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Günter K Stalla, Christina Dimopoulou, Caroline Jung-Sievers, Eduardo Arzt, Marcelo Paez Pereda, Marily Theodoropoulou, Denis Ciato and Ulrich Renner

Although effective treatment regimens (surgical resection, drug treatment with dopamine agonists or somatostatin analogues, radiotherapy) have been established for the therapy of most pituitary tumours, a considerable proportion of affected patients cannot completely cured due to incomplete resection or drug resistance. Moreover, even if hormone levels have been normalized, patients with hormone-secreting tumours still show persistent pathophysiological alterations in metabolic, cardiovascular or neuropsychiatric parameters and have an impaired quality of life. In this review reasons for the discrepancy between biochemical cure and incomplete recovery from tumour-associated comorbidities are discussed and the clinical management is delineated exemplarily for patients with acromegaly and Cushing’s disease. In view of the development of additional treatment concepts for the treatment of pituitary adenomas we speculate about the relevance of RSUME as a potential target for the development of an anti-angiogenic therapy. Moreover, the role of BMP-4 which stimulates prolactinoma development through the Smad signalling cascade is described and its role as putative drug target for the treatment of prolactinomas is discussed. Regarding the well-known resistance of a part of somatotropinomas to somatostatin analogue treatment, recently identified mechanisms responsible for the drug resistance are summarized and ways to overcome them in future treatment concepts are presented. Concerning novel therapeutic options for patients with Cushing’s disease the impact of retinoic acid, which is currently tested in clinical studies, is shown, and the action and putative therapeutic impact of silibinin to resolve glucocorticoid resistance in these patients is critically discussed.

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Daofeng Dai, Yawen Tan, Liangfeng Guo, Aifa Tang and Yongsheng Zhao

Context

Exosomal miRNAs are considered potential non-invasive biomarkers for thyroid cancer. However, the global exosomal miRNAs profile for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has not been revealed.

Objective

This study investigated the diagnostic value of plasma and serum exosomal miRNAs for PTC.

Methods

Plasma and serum samples were collected from ten patients with benign thyroid nodules and 17 with PTC for small RNA sequencing. Plasma samples were collected from two independent cohorts, including 119 patients with PTC, 51 healthy people and 82 patients with benign thyroid nodules, for validation by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR).

Results

Small RNA sequencing identified 41 putative exosomal miRNA biomarkers for PTC. Twelve miRNAs were selected for validation. miR-376a-3p, miR-4306, miR-4433a-5p, and miR-485-3p expression significantly increased in patients with PTC compared to that in healthy people and patients with benign thyroid nodules (P ˂ 0.05). Moreover, miR-485-3p and miR-4433a-5p presented larger areas under the curve (AUCs). The high expression of exosomal miR-485-3p correlated with tumor size greater than or equal to 1 cm, advanced clinical stage, extrathyroidal extension, BRAF mutation, and lymph node metastasis. Besides, miR-485-3p exhibited the highest AUCs in diagnosing PTC patients with high-risk factors.

Conclusions

Plasma exosomal miR-485-3p and miR-4433a-5p might serve as biomarkers for PTC diagnosis. Plasma exosomal miR-485-3p could enable discrimination between high-risk and low-risk PTC.

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Xuefeng Bai, Xiaoyu Chen, Xiaohong Wu, Yinqiong Huang, Yong Zhuang and Xiahong Lin

Objective

Our study aimed to identify and characterize thyroid dysfunctions associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).

Design

Data were obtained from VigiBase, between January 1, 2011 to March 6, 2019.

Methods

All thyroid drug-adverse events are classified by group queries according to the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities. Information component (IC) and reporting odds ratio (ROR) were considered as measures of disproportionality for the assessment of association between ICIs and thyroid dysfunctions. We used IC to identify meaningful drug-adverse events while using ROR to compare differences in the reporting of drug-adverse events caused by different ICI subgroups. Positive IC values are deemed significant.

