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I A Franzini, F M Yamamoto, F Bolfi, S R Antonini and V S Nunes-Nogueira

Objective

We assessed the effectiveness of puberty blockade with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog in increasing adult height (AH) in girls with puberty onset between 7 and 10 years of age.

Methods

We performed a systematic review and included controlled studies in which girls with early puberty (EP) were assigned to the GnRH analog or no treatment groups. The primary outcome analyzed was AH. Search strategies were applied to the MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and CENTRAL databases.

Results

We identified 1514 references, and six studies fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Two studies were randomized and four were not randomized. At the baseline of each trial, height, chronological age, bone age, predicted AH (PAH) and target height (TH) were equal between the groups. All studies used intramuscular triptorelin every 28 days in the intervention groups. The mean duration of the therapy was 2 years. Meta-analysis of AH among the six studies (comprising 332 girls) showed no significant difference between the groups (mean difference = 0.50 cm, 95% confidence interval = −0.72 to 1.73 cm, I 2 = 0%). In a sub-group analysis based on PAH (<155 cm and <TH; <TH, but >155 cm and equal to TH), there was no difference in average AH between the groups. The quality of evidence according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach was low.

Conclusion

We found no evidence from controlled experimental and observational studies that compared with no treatment, the use of GnRH analogs improved AH in girls with EP.

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Selmen Wannes, Monique Elmaleh-Bergès, Dominique Simon, Delphine Zénaty, Laetitia Martinerie, Caroline Storey, Georges Gelwane, Anne Paulsen, Emmanuel Ecosse, Nicolas De Roux, Jean Claude Carel and Juliane Léger

Objective

Non-idiopathic CPP is caused by acquired or congenital hypothalamic lesions visible on MRI or is associated with various complex genetic and/or syndromic disorders. This study investigated the different types and prevalence of non-isolated CPP phenotypes.

Design and Methods

This observational cohort study included all patients identified as having non-idiopathic CPP in the database of a single academic pediatric care center over a period of 11.5 years. Patients were classified on the basis of MRI findings for the CNS as having either hypothalamic lesions or complex syndromic phenotypes without structural lesions of the hypothalamus.

Results

In total, 63 consecutive children (42 girls and 21 boys) with non-isolated CPP were identified. Diverse diseases were detected, and the hypothalamic lesions visible on MRI (n = 28, 45% of cases) included hamartomas (n = 17; either isolated or with an associated syndromic phenotype), optic gliomas (n = 8; with or without neurofibromatosis type 1), malformations (n = 3) with interhypothalamic adhesions (n = 2; isolated or associated with syndromic CNS midline abnormalities, such as optic nerve hypoplasia, ectopic posterior pituitary) or arachnoid cysts (n = 1). The patients with non-structural hypothalamic lesions (n = 35, 55% of cases) had narcolepsy (n = 9), RASopathies (n = 4), encephalopathy or autism spectrum disorders with or without chromosomal abnormalities (n = 15) and other complex syndromic disorders (n = 7).

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that a large proportion (55%) of patients with non-isolated probable non-idiopathic CPP may have complex disorders without structural hypothalamic lesions on MRI. Future studies should explore the pathophysiological relevance of the mechanisms underlying CPP in these disorders.

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T Vanbrabant, M Fassnacht, G Assie and O M Dekkers

Objective

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a malignancy with a poor prognosis. Many publications in ACC report on risk factors for a poor outcome; one risk factor studied is hormonal hypersecretion (cortisol, sex-hormones, steroid precursors or aldosterone). The aim of this systematic review was to study the association between hormonal secretion and recurrence or mortality in ACC.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, EMBASE and The Cochrane library (January 2018) for cohort studies examining the association between hormonal secretion on overall or recurrence-free survival in ACC.

Methods

A random-effects model meta-analysis was performed to obtain a weighted relative risk comparing cortisol-secreting and/or androgen-secreting ACCs to non-secreting tumours regarding overall and recurrence-free survival. Risk of bias assessment was performed for all studies included.

Results

Nineteen publications were included representing a total of 3814 patients. Most studies were generally considered low/intermediate risk of bias. Meta-analysis showed higher mortality risk for cortisol-secreting ACCs, weighted relative risk 1.71 (95% CI: 1.18–2.47) combining studies that adjusted for tumour stage; also a higher recurrence risk was found for cortisol producing ACCs, relative risk 1.43 (95% CI: 1.18–1.73). Androgen secretion was not clearly associated with survival (RR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.60–1.12).

Conclusion

This systematic review and meta-analysis show that cortisol-secreting ACCs are associated with a worse overall survival; future research is needed to establish whether this association points to negative effects of cortisol action, whether it signifies a more aggressive ACC subtype or whether cortisol is merely a prognostic marker.

