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Frederic Castinetti, Jean-Baptiste De Freminville, Carole Guerin, Erika Cornu, Gabrielle Sarlon, and Laurence Amar

The question of systematic use of a pharmacological treatment before surgery in patients diagnosed with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) remains highly controversial. While recent guidelines suggest that this should be used in all patients, some experienced teams consider it unnecessary in some cases, provided the surgery is performed in a dedicated center that has expert endocrinologists, cardiologists, surgeons, and anesthetists. This controversy is aimed at shedding light on the potential benefits and risks of such a treatment, focusing specifically on alpha blockers which are considered as the first-line medical treatments in patients with PPGL. After discussing the rationale for alpha blockers, hemodynamic instability, tolerance, and acute cardiac complications will then be discussed in the first part of the manuscript, defending a systematic use. The second section will focus on blood pressure control, tolerance of alpha blockers, and also the management of normotensive PPGL, examining the daily risks of PPGL and arguing against the systematic use of a preoperative pharmacological treatment before surgery. Finally, we will discuss the concept of expert centers and define the patients in whom the risk/benefit profile would favor the use of this preoperative treatment.

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Flavia Maurice, Anne Dutour, Clara Vincentelli, Ines Abdesselam, Monique Bernard, Henry Dufour, Yann Le fur, Thomas Graillon, Frank Kober, Pierre Cristofari, Elisabeth Jouve, Lauriane Pini, Remi Fernandez, Christophe Chagnaud, Thierry Brue, Frédéric Castinetti, and Benedicte Gaborit

Objective: Glucocorticoid excess is one of the most important causes of bone disorders. Bone marrow fat (BMF) has been identified as a l 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 seventeen cured ACTH-dependent CS patients along with seventeen 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. 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.

Free access

Grégory Mougel, Arnaud Lagarde, Frédérique Albarel, Wassim Essamet, Perrine Luigi, Céline Mouly, Magaly Vialon, Thomas Cuny, Frédéric Castinetti, Alexandru Saveanu, Thierry Brue, Anne Barlier, and Pauline Romanet

Background:

The ‘3PAs’ syndrome, associating pituitary adenoma (PA) and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL), is sometimes associated with mutations in PPGL-predisposing genes, such as SDHx or MAX. In ’3PAs’ syndrome, PAs can occur before PPGL, suggesting a new gateway into SDHx/MAX-related diseases.

Objective:

To determine the SDHx/MAX mutation prevalence in patients with isolated PAs and characterize PAs of patients with SDHx/MAX mutations.

Design:

Genes involved in PAs (AIP/MEN1/CDKN1B) or PPGLs (SDHx/MAX) were sequenced in patients with isolated PAs. We then conducted a review of cases of PA in the setting of ’3PAs’ syndrome.

Results:

A total of 263 patients were recruited. Seven (likely) pathogenic variants were found in AIP, two in MEN1, two in SDHA, and one in SDHC. The prevalence of SDHx mutations reached 1.1% (3/263). Of 31 reported patients with PAs harboring SDHx/MAX mutations (28 published cases and 3 cases reported here), 6/31 (19%) developed PA before PPGL and 8/31 (26%) had isolated PA. The age of onset was later than in patients with AIP/MEN1 mutations. PAs were mainly macroprolactinomas and showed intracytoplasmic vacuoles seen on histopathology.

Conclusions:

We discovered SDHx mutations in patients bearing PA who had no familial or personal history of PPGL. However, the question of incidental association remains unresolved and data to determine the benefit of SDHx/MAX screening in these patients are lacking. We recommend that patients with isolated PA should be carefully examined for a family history of PPGLs. A family history of PPGL, as well as the presence of intracytoplasmic vacuoles in PA, requires SDHx/MAX genetic testing of patients.

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Rachel Fourneaux, Marie Vermalle, Frederique Albarel, Isabelle Morange, Thomas Graillon, Vincent Amodru, Thomas Cuny, Henry Dufour, Thierry Brue, and Frederic Castinetti

Objective

A relative can be an asset in dealing with chronic illnesses, such as acromegaly, where quality of life (QoL) is altered even after remission. However, it has been shown that quality of life of caregivers can also be impacted. Our main objective was to compare the perception of acromegaly in remission in the patient–relative dyad.

