Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) may be primary, due to a defect affecting the thyroid gland itself, or central, due to impaired thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-mediated stimulation of the thyroid gland as a result of hypothalamic or pituitary pathology. Primary CH is the most common neonatal endocrine disorder, traditionally subdivided into thyroid dysgenesis (TD), referring to a spectrum of thyroid developmental abnormalities, and dyshormonogenesis, where a defective molecular pathway for thyroid hormonogenesis results in failure of hormone production by a structurally intact gland. Delayed treatment of neonatal hypothyroidism may result in profound neurodevelopmental delay; therefore, CH is screened for in developed countries to facilitate prompt diagnosis. Central congenital hypothyroidism (CCH) is a rarer entity which may occur in isolation, or (more frequently) in association with additional pituitary hormone deficits. CCH is most commonly defined biochemically by failure of appropriate TSH elevation despite subnormal thyroid hormone levels and will therefore evade diagnosis in primary, TSH-based CH-screening programmes. This review will discuss recent genetic aetiological advances in CH and summarize epidemiological data and clinical diagnostic challenges, focussing on primary CH and isolated CCH.
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C Peters, A S P van Trotsenburg and N Schoenmakers
Gunn-Helen Moen, Marissa LeBlanc, Christine Sommer, Rashmi B Prasad, Tove Lekva, Kjersti R Normann, Elisabeth Qvigstad, Leif Groop, Kåre I Birkeland, David M Evans and Kathrine F Frøslie
Hyperglycaemia during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse health outcomes in mother and child, but the genetic aetiology is scarcely studied. Our aims were to (1) assess the overlapping genetic aetiology between the pregnant and non-pregnant population and (2) assess the importance of genome-wide polygenic contributions to glucose traits during pregnancy, by exploring whether genetic risk scores (GRSs) for fasting glucose (FG), 2-h glucose (2hG), type 2 diabetes (T2D) and BMI in non-pregnant individuals were associated with glucose measures in pregnant women.
We genotyped 529 Norwegian pregnant women and constructed GRS from known genome-wide significant variants and SNPs weakly associated (p > 5 × 10−8) with FG, 2hG, BMI and T2D from external genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and examined the association between these scores and glucose measures at gestational weeks 14–16 and 30–32. We also performed GWAS of FG, 2hG and shape information from the glucose curve during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
GRSFG explained similar variance during pregnancy as in the non-pregnant population (~5%). GRSBMI and GRST2D explained up to 1.3% of the variation in the glucose traits in pregnancy. If we included variants more weakly associated with these traits, GRS2hG and GRST2D explained up to 2.4% of the variation in the glucose traits in pregnancy, highlighting the importance of polygenic contributions.
Our results suggest overlap in the genetic aetiology of FG in pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. This was less apparent with 2hG, suggesting potential differences in postprandial glucose metabolism inside and outside of pregnancy.
Rafael A Carvalho, Betsaida Urtremari, Alexander A L Jorge, Lucas S Santana, Elisangela P S Quedas, Tomoko Sekiya, Viviane C Longuini, Fabio L M Montenegro, Antonio M Lerario, Sergio P A Toledo, Stephen J Marx, Rodrigo A Toledo and Delmar M Lourenço Jr
Loss-of-function germline MEN1 gene mutations account for 75–95% of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). It has been postulated that mutations in non-coding regions of MEN1 might occur in some of the remaining patients; however, this hypothesis has not yet been fully investigated.
To sequence for the entire MEN1 including promoter, exons and introns in a large MEN1 cohort and determine the mutation profile.
Methods and patients
A target next-generation sequencing (tNGS) assay comprising 7.2 kb of the full MEN1 was developed to investigate germline mutations in 76 unrelated MEN1 probands (49 familial, 27 sporadic). tNGS results were validated by Sanger sequencing (SS), and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay was applied when no mutations were identifiable by both tNGS and SS.
Germline MEN1 variants were verified in coding region and splicing sites of 57/76 patients (74%) by both tNGS and SS (100% reproducibility). Thirty-eight different pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants were identified, including 13 new and six recurrent variants. Three large deletions were detected by MLPA only. No mutation was detected in 16 patients. In untranslated, regulatory or in deep intronic MEN1 regions of the 76 MEN1 cases, no point or short indel pathogenic variants were found in untranslated, although 33 benign/likely benign and three new VUS variants were detected.
Our study documents that point or short indel mutations in non-coding regions of MEN1 are very rare events. Also, tNGS proved to be a highly effective technology for routine genetic MEN1 testing.
I A Franzini, F M Yamamoto, F Bolfi, S R Antonini and V S Nunes-Nogueira
We assessed the effectiveness of puberty blockade with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog in increasing adult height (AH) in girls with puberty onset between 7 and 10 years of age.
We performed a systematic review and included controlled studies in which girls with early puberty (EP) were assigned to the GnRH analog or no treatment groups. The primary outcome analyzed was AH. Search strategies were applied to the MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and CENTRAL databases.
