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Free access

Nicholas A Tritos, Amir H Hamrahian, Donna King, Susan L Greenspan, David M Cook, Peter J Jönsson, Michael P Wajnrajch, Maria Koltowska-Häggstrom, and Beverly M K Biller

Objective

Childhood-onset GH deficiency (COGHD) is associated with low bone mineral density (BMD). Adults with persistent COGHD may be at risk for insufficient bone accrual or bone loss during adulthood. The purpose of this study was to identify BMD predictors and to characterize the effects of GH replacement on BMD in COGHD adults with persistent GHD.

Design

Retrospective analysis of the KIMS database.

Methods

Variables predicting standardized BMD (sBMD) were identified. The effect of GH replacement (3 years) on BMD was examined.

Results

Three hundred and fourteen COGHD adults (148 women, 166 men; 62 non-naïve, 178 semi-naïve, and 74 true naïve, depending on length and timing of previous GH replacement), who had BMD measured in lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) at study entry.

In semi-naïve subjects, a longer gap in GH replacement between childhood and adulthood was predictive of lower sBMD in the FN (r=−0.18, P=0.038). TSH deficiency predicted lower sBMD in the LS (r=−0.16, P=0.052). In true naïve patients, a longer gap between onset of pituitary disease and study entry (r=−0.35, P=0.012), and female gender (r=−0.27, P=0.043) independently predicted lower sBMD in the FN. There were no differences in BMD increases between non-naïve, semi-naïve, and true naïve subjects on GH replacement.

Conclusions

In semi-naïve subjects a longer interval off GH replacement was associated with lower sBMD in the FN. Among true naïve patients, a longer gap between the onset of pituitary disease and GH replacement, and female gender predicted lower sBMD in the FN.

Free access

Michael Buchfelder, Peter Herbert Kann, Christian Wüster, Ulrich Tuschy, Bernhard Saller, Georg Brabant, Andrea Kleindienst, and Panagiotis Nomikos

Group-author : the German KIMS Board

Objective: Several studies documented metabolic and psychological benefits of GH substitution in deficient adults, most of them suffering from benign pituitary adenomas. Since GH substitution is considered to promote tumour regrowth, adequate treatment is performed with some reservation. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate the effect of GH replacement therapy on tumour recurrence following surgery.

Methods: In patients with hormonally inactive pituitary adenomas undergoing tumour surgery, a retrospective case–control study was performed. Pre- and postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images of GH-treated and untreated patients were matched for best fit by two independent observers. The treated patients were retrieved from the surveillance programme of the German KIMS database and the untreated from the database of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Erlangen. A total of 55 matched pairs were followed for at least 5 years. Tumour recurrence and progression rates were determined according to the postoperative MR.

Results: There were 16 tumour progressions in the treatment group and 12 in the control group. Statistical analysis revealed no significant increase in either recurrence (P = 0.317) or progression (P = 0.617) within the follow-up period of 5 years when GH was adequately replaced.

Conclusions: This study provides further observational data of substitution therapy in GH-deficient adults with pituitary adenomas. Comparing long-term surgical results, we found no evidence that GH substitution should be withheld in deficient patients. Even residual tumour does not constitute a contraindication to GH replacement. However, since pituitary tumours are slow growing, an observational period of 5 years may not have been long enough to verify any absolute influence on recurrence potential.

Restricted access

Jan M Wit, Albert A Massarano, Gerdine A Kamp, Peter C Hindmarsh, An van Es, Charles GD Brook, Michael A Preece, and David R Matthews

Twenty-four-hour growth hormone (GH) profiles in 26 girls with Turner's syndrome were compared with those of 26 normally growing short children and 24 slowly growing short children. All children were prepubertal and below 12 years of age. A subgroup of 13 girls was treated with ethinyl estradiol and a 24-h GH profile was reassessed. In an additional group of 45 girls with Turner's syndrome (aged 6.7–18.9 years) the effect of age, spontaneous breast development and ethinyl estradiol treatment was studied. The profiles were assessed by Fourier analysis. The oscillatory activity and the mean 24-h GH concentration were similar in children with Turner's syndrome and the normally growing short children, in contrast to lower levels in the slowly growing short children. The periodicity of GH secretion was similar in all groups. In the longitudinal study, ethinyl estradiol treatment resulted in a significant increase in pulse amplitude, but not in periodicity. In the cross-sectional study there was no significant difference between the subgroups of girls with either presence or absence of breast development or ethinyl estradiol treatment. GH secretion was not significantly related to age, height in standard deviation score or height velocity. These data imply that there is no abnormality in GH secretion in girls with Turner's syndrome.

