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Alfredo Berruti, Rossella Libè, Marta Laganà, Hester Ettaieb, Mohamad Anas Sukkari, Jérôme Bertherat, Richard A Feelders, Salvatore Grisanti, Jérôme Cartry, Gherardo Mazziotti, Sandra Sigala, Eric Baudin, Harm Haak, Mouhammed Amir Habra and Massimo Terzolo

Introduction

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer that commonly spreads to the liver, lungs and lymph nodes. Bone metastases are infrequent.

Objective

The aim of this report was to describe the clinical characteristics, survival perspective, prognostic factors and frequency of adverse skeletal-related events (SREs) in patients with ACC who developed bone metastasis.

Methods

This is a retrospective, observational, multicenter, multinational study of patients diagnosed with bone metastases from ACC who were treated and followed up in three European countries (France, Italy and The Netherlands) and one center in the United States.

Results

Data of 156 patients were captured. The median overall survival was 11 months. SREs occurred in 47% of patients: 17% bone fractures, 17% spinal cord compression, 1% hypercalcemia, 12% developed more than one SRE. In multivariate analysis, cortisol hypersecretion was the only prognostic factor significantly associated with a higher mortality risk (hazard ratio (HR) 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19–4.23, P = 0.013) and with the development of a SREs (of border line significance). The administration of antiresorptive therapies (bisphosphonates and denosumab) was associated with a lower risk of death, even if not significant, and their survival benefit appeared confined in patients attaining serum mitotane levels within the therapeutic range.

Conclusion

Bone metastases in ACC patients are associated with poor prognosis and high risk of SREs. Cortisol hypersecretion was the only prognostic factor suggesting a potential benefit from antisecretory medications. The therapeutic role of bisphosphonates and denosumab to improve patient outcome deserves to be tested in a prospective clinical trial.

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Yamina Dassa, Hélène Crosnier, Mathilde Chevignard, Magali Viaud, Claire Personnier, Isabelle Flechtner, Philippe Meyer, Stéphanie Puget, Nathalie Boddaert, Sylvain Breton and Michel Polak

Objectives

Childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a public health issue. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of permanent pituitary hormone deficiency and to detect the emergence of other pituitary dysfunctions or central precocious puberty several years after severe TBI.

Design

Follow-up at least 5 years post severe TBI of a prospective longitudinal study.

Patients

Overall, 66/87 children, who had endocrine evaluation 1 year post severe TBI, were included (24 with pituitary dysfunction 1 year post TBI).

Main outcome measures

In all children, the pituitary hormones basal levels were assessed at least 5 years post TBI. Growth hormone (GH) stimulation tests were performed 3–4 years post TBI in children with GH deficiency (GHD) 1 year post TBI and in all children with low height velocity (<−1 DS) or low IGF-1 (<−2 DS). Central precocious puberty (CPP) was confirmed by GnRH stimulation test.

Results

Overall, 61/66 children were followed up 7 (5–10) years post TBI (median; (range)); 17/61 children had GHD 1 year post TBI, and GHD was confirmed in 5/17 patients. For one boy, with normal pituitary function 1 year post TBI, GHD was diagnosed 6.5 years post TBI. 4/61 patients developed CPP, 5.7 (2.4–6.1) years post-TBI. Having a pituitary dysfunction 1 year post TBI was significantly associated with pituitary dysfunction or CPP more than 5 years post TBI.

Conclusion

Severe TBI in childhood can lead to permanent pituitary dysfunction; GHD and CPP may appear after many years. We recommend systematic hormonal assessment in children 1 year after severe TBI and a prolonged monitoring of growth and pubertal maturation. Recommendations should be elaborated for the families and treating physicians.