We identified 1514 references, and six studies fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Two studies were randomized and four were not randomized. At the baseline of each trial, height, chronological age, bone age, predicted AH (PAH) and target height (TH) were equal between the groups. All studies used intramuscular triptorelin every 28 days in the intervention groups. The mean duration of the therapy was 2 years. Meta-analysis of AH among the six studies (comprising 332 girls) showed no significant difference between the groups (mean difference = 0.50 cm, 95% confidence interval = −0.72 to 1.73 cm, I 2 = 0%). In a sub-group analysis based on PAH (<155 cm and <TH; <TH, but >155 cm and equal to TH), there was no difference in average AH between the groups. The quality of evidence according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach was low.
We found no evidence from controlled experimental and observational studies that compared with no treatment, the use of GnRH analogs improved AH in girls with EP.
Selmen Wannes, Monique Elmaleh-Bergès, Dominique Simon, Delphine Zénaty, Laetitia Martinerie, Caroline Storey, Georges Gelwane, Anne Paulsen, Emmanuel Ecosse, Nicolas De Roux, Jean Claude Carel and Juliane Léger
Non-idiopathic CPP is caused by acquired or congenital hypothalamic lesions visible on MRI or is associated with various complex genetic and/or syndromic disorders. This study investigated the different types and prevalence of non-isolated CPP phenotypes.
Design and Methods
This observational cohort study included all patients identified as having non-idiopathic CPP in the database of a single academic pediatric care center over a period of 11.5 years. Patients were classified on the basis of MRI findings for the CNS as having either hypothalamic lesions or complex syndromic phenotypes without structural lesions of the hypothalamus.
In total, 63 consecutive children (42 girls and 21 boys) with non-isolated CPP were identified. Diverse diseases were detected, and the hypothalamic lesions visible on MRI (n = 28, 45% of cases) included hamartomas (n = 17; either isolated or with an associated syndromic phenotype), optic gliomas (n = 8; with or without neurofibromatosis type 1), malformations (n = 3) with interhypothalamic adhesions (n = 2; isolated or associated with syndromic CNS midline abnormalities, such as optic nerve hypoplasia, ectopic posterior pituitary) or arachnoid cysts (n = 1). The patients with non-structural hypothalamic lesions (n = 35, 55% of cases) had narcolepsy (n = 9), RASopathies (n = 4), encephalopathy or autism spectrum disorders with or without chromosomal abnormalities (n = 15) and other complex syndromic disorders (n = 7).
Our findings suggest that a large proportion (55%) of patients with non-isolated probable non-idiopathic CPP may have complex disorders without structural hypothalamic lesions on MRI. Future studies should explore the pathophysiological relevance of the mechanisms underlying CPP in these disorders.
T Vanbrabant, M Fassnacht, G Assie and O M Dekkers
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a malignancy with a poor prognosis. Many publications in ACC report on risk factors for a poor outcome; one risk factor studied is hormonal hypersecretion (cortisol, sex-hormones, steroid precursors or aldosterone). The aim of this systematic review was to study the association between hormonal secretion and recurrence or mortality in ACC.
Systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, EMBASE and The Cochrane library (January 2018) for cohort studies examining the association between hormonal secretion on overall or recurrence-free survival in ACC.
A random-effects model meta-analysis was performed to obtain a weighted relative risk comparing cortisol-secreting and/or androgen-secreting ACCs to non-secreting tumours regarding overall and recurrence-free survival. Risk of bias assessment was performed for all studies included.
Nineteen publications were included representing a total of 3814 patients. Most studies were generally considered low/intermediate risk of bias. Meta-analysis showed higher mortality risk for cortisol-secreting ACCs, weighted relative risk 1.71 (95% CI: 1.18–2.47) combining studies that adjusted for tumour stage; also a higher recurrence risk was found for cortisol producing ACCs, relative risk 1.43 (95% CI: 1.18–1.73). Androgen secretion was not clearly associated with survival (RR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.60–1.12).
This systematic review and meta-analysis show that cortisol-secreting ACCs are associated with a worse overall survival; future research is needed to establish whether this association points to negative effects of cortisol action, whether it signifies a more aggressive ACC subtype or whether cortisol is merely a prognostic marker.
Michael Buchfelder, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Beverly M K Biller, Susan M Webb, Thierry Brue, Christian J Strasburger, Ezio Ghigo, Cecilia Camacho-Hubner, Kaijie Pan, Joanne Lavenberg, Peter Jönsson and Juliana H Hey-Hadavi
ACROSTUDY is an international, non-interventional study of acromegaly patients treated with pegvisomant (PEGV), a growth hormone receptor antagonist and has been conducted since 2004 in 15 countries to study the long-term safety and efficacy of PEGV. This report comprises the second interim analysis of 2090 patients as of May 12, 2016.
Descriptive analyses of safety, pituitary imaging and outcomes on PEGV treatment up to 12 years were performed.