Methods

In this observational study, 27 patients in remission and relatives were first asked to complete QoL, anxiety/depression and coping strategy questionnaires. Then, the patient’s body image and self-esteem were evaluated from both the patient’s and the relative’s point of view using the same questionnaires with modified instructions.

Results

Relatives had overall an accurate estimation of patient body image using the Figure Rating Scale by Stunkard. However, there were wide variations between the patient’s and the relative’s responses regarding self-esteem and body perception. The QoL of relatives was not altered and was significantly higher in the social domain than for the patient.

Conclusions

Our results show that relatives require education concerning all the steps involved in the management of acromegaly, as they likely do not fully understand the sequelae of acromegaly.

Free access

Julia Vergier, Frederic Castinetti, Alexandru Saveanu, Nadine Girard, Thierry Brue, and Rachel Reynaud

Pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS) is a congenital pituitary anatomical defect. This syndrome is an antenatal developmental defect belonging to the holoprosencephaly phenotype spectrum. It is heterogeneous regarding clinical, biological and radiological presentation and is characterized by the following triad: thin (<1 mm) or interrupted pituitary stalk connecting the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland, no eutopic posterior lobe, and hypoplasia or aplasia of the anterior lobe. This review reports current knowledge about the composite pathogenesis, for which underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Current data suggest genetic origins involving early developmental gene mutations with complex inheritance patterns and environmental influence, placing PSIS at the crossroads between Mendelian and multifactorial diseases. The phenotype associated with PSIS is highly heterogeneous with a high incidence of various combinations of hormonal deficiencies, sometimes associated with extra-pituitary birth defects. The age at onset is variable, but typical presentation is evolutive combined anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies at pediatric age, which progress even during adulthood to panhypopituitarism. Therefore, patients’ follow-up throughout life is essential for adequate management.

Free access

Hélène Lasolle, Christine Cortet, Fréderic Castinetti, Lucie Cloix, Philippe Caron, Brigitte Delemer, Rachel Desailloud, Christel Jublanc, Christine Lebrun-Frenay, Jean-Louis Sadoul, Luc Taillandier, Marie Batisse-Lignier, Fabrice Bonnet, Nathalie Bourcigaux, Damien Bresson, Olivier Chabre, Philippe Chanson, Cyril Garcia, Magalie Haissaguerre, Yves Reznik, Sophie Borot, Chiara Villa, Alexandre Vasiljevic, Stephan Gaillard, Emmanuel Jouanneau, Guillaume Assié, and Gérald Raverot

Objectives

Only few retrospective studies have reported an efficacy rate of temozolomide (TMZ) in pituitary tumors (PT), all around 50%. However, the long-term survival of treated patients is rarely evaluated. We therefore aimed to describe the use of TMZ on PT in clinical practice and evaluate the long-term survival.

Design

Multicenter retrospective study by members of the French Society of Endocrinology.

Methods

Forty-three patients (14 women) treated with TMZ between 2006 and 2016 were included. Most tumors were corticotroph (n = 23) or lactotroph (n = 13), and 14 were carcinomas. Clinical/pathological characteristics of PT, as well as data from treatment evaluation and from the last follow-up were recorded. A partial response was considered as a decrease in the maximal tumor diameter by more than 30% and/or in the hormonal rate by more than 50% at the end of treatment.

Results

The median treatment duration was 6.5 cycles (range 2–24), using a standard regimen for most and combined radiotherapy for six. Twenty-two patients (51.2%) were considered as responders. Silent tumor at diagnosis was associated with a poor response. The median follow-up after the end of treatment was 16 months (0–72). Overall survival was significantly higher among responders (P = 0.002); however, ten patients relapsed 5 months (0–57) after the end of TMZ treatment, five in whom TMZ was reinitiated without success.