Results

Compared with the full database, the following ICI-associated thyroid dysfunctions were over-reported: hypothyroidism (1125 reports for ICIs vs 12495 for all drugs; Information Component 4.28 (95% CI: 4.18–4.35)), hyperthyroidism (926 vs 7538; 4.66 (95% CI: 4.55–4.74)), thyroiditis (294 vs 1237; 5.40 (95% CI: 5.21–5.54)), thyrotoxic crisis (11 vs 288; 3.55 (95% CI: 2.61–4.20)). Hypothyroidism was over-reported for patients treated with ICI combination therapy versus those treated with ICI monotherapy (ROR 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1–1.7)), and the same was observed for hyperthyroidism (ROR: 1.9 (95% CI: 1.5–2.4)), thyroiditis (ROR: 3.3 (95% CI: 2.3–4.8)), thyrotoxic crisis (ROR: 11.5 (95% CI: 2.4–53.8)). All 11 thyrotoxic crisis cases were malignant melanoma patients, of which seven occurred under ICI combination therapy.

Conclusions

Thyroid dysfunction may occur after ICI therapies, and severe thyrotoxic crisis may even occur. Raising awareness of ICI-associated thyroid dysfunction can improve the detection and treatment of these diseases.

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Naia Grandgeorge, Giovanni Barchetti, Solange Grunenwald, Fabrice Bonneville and Philippe Caron

Objective

Primary SMSa treatment can be associated with hormonal control and tumor shrinkage in patients with GH-secreting pituitary adenomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether regular MRI follow-up was necessary in patients with acromegaly-treated and responsive to first-generation long-acting SMSa.

Patients and methods

In this retrospective monocentric study we included patients with GH/IGF-1 hypersecretion and pituitary adenomas with normal visual field, primarily treated with first-generation long-acting SMSa between 1995 and 2015 and regularly monitored (clinical evaluation, GH/IGF-1 levels and pituitary MRI) for at least 3 years.

Results

We included 83 patients (32 men and 51 women, mean age at diagnosis 50 ± 12 years) with mean GH = 19.3 ± 25.6 ng/mL, IGF-1 = 284 ± 110% ULN and pituitary adenoma height = 12.9 ± 4.7 mm. Mean follow-up was 8.9 ± 4.9 years in 36 controlled patients and 2.0 ± 1.6 years in 47 partial responders to SMSa alone. No significant increase in pituitary adenoma height was observed. Pituitary adenoma height decreased significantly in controlled patients (diagnosis: 11.9 ± 4.8 mm, SMSa: 9.6 ± 3.3 mm, P < 0.001), and in partially responders (diagnosis: 13.6 ± 4.5 mm, SMSa: 11.5 ± 4.5 mm, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

During SMSa treatment, no significant increase in GH-secreting adenoma size was observed. Primary SMSa treatment was associated with a significantly decrease in adenoma height in our population. Our cohort data suggest that regular MRI follow-up does not seem relevant in patients with acromegaly who are responsive to SMSa treatment.

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Yunting Lin, Yanna Cai, Jianan Xu, Chunhua Zeng, Huiying Sheng, Yang Yu, Xiuzhen Li and Li Liu

Objective

X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLHR) is the most common form of inherited rickets caused by pathogenic variants of PHEX gene with an X-linked dominant inheritance pattern. Precise molecular diagnosis of pathogenic variant will benefit the genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis for the family with XLHR. Here, we presented an ‘isolated’ germline mosaicism in the phenotypically normal father of a girl with XLHR.

Methods and results

For the initial molecular screen of PHEX gene, DNA samples of the proband and her parents were extracted from their peripheral blood samples respectively. Sanger sequencing found a ‘de novo’ novel heterozygous variant, c.1666C>T(p.Q556X), at the PHEX gene in the proband, but not in her phenotypically healthy parents. Due to an occasional abnormality of his serum phosphate previously, further examinations for the father were taken to exclude the possibility of paternal mosaicism. Eight samples from different tissues were analyzed for PHEX gene by Sanger sequencing. Surprisingly, one ‘isolated’ germline mosaicism was detected only in his sperm with an estimated frequency of 26.67%. The mosaic allele was identical to the c.1666C>T(p.Q556X) variant in the proband.

Conclusions

This is the first case of ‘isolated’ germline mosaicism with pathogenic PHEX variant. Our study provides accurate diagnosis and valuable counseling for this family. This report also alerts clinicians and geneticists to exclude the possibility of the isolated germline mosaicism and prevent intrafamilial recurrences of inherited diseases.