Free access

Simon Doessing, Lars Holm, Katja M Heinemeier, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Peter Schjerling, Klaus Qvortrup, Jytte O Larsen, Rie H Nielsen, Allan Flyvbjerg, and Michael Kjaer

Objective

Disproportionate growth of musculoskeletal tissue is a major cause of morbidity in both acromegalic (ACRO) and GH-deficient (GHD) patients. GH/IGF1 is likely to play an important role in the regulation of tendon and muscle collagen. We hypothesized that the local production of collagen is associated with the level of GH/IGF1.

Design and methods

As primary outcomes, collagen mRNA expression and collagen protein fractional synthesis rate (FSR) were determined locally in skeletal muscle and tendon in nine ACRO and nine GHD patients. Moreover, muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis and tendon collagen morphology were determined.

Results and conclusions

Muscle collagen I and III mRNA expression was higher in ACRO patients versus GHD patients (P<0.05), whereas collagen protein FSR did not differ significantly between ACRO and GHD patients in muscle (P=0.21) and tendon (P=0.15). IGF1Ea and IGF1Ec mRNA expression in muscle was higher in ACRO patients versus GHD patients (P<0.01). Muscle IGF1Ea mRNA expression correlated positively with collagen I mRNA expression (P<0.01). Tendon collagen fibrillar area tended to be higher in GHD patients relative to ACRO patients (P=0.07). Thus, we observed a higher expression for collagen and IGF1 mRNA in local musculotendinous tissue in ACRO patients relative to GHD patients. Moreover, there was a tendency towards a higher collagen protein FSR and a smaller collagen fibril diameter in ACRO patients relative to GHD patients. The results indicate a collagen-stimulating role of local IGF1 in human connective tissue and add to the understanding of musculoskeletal pathology in patients with either high or low GH/IGF1 axis activity.

Free access

Raja Padidela, Miriam Fiest, Ved Arya, Virpi V Smith, Michael Ashworth, Dyanne Rampling, Melanie Newbould, Gauri Batra, Jacqueline James, Neville B Wright, Mark J Dunne, Peter E Clayton, Indraneel Banerjee, and Khalid Hussain

Background

Insulinomas are a rare cause of hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (HH) in children. The clinical features, investigations, management and histology of these rare pancreatic tumours in children have not been described in a large cohort of patients.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective review of cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2012, presenting to two referral centres in the United Kingdom. Clinical, biochemical, imaging (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 6-l-18F-fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-DOPA) PET/CT scanning) and histological data were collected.

Results

Nine children (age range 2–14.5 years) were diagnosed during the study period at Great Ormond Street Hospital (n=5) and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital (n=4). The combination of abdominal MRI scan (7/8) and 18F-DOPA PET/CT scan (2/4) correctly localised the anatomical location of all insulinomas. Before surgery, diazoxide therapy was used to treat hypoglycaemia, but only four patients responded. After surgical resection of the insulinoma, hypoglycaemia resolved in all patients. The anatomical localisation of the insulinoma in each patient was head (n=4), uncinate process (n=4) and tail (n=2, one second lesion) of the pancreas. Histology confirmed the diagnosis of insulinoma with the presence of sheets and trabeculae of epithelioid and spindle cells staining strongly for insulin and proinsulin, but not for glucagon or somatostatin. Two children were positive for MEN1, one of whom had two separate insulinoma lesions within the pancreas.

