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Open access

Jan Idkowiak, Yasir S Elhassan, Pascoe Mannion, Karen Smith, Rachel Webster, Vrinda Saraff, Timothy G Barrett, Nicholas J Shaw, Nils Krone, Renuka P Dias, Melanie Kershaw, Jeremy M Kirk, Wolfgang Högler, Ruth E Krone, Michael W O’Reilly and Wiebke Arlt

Objective

Androgen excess in childhood is a common presentation and may signify sinister underlying pathology. Data describing its patterns and severity are scarce, limiting the information available for clinical decision processes. Here, we examined the differential diagnostic value of serum DHEAS, androstenedione (A4) and testosterone in childhood androgen excess.

Design

Retrospective review of all children undergoing serum androgen measurement at a single center over 5 years.

Methods

Serum A4 and testosterone were measured by tandem mass spectrometry and DHEAS by immunoassay. Patients with at least one increased androgen underwent phenotyping by clinical notes review.

Results

In 487 children with simultaneous DHEAS, A4 and testosterone measurements, we identified 199 with androgen excess (140 pre- and 59 post-pubertal). Premature adrenarche (PA) was the most common pre-pubertal diagnosis (61%), characterized by DHEAS excess in 85%, while A4 and testosterone were only increased in 26 and 9% respectively. PCOS was diagnosed in 40% of post-pubertal subjects, presenting equally frequent with isolated excess of DHEAS (29%) or testosterone (25%) or increases in both A4 and testosterone (25%). CAH patients (6%) predominantly had A4 excess (86%); testosterone and DHEAS were increased in 50 and 33% respectively. Concentrations increased above the two-fold upper limit of normal were mostly observed in PA for serum DHEAS (>20-fold in the single case of adrenocortical carcinoma) and in CAH for serum androstenedione.

Conclusions

Patterns and severity of childhood androgen excess provide pointers to the underlying diagnosis and can be used to guide further investigations.

Restricted access

Pouneh K Fazeli, Alexander T Faje, Miriam A Bredella, Sai Polineni, Stephen Russell, Megi Resulaj, Clifford J Rosen and Anne Klibanski

Objective

In anorexia nervosa, a psychiatric disease characterized by self-induced starvation and a model of chronic undernutrition, levels of subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue are low, whereas marrow adipose tissue (MAT) levels are elevated compared to normal-weight women. The reason for this paradoxical elevation of an adipose tissue depot in starvation is not known. We sought to understand changes in MAT in response to subacute changes in weight and to compare these changes with those of other fat depots and body composition parameters.

Design and methods

We conducted a 12-month longitudinal study including 46 premenopausal women (n = 26 with anorexia nervosa and n = 20 normal-weight controls) with a mean (s.e.m.) age of 28.2 ± 0.8 years. We measured MAT, SAT, VAT and bone mineral density (BMD) at baseline and after 12 months.

Results

At baseline, SAT (P < 0.0001), VAT (P < 0.02) and BMD of the spine and hip (P ≤ 0.0002) were significantly lower and vertebral and metaphyseal MAT (P ≤ 0.001) significantly higher in anorexia nervosa compared to controls. Weight gain over 12 months was associated with increases not only in SAT and VAT, but also epiphyseal MAT (P < 0.03). Changes in epiphyseal MAT were positively associated with changes in BMD (P < 0.03).

Conclusions

In contrast to the steady state, in which MAT levels are higher in anorexia nervosa and MAT and BMD are inversely associated, short-term weight gain is associated with increases in both MAT and BMD. These longitudinal data demonstrate the dynamic nature of this fat depot and provide further evidence of its possible role in mineral metabolism.

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Lu Zhang, Marco Castellana, Camilla Virili, Anna Crescenzi, Francesco Giorgino, Emanuele Zucca, Luca Ceriani, Franco Cavalli, Luca Giovanella and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Background

Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy, and its prognosis depends significantly on its early diagnosis. While fine-needle aspiration (FNA) represents the gold standard to identify differentiated thyroid carcinoma, its reliability for the detection of PTL is still unclear. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the diagnostic performance of FNA in PTL.

Research design and methods

A comprehensive literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus databases was conducted to retrieve papers reporting histologically proven PTL undergone FNA. The last search was performed in February 2018 without language and time restrictions.

