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Tero Varimo, Yafei Wang, Päivi J Miettinen, Kirsi Vaaralahti, Matti Hero, and Taneli Raivio

Objective

The role of miRNA as endocrine regulators is emerging, and microRNA mir-30b has been reported to repress Mkrn3. However, the expression of miR-30b during male puberty has not been studied.

Design and methods

Circulating relative miR-30b expression was assessed in sera of 26 boys with constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP), treated with low-dose testosterone (T) (n =11) or aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Lz) (n =15) for 6 months and followed up to 12 months (NCT01797718). The associations between the relative expression of miR-30b and hormonal markers of puberty were evaluated.

Results

During the 12 months of the study, circulating miR-30b expression increased 2.4 ± 2.5 (s.d.) fold (P = 0.008) in all boys, but this change did not correlate with corresponding changes in LH, testosterone, inhibin B, FSH, or testicular volume (P = 0.25-0.96). Lz-induced activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis was associated with more variable miR-30b responses at 3 months (P < 0.05), whereas those treated with T exhibited significant changes in relative miR-30b levels in the course the study (P < 0.01–0.05).

Conclusions

Circulating miR-30b expression in boys with CDGP increases in the course of puberty, and appears to be related to the activity of the HPG axis.

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Meena Bandhakavi, Amy Wanaguru, Loveline Ayuk, Jeremy M Kirk, Timothy G Barrett, Melanie Kershaw, Wolfgang Högler, and Nicholas J Shaw

Introduction

Autosomal recessive forms of pseudohypoaldosteronism are caused by genetic defects in the epithelial sodium channel. Little is known about the long-term outcome and medication needs during childhood and adolescence.

Objective

This study reports a single-centre experience of children affected with this ultra-rare condition over a 37-year period.

Methods

We report the clinical presentation, growth, neuro-development, associated conditions, mortality and medication dosing and administration for 12 affected children from eight families.

Results

All children were presented within the first 2 weeks of life with life-threatening, severe hyperkalaemia and hyponatraemia. All parents were consanguineous and of South Asian, Middle Eastern or African ethnic origin. Eight children had homozygous mutations in the SCNN1A and SCNN1G genes, encoding the epithelial sodium channel subunits alpha and gamma, respectively, including one novel mutation. Three children died (25%) and two (16%) had severe neurological impairment post-cardiac arrest secondary to hyperkalaemia. One affected female had a successful pregnancy at the age of 28 years.

Conclusion

Despite high mortality and morbidity in this condition, survival with normal physical and neurological outcome is possible, justifying intensive management to prevent electrolyte imbalance.

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Danielle M Richman, Christine E Cherella, Jessica R Smith, Biren P Modi, Benjamin Zendejas, Mary C Frates, and Ari J Wassner

Objective

Surgical resection is recommended for cytologically indeterminate pediatric thyroid nodules due to their intermediate malignancy risk. We evaluated the utility of ultrasound characteristics for refining malignancy risk to inform the management of these nodules.

Design

Retrospective cohort study (2004–2019).

Methods

We analyzed consecutive thyroid nodules with indeterminate fine-needle aspiration cytology (Bethesda category III, IV, or V) in pediatric patients (<19 years). We assessed the association of demographic and sonographic characteristics with malignancy risk among all indeterminate nodules and within each Bethesda category.

Results

Eighty-seven cytologically indeterminate nodules were identified in 78 patients. Bethesda category was III in 56 nodules (64%), IV in 12 (14%), and V in 19 (22%). The malignancy rate was 46/87 (53%) overall, and 23/56 (41%), 8/12 (75%), and 15/19 (79%) in Bethesda III, IV, and V nodules, respectively. Malignancy rate was higher in solitary nodules (67% vs 37%, P = 0.004) and nodules with irregular margins (100% vs 44%, P < 0.001) or calcifications (82% vs 43%, P = 0.002). American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging, Reporting and Data System (ACR TI-RADS) risk level TR5 was associated with a higher rate of malignancy than lower TI-RADS risk levels (80% vs 42%, P = 0.002). Within individual Bethesda categories, TI-RADS risk level was not associated with malignancy. No sonographic feature had a negative predictive value for malignancy greater than 80%.

Conclusions

In pediatric thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology, some sonographic features – including higher ACR TI-RADS risk level – are associated with malignancy, but these associations are unlikely to alter clinical management in most cases.

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Martina Behanova, Judith Haschka, Jochen Zwerina, Thomas C Wascher, Berthold Reichardt, Klaus Klaushofer, and Roland Kocijan

Objective

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of osteoporosis and shorter life expectancy. Hip fracture (HF) is the most serious consequence of osteoporosis and is associated with increased mortality risk. We aimed to assess the association of antidiabetic medications with HF and the post-hip fracture mortality risk among diabetic patients ≥50 years.