Conclusions

We describe a cohort of paediatric insulinoma patients. Although rare, insulinomas should be included in the differential diagnosis of HH, even in very young children. In the absence of a single imaging modality in the preoperative period, localisation of the tumour is achieved by combining imaging techniques, both conventional and functional.

Free access

Peter Wolf, Johanna Mayr, Hannes Beiglböck, Paul Fellinger, Yvonne Winhofer, Marko Poglitsch, Alois Gessl, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Anton Luger, and Michael Krebs

Background

In patients suffering from primary adrenal insufficiency (AI) mortality is increased despite adequate glucocorticoid (GC) and mineralocorticoid (MC) replacement therapy, mainly due to an increased cardiovascular risk. Since activation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) plays an important role in the modulation of cardiovascular risk factors, we performed in-depth characterization of the RAAS activity.

Methods

Eight patients with primary AI (female = 5; age: 56 ± 21 years; BMI: 22.8 ± 2 kg/m2; mean blood pressure: 140/83 mmHg; hydrocortisone dose: 21.9 ± 5 mg/day; fludrocortisone dose: 0.061 ± 0.03 mg/day) and eight matched healthy volunteers (female = 5; age: 52 ± 21 years; BMI: 25.2 ± 4 kg/m2; mean blood pressure:135/84 mmHg) were included in a cross-sectional case–control study. Angiotensin metabolite profiles (RAS-fingerprints) were performed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.

Results

In patients suffering from primary AI, RAAS activity was highly increased with elevated concentrations of renin concentration (P = 0.027), angiotensin (Ang) I (P = 0.022), Ang II (P = 0.032), Ang 1-7 and Ang 1-5. As expected, aldosterone was not detectable in the majority of AI patients, resulting in a profoundly suppressed aldosterone-to-AngII ratio (AA2 ratio, P = 0.003) compared to controls. PRA-S, the angiotensin-based marker for plasma renin activity, correlated with plasma renin activity (r = 0.983; P < 0.01) and plasma renin concentration (r = 0.985; P < 0.001) and was significantly increased in AI patients.

Conclusions

AI is associated with a unique RAAS profile characterized by the absence of aldosterone despite strongly elevated levels of angiotensin metabolites, including the potent vasoconstrictor AngII. Despite state-of-the-art hormone replacement therapy, the RAAS remains hyperactivated. The contribution of Ang II in cardiovascular diseases in AI patients as well as a potential role for providing useful complementary information at diagnosis and follow up of AI should be investigated in future trials.

Free access

Imke Schamarek, Christian Herder, Bettina Nowotny, Maren Carstensen-Kirberg, Klaus Straßburger, Peter Nowotny, Alexander Strom, Sonja Püttgen, Karsten Müssig, Julia Szendroedi, Michael Roden, Dan Ziegler, and on behalf of the German Diabetes Study Group

Objective

Subclinical inflammation has been implicated in the development of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN), but studies using electrophysiological assessment as outcomes are scarce. Therefore, we aimed to investigate associations of biomarkers reflecting different aspects of subclinical inflammation with motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity (NCV) in individuals with diabetes.

Design and methods

Motor and sensory NCV was assessed in individuals with recently diagnosed type 2 (n=352) or type 1 diabetes (n=161) from the baseline cohort of the observational German Diabetes Study. NCV sum scores were calculated for median, ulnar and peroneal motor as well as median, ulnar and sural sensory nerves. Associations between inflammation-related biomarkers, DSPN and NCV sum scores were estimated using multiple regression models.

Results

In type 2 diabetes, high serum interleukin (IL)-6 was associated with the presence of DSPN and reduced motor NCV. Moreover, higher levels of high-molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, total adiponectin and their ratio were associated with prevalent DSPN and both diminished motor and sensory NCV, whereas no consistent associations were observed for C-reactive protein, IL18, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin. In type 1 diabetes, only HMW and total adiponectin showed positive associations with motor NCV.

Conclusions

Our results point to a link between IL6 and both DSPN and slowed motor NCV in recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes. The reverse associations between adiponectin and NCV in type 1 and type 2 diabetes are intriguing, and further studies should explore whether they may reflect differences in the pathogenesis of DSPN in both diabetes types.