Results

Thirty-two studies describing 593 PTL were included and the pooled FNA sensitivity was 0.48 (95% CI = 0.38–0.58). FNA sensitivity was 0.51 in 20 studies published before 2010 and 0.39 in those published later, 0.50 in six articles with at least 20 cases and 0.44 in nine series enrolled after 2000. This performance was similar in 12 articles including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (0.54) and those six on marginal zone lymphoma (0.56). Remarkably, FNA sensitivity increased to 0.72 when considering also FNA reports suspicious for PTL reported in 14 articles. Heterogeneity among the series was found. Publication bias was not always detected.

Conclusions

The present meta-analysis demonstrated that FNA has low sensitivity in diagnosing PTL. However, this rate increased when considering also FNA reports suspicious for PTL, which is relevant from a clinical standpoint. This result could support indirectly the use of additional imaging and/or core biopsy when PTL is suspected.

Free access

Anna Nordenström and Henrik Falhammar

Non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) is a relatively common disorder regardless of ethnicity, but most cases are never diagnosed, especially in males. A baseline 17-hydroxyprogesterone measurement may be used for screening, but 17-hydroxyprogesterone measurement after ACTH stimulation is the gold standard. We advocate a CYP21A2 mutation analysis to verify the diagnosis, for genetic counselling and for better prognostic and treatment guidance. Most patients are diagnosed in adolescence and adult life with hirsutism, acne, a PCOS-like picture and fertility issues. Many men with NCAH never seek medical attention and escape diagnosis. Although treatment is somewhat controversial, an early diagnosis and start of treatment may have positive implications on growth and be relevant for preventing and ameliorating the symptoms and consequences of androgen excess that develop over time, including fertility issues. Long-term treatment with glucocorticoids will improve the androgen symptoms but may result in long-term complications, such as obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, osteoporosis and fractures. The glucocorticoid doses should be kept low. However, complications seen in NCAH, assumed to be caused by the glucocorticoid treatment, may also be associated with long-term androgen exposure. Oral contraceptive pills are a common treatment option for young females with NCAH. Regular clinical monitoring to improve the clinical outcome is recommended. It is important to acknowledge that glucocorticoid treatment will lead to secondary cortisol insufficiency and the need for stress dosing. Studies focusing on the specific difficulties patients with NCAH face, both those with a late clinical diagnosis and those with a neonatal diagnosis obtained by screening, are warranted.

Open access

Ingibjörg H Jonsdottir and Anna Sjörs Dahlman

Burnout has several different definitions, and attempts have been made to discriminate between burnout as a psychological construct and burnout as a clinical entity. A large body of research has focused on elucidating the biological link between stress exposure and burnout and/or finding a clinically usable biomarker for burnout. The objective of this narrative review is to summarize the main endocrine and immune findings in relation to burnout. The literature has primarily focused on dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, albeit the large body of studies, it cannot be concluded that clear effects are seen on HPA axis function in people with burnout. The HPA axis and anabolic acute reactivity to stress might be affected in clinical burnout. Plausible, effects of chronic stress might rather be seen when measuring responses to acute stress rather than resting state hormonal levels. Studies on other hormones, including thyroid hormones, prolactin and growth hormone in burnout subjects are inconclusive. It is important to note that this field is faced with many methodological challenges, one being the diurnal and pulsatile nature of many of the hormones of interest, including cortisol, which is not always considered. Another challenge is the heterogeneity regarding definitions and measurements of stress and burnout. Existing studies on burnout and immune function are heterogeneous regarding the results and no firm conclusion can be made if clinically relevant immune changes are present in burnout subjects. An overall conclusion is that existing research cannot confirm any homogenous reliable endocrinological or immunological changes related to burnout.

Free access

Aikaterini Lavrentaki, Asad Ali, Brendan G Cooper and Abd A Tahrani

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder that is associated with serious comorbidities with a negative impact on quality of life, life expectancy and health costs. As OSA is related to obesity and is associated with sleep disruption, increased inflammation and oxidative stress, it is not surprising that OSA has an impact on the secretion of multiple hormones and is implicated in the development of many endocrine conditions. On the other hand, many endocrine conditions that can affect obesity and/or upper airways anatomy and stability have been implicated in the development or worsening of OSA. This bidirectional relationship between OSA and the endocrine system has been increasingly recognised in experimental and epidemiological studies and there are an increasing number of studies examining the effects of OSA treatment on endocrine conditions and vice versa. In this review article, we will critically appraise and describe the impact of OSA on the endocrine system including obesity, dysglycaemia, the pituitary, the thyroid, the adrenals, the reproductive system and the bones. In each section, we will assess whether a bidirectional relationship exists, and we will describe the potential underlying mechanisms. We have focused more on recent studies and randomised controlled trials where available and attempted to provide the information within clinical context and relevance.

