypermutation with increased immunogenicity, pituitary expression of CTLA-4 and PD-L1, and the frequent occurrence of hypophysitis as a side effect of ICI therapy.

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Cécile Thomas-Teinturier, Isabelle Oliver-Petit, Helene Pacquement, Brice Fresneau, Rodrigue Sétchéou Allodji, Cristina Veres, Stephanie Bolle, Delphine Berchery, Charlotte Demoor-Goldschmidt, Nadia Haddy, Ibrahima Diallo, and Florent de Vathaire

Context:

Growth hormone (GH) deficiency is a common late effect of cranial irradiation. However, concerns have been raised that GH treatment might lead to an increased risk of a second neoplasm (SN).

Objective:

To study the impact of GH treatment on the risk of SN in a French cohort of survivors of childhood cancer (CCS) treated before 1986.

Design and setting:

Cohort study and nested case–control study.

Participants:

Of the 2852 survivors, with a median follow-up of 26 years, 196 had received GH therapy (median delay from cancer diagnosis: 5.5 years).

Main outcome measures:

Occurrence of SN

Results:

In total, 374 survivors developed a SN, including 40 who had received GH therapy. In a multivariate analysis, GH treatment did not increase the risk of secondary non-meningioma brain tumors (RR: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.2–1.5, P = 0.3), secondary non-brain cancer (RR: 0.7, 95% CI: 0.4–1.2, P = 0.2), or meningioma (RR: 1.9, 95% CI: 0.9–4, P = 0.09). Nevertheless, we observed a slight non-significant increase in the risk of meningioma with GH duration: 1.6-fold (95% CI: 1.2–3.0) after an exposure of less than 4 years vs 2.3-fold (95% CI: 0.9–5.6) after a longer exposure (P for trend = 0.07) confirmed by the results of a case–control study.

Conclusion:

This study confirms the overall safety of GH use in survivors of childhood cancer, which does not increase the risk of a SN. The slight excess in the risk of meningioma in patients with long-term GH treatment is non-significant and could be due to difficulties in adjustment on cranial radiation volume/dose and/or undiagnosed meningioma predisposing conditions.

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Nienke van Welie, Maite Portela, Kim Dreyer, Linda J Schoonmade, Madelon van Wely, Ben Willem J Mol, A. S. van Trotsenburg, Cornelis B Lambalk, Velja Mijatovic, and Martijn J. Finken

Objective: Thyroid dysfunction is a known side effect of iodinated contrast media. There is some evidence to suggest that iodinated contrast media administered to pregnant women may cause thyroid dysfunction not only in themselves but also in their offspring. Here, we systematically evaluated literature on the use of iodinated contrast media prior to or during pregnancy on the offspring’s thyroid function.

Design: Systematic review of published literature.

Materials and Methods: Relevant studies were identified by PubMed, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library up to June 5, 2020. All study designs, reporting on the fetal or neonatal thyroid function after exposure to iodinated contrast media prior to or during pregnancy, were included. We undertook random effects meta-analysis and pooled the estimates as proportions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: We identified 402 articles, of which 26 were included. Six studies reported (N=369) on exposure to iodinated contrast media prior to pregnancy by hysterosalpingography and 20 studies (N=670) on exposure to these media during pregnancy by amniofetography, urography or computed tomography. There was low to high risk of bias. The proportion of (transient) neonatal thyroid dysfunction was 0.0% (95%CI, 0.0-2.9%) for hysterosalpingography, 2.25% (95%CI, 0.03-6.55%) for amniofetography and 0.0% (95%CI, 0.0-0.02%) for computed tomography. There was a tendency towards an increased risk of thyroid dysfunction with higher amounts of contrast used.

Conclusions: Exposure to iodinated contrast media prior to or during pregnancy may increase the risk of thyroid dysfunction in offspring. We recommend keeping the amount of contrast used as low as possible.

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Camille Sollier, Emilie Capel, Caroline Aguilhon, Vasily Smirnov, Martine Auclair, Claire Douillard, Myriam Ladsous, Sabine Defoort-Dhellemmes, Jennifer Gorwood, Laura Braud, Roberto Motterlini, Camille Vatier, Olivier Lascols, Eric Renard, Corinne Vigouroux, and Isabelle Jéru

Objective

The term Multiple Symmetric Lipomatosis (MSL) describes a heterogeneous group of rare monogenic disorders and multifactorial conditions, characterized by upper-body adipose masses. Biallelic variants in LIPE encoding hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), a key lipolytic enzyme, were implicated in three families worldwide. We aimed to further delineate LIPE-related clinical features and pathophysiological determinants.