Open access

Christian J Strasburger, Niki Karavitaki, Sylvère Störmann, Peter J Trainer, Ilonka Kreitschmann-Andermahr, Michael Droste, Márta Korbonits, Berit Feldmann, Kathrin Zopf, Violet Fazal Sanderson, David Schwicker, Dana Gelbaum, Asi Haviv, Martin Bidlingmaier, and Nienke R Biermasz

Background

Long-acting somatostatin analogues delivered parenterally are the most widely used medical treatment in acromegaly. This patient-reported outcomes survey was designed to assess the impact of chronic injections on subjects with acromegaly.

Methods

The survey was conducted in nine pituitary centres in Germany, UK and The Netherlands. The questionnaire was developed by endocrinologists and covered aspects of acromegaly symptoms, injection-related manifestations, emotional and daily life impact, treatment satisfaction and unmet medical needs.

Results

In total, 195 patients participated, of which 112 (57%) were on octreotide (Sandostatin LAR) and 83 (43%) on lanreotide (Somatuline Depot). The majority (>70%) of patients reported acromegaly symptoms despite treatment. A total of 52% of patients reported that their symptoms worsen towards the end of the dosing interval. Administration site pain lasting up to a week following injection was the most frequently reported injection-related symptom (70% of patients). Other injection site reactions included nodules (38%), swelling (28%), bruising (16%), scar tissue (8%) and inflammation (7%). Injection burden was similar between octreotide and lanreotide. Only a minority of patients received injections at home (17%) and 5% were self-injecting. Over a third of patients indicated a feeling of loss of independence due to the injections, and 16% reported repeated work loss days. Despite the physical, emotional and daily life impact of injections, patients were satisfied with their treatment, yet reported that modifications that would offer major improvement over current care would be ‘avoiding injections’ and ‘better symptom control’.

Conclusion

Lifelong injections of long-acting somatostatin analogues have significant burden on the functioning, well-being and daily lives of patients with acromegaly.

Free access

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.

Free access

Elena Valassi, Holger Franz, Thierry Brue, Richard A Feelders, Romana Netea-Maier, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Susan M Webb, Maria Yaneva, Martin Reincke, Michael Droste, Irina Komerdus, Dominique Maiter, Darko Kastelan, Philippe Chanson, Marija Pfeifer, Christian J Strasburger, Miklós Tóth, Olivier Chabre, Antoine Tabarin, Michal Krsek, Carmen Fajardo, Marek Bolanowski, Alicia Santos, John A H Wass, Peter J Trainer, and for the ERCUSYN Study Group

Objective

To evaluate which tests are performed to diagnose hypercortisolism in patients included in the European Registry on Cushing’s syndrome (ERCUSYN), and to examine if their use differs from the current guidelines.

Patients and methods

We analyzed data on the diagnostic tests performed in 1341 patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS) who have been entered into the ERCUSYN database between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2016 from 57 centers in 26 European countries. Sixty-seven percent had pituitary-dependent CS (PIT-CS), 24% had adrenal-dependent CS (ADR-CS), 6% had CS from an ectopic source (ECT-CS) and 3% were classified as having CS from other causes (OTH-CS).

Results

Of the first-line tests, urinary free cortisol (UFC) test was performed in 78% of patients, overnight 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in 60% and late-night salivary cortisol (LSaC) in 25%. Use of LSaC increased in the last five years as compared with previous years (P < 0.01). Use of HDDST was slightly more frequent in the last 5 years as compared with previous years (P < 0.05). Of the additional tests, late-night serum cortisol (LSeC) was measured in 62% and 48-h 2 mg/day low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) in 33% of cases. ACTH was performed in 78% of patients. LSeC and overnight 1 mg DST supported the diagnosis of both PIT-CS and ADR-CS more frequently than UFC (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Use of diagnostic tests for CS varies across Europe and partly differs from the currently available guidelines. It would seem pertinent that a European consensus be established to determine the best diagnostic approach to CS, taking into account specific inter-country differences with regard to the availability of diagnostic tools.