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Alessia Cozzolino, Tiziana Feola, Ilaria Simonelli, Giulia Puliani, Valeria Hasenmajer, Marianna Minnetti, Elisa Giannetta, Daniele Gianfrilli, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Andrea Lenzi, and Andrea M. Isidori

Objective: Neurosurgery is the first-line treatment for acromegaly. Whether metabolic disorders are reversible after neurosurgery is still debated. The meta-analysis aimed to address the following questions: 1) Does neurosurgery affect glycolipid metabolism? 2) Are these effects related to disease control or follow-up length?

Design: a meta-analysis and systematic review of the literature.

Methods: Three reviewers searched up databases until August 2019 for prospective trials reporting glycometabolic outcomes after neurosurgery. Three other extracted outcomes, all assessed the risk of bias.

Results: Twenty studies were included. Neurosurgery significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose (FPG) [effect size (ES) -0.57 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.82 to -0.31; P<0.001], glucose load [ES -1.10 mmol/L, 95% CI -1.66 to -0.53; p<0.001], glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) [ES -0.28%, 95% CI -0.42 to -0.14; P<0.001], fasting plasma insulin (FPI) [ES -10.53 mU/L, 95% CI -14.54 to -6.51; P<0.001], homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) [ES -1.98, 95% CI -3.24 to -0.72; P=0.002], triglycerides (TGDs) [ES -0.28 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.20; P<0.001] and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) [ES -0.23 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.45 to -0.02 mmol/L); P=0.030] and increased HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) [ES 0.21 mmol/L, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.28; P<0.001]. Meta-regression analysis showed that follow-up length - not disease control - had a significant effect on FPG, with the greatest reduction in the shortest follow-up (beta=0.012, SE=0.003; P=0.001).

Conclusions: Neurosurgery improves metabolism with a significant decrease in FPG, glucose load, HbA1c, FPI, HOMA-IR, TGDs, and LDL-C and increase in HDL-C. The effect on FPG seems to be more related to follow-up length than to disease control.

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Mario Rotondi, Gloria Groppelli, Laura Croce, Francesco Latrofa, Giuseppe Ancona, Francesca Coperchini, Daniela Pasquali, Carlo Cappelli, Alessandro Fugazza, Valeria Guazzoni, Giorgio Radetti, and Luca Chiovato

Objective:

The association between chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) remains controversial. The incidence of DTC increases when screening procedures are implemented, as typically occurs in CAT patients being routinely submitted to thyroid ultrasound (US). The aim of this study was to longitudinally evaluate the long-term development of DTC in patients with CAT.

Design and methods:

A retrospective longitudinal cohort study was designed. For the study, 510 patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) with a 10-year follow-up were enrolled. Patients were divided in two groups according to the presence (CAT+ NOD+; n = 115) or absence (CAT+ NOD−; n = 395) of co-existent nodules at diagnosis. The main outcome measures were appearance of new thyroid-nodules and development of DTC during follow-up.

Results:

During a 10-year median follow-up period, new thyroid-nodules were detected in 34/115 (29.5%) patients in the CAT+ NOD+ group and in 41/395 (10.3%) in the CAT+ NOD− group (P < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that thyroid-volume at diagnosis and belonging to the CAT+ NOD+ group significantly predicted the appearance of a new thyroid nodule during follow-up, independently of baseline age and sex. Among the 75 patients experiencing the appearance of a new nodule, 27 (39%) met the criteria for fine-needle-aspiration-cytology (FNAC). A benign cytological diagnosis was rendered in all cases.

Conclusions:

In our series of CAT patients, the appearance of new thyroid-nodules was frequent, but none of them were found to be malignant. The presence of CAT appears to be associated with a negligible risk of developing clinically overt DTC.

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Marco Castellana, Giorgio Grani, Maija Radzina, Vito Guerra, Luca Giovanella, Maurilio Deandrea, Rose Ngu, Cosimo Durante, and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective:

Several thyroid imaging reporting and data systems (TIRADS) have been proposed to stratify the malignancy risk of thyroid nodule by ultrasound. The TIRADS by the European Thyroid Association, namely EU-TIRADS, was the last one to be published.

Design:

We conducted a meta-analysis to assess the prevalence of malignancy in each EU-TIRADS class and the performance of EU-TIRADS class 5 vs 2, 3 and 4 in detecting malignant lesions.

Methods:

Four databases were searched until December 2019. Original articles reporting the performance of EU-TIRADS and adopting histology as reference standard were included. The number of malignant nodules in each class and the number of nodules classified as true/false positive/negative were extracted. A random-effects model was used for pooling data.