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Tulay Guran, Gozde Yesil, Serap Turan, Zeynep Atay, Emine Bozkurtlar, AghaRza Aghayev, Sinem Gul, Ilker Tinay, Basak Aru, Sema Arslan, M Kutay Koroglu, Feriha Ercan, Gulderen Y Demirel, Funda S Eren, Betul Karademir and Abdullah Bereket

Context

Most of the knowledge on the factors involved in human sexual development stems from studies of rare cases with disorders of sex development. Here, we have described a novel 46, XY complete gonadal dysgenesis syndrome caused by homozygous variants in PPP2R3C gene. This gene encodes B″gamma regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which is a serine/threonine phosphatase involved in the phospho-regulation processes of most mammalian cell types. PPP2R3C gene is most abundantly expressed in testis in humans, while its function was hitherto unknown.

Patients and methods

Four girls from four unrelated families with 46, XY complete gonadal dysgenesis were studied using exome or Sanger sequencing of PPP2R3C gene. In total, four patients and their heterozygous parents were investigated for clinical, laboratory, immunohistochemical and molecular characteristics.

Results

We have identified three different homozygous PPP2R3C variants, c.308T>C (p.L103P), c.578T>C (p.L193S) and c.1049T>C (p.F350S), in four girls with 46, XY complete gonadal dysgenesis. Patients also manifested a unique syndrome of extragonadal anomalies, including typical facial gestalt, low birth weight, myopathy, rod and cone dystrophy, anal atresia, omphalocele, sensorineural hearing loss, dry and scaly skin, skeletal abnormalities, renal agenesis and neuromotor delay. We have shown a decreased SOX9-Phospho protein expression in the dysgenetic gonads of the patients with homozygous PPP2R3C variants suggesting impaired SOX9 signaling in the pathogenesis of gonadal dysgenesis. Heterozygous males presented with abnormal sperm morphology and impaired fertility.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that PPP2R3C protein is involved in the ontogeny of multiple organs, especially critical for testis development and spermatogenesis. PPPR3C provides insight into pathophysiology, as well as emerging as a potential therapeutic target for male infertility.

Free access

Frederic Castinetti, Thierry Brue and Oskar Ragnarsson

Treatment of Cushing’s disease (CD) is one of the most challenging tasks in endocrinology. The first-line treatment, transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, is associated with a high failure rate and a high prevalence of recurrence. Re-operation is associated with an even higher rate of a failure and recurrence. There are three main second-line treatments for CD – pituitary radiation therapy (RT), bilateral adrenalectomy and chronic cortisol-lowering medical treatment. All these treatments have their limitations. While bilateral adrenalectomy provides permanent cure of the hypercortisolism in all patients, the unavoidable chronic adrenal insufficiency and the risk of development of Nelson syndrome are of concern. Chronic cortisol-lowering medical treatment is not efficient in all patients and side effects are often a limiting factor. RT is efficient for approximately two-thirds of all patients with CD. However, the high prevalence of pituitary insufficiency is of concern as well as potential optic nerve damage, development of cerebrovascular disease and secondary brain tumours. Thus, when it comes to decide appropriate treatment for patients with CD, who have either failed to achieve remission with pituitary surgery, or patients with recurrence, the pros and cons of all second-line treatment options must be considered.

Free access

Paul Lips, Kevin D Cashman, Christel Lamberg-Allardt, Heike Annette Bischoff-Ferrari, Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch, Maria Luisa Bianchi, Jan Stepan, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan and Roger Bouillon

Vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) <50 nmol/L or 20 ng/mL) is common in Europe and the Middle East. It occurs in <20% of the population in Northern Europe, in 30–60% in Western, Southern and Eastern Europe and up to 80% in Middle East countries. Severe deficiency (serum 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L or 12 ng/mL) is found in >10% of Europeans. The European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) advises that the measurement of serum 25(OH)D be standardized, for example, by the Vitamin D Standardization Program. Risk groups include young children, adolescents, pregnant women, older people (especially the institutionalized) and non-Western immigrants. Consequences of vitamin D deficiency include mineralization defects and lower bone mineral density causing fractures. Extra-skeletal consequences may be muscle weakness, falls and acute respiratory infection, and are the subject of large ongoing clinical trials. The ECTS advises to improve vitamin D status by food fortification and the use of vitamin D supplements in risk groups. Fortification of foods by adding vitamin D to dairy products, bread and cereals can improve the vitamin D status of the whole population, but quality assurance monitoring is needed to prevent intoxication. Specific risk groups such as infants and children up to 3 years, pregnant women, older persons and non-Western immigrants should routinely receive vitamin D supplements. Future research should include genetic studies to better define individual vulnerability for vitamin D deficiency, and Mendelian randomization studies to address the effect of vitamin D deficiency on long-term non-skeletal outcomes such as cancer.