Design

In this nationwide case-control study 53 992 HF cases and 112 144 age-, sex- and region-matched non-hip fracture controls were analyzed. A cohort of hip-fractured diabetic patients were followed-up for an all-cause mortality.

Methods

We defined three groups of diabetic patients based on a prescription of antidiabetic medications: group 1 treated with insulin monotherapy (G1DM), group 2 (G2DM) treated with blood glucose-lowering drugs (BGLD) only, group 3 on a combined BGLD and insulin therapy (G3DM). We applied logistic regression and Cox regression.

Results

We identified 2757 G1DM patients, 15 310 G2DM patients, 3775 G3DM patients and 144 294 patients without any antidiabetic treatment. All three groups of diabetic patients had increased odds of HF compared to controls. G1DM patients aged 50–64 years (aOR: 4.80, 95% CI: 3.22–7.17) and G3DM patients (aOR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.02–1.88) showed the highest HF odds, whereas G2DM patients had 18% decrease in HF odds than their non-diabetic controls (aOR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.69–0.99). All diabetic patients had increased post-hip fracture mortality risk compared to non-diabetic controls. The highest mortality hazard was observed in G1DM patients, being greater for women than men (HR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.55–1.89 and HR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.27–1.64, respectively).

Conclusions

Antidiabetic medications increase the probability of HF. Diabetic patients, who sustained HF have a higher mortality risk than non-diabetic patients.

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C Saïe, J Wassermann, E Mathy, N Chereau, L Leenhardt, S Tezenas du Montcel, and C Buffet

Objective

The objectives of our study were to analyze the influence of age on the survival of patients with RAIR-DTC and to determine their prognostic factors according to age.

Methods

This single-center, retrospective study enrolled 155 patients diagnosed with RAIR-DTC. The primary end point was overall survival (OS) according to different cutoff (45, 55, 65, 75 years). Secondary endpoints were progression free survival (PFS) and prognostic factors in patients under and over 65 years.

Results

Median OS after RAIR diagnosis was 8.2 years (95% IC: 5.3–9.6). There was no difference according to age with a 65 (P = 0.47) and 55 years old cutoff (P = 0.28). Median OS improved significantly before 45 years old (P = 0.0043). After 75 years old, median OS significantly decreased (P = 0.0008). Median PFS was 2.1 years (95% CI: 0.8–3) in patients < 65 years old, and 1 year in patients ≥ 65 years old (95% CI: 0.8–1.55) with no statistical difference (P = 0.22). There was no impact of age on PFS with any cutoff. In both groups, progressive disease despite 131I treatment reduced OS. In patients < 65 years old, an interval of less than 3 years between the initial diagnosis and the diagnosis of RAIR metastatic disease was predictive of poor survival. In patients > 65 years old, the presence of a mediastinum metastasis was a significant factor for mortality (HR: 4.55, 95% CI: 2.27–9.09).

Conclusion

In RAIR-DTC patients, a cut-off age of 65 years old was not a significant predictive factor of survival. Forty-five and 75-years-old cutoff were predictive for OS but not PFS.

Open access

Anuradhaa Subramanian, Astha Anand, Nicola J Adderley, Kelvin Okoth, Konstantinos A Toulis, Krishna Gokhale, Christopher Sainsbury, Michael W O’Reilly, Wiebke Arlt, and Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar

Objective

Several recent observational studies have linked metabolic comorbidities to an increased risk from COVID-19. Here we investigated whether women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Design

Population-based closed cohort study between 31 January 2020 and 22 July 2020 in the setting of a UK primary care database (The Health Improvement Network, THIN).

Methods

The main outcome was the incidence of COVID-19 coded as suspected or confirmed by the primary care provider. We used Cox proportional hazards regression model with stepwise inclusion of explanatory variables (age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation, androgen excess, anovulation, vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease) to provide unadjusted and adjusted hazard risks (HR) of COVID-19 infection among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS.

Results

We identified 21 292 women with a coded diagnosis of PCO/PCOS and randomly selected 78 310 aged and general practice matched control women. The crude COVID-19 incidence was 18.1 and 11.9 per 1000 person-years among women with and without PCOS, respectively. Age-adjusted Cox regression analysis suggested a 51% higher risk of COVID-19 among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS (HR: 1.51 (95% CI: 1.27–1.80), P < 0.001). After adjusting for age and BMI, HR reduced to 1.36 (1.14–1.63)], P = 0.001. In the fully adjusted model, women with PCOS had a 28% increased risk of COVID-19 (aHR: 1.28 (1.05–1.56), P = 0.015).