Results:

Seven studies were included, evaluating 5672 thyroid nodules. The prevalence of malignancy in each EU-TIRADS class was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.0–1.3), 5.9% (95% CI: 2.6–9.2), 21.4% (95% CI: 11.1–31.7), and 76.1% (95% CI: 63.7–88.5). Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, LR+, LR− and DOR of EU-TIRADS class 5 were 83.5% (95% CI: 74.5–89.8), 84.3% (95% CI: 66.2–93.7), 76.1% (95% CI: 63.7–88.5), 85.4% (95% CI: 79.1–91.8), 4.9 (95% CI: 2.9–8.2), 0.2 (95% CI: 0.1–0.3), and 24.5 (95% CI: 11.7–51.0), respectively. A further improved performance was found after excluding two studies because of limited sample size and low prevalence of malignancy in class 5.

Conclusions:

A limited number of studies generally conducted using a retrospective design was found. Acknowledging this limitation, the performance of EU-TIRADS in stratifying the risk of thyroid nodules was high. Also, EU-TIRADS class 5 showed moderate evidence of detecting malignant lesions.

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Anke Tönjes, Annett Hoffmann, Susan Kralisch, Abdul Rashid Qureshi, Nora Klöting, Markus Scholz, Dorit Schleinitz, Anette Bachmann, Jürgen Kratzsch, Marcin Nowicki, Sabine Paeschke, Kerstin Wirkner, Cornelia Enzenbach, Ronny Baber, Joachim Beige, Matthias Anders, Ingolf Bast, Matthias Blüher, Peter Kovacs, Markus Löffler, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C. Harris, Peter Stenvinkel, Michael Stumvoll, Mathias Fasshauer, and Thomas Ebert

Background:

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high risk of premature cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and show increased mortality. Pro-neurotensin (Pro-NT) was associated with metabolic diseases and predicted incident CVD and mortality. However, Pro-NT regulation in CKD and its potential role linking CKD and mortality have not been investigated, so far.

Methods:

In a central lab, circulating Pro-NT was quantified in three independent cohorts comprising 4715 participants (cohort 1: patients with CKD; cohort 2: general population study; and cohort 3: non-diabetic population study). Urinary Pro-NT was assessed in part of the patients from cohort 1. In a 4th independent cohort, serum Pro-NT was further related to mortality in patients with advanced CKD. Tissue-specific Nts expression was further investigated in two mouse models of diabetic CKD and compared to non-diabetic control mice.

Results:

Pro-NT significantly increased with deteriorating renal function (P < 0.001). In meta-analysis of cohorts 1–3, Pro-NT was significantly and independently associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (P ≤ 0.002). Patients in the middle/high Pro-NT tertiles at baseline had a higher all-cause mortality compared to the low Pro-NT tertile (Hazard ratio: 2.11, P = 0.046). Mice with severe diabetic CKD did not show increased Nts mRNA expression in different tissues compared to control animals.

Conclusions:

Circulating Pro-NT is associated with impaired renal function in independent cohorts comprising 4715 subjects and is related to all-cause mortality in patients with end-stage kidney disease. Our human and rodent data are in accordance with the hypotheses that Pro-NT is eliminated by the kidneys and could potentially contribute to increased mortality observed in patients with CKD.

Open access

Emily Cottrell, Claudia P Cabrera, Miho Ishida, Sumana Chatterjee, James Greening, Neil Wright, Artur Bossowski, Leo Dunkel, Asma Deeb, Iman Al Basiri, Stephen J Rose, Avril Mason, Susan Bint, Joo Wook Ahn, Vivian Hwa, Louise A Metherell, Gudrun Moore, and Helen L Storr

Objective: Copy number variation (CNV) has been associated with idiopathic short stature, small for gestational age and Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). It has not been extensively investigated in growth hormone insensitivity (GHI; short stature, IGF-1 deficiency and normal/high GH) or previously in IGF-1 insensitivity (short stature, high/normal GH and IGF-1).

Design and Methods: Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation was performed with ~60,000 probe oligonucleotide array in GHI (n=53) and IGF-1 insensitivity (n=10) subjects. Published literature, mouse models, DECIPHER CNV tracks, growth associated GWAS loci and pathway enrichment analyses were used to identify key biological pathways/novel candidate growth genes within the CNV regions.

Results: Both cohorts were enriched for class 3-5 CNVs (7/53 (13%) GHI and 3/10 (30%) IGF-1 insensitivity patients). Interestingly, 6/10 (60%) CNV subjects had diagnostic/associated clinical features of SRS. 5/10 subjects (50%) had CNVs previously reported in suspected SRS: 1q21 (n=2), 12q14 (n=1) deletions and Xp22 (n=1), Xq26 (n=1) duplications. A novel 15q11 deletion, previously associated with growth failure but not SRS/GHI was identified. Bioinformatic analysis identified 45 novel candidate growth genes, 15 being associated with growth in GWAS. The WNT canonical pathway was enriched in the GHI cohort and CLOCK was identified as an upstream regulator in the IGF-1 insensitivity cohorts.

Conclusions: Our cohort was enriched for low frequency CNVs. Our study emphasises the importance of CNV testing in GHI and IGF-1 insensitivity patients, particularly GHI subjects with SRS features. Functional experimental evidence is now required to validate the novel candidate growth genes, interactions and biological pathways identified.