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Michael Buchfelder, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Beverly M K Biller, Susan M Webb, Thierry Brue, Christian J Strasburger, Ezio Ghigo, Cecilia Camacho-Hubner, Kaijie Pan, Joanne Lavenberg, Peter Jönsson and Juliana H Hey-Hadavi

Objectives

ACROSTUDY is an international, non-interventional study of acromegaly patients treated with pegvisomant (PEGV), a growth hormone receptor antagonist and has been conducted since 2004 in 15 countries to study the long-term safety and efficacy of PEGV. This report comprises the second interim analysis of 2090 patients as of May 12, 2016.

Methods

Descriptive analyses of safety, pituitary imaging and outcomes on PEGV treatment up to 12 years were performed.

Results

Prior to starting PEGV, 96% of patients had reported surgery, radiation, medical therapy or any combinations of those. At start of PEGV, 89% of patients had IGFI levels above the upper limit of normal (ULN). The percentage of patients with normal IGFI levels increased from 53% at year 1 to 73% at year 10, and the average daily dose of PEGV increased from 12.8 mg (year 1) to 18.9 mg (year 10). A total of 4832 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 1137 patients (54.4%), of which 570 were considered treatment related in 337 patients (16.1%). Serious AEs were reported in 22% of patients, of which 2.3% were considered treatment related. Locally reported MRIs showed most patients (72.2%) had no change in tumor size relative to the prior scan; 16.8% had a decrease, 6.8% an increase and 4.3% both. In patients with normal liver tests at PEGV start, an ALT or AST elevation of >3× ULN at any time point during their follow-up was reported in 3%.

Conclusions

This second interim analysis confirms that long-term use of PEGV is an effective and safe treatment in patients with acromegaly.

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Maya Barake, Anne Klibanski and Nicholas A Tritos

Dopamine agonists (DAs) represent a cornerstone in the management of patients with hyperprolactinemia and have an important role in the treatment of neurologic disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome. A growing body of evidence has identified impulse control disorders (ICDs) as possible adverse effects of DA therapy. A variety of ICDs may occur in patients treated with DA, including compulsive shopping, pathologic gambling, stealing, hypersexuality and punding (repetitive performance of tasks, such as collecting, sorting, disassembling and assembling objects). These behaviors can have devastating effects on patients’ life and family. In the present review article, we summarize available data on ICDs in patients with hyperprolactinemia as well as other disorders. Possible risk factors for the emergence of ICDs in patients treated with DA are discussed and the putative pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the development of ICDs in this setting are reviewed. In addition, strategies for the early identification and management of ICDs in patients on DA are discussed. In conclusion, a wide variety of ICDs can occur in patients treated with DA, including those with hyperprolactinemia. The development of ICDs can have serious implications for patients’ well-being and family. Endocrinologists and other physicians involved in the care of patients on DA therapy must be aware of this potential adverse effect, counsel patients regarding pertinent symptoms and regularly evaluate treated patients for the development of ICDs. Early detection of ICDs and discontinuation of DA therapy can mitigate the potential harms associated with ICDs in these patients.

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Tomaž Snoj and Gregor Majdič

Possible effects of xenoestrogens on human health, in particular on male reproductive health, have attracted considerable attention in recent years. Cow's milk was suggested in numerous publications as one of possible sources of xenoestrogens that could affect human health. Although milk has undoubtedly many beneficial health effects and could even have a role in reducing incidence of some cancers, concerns were raised about presumably high levels of estrogens in cow's milk. In intensive farming, concentrations of estrogens in milk are higher due to long milking periods that today extend long into the pregnancy, when concentrations of estrogens in the cow's body rise. Numerous studies examined potential effects of milk on reproductive health and endocrine-related cancers in both experimental studies with laboratory animals, and in human epidemiological studies. In the present review article, we compiled a review of recently published literature about the content of estrogens in cow's milk and potential health effects, in particular on reproductive system, in humans. Although results of published studies are not unequivocal, it seems that there is stronger evidence suggesting that amounts of estrogens in cow's milk are too low to cause health effects in humans.

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Sophie Moniez, Catherine Pienkowski, Benoit Lepage, Safouane Hamdi, Myriam Daudin, Isabelle Oliver, Béatrice Jouret, Audrey Cartault, Gwenaelle Diene, Alain Verloes, Hélène Cavé, Jean-Pierre Salles, Maithé Tauber, Armelle Yart and Thomas Edouard

Context

Abnormalities in the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis have long been reported in Noonan syndrome (NS) males with only few data available in prepubertal children.

Objective

The aim of this study was to describe the gonadal function of NS males from childhood to adulthood.

Design

It is a retrospective chart review.

Patients and methods

A total of 37 males with a genetically confirmed diagnosis of NS were included. Clinical and genetic features, as well as serum hormone levels (LH, FSH, testosterone, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), and inhibin B) were analysed.