Discussion

Patients in our series showed a 51.2% response rate to TMZ, with an improved survival among responders despite frequent relapses. Our study highlights the high variability and lack of standardization of treatment protocols.

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Frederic Castinetti, Philippe Caron, Isabelle Raingeard, Vincent Amodru, Frederique Albarel, Isabelle Morange, Philippe Chanson, Julie Calvo, Thomas Graillon, Karine Baumstarck, Henry Dufour, Jean Regis, and Thierry Brue

Introduction

Persistent growth hormone hypersecretion can be observed in roughly 50% of patients operated for somatotroph adenomas, requiring additional treatments. Despite its proven antisecretory efficacy, the use of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GK) is limited probably due to the lack of data on long-term side effects, including potential cognitive consequences.

Methods

The LATe Effects of Radiosurgery in Acromegaly study was a cross-sectional exposed/unexposed non-randomized study. The primary objective was to determine the long-term neurocognitive effects of GK focusing on memory, executive functions, and calculation ability. Exposed patients had been treated by GK for acromegaly at least 5 years before inclusion. Unexposed patients (paired for age) had to be cured or controlled at last follow-up without any radiation technique. Patients of both groups were cured or controlled at the last follow-up.

Results

Sixty-four patients were evaluated (27 exposed and 37 unexposed). Mean follow-up after GK was 13 ± 6 years (including 24 patients followed for at least 10 years). While up to 23.8% of the patients of the whole cohort presented at least one abnormal cognitive test, we did not observe any significant difference in neurocognitive function between both groups. During the follow-up, 11 patients presented at least one new pituitary deficiency (P  = 0.009 for thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency with a higher rate in exposed patients), two presented a stroke (1 in each group), and one presented a meningioma (12 years after GK).

Conclusions

While GK exposes patients to a well-known risk of pituitary deficiency, it does not seem to induce long-term cognitive consequences in patients treated for acromegaly.

Free access

Clarisse Hochman, Justine Cristante, Aurore Geslot, Sylvie Salenave, Emmanuel Sonnet, Claire Briet, Anne Bachelot, Nicolas Chevalier, Olivier Gilly, Thierry Brue, Samy Hadjadj, Veronique Kerlan, Philippe Chanson, Delphine Vezzosi, Olivier Chabre, Delphine Drui, and Frederic Castinetti

Design

Hypercortisolism during pregnancy is a risk factor for prematurity. Long-term exposure to hypercortisolism may lead to permanent comorbidities, such as hypertension or diabetes, even after remission. Our aim was to determine whether women with a history of Cushing’s disease (and being eu-, hypo- or hypercortisolic at the time of pregnancy) had the same risks of comorbidities, and especially prematurity, during pregnancy.

Methods

It was a retrospective multicentric study focusing on mothers with a history of Cushing’s disease or diagnosed during pregnancy, followed in French tertiary referral centers. We compared the outcomes of pregnancies depending on the cortisolic status at the time of pregnancy.

Results

A total of 60 patients (78 pregnancies including 21 with hypercortisolism, 32 with hypocortisolism and 25 in eucortisolism in 25) were evaluated. The overall rate of preterm birth was 24.3%, with a peak in women diagnosed during pregnancy (62.5%), a high risk in hypercortisolic (33%) and hypocortisolic (19.3%), and a low risk (8%) in eucortisolic women Gestational diabetes and hypertension were observed in 21% and 10.4% of the whole cohort, with a higher risk in hypercortisolic women. Cesarean delivery was performed in 33.7% of the cohort.

Conclusions

Being non-eucortisolic at the time of pregnancy increases the risk of prematurity and comorbidities compared to the general population. Women with a history of Cushing’s disease should thus be carefully monitored during pregnancy. The high rate of cesarean delivery emphasizes the fact that these pregnancies should always be considered at risk.