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Lotte Kleinendorst, Ozair Abawi, van der Kamp Hetty J, Mariëlle Alders, Meijers-Heijboer Hanne E J, Elisabeth F C van Rossum, van den Akker Erica L T and van Haelst Mieke M

Objective

Leptin receptor (LepR) deficiency is an autosomal-recessive endocrine disorder causing early-onset severe obesity, hyperphagia and pituitary hormone deficiencies. As effective pharmacological treatment has recently been developed, diagnosing LepR deficiency is urgent. However, recognition is challenging and prevalence is unknown. We aim to elucidate the clinical spectrum and to estimate the prevalence of LepR deficiency in Europe.

Design

Comprehensive epidemiologic analysis and systematic literature review.

Methods

We curated a list of LEPR variants described in patients and elaborately evaluated their phenotypes. Subsequently, we extracted allele frequencies from the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD), consisting of sequencing data of 77 165 European individuals. We then calculated the number of individuals with biallelic disease-causing LEPR variants.

Results

Worldwide, 86 patients with LepR deficiency are published. We add two new patients, bringing the total of published patients to 88, of which 21 are European. All patients had early-onset obesity; 96% had hyperphagia; 34% had one or more pituitary hormone deficiencies. Our calculation results in 998 predicted patients in Europe, corresponding to a prevalence of 1.34 per 1 million people (95% CI: 0.95–1.72).

Conclusions

This study shows that LepR deficiency is more prevalent in Europe (n = 998 predicted patients) than currently known (n = 21 patients), suggesting that LepR deficiency is underdiagnosed. An important cause for this could be lack of access to genetic testing. Another possible explanation is insufficient recognition, as only one-third of patients has pituitary hormone deficiencies. With novel highly effective treatment emerging, diagnosing LepR deficiency is more important than ever.

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L T van Hulsteijn, R Pasquali, F Casanueva, M Haluzik, S Ledoux, M P Monteiro, J Salvador, F Santini, H Toplak and O M Dekkers

Objective

The increasing prevalence of obesity is expected to promote the demand for endocrine testing. To facilitate evidence guided testing, we aimed to assess the prevalence of endocrine disorders in patients with obesity. The review was carried out as part of the Endocrine Work-up for the Obesity Guideline of the European Society of Endocrinology.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.

Methods

A search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and COCHRANE Library for original articles assessing the prevalence of hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, hypogonadism (males) or hyperandrogenism (females) in patients with obesity. Data were pooled in a random-effects logistic regression model and reported with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

Results

Sixty-eight studies were included, concerning a total of 19.996 patients with obesity. The pooled prevalence of overt (newly diagnosed or already treated) and subclinical hypothyroidism was 14.0% (95% CI: 9.7–18.9) and 14.6% (95% CI: 9.2–20.9), respectively. Pooled prevalence of hypercortisolism was 0.9% (95% CI: 0.3–1.6). Pooled prevalence of hypogonadism when measuring total testosterone or free testosterone was 42.8% (95% CI: 37.6–48.0) and 32.7% (95% CI: 23.1–43.0), respectively. Heterogeneity was high for all analyses.

Conclusions

The prevalence of endocrine disorders in patients with obesity is considerable, although the underlying mechanisms are complex. Given the cross-sectional design of the studies included, no formal distinction between endocrine causes and consequences of obesity could be made.

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Maximilian Eichner, Henri Wallaschofski, Ulf Schminke, Henry Völzke, Marcus Dörr, Stephan B Felix, Matthias Nauck and Nele Friedrich

Objective

Several studies revealed relations between low or high insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels and risk of cardiovascular diseases or mortality, whereas the mechanisms behind these associations are still unknown.

Design

The study aimed to explore the relations between IGF-I and changes in surrogate markers of cardiovascular disease including carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP).

Methods

Longitudinal data of the population-based cohort Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) were used. IMT was measured by ultrasonography and LVMI was determined based on echocardiography. IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels were measured by chemiluminescent immunoassays and the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio was calculated. Mixed linear regression models adjusted for known cardiovascular confounders were performed.

