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Free access

Nicoleta C Olarescu, Thor Ueland, Kristin Godang, Rune Lindberg-Larsen, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, and Jens Bollerslev

Background

Active acromegaly is