Prior to starting PEGV, 96% of patients had reported surgery, radiation, medical therapy or any combinations of those. At start of PEGV, 89% of patients had IGFI levels above the upper limit of normal (ULN). The percentage of patients with normal IGFI levels increased from 53% at year 1 to 73% at year 10, and the average daily dose of PEGV increased from 12.8 mg (year 1) to 18.9 mg (year 10). A total of 4832 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 1137 patients (54.4%), of which 570 were considered treatment related in 337 patients (16.1%). Serious AEs were reported in 22% of patients, of which 2.3% were considered treatment related. Locally reported MRIs showed most patients (72.2%) had no change in tumor size relative to the prior scan; 16.8% had a decrease, 6.8% an increase and 4.3% both. In patients with normal liver tests at PEGV start, an ALT or AST elevation of >3× ULN at any time point during their follow-up was reported in 3%.
This second interim analysis confirms that long-term use of PEGV is an effective and safe treatment in patients with acromegaly.
Maya Barake, Anne Klibanski and Nicholas A Tritos
Dopamine agonists (DAs) represent a cornerstone in the management of patients with hyperprolactinemia and have an important role in the treatment of neurologic disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome. A growing body of evidence has identified impulse control disorders (ICDs) as possible adverse effects of DA therapy. A variety of ICDs may occur in patients treated with DA, including compulsive shopping, pathologic gambling, stealing, hypersexuality and punding (repetitive performance of tasks, such as collecting, sorting, disassembling and assembling objects). These behaviors can have devastating effects on patients’ life and family. In the present review article, we summarize available data on ICDs in patients with hyperprolactinemia as well as other disorders. Possible risk factors for the emergence of ICDs in patients treated with DA are discussed and the putative pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the development of ICDs in this setting are reviewed. In addition, strategies for the early identification and management of ICDs in patients on DA are discussed. In conclusion, a wide variety of ICDs can occur in patients treated with DA, including those with hyperprolactinemia. The development of ICDs can have serious implications for patients’ well-being and family. Endocrinologists and other physicians involved in the care of patients on DA therapy must be aware of this potential adverse effect, counsel patients regarding pertinent symptoms and regularly evaluate treated patients for the development of ICDs. Early detection of ICDs and discontinuation of DA therapy can mitigate the potential harms associated with ICDs in these patients.
Tomaž Snoj and Gregor Majdič
Possible effects of xenoestrogens on human health, in particular on male reproductive health, have attracted considerable attention in recent years. Cow's milk was suggested in numerous publications as one of possible sources of xenoestrogens that could affect human health. Although milk has undoubtedly many beneficial health effects and could even have a role in reducing incidence of some cancers, concerns were raised about presumably high levels of estrogens in cow's milk. In intensive farming, concentrations of estrogens in milk are higher due to long milking periods that today extend long into the pregnancy, when concentrations of estrogens in the cow's body rise. Numerous studies examined potential effects of milk on reproductive health and endocrine-related cancers in both experimental studies with laboratory animals, and in human epidemiological studies. In the present review article, we compiled a review of recently published literature about the content of estrogens in cow's milk and potential health effects, in particular on reproductive system, in humans. Although results of published studies are not unequivocal, it seems that there is stronger evidence suggesting that amounts of estrogens in cow's milk are too low to cause health effects in humans.
Sophie Moniez, Catherine Pienkowski, Benoit Lepage, Safouane Hamdi, Myriam Daudin, Isabelle Oliver, Béatrice Jouret, Audrey Cartault, Gwenaelle Diene, Alain Verloes, Hélène Cavé, Jean-Pierre Salles, Maithé Tauber, Armelle Yart and Thomas Edouard
Abnormalities in the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis have long been reported in Noonan syndrome (NS) males with only few data available in prepubertal children.
The aim of this study was to describe the gonadal function of NS males from childhood to adulthood.
It is a retrospective chart review.
Patients and methods
A total of 37 males with a genetically confirmed diagnosis of NS were included. Clinical and genetic features, as well as serum hormone levels (LH, FSH, testosterone, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), and inhibin B) were analysed.
Of the 37 patients, 16 (43%) children had entered puberty at a median age of 13.5 years (range: 11.4–15.0 years); age at pubertal onset was negatively correlated with BMI SDS (r = −0.541; P = 0.022). In pubertal boys, testosterone levels were normal suggesting a normal Leydig cell function. In contrast, NS patients had significant lower levels of AMH (mean SDS: −0.6 ± 1.1; P = 0.003) and inhibin B (mean SDS: −1.1 ± 1.2; P < 0.001) compared with the general population, suggesting a Sertoli cell dysfunction. Lower AMH and inhibin B levels were found in NS-PTPN11 patients, whereas these markers did not differ from healthy children in SOS1 patients. No difference was found between cryptorchid and non-cryptorchid patients for AMH and inhibin B levels (P = 0.43 and 0.62 respectively). Four NS-PTPN11 patients had a severe primary hypogonadism with azoospermia/cryptozoospermia.
NS males display Sertoli cell-specific primary testicular insufficiency, whereas Leydig cell function seems to be unaffected.