Results

Statistical analyses demonstrated relations between low baseline IGF-I levels (beta for ΔIMT per s.d. increase −0.044 (s.e. 0.012)) or IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio (beta −0.045 (0.012)) and a long-term IMT increase. No associations between IGF-I, IGFBP-3 or IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio and changes in LVMI were detected. With respect to NT-proBNP sex-specific associations with IGF-I were found. In women, higher baseline IGF-I levels (beta for ΔNT-proBNP per s.d. increase 5.92 (2.2)) or IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio (beta 4.48 (2.2)) were related to an increase in NT-proBNP levels. Among men, U-shaped relations of baseline levels of IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio with an increase in NT-proBNP were found.

Conclusions

The study detected significant relations between IGF-I and long-term changes in IMT and NT-proBNP but not LVMI. These findings argue for different effects of the IGF-I axis with respect to various cardiovascular entities.

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Yaelle Elfassy, Alice Bongrani, Pierre Levy, Frantz Foissac, Soraya Fellahi, Céline Faure, Chloé McAvoy, Jacqueline Capeau, Joëlle Dupont, Bruno Fève, Rachel Levy, Jean-Philippe Bastard and the Metasperme group

Objective

Adipokines could be a link between metabolic syndrome (MS) and infertility. While the association between circulating adipokines and fertility has been extensively studied in females, this relationship in males was less investigated, although some adipokines are detectable in seminal plasma (SP). The aim of this study was to determine adipokine levels in blood and SP and to assess the relationships between adipokines, MS and semen parameters in men from infertile couples.

Design

Male partners of infertile couples referred to four medical French centers were enrolled in years 2013–2016.

Methods

Subjects (n = 160) aged 18–45 years were assessed for anthropometric, biochemical, sperm, and circulating hormonal parameters. Leptin, adiponectin, resistin, chemerin, visfatin, and IL-6 were measured in serum and SP.

Results

Infertility duration was higher in men with than without MS. Adipokine concentrations were higher in blood than in SP, except for IL-6 and visfatin. The most striking result was the significant correlation observed between seminal IL-6 and spermatozoid concentration, progressive motility, and sperm vitality. Moreover, while men with MS exhibited an expected lower adiponectinemia, they displayed 2.1-fold higher adiponectin levels in SP than men without MS. Finally, logistic regression analysis showed that BMI, infertility duration, and adiponectin serum/SP ratio were independently associated with MS.

Conclusions

These results suggest an involvement of seminal adipokines to modulate fertility in men with MS and that seminal IL-6 could play a beneficial role on sperm functionality. Further mechanistic studies are necessary to investigate the precise roles of these adipokines in male reproduction.

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Lucie Coppin, Margaux Dufosse, Pauline Romanet, Sophie Giraud, Marie-Odile North, Catherine Cardot Bauters, Françoise Borson-Chazot, Laurence Duchesne, Mélanie Métallo, Tonio Lovecchio, Anne Barlier and Marie-Françoise Odou

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroism (PHPT) is a disease with either sporadic or inherited presentation. Germline mutations responsible for this disease can be found in different genes, the most frequently involved being MEN1, CDC73 = HRPT2 and CASR. During the last few years, new genes have been described as responsible for the development of PHPT such as GCM2. These genes are not systematically included in PHPT genetic screening yet. The aim of this work was to assess the importance of GCM2 genetic analysis in PHPT to determine if this gene should be included in gene panel investigated for this disease.

Design and methods

The TENGEN network (French Oncogenetic Network of Neuroendocrine Tumors) collected and interpreted allelic variants according to the clinical characteristics of the GCM2-positive patients identified through genetic testing performed in French laboratories (713 patients with PHPT).

Results

From 713 patients with PHPT included in this study, 85 (6.6%) carried at least one GCM2 variant. A total of 12 variants classified as uncertain significance or likely pathogenic were reported in 47 patients. Their mean age at PHPT diagnosis was 49 years. Additionally, the investigation of a large family showed that GCM2 variants could be associated with low penetrance.

Conclusion

We provide a description and interpretation for GCM2 variants identified in a French population. We suggest that this gene should be included in genetic screening of patients with PHPT and propose the follow-up of asymptomatic patients carrying such variants for calcemia.