Open access

Balachandran Kumarendran, Dana Sumilo, Michael W O’Reilly, Konstantinos A Toulis, Krishna M Gokhale, Chandrika N Wijeyaratne, Arri Coomarasamy, Wiebke Arlt, Abd A Tahrani and Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar

Objective

Obesity is very common in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Longitudinal studies assessing OSA risk in PCOS and examining the role of obesity are lacking. Our objective was to assess the risk of OSA in women with vs without PCOS and to examine the role of obesity in the observed findings.

Design

Population-based retrospective cohort study utilizing The Health Improvement Network (THIN), UK.

Methods

76 978 women with PCOS and 143 077 age-, BMI- and location-matched women without PCOS between January 2000 and May 2017 were identified. Hazard ratio (HR) for OSA among women with and without PCOS were calculated after controlling for confounding variables using multivariate Cox models.

Results

Median patient age was 30 (IQR: 25–35) years; median follow-up was 3.5 (IQR: 1.4–7.1) years. We found 298 OSA cases in PCOS women vs 222 in controls, with incidence rates for OSA of 8.1 and 3.3 per 10 000 person years, respectively. Women with PCOS were at increased risk of developing OSA (adjusted HR = 2.26, 95% CI: 1.89–2.69, P < 0.001), with similar HRs for normal weight, overweight and obese PCOS women.

Conclusions

Women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing OSA compared to control women irrespective of obesity. Considering the significant metabolic morbidity associated with OSA, clinicians should have a low threshold to test for OSA in women with PCOS. Whether OSA treatment has an impact on PCOS symptoms and outcomes needs to be examined.

Free access

Hermann L Müller

This review presents an update on current concepts of pathogenesis, diagnostics, multidisciplinary treatment and follow-up care, with special focus on neuropsychological sequelae of childhood-onset craniopharyngioma (CP) based on most recent publications on these topics. Recent insight in molecular pathogenesis of CP opens new perspectives on targeted therapy. Further research to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms and to prevent hypothalamic involvement of CP is warranted. Surgical treatment strategies should be based on a multidisciplinary approach involving experienced teams aiming at posterior hypothalamus-sparing treatment for prevention of quality of life impairments. Centralization of CP treatment in experienced ‘centers of excellence’ is recommended. However, such centralization includes high thresholds concerning infrastructure not achievable in all health systems. Alternatives such as multicenter-based networks used for reference assessments should be considered to assure high standards of treatment quality. Irradiation is efficient in preventing further growth or recurrence in CP patients with residual tumor. Proton beam therapy – available on a wider range in the near future – will help to avoid radiooncological side effects. Novel insights into neuropsychological sequelae after CP should be the basis for the development of future therapeutic neuropsychological interventions. Due to the rareness of the disease, common international efforts in research and treatment are recommended and should lead to an international registry for childhood-onset CP, as a first step toward efficient coordination of scientific and clinical initiatives.

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Guy Fagherazzi, Gaelle Gusto, Douae El Fatouhi, Francesca Romana Mancini, Beverley Balkau, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault and Fabrice Bonnet

Hypothesis

Previous work suggested no or inconsistent associations between components of work-related stress and type 2 diabetes risk, but suggested sex-specific differences should be further investigated, as women potentially had higher risks.

Methods

We analyzed data from 73 517 women, mostly teachers, from the E3N cohort study followed for 22 years (1992–2014), to study the association between mentally tiring work, used as a proxy of job demands, and type 2 diabetes risk. Univariate and multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results

A total of 4187 incident cases of type 2 diabetes cases were observed. There was a higher type 2 diabetes risk for women with a ‘Very mentally tiring work’ when compared to women with ‘Little or not mentally tiring work’ (HR = 1.21 (1.09–1.35)). This association was independent of unhealthy lifestyle and traditional metabolic factors. An interaction between mentally tiring work and BMI was detected (P < 0.0001), with a stronger association being observed in non-overweight women, HR = 1.26 (1.08–1.47) vs HR = 1.14 (0.98, 1.32), in overweight women.