Methods

A gene panel was used to identify pathogenic variants. The disease features were reviewed at the French lipodystrophy reference center. The immunohistological, ultrastructural, and protein expression characteristics of lipomatous tissue were determined in surgical samples from one patient. The functional impact of variants was investigated by developing a model of adipose stem cells (ASCs) isolated from lipomatous tissue.

Results

We identified new biallelic LIPE null variants in three unrelated patients referred for MSL and/or partial lipodystrophy. The hallmarks of the disease, appearing in adulthood, included lower-limb lipoatrophy, upper-body and abdominal pseudolipomatous masses, diabetes and/or insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia, liver steatosis, high blood pressure, and neuromuscular manifestations. Ophthalmological investigations revealed numerous auto-fluorescent drusen-like retinal deposits in all patients. Lipomatous tissue and patient ASCs showed loss of HSL and decreased expression of adipogenic and mature adipocyte markers. LIPE-mutated ASCs displayed impaired adipocyte differentiation, decreased insulin response, defective lipolysis, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Conclusions

Biallelic LIPE null variants result in a multisystemic disease requiring multidisciplinary care. Loss of HSL expression impairs adipocyte differentiation, consistent with the lipodystrophy/MSL phenotype and associated metabolic complications. Detailed ophthalmological examination could reveal retinal damage, further pointing to the nervous tissue as an important disease target.

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Fengzhou Du, Qiao Chen, Xiaojun Wang, Xiaopeng Guo, Zihao Wang, Lu Gao, Xiao Long, and Bing Xing

Background: Facial abnormality is the most significant feature in acromegaly patients. However, it is unclear whether and how patient facial appearance improves after treatment. This study aimed to identify 3D facial changes in acromegaly patients after surgical treatment.

Methods: This study included 30 acromegaly patients who underwent resection of a pituitary GH adenoma. The location and extent of facial changes were identified by comparing baseline and 2-year follow-up 3D images of the face. Relationships between facial changes and GH and IGF-1 were evaluated with simple or multivariable linear regression models.

Results: Significant soft tissue improvements were observed in acromegaly patients with complete remission, especially in the nose and lip region. Significant reductions in nasal width (3.46 mm, p < 0.001), tip protrusion (1.18 mm, p=0.003), face curve length (3.89 mm, p=0.004) and vermilion area (1.42 cm3, p=0.001) were observed at the 2-year follow-up. Further, changes in nasal width were associated with decreases in GH (β=4.440, p=0.017), the GH nadir (β=4.393, p=0.011) and IGF-1 (β=5.263, p=0.002). The associations were maintained after adjusting for confounders.

Conclusions: Acromegaly patients achieved considerable facial improvements after surgical treatment. The change in nose width was associated with GH and IGF-1 decreases. Better control of patient hormone levels after surgery improves patient facial recovery.

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Juliette Harris, Arthur Gouhier, and Jacques Drouin

Pioneer transcription factors have key roles in development as master regulators of cell fate specification. Only a small fraction of all transcription factors have the pioneer ability that confers access to target genomic DNA sites embedded in so-called “closed” heterochromatin. This ability to seek and bind target sites within the silenced portion of the epigenome is the basis for their role in changing cell fate. Upon binding heterochromatin sites, pioneer factors trigger remodelling of chromatin from a repressed into an active organization. This action is typically exerted at enhancer regulatory sequences, thus allowing activation of new gene subsets. During pituitary development, the only pioneer with a well-documented role is Pax7 that specifies the intermediate lobe melanotrope cell fate. In this review, a particular focus is placed on this Pax7 function but its properties are also considered within the general context of pioneer factor action. Given their potent activity to reprogram gene expression, it is not surprising that many pioneers are associated with tumor development. Over-expression or chromosomal translocations leading to production of chimeric pioneers have been implicated in different cancers. We review here the current knowledge on the mechanism of pioneer factor action.