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Yufei Xu, Yirou Wang, Niu Li, Ruen Yao, Guoqiang Li, Juan Li, Yu Ding, Yao Chen, Xiaodong Huang, Yulin Chen, Yanrong Qing, Tingting Yu, Yongnian Shen, Xiumin Wang, Yiping Shen and Jian Wang

Context: Diagnosis of non-chromosomal type disorders of sex development (DSD) has long been challenging. There is still no research on overview of a large Chinese DSD cohort.

Objective: To determine the etiologic diagnosis through unbiased large-scale panel sequencing and whole-exome sequencing (WES) within a large Chinese DSD cohort.

Design: Patients were recruited according to the inclusion criteria of DSD. The applied panel contains 2,742 known disease-causing genes, including all known diagnostic genes for DSD.

Methods: Targeted panel sequencing (TPS) was performed, and identified candidate variants were verified. Variant pathogenicities were evaluated according to established guidelines. WES was performed for randomly selected negative samples.

Results: This study included 125 patients. Seventy-five variants were identified by TPS and 31 variants were reported for the first time. Pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants accounted for 38.7% and 30.7%, respectively. On the basis of clinical certainty, etiologic diagnostic rates of 46.9% and 10.3% were obtained for 46,XY and 46,XX DSD patients, respectively. We reported novel candidate genes (BMPR1B, GNAS, GHR) and regions of copy number variants outside the expected DSD genotype-phenotype correlation, and determined a founder mutation (SRD5A2 p.R227Q) in patients with 5α-reductase deficiency. Further WES in randomly selected negative samples identified only one among 14 negative samples as a variant of uncertain significance, indicating that WES did not improve the diagnostic rate.

Conclusions: This is the first report of the applying unbiased TPS in a large Chinese cohort of patients with 46,XY and 46,XX DSD. Our findings expand the gene, mutation and phenotype spectra of the rare types of DSD in the Chinese population and provide new insight into the current understanding of the etiologies of DSD.

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Simona Censi, Susi Barollo, Elisabetta Grespan, Sara Watutantrige-Fernando, Jacopo Manso, Maurizio Iacobone, Eric Casal Ide, Francesca Galuppini, Ambrogio Fassina, Loris Bertazza, Federica Vianello, Gianmaria Pennelli and Caterina Mian

Objective

Follicular-derived thyroid cancers generally have a good prognosis, but in a minority of cases, they have an aggressive behavior and develop distant metastases, with an increase in the associated mortality. None of the prognostic markers currently available prior to surgery can identify such cases.

Methods

TERT promoter and BRAF gene mutations were examined in a series of 436 consecutive TIR-4 and TIR-5 nodes referred for surgery. Follow-up (median: 59 months, range: 7–293 months) was available for 384/423 patients with malignant nodes.

Results

TERT promoter and BRAF mutations were detected in 20/436 (4.6%) and 257/434 thyroid nodules (59.2%), respectively. At the end of the follow-up, 318/384 patients (82.8%) had an excellent outcome, 48/384 (12.5%) had indeterminate response or biochemical persistence, 18/384 (4.7%) had a structural persistence or died from thyroid cancer. TERT promoter mutations correlated with older age (P < 0.0001), larger tumor size (P = 0.0002), oxyntic and aggressive PTC variants (P = 0.01), higher tumor stages (P < 0.0001), distant metastases (<0.0001) and disease outcome (P < 0.0001). At multivariate analysis, TERT promoter mutation was not an independent predictor of disease outcome. TERT promoter mutation- (OR: 40.58; 95% CI: 3.06–539.04), and N1b lymph node metastases (OR: 40.16, 95% CI: 3.48–463.04) were independent predictors of distant metastases. BRAF mutation did not predict the outcome, and it correlated with a lower incidence of distant metastases (P = 0.0201).

Conclusions

TERT promoter mutation proved an independent predictor of distant metastases, giving clinicians the chance to identify many of the patients who warranted more aggressive initial treatment and closer follow-up.

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Benjamin Lechner, Katharina Lechner, Daniel Alexander Heinrich, Christian Adolf, Finn Holler, Holger Schneider, Felix Beuschlein and Martin Reincke

In patients with primary aldosteronism specific treatment provides prognostic benefit over optimal antihypertensive therapy and is therefore crucial to reduce mortality and morbidity in this subgroup of patients with hypertension. Prognostic relevance has been shown for adrenalectomy in unilateral disease, and for medical treatment with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Collectively, evidence points to the superiority of surgical treatment compared to medical treatment. The causal approach of removing the mineralocorticoid excess, as well as the often-accompanying glucocorticoid excess, might provide one biologically plausible explanation for the observation of slightly better outcomes with surgical therapy. However, in patients living with primary aldosteronism, medical treatment is often insufficient for three major reasons. First and foremost, no marker of sufficient aldosterone blockade has yet been established and therefore adequate treatment of the aldosterone excess is often dismissed as a treatment goal. Second, side effects often limit patient compliance. Third, as recommendations differ from other indications like heart failure, drug dosing is often inadequate. The aim of this review is first to provide an overview over medical treatment options, and second to review potential markers for treatment surveillance in patients with primary aldosteronism.

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Wouter T Zandee, Richard A Feelders, Daan A Smit Duijzentkunst, Johannes Hofland, R Mick Metselaar, Rogier A Oldenburg, Anne van Linge, Boen L R Kam, Jaap J M Teunissen, Esther Korpershoek, Johanna M Hendriks, Huda Abusaris, Cleo Slagter, Gaston J H Franssen, Tessa Brabander and Wouter W De Herder

Objectives

Inoperable or metastatic paragangliomas (PGLs) and malignant pheochromocytomas (PCCs) are rare tumours with limited options for systemic treatment. Aim of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the radiolabelled somatostatin analogue (177LutetiumDOTA0-Tyr3)octreotate (177Lu-DOTATATE) for the treatment of PGLs and PCCs.

Methods

Patients with histologically proven inoperable or malignant PGLs and PCCs treated with 177Lu-DOTATATE at our centre were retrospectively analysed. Patients were treated with up to four cycles of 177Lu-DOTATATE with an intended dose of 7.4 Gb per cycle. Response was assessed with use of RECIST 1.1.

Results

Thirty patients were included: 17 with parasympathetic, 10 with sympathetic PGLs and 3 with PCCs. Grade 3/4 subacute haematotoxicity occurred in 6 (20%) of patients. A reversible subacute adverse event due to cardiac failure following possible catecholamine release occurred in two patients. Best tumour response was partial response in 7 (23%) and stable disease in 20 (67%), whereas 3 (10%) patients had progressive disease. In 20 patients with baseline disease progression, tumour control was observed in 17 (85%); the median progression-free survival was 91 months in patients with parasympathetic PGLs, 13 months in patients with sympathetic PGLs and 10 months in patients with metastatic PCCs.

Conclusion

This study suggests that PRRT with 177Lu-DOTATATE is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with inoperable or malignant PGL and PCC.

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Philippe Chanson, Alexandre Dormoy and Olaf M Dekkers

Surgery is the treatment of choice for non-functioning pituitary macroadenomas (NFPAs). In cases of postoperative remnant growth or tumor recurrence, radiotherapy (RT) can be considered. The role of RT in the postoperative management of NFPAs is still debated. The main arguments against routine use of RT are the lack of randomized controlled trials, the use of clinically irrelevant endpoints in most studies on RT, the benign character of the condition, the potential for side effects of RT, and the option to apply RT at a later stage. However, because of its excellent efficacy in inhibiting tumor growth, reducing tumor volume and improving any existing visual defects, and as its side effects seem to be limited compared to the benefits provided, RT keeps a place in the management of NFPAs when a tumor remnant persists, particularly if it is invasive and displays high proliferation markers, if surveillance shows a relevant increase in tumor volume or if the tumor is close to the optic chiasm. The size of the remnant, its vicinity with the optic pathways, and the potential risk to healthy surrounding tissues need to be considered when deciding on an RT procedure.

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A Calabrese, V Basile, S Puglisi, P Perotti, A Pia, L Saba, P Berchialla, F Porpiglia, A Veltri, M Volante, G Reimondo, A Berruti and M Terzolo

Objective

Many patients with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) suffer from tumor recurrence despite radical surgery. Evidence on the post-operative use of mitotane is controversial and no predictors of response are available. We aimed to assess whether adjuvant mitotane treatment may prolong survival in patients with non-metastatic ACC following complete resection and whether ACC patients at high risk of recurrence may benefit from treatment.

Design and methods

We retrospectively reviewed data from 152 non-metastatic ACC patients followed at the San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital: 100 patients were treated with adjuvant mitotane and 52 patients were left untreated following surgery. We assessed a number of potential predictive factors of recurrence and death. Mitotane effect was explored stratifying patients by staging (stage I–II vs stage III), hormone secretion (yes vs no) and Ki67 index.

Results

The non-treated group had a higher risk of recurrence (HR: 2.79, 95%CI: 1.58–4.91; P < 0.001) than mitotane-treated group, while overall survival was not significantly different between groups. Hormone secretion, elevated Weiss score and elevated Ki67 index confer a higher risk of both recurrence and death and stage III ACC of death. Adjuvant mitotane treatment reduced significantly the risk of death in patients with elevated Ki67 index (P = 0.005) and in patients with stage III ACC (P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Adjuvant mitotane may prolong recurrence-free survival in radically resected ACC patients with acceptable toxicity and may also prolong overall survival in a subgroup of ACC patients at high risk of recurrence.

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Laura Dauben, Marie-Christine Simon, Klaus Strassburger, Volker Burkart, Katharina S Weber, Sven Schinner, Michael Roden and Karsten Müssig

Objective

Insulinomas are rare pancreatic endocrine tumors characterized by hypoglycemia. Guidelines by the Endocrine Society (ES), the European (ENETS) and the North American (NANETS) Neuroendocrine Tumor Societies provide divergent diagnostic criteria. This study compared the diagnostic accuracy of these different criteria during the 72-h fasting test.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

From 2000 to 2014, 64 patients with a suspected insulinoma underwent a 72-h fasting test and were included in the analysis. This study assessed the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity and accuracy based on venous blood glucose and corresponding insulin levels measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA).

Results

Based on 64 individuals (18 with, 46 without insulinoma), the ES criteria provided a diagnostic sensitivity of 0.94 (0.73–1.00), specificity of 0.89 (0.76–0.96) and accuracy of 0.91 (0.81–0.96). ENETS/NANETS criteria reached a diagnostic sensitivity of 0.78 (0.52–0.94), specificity of 1.00 (0.92–1.00) and accuracy of 0.94 (0.85–0.98).

Conclusions

These results point to a higher diagnostic sensitivity with less specificity for diagnosing insulinoma using ES criteria and a higher specificity at lower sensitivity by using ENETS/NANETS criteria. Before considering these results when applying the different criteria in clinical practice, the results should be confirmed in further studies comprising larger cohorts.

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Cristina Eller-Vainicher, Alberto Falchetti, Luigi Gennari, Elisa Cairoli, Francesco Bertoldo, Fabio Vescini, Alfredo Scillitani and Iacopo Chiodini

An underlying disease affecting bone health is present in up to 40 and 60% of osteoporotic postmenopausal women and men respectively. Among the disorders leading to a secondary form of osteoporosis, the endocrine diseases are highly represented. A frequent finding in patients affected with an endocrine-related forms of bone disease is that the skeletal fragility is partially independent of the bone density, since the fracture risk in these patients is related more to a reduction of bone quality than to a decrease of bone mass. As a consequence, bone mineral density evaluation by dual-X-ray absorptiometry may be inadequate for establishing the risk of fracture in the setting of the endocrine-related forms of osteoporosis. In the recent years, several attempts to non-invasively estimating bone quality have been done. Nowadays, some new tools are available in the clinical practice for optimising the fracture risk estimation in patients with endocrine disorders. The aim of this review is to summarise the evidence regarding the role of the different imaging tools for evaluating bone density and bone quality in the most frequent forms of endocrine-related osteoporosis, such as obesity, diabetes, acromegaly, thyrotoxicosis, primary hyperparathyroidism, hypercortisolism and hypogonadism. For each of these disorders, data regarding both the current available tools and the future possible new techniques for assessing bone fragility in patients with endocrine diseases are reported.

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Mads Lillevang-Johansen, Bo Abrahamsen, Henrik Løvendahl Jørgensen, Thomas Heiberg Brix and Laszlo Hegedüs

Objective

To investigate the association between hypothyroidism and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in both treated and untreated hypothyroid patients, and the consequences of over- and under-treatment with respect to cardiovascular risk.

Design

A registry-based case–control study nested within a population-based cohort of 275 467 individuals with at least one serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) measurement in the period of 1995–2011.

Methods

Incident cases of CVD were matched with controls according to gender, age and year of birth. Conditional logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate CVD risks associated with exposure to hypothyroidism, with adjustment for 19 pre-existing comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, using the Charlson Comorbidity Index.

Results

Overall, 20 487 individuals experienced CVD (9.4%, incidence rate 13.1 per 1000 person-years, 95% confidence interval (CI), 13.0–13.3). Risk of CVD was increased in untreated hypothyroidism compared to euthyroidism (odds ratio (OR): 1.83 (95% CI: 1.43–2.35; P < 0.001)). Cardiovascular risk was increased in both treated and untreated hypothyroid individuals per half year of elevated TSH (OR: 1.11 (95% CI: 1.06–1.16; P < 0.001) and OR: 1.15 (95% CI: 1.09–1.23; P = 0.001), respectively). In patients treated with levothyroxine, OR for CVD was 1.12 (95% CI: 1.06–1.18; P < 0.001) for each 6 months of decreased TSH.

Conclusion

Cardiovascular risk is increased in untreated, but not in treated hypothyroid patients. Among those with treated hypothyroidism, duration of decreased TSH (overtreatment) had a similar impact on cardiovascular risk as duration of elevated TSH (under-treatment), highlighting the importance of initiating treatment and maintaining biochemical euthyroidism in hypothyroid patients in order to reduce the risk of CVD and death.

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Eberhard Nieschlag and Susan Nieschlag

As the most important male hormone, testosterone has an impact on almost all organs and body functions. The biological effects of testosterone and the testes have been known since antiquity, long before testosterone was identified as the active agent. Practical applications of this knowledge were castration of males to produce obedient servants, for punishment, for preservation of the prepubertal soprano voice and even for treatment of diseases. Testes were used in organotherapy and transplanted as treatment for symptoms of hypogonadism on a large scale, although these practices had only placebo effects. In reaction to such malpractice in the first half of the 20th century science and the young pharmaceutical industry initiated the search for the male hormone. After several detours together with their teams in 1935, Ernst Laqueur (Amsterdam) isolated and Adolf Butenandt (Gdansk) as well as Leopold Ruzicka (Zürich) synthesized testosterone. Since then testosterone has been available for clinical use. However, when given orally, testosterone is inactivated in the liver, so that parenteral forms of administration or modifications of the molecule had to be found. Over 85 years the testosterone preparations have been slowly improved so that now physiological serum levels can be achieved.