Conclusions

We observed an increased risk of type 2 diabetes associated with mentally tiring work, used as a proxy of job demands. These observational results suggest the importance of taking into consideration the potential long-term metabolic impact of work-related stress for women working in a demanding environment. Increased support for such women should be investigated in intervention studies.

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Anne Marie Hannon, Triona O’Shea, Claire A Thompson, Mark J Hannon, Rosemary Dineen, Aftab Khattak, James Gibney, Domhnall J O’Halloran, Steven Hunter, Christopher J Thompson and Mark Sherlock

Pregnancy is rarely reported in acromegaly. Many patients are diagnosed in later life and younger patients may have subfertility due to hypopituitarism. We present a case series of 17 pregnancies in 12 women with acromegaly.

Twelve women with acromegaly who completed pregnancy were identified from centres involved in the Irish Pituitary Study. Eleven women had pituitary macroadenomas and one woman had a microadenoma. Only 5/17 pregnancies had optimal biochemical control of acromegaly preconception, as defined by IGF-1 concentration in the age-related reference level and plasma GH concentration of <2 μg/L. In 6/17 pregnancies, dopamine agonist treatment was continued during pregnancy; all other acromegaly treatments were discontinued during pregnancy.

Effect of pregnancy on acromegaly: No patient developed new visual field abnormalities, or symptoms suggestive of tumour expansion during pregnancy. In 9/12 patients, plasma IGF-1 concentrations that were elevated preconception normalised during pregnancy. There was a reduction in plasma IGF-1 concentrations, though not into the normal range, in a further two pregnancies.

Effect of acromegaly on pregnancy: 15 healthy babies were born at term; one patient underwent emergency C-section at 32 weeks for pre-eclampsia, and one twin pregnancy had an elective C-section at 35 weeks’ gestation. Blood pressure remained within normal limits in the remainder of the pregnancies. Gestational diabetes did not develop in any pregnancy.

Our data suggests that pregnancy in women with acromegaly is generally safe, from a maternal and foetal perspective. Furthermore, biochemical control tends to improve despite the withdrawal of somatostatin analogue therapy during pregnancy.

Open access

Guodong Xu, Dingyun You, Liping Wong, Donghui Duan, Fanqian Kong, Xiaohong Zhang, Jinshun Zhao, Wenhua Xing, Liyuan Han and Li Li

Objective

Previous studies have shown sex-specific differences in all-cause and CHD mortality in type 2 diabetes. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide a global picture of the estimated influence of type 2 diabetes on the risk of all-cause and CHD mortality in women vs men.

Methods

We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science for studies published from their starting dates to Aug 7, 2018. The sex-specific hazard ratios (HRs) and their pooled ratio (women vs men) of all-cause and CHD mortality associated with type 2 diabetes were obtained through an inverse variance-weighted random-effects meta-analysis. Subgroup analyses were used to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity.

Results

The 35 analyzed prospective cohort studies included 2 314 292 individuals, among whom 254 038 all-cause deaths occurred. The pooled women vs men ratio of the HRs for all-cause and CHD mortality were 1.17 (95% CI: 1.12–1.23, I 2 = 81.6%) and 1.97 (95% CI: 1.49–2.61, I 2 = 86.4%), respectively. The pooled estimate of the HR for all-cause mortality was approximately 1.30 in articles in which the duration of follow-up was longer than 10 years and 1.10 in articles in which the duration of follow-up was less than 10 years. The pooled HRs for all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes was 2.33 (95% CI: 2.02–2.69) in women and 1.91 (95% CI: 1.72–2.12) in men, compared with their healthy counterparts.

Conclusions

The effect of diabetes on all-cause and CHD mortality is approximately 17 and 97% greater, respectively, for women than for men.