Results

Of the 37 patients, 16 (43%) children had entered puberty at a median age of 13.5 years (range: 11.4–15.0 years); age at pubertal onset was negatively correlated with BMI SDS (r = −0.541; P = 0.022). In pubertal boys, testosterone levels were normal suggesting a normal Leydig cell function. In contrast, NS patients had significant lower levels of AMH (mean SDS: −0.6 ± 1.1; P = 0.003) and inhibin B (mean SDS: −1.1 ± 1.2; P < 0.001) compared with the general population, suggesting a Sertoli cell dysfunction. Lower AMH and inhibin B levels were found in NS-PTPN11 patients, whereas these markers did not differ from healthy children in SOS1 patients. No difference was found between cryptorchid and non-cryptorchid patients for AMH and inhibin B levels (P = 0.43 and 0.62 respectively). Four NS-PTPN11 patients had a severe primary hypogonadism with azoospermia/cryptozoospermia.

Conclusions

NS males display Sertoli cell-specific primary testicular insufficiency, whereas Leydig cell function seems to be unaffected.

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Andrea Lamprecht, Jane Sorbello, Christina Jang, David J Torpy and Warrick J Inder

Objective

To evaluate pituitary function, sexual function and quality of life (QoL) in patients on oral or transdermal opioids.

Design and methods

Cross-sectional study comparing pituitary function, QoL and sexual function in people on long-term opioid therapy (n = 40) vs an age- and sex-matched control group (n = 25). Baseline pituitary function was assessed on blood samples collected prior to 0900 h. Further testing with corticotropin (250 µg IV) and metyrapone (30 mg/kg) stimulation tests was undertaken on participants with serum cortisol <250 nmol/L. Validated questionnaires completed to assess QoL, fatigue and sexual function.

Results

Secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) was identified on the basis of a failed stimulation test in 22.5% of opioid users vs no controls (P = 0.01). Opioid users with SAI had a higher median morphine-equivalent daily dose (MEDD), P = 0.037 – 50% with MEDD >200 mg and 0% with MEDD <60 mg had SAI. Among male participants, testosterone was inversely associated with BMI (P = 0.001) but not opioid use. A non-significant trend to low testosterone <8 nmol/L in male opioid users (11/24 opioid users vs 2/14 control, P = 0.08) suggests a small subgroup with opioid-induced androgen deficiency. Opioid users had greater fatigue, reduced quality of life in all subsections of the SF-36 and impaired sexual function in both males and females (all scores P < 0.001 compared to controls).

Conclusion

Long-term opioid therapy was associated with dose-related SAI in over 20% of chronic pain patients and is associated with poor quality of life, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Obesity confounds the interpretation of opioid-induced male androgen deficiency.

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F Maurice, A Dutour, C Vincentelli, I Abdesselam, M Bernard, H Dufour, Y Lefur, T Graillon, F Kober, P Cristofari, E Jouve, L Pini, R Fernandez, C Chagnaud, T Brue, F Castinetti and B Gaborit

Objective

Glucocorticoid excess is one of the most important causes of bone disorders. Bone marrow fat (BMF) has been identified as a new mediator of bone metabolism. Cushing syndrome (CS) is a main regulator of adipose tissue distribution but its impact on BMF is unknown. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of chronic hypercortisolism on BMF.

Design

This was a cross-sectional study. Seventeen active and 17 cured ACTH-dependent CS patients along with 17 controls (matched with the active group for age and sex) were included.

Methods

The BMF content of the femoral neck and L3 vertebrae were measured by 1H-MRS on a 3-Tesla wide-bore magnet. Bone mineral density (BMD) was evaluated in patients using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results

Active CS patients had higher BMF content both in the femur (82.5 ± 2.6%) and vertebrae (70.1 ± 5.1%) compared to the controls (70.8 ± 3.6%, P = 0.013 and 49.0 ± 3.7% P = 0.005, respectively). In cured CS patients (average remission time of 43 months), BMF content was not different from controls at both sites (72.3 ± 2.9% (femur) and 46.7% ± 5.3% (L3)). BMF content was positively correlated with age, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides and visceral adipose tissue in the whole cohort and negatively correlated with BMD values in the CS patients.

Conclusions

Accumulation of BMF is induced by hypercortisolism. In remission patients, BMF reached values of controls. Further studies are needed to determine whether this increase in marrow adiposity in CS is associated with bone loss.

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Henry B Burch and David S Cooper

The thionamide antithyroid drugs were discovered in large part following serendipitous observations by a number of investigators in the 1940s who found that sulfhydryl-containing compounds were goitrogenic in animals. This prompted Prof. Edwin B Astwood to pioneer the use of these compounds to treat hyperthyroidism in the early 1940s and to develop the more potent and less toxic drugs that are used today. Despite their simple molecular structure and ease of use, many uncertainties remain, including their mechanism(s) of action, clinical role, optimal use in pregnancy and the prediction and prevention of rare but potentially life-threatening adverse reactions. In this review, we summarize the history of the development of these drugs and outline their current role in the clinical management of patients with hyperthyroidism.