Conclusion

Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and should be specifically encouraged to adhere to infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significance statement

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardio-metabolic disease, which have been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19. To investigate whether the increased metabolic risk in PCOS translates into an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, we carried out a population-based closed cohort study in the UK during its first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (January to July 2020), including 21 292 women with PCOS and 78 310 controls matched for sex, age and general practice location. Results revealed a 52% increased risk of COVID-19 infection in women with PCOS, which remained increased at 28% above controls after adjustment for age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation and other explanatory variables.

Open access

Radu Mihai and Rajesh V Thakker

Background

Permanent postsurgical hypoparathyroidism (POSH) is a major complication of anterior neck surgery in general and of thyroid surgery in particular. Depending on diagnostic criteria, up to 10% of patients undergoing bilateral thyroid surgery develop POSH. This leads to a multitude of symptoms that decrease the quality of life and burden the healthcare provision through complex needs for medication and treatment of specific complications, such as seizures and laryngospasm.

Methods

Narrative review of current medical treatments for POSH and of the experience accumulated with parathyroid allotransplantation.

Results

In most patients, POSH is controlled with regular use of calcium supplements and active vitamin D analogues but a significant proportion of patients continue to experience severe symptoms requiring repeated emergency admissions. Replacement therapy with synthetic PTH compounds (PTH1-34, Natpara® and PTH1-84, teriparatide, Forsteo®) has been assessed in multicentre trials, but the use of this medication is restricted by costs and concerns related to the risk of development of osteosarcoma. Based on recent case reports of successful allotransplantation of parathyroid tissue between siblings, there is renewed interest in this technique. Data on selection of donors, parathyroid cell preparation before allotransplantation, site and timing of transplantation, need for immunosuppression and long-term outcomes are reviewed.

Conclusion

A prospective trial to assess the efficacy of parathyroid allotransplantation in patients with severely symptomatic protracted post-surgical hypoparathyroidism is warranted.

Free access

David P Sonne

During the last decades, it has become clear that the gastrointestinal tract plays a pivotal role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. More than 40 hormones originate from the gastrointestinal tract and several of these impact glucose metabolism and appetite regulation. An astonishing example of the gut’s integrative role in glucose metabolism originates from investigations into bile acid biology. From primary animal studies, it has become clear that bile acids should no longer be labelled as simple detergents necessary for lipid digestion and absorption but should also be recognised as metabolic regulators implicated in lipid, glucose and energy metabolism. The nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a part of an exquisite bile acid-sensing system that among other things ensures the optimal size of the bile acid pool. In addition, intestinal and hepatic FXR also impact the regulation of several metabolic processes such as glucose and lipid metabolism. Accordingly, natural and synthetic FXR agonists and certain FXR-regulated factors (i.e. fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19)) are increasingly being evaluated as treatments for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (and its inflammatory version, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). Interestingly, decreased FXR activation also benefits glucose metabolism. This can be obtained by reducing bile acid absorption using bile acid sequestering agents (approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes) or inhibitors of intestinal bile acid transporters,that is the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). This article discusses recent clinical trials that provide insights about the role of FXR-FGF19-targetted therapy for the treatment of metabolic diseases.

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A Rozenbaum, C Buffet, C Bigorgne, B Royer, A Rouxel, M Bienvenu, N Chereau, F Menegaux, L Leenhardt, and G Russ

Objective

Active surveillance of cytologically proven microcarcinomas has been shown as a safe procedure. However, fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is not recommended by European Thyroid Association (ETA) and American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines for highly suspicious nodules ≤ 10 mm. The aim of the study was to assess the outcomes of active surveillance of EU-TIRADS 5 nodules ≤ 10 mm not initially submitted to FNAB.

Patients and methods

80 patients with at least one EU-TIRADS 5 nodule ≤ 10 mm and no suspicious lymph nodes, accepting active surveillance, were included.

Results

Mean baseline diameter and volume were 5.4 mm (±2.0) and 64.4 mm3 (±33.5), respectively. After a median follow-up of 36.1 months, a volumetric increase ≥ 50% occurred in 28 patients (35.0%) and a suspicious lymph node in 3 patients (3.8%). Twenty-four patients underwent an FNAB (30.0%) after at least a 1 year follow-up of which 45.8% were malignant, 8.3% benign, 33.3% undetermined and 8.3% nondiagnostic. Sixteen patients (20.0%) underwent conversion surgery after a median follow-up of 57.2 months, confirming the diagnosis of papillary carcinoma in 15/16 cases (not described in 1 histology report), all in remission at 6–12 months postoperative follow-up.

Conclusion

Applying ETA and ATA guidelines to avoid FNA of EU-TIRADS 5 sub-centimeter nodules and proceeding to active surveillance of such nodules in selected patients is a safe procedure. Thus, US-FNAB could be postponed until the nodule shows signs of progression or a suspicious lymph node appears, with no added risk for the patient.