Restricted access

Hanieh-Sadat Ejtahed, Raul Y Tito, Seyed-Davar Siadat, Shirin Hasani-Ranjbar, Zahra Hoseini-Tavassol, Leen Rymenans, Kristin Verbeke, Ahmad-Reza Soroush, Jeroen Raes and Bagher Larijani

Objective

The increasing prevalence of obesity over the past few decades constitutes a global health challenge. Pharmacological therapy is recommended to accompany life-style modification for obesity management. Here, we perform a clinical trial to investigate the effects of metformin on anthropometric indices and gut microbiota composition in non-diabetic, treatment-naive obese women with a low-calorie diet (LCD).

Design

Randomized double-blind parallel-group clinical trial

Methods

Forty-six obese women were randomly assigned to the metformin (500 mg/tab) or placebo groups using computer-generated random numbers. Subjects in both groups took two tablets per day for 2 months. Anthropometric measurements and collection of blood and fecal samples were done at the baseline and at the end of the trial. Gut microbiota composition was assessed using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing.

Results

Twenty-four and twenty-two subjects were included in the metformin + LCD and placebo + LCD groups, respectively; at the end of trial, 20 and 16 subjects were analyzed. The metformin + LCD and placebo + LCD caused a 4.5 and 2.6% decrease in BMI from the baseline values, respectively (P < 0.01). Insulin concentration decreased in the metformin + LCD group (P = 0.046). The overall fecal microbiota composition and diversity were unaffected in the metformin + LCD group. However, a significant specific increase in Escherichia/Shigella abundance was observed after metformin + LCD intervention (P = 0.026). Fecal acetate concentration, but not producers, was significantly higher in the placebo + LCD group, adjusted for baseline values and BMI (P = 0.002).

Conclusions

Despite the weight reduction after metformin intake, the overall fecal microbiota composition remained largely unchanged in obese women, with exception of changes in specific proteobacterial groups.

Open access

Fabrice Bonneville, Louis-David Rivière, Stephan Petersenn, John S Bevan, Aude Houchard, Caroline Sert, Philippe J Caron and the PRIMARYS Study Group

Objective

Pituitary adenoma MRI T2 signal intensity associates with tumor characteristics including responsiveness to somatostatin analogs (SSAs). These analyses determined whether baseline T2 signal intensity predicts response to primary medical treatment with long-acting SSA.

Design

Post hoc analyses of the prospective multicenter, open-label, single-arm PRIMARYS study in which patients with treatment-naïve GH-secreting pituitary macroadenomas received fixed-dose lanreotide autogel (120 mg) every 4 weeks for 48 weeks.

Methods

Associations were investigated between adenoma T2-signal hypo/iso/hyperintensity and treatment responses at week 48/last visit: hormonal control (GH ≤2.5 μg/L and IGF-1 normalization); tumor response (tumor volume reduction (TVR) ≥20%); separate GH/IGF-1 control and change from baseline in GH/IGF-1 and tumor volume.

Results

Adenomas were hypointense at baseline in 50/85 (59%) patients using visual assessment. Of these, 40% achieved hormonal control and 76% achieved a tumor response. Significant univariate associations arose for hypo- vs isointensity with tumor response and achievement of GH ≤2.5 μg/L, but not IGF-1 normalization or overall hormonal control. In multivariate analysis, tumor response was six times more likely for hypo- vs iso-intense tumors (= 6.15; 95% CI: 1.36–27.88). In univariate change-from-baseline analyses, hypo- vs isointensity was associated with greater TVR and IGF-1 reduction but not change in GH. In multivariate analysis, IGF-1 decreased by an estimated additional 65 μg/L (P = 0.0026)) for hypo- vs isointense.

Conclusions

Patients with hypointense vs isointense GH-secreting macroadenomas had greater reductions in IGF-1 following primary treatment with lanreotide autogel and were more likely to achieve tumor response. Assessment of T2 signal intensity at baseline may help to predict long-term responses to primary treatment with SSAs.

Restricted access

Lara Naletto, Anna Chiara Frigo, Filippo Ceccato, Chiara Sabbadin, Riccardo Scarpa, Fabio Presotto, Miriam Dalla Costa, Diego Faggian, Mario Plebani, Simona Censi, Jacopo Manso, Jadwiga Furmaniak, Shu Chen, Bernard Rees Smith, Stefano Masiero, Francesca Pigliaru, Marco Boscaro, Carla Scaroni and Corrado Betterle

Background

Adrenal cortex autoantibodies (ACAs) and/or 21-hydroxylase (21OHAb) are markers of autoimmune Addison’s disease (AAD) and progression to overt AAD. The reported cumulative risk of developing AAD varies from 0 to 90% in different studies.

Aim

To assess the predictive value of different parameters in the progression toward AAD in patients with ACA and/or 21OHAb-positive patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes (APS).

Materials and methods

Twenty-nine patients with APS-1 and 114 patients with APS-2 or APS-4 were followed up for a median of 10 years (range 6 months to 33 years) and were assessed using ACTH test. The risk of AAD was estimated according to age, gender, stage of adrenal dysfunction, associated diseases and antibody titer. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used for statistical analysis.

Results

The cumulative risk (CR) of developing AAD was higher in APS-1 patients (94.2%) than in patients with APS-2/APS-4 (38.7%). The CR was high in both male and female APS-1 patients, while in patients with APS-2/APS-4 it was high only in males. Stage 1 (increased plasma renin) for patients with APS-1 and Stage 2 (no response of cortisol to ACTH test) for patients with APS-2/APS-4 were established as the points of no return in the progression to AAD. Adjusted hazard ratio analyses by multivariate Cox model for AAD showed that gender, diseases and adrenal function were independent risk factors for developing clinical AAD. The risk of developing clinical AAD appears to subside after 19 years of follow-up.

Conclusions

A model for estimating the probability to survive free of AAD has been developed and should be a useful tool in designing appropriate follow-up intervals and future therapeutic strategies.

Restricted access

Martin Kužma, Peter Vaňuga, Ivana Ságová, Dušan Pávai, Peter Jackuliak, Zdenko Killinger, Neil C Binkley, Renaud Winzenrieth, Harry K Genant and Juraj Payer

Introduction

Impaired bone microarchitecture is involved in vertebral fracture (VF) development among acromegaly patients.

Aim of the study

Comparison of DXA-derived bone parameters, areal BMD (aBMD), trabecular bone score (TBS) and 3D-SHAPER parameters in acromegaly patients with healthy controls.

Methods

This cross-sectional study evaluated acromegaly patients and a control group of healthy subjects. In all subjects, a single measurement of pituitary axis hormone levels, bone turnover markers, aBMD, (total hip (TH) and lumbar spine (LS)), TBS and 3D-SHAPER of the proximal femur region was performed. All subjects underwent DXA assessment of VF using the semiquantitative approach.

Results

One hundred six patients with acromegaly (mean age 56.6 years, BMI 30.2 kg/m2) and 104 control subjects (mean age 54.06 years, 28.4 BMI kg/m2) were included. After adjustment for weight, LS aBMD, TBS and TH trabecular volumetric BMD (vBMD) remained lower (P = 0.0048, <0.0001 and <0.0001, respectively) while cortical thickness (Cth) at TH and neck remained thicker (P = 0.006) in acromegaly patients compared with controls. The best multivariate model (model 1) discriminating patients with and without acromegaly included TBS, TH trabecular vBMD and TH Cth parameters (all P < 0.05). Twenty-two VFs (13 acromegaly subjects) were recognized. In these subjects after adjustment for age, FN aBMD, TH cortical sBMD and TH cortical vBMD remained significantly associated with the prevalent VF (OR = 2.69 (1.07–6.78), 2.84 (1.24–6.51) and 2.38 (1.11–5.10) for neck aBMD, TH cortical sBMD and TH cortical vBMD respectively)). The AUCs were similar for each parameter in this model.

Conclusions

Acromegaly patients, regardless of VF presence, have lower trabecular bone quantitative parameters, but those with VFs had decreased cortical density.