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Maelle Le Bras, Hélène Leclerc, Olivia Rousseau, Pierre Goudet, Thomas Cuny, Frederic Castinetti, Catherine Bauters, Philippe Chanson, Antoine Tabarin, Sebastien Gaujoux, Sophie Christin-Maitre, Philippe Ruszniewski, Francoise Borson-Chazot, Isabelle Guilhem, Philippe Caron, Bernard Goichot, Albert Beckers, Brigitte Delemer, Isabelle Raingeard, Bruno Vergès, Sarra Smati, Matthieu Wargny, Bertrand Cariou, and Samy Hadjadj

Objective

Pituitary adenoma (PA) is one of the three major components of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). Recent studies have suggested that MEN1-associated PAs are less aggressive than initially estimated. We propose an analysis of the outcome of PAs with a standard of care treatment in a nationwide cohort of MEN1 patients.

Design

Retrospective observational nationwide cohort study using the MEN1 patient registry from the French Group of Endocrine Tumours (GTE).

Methods

The GTE database population consists of 1435 patients with MEN1. This analysis focused on 551 patients recruited after 2000 with at least 3 years of follow-up. The study outcome was tumour progression of PA defined by an increase in Hardy classification (HC) during follow-up according to referring physician regular reports.

Results

Among 551 MEN1 patients (index and related), 202 (36.7%) had PA, with 114 (56.4%) diagnosed by MEN1-related screening. PAs were defined according to HC as microadenoma (grade I) in 117 cases (57.9%), macroadenoma in 59 (29.2%) with 20 HC grade II and 39 HC grades III–IV and unspecified in 26 (12.8%). They were prolactinomas in 92 cases (45.5%) and non-secreting in 73 (36.1%). After a median follow-up of 3 years among the 137 patients with HC grades I–II, 4 patients (2.9%) presented tumour progression.

Conclusion

PAs in patients with MEN1 are less aggressive than previously thought. Tumour progression is rare with a standard of care monitoring and treatment, especially in related patients who mostly present non-secreting microadenoma. MRI monitoring for asymptomatic MEN1 patients should be reduced accordingly.

Free access

Géraldine Vitellius, Séverine Trabado, Christine Hoeffel, Jérôme Bouligand, Antoine Bennet, Frederic Castinetti, Bénédicte Decoudier, Anne Guiochon-Mantel, Marc Lombes, Brigitte Delemer, and investigators of the MUTA-GR Study

Background

Recently discovered mutations of NR3C1 gene, encoding for the GR, in patients with glucocorticoid resistance and bilateral adrenal incidentalomas prompted us to investigate whether GR mutations might be associated with adrenal hyperplasia.

Objective

The multicenter French Clinical Research Program (Muta-GR) was set up to determine the prevalence of GR mutations and polymorphisms in patients harboring bilateral adrenal incidentalomas associated with hypertension and/or biological hypercortisolism without clinical Cushing’s signs.

Results

One hundred patients were included in whom NR3C1 sequencing revealed five original heterozygous GR mutations that impaired GR signaling in vitro. Mutated patients presented with mild glucocorticoid resistance defined as elevated urinary free cortisol (1.7 ± 0.7 vs 0.9 ± 0.8 upper limit of normal range, P = 0.006), incomplete 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test without suppressed 8-AM adrenocorticotrophin levels (30.9 ± 31.2 vs 16.2 ± 17.5 pg/mL) compared to the non-mutated patients. Potassium and aldosterone levels were lower in mutated patients (3.6 ± 0.2 vs 4.1 ± 0.5 mmol/L, P = 0.01, and 17.3 ± 9.9 vs 98.6 ± 115.4 pg/mL, P = 0.0011, respectively) without elevated renin levels, consistent with pseudohypermineralocorticism. Ex vivo characterization of mutated patients’ fibroblasts demonstrated GR haploinsufficiency as revealed by below-normal glucocorticoid induction of FKBP5 gene expression. There was no association between GR polymorphisms and adrenal hyperplasia in this cohort, except an over-representation of BclI polymorphism.

Conclusion

The 5% prevalence of heterozygous NR3C1 mutations discovered in our series is higher than initially thought and encourages GR mutation screening in patients with adrenal incidentalomas to unambiguously differentiate from Cushing’s states and to optimize personalized follow-up.