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Anna-Maria Eleftheriadou, Sebastian Mehl, Kostja Renko, Rega H. Kasim, Jasmin-Annabelle Schaefer, Waldemar B. Minich, and Lutz Schomburg

Objective: Iodide transport across thyrocytes constitutes a critical step for thyroid hormone biosynthesis, mediated mainly by the basolateral sodium-iodide-symporter (NIS) and the apical anion exchanger pendrin (PDS). Both transmembrane proteins have been described as autoantigens in thyroid disease, yet the reports on autoantibody (aAb) prevalence and diagnostic usefulness are conflicting. Reasons for the inconclusive findings may be small study groups and principle differences in the technologies used.

Design: We decided to re-evaluate this important issue by establishing novel non-radioactive tests using full-length antigens and comparable protocols, and analysing a large cohort of thyroid patients (n=323) and control samples (n=400).

Methods: NIS and PDS were recombinantly expressed as fusion protein with firefly luciferase (Luc). Stably transfected HEK293 cells were used as reproducible source of the autoantigens.

Results: Recombinant NIS-Luc showed iodide transport activity, indicating successful expression and correct processing. Commercial antibodies yielded dose-dependent responses in the newly established assays. Reproducibility of assay signals from patient sera was verified with respect to linearity, stability and absence of matrix effects. Prevalence of PDS-aAb was similar in thyroid patients and controls (7.7% versus 5.0%). NIS-aAb were more prevalent in patients (7.7% versus 1.8%), especially in Graves’ Disease (12.3%). Neither NIS-aAb nor PDS-aAb concentrations were related to TPO-aAb or TSH-receptor-aAb concentrations, or to serum zinc or selenium status.

Conclusions: Our data highlight a potential relevance of autoimmunity against NIS for thyroid disease, whereas an assessment of PDS-aAb in thyroid patients seems not to be of diagnostic value (yet).

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Olaf M Dekkers and Rolf H.h. Groenwold

The name of the study should properly reflect the actual conduct and analysis of the study. This short paper provides guidance on how to properly name the study design. The first distinction is between a trial (intervention given to patients to study its effect) and an observational study. For observational studies, it should further be decided whether it is cross-sectional or whether follow-up time is taken into account (cohort or case-control study). The distinction prospective-retrospective has two disadvantages: prospective is often seen as marker of higher quality, which is not necessarily true; there is no unifying definition that makes a proper distinction between retrospective and prospective possible.

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Robin P. Peeters and Juan P. Brito

There is controversy on the treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH). While a number of guidelines from professional societies recommend treatment of SCH based on TSH levels, age, and presence of comorbidities, a recent guideline issued a recommendation against thyroid hormone treatment in adults with SCH. In this debate article, we explore this controversy by presenting two points of view about SCH and its treatment. Treatment of patients who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant will not be discussed.

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Ola Nilsson

Short stature is one of the most common causes for referrals to pediatric endocrinologists. However, in a majority of the children, no underlying cause can be identified and the child instead receives the unhelpful diagnosis of idiopathic short stature (ISS), often after extensive work-up and testing. Recent advances in genetic methodology have allowed for the identification of a number of different monogenic conditions within the large cohort of ISS children. Isolated short stature and advanced bone age, with or without early-onset osteoarthritis and/or osteochondritis dissecans (MIM#165800) due to heterozygous aggrecan gene mutations exemplifies how this progress is changing the way we assess, counsel and treat children with non-endocrine growth disorders.

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Mischa de Ridder, Els Nieveen van Dijkum, Anton Engelsman, Ellen Kapiteijn, Heinz-Josef Klümpen, and Coen R N Rasch

Objective

To perform a nationwide population based study in ATC on incidence, treatment and survival.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

All patients with primary ATC between 1989 and 2016 were identified in the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). Of all these patients excerpts from the pathology reports from PALGA: Dutch Pathology registry were linked to the data of the NCR. Standardized incidences were calculated, survival was estimated using Kaplan–Meier method and univariable statistically significant factors were included in a multivariable regression model.

Results

In total, 812 patients were included. Mean standardized incidence rates were 0.18/100 000 (range 0.11–0.27/100 000) with a significant trend over the years with an estimated annual percentage change of 1.3% per year (95% CI 0.4–2.1%). Median overall survival was 2.2 months, and estimated 1-year survival was 12%. Patients without distant metastases at diagnosis had an estimated 1-year survival of 21.6%. Prognostic factors for prolonged survival were double or triple therapy, age below 65 years, M0-status and absence of bilateral lymph node metastases.

Conclusions

ATC is rare, but often lethal, form of thyroid cancer, with a median survival of 2 months and 1-year survival of approximately 10%. The incidence is slightly rising in the Netherlands over the past 3 decades. There appears to be a subgroup of patients that survive longer, mainly those with relatively limited disease who underwent double or triple therapy. Further research is needed to define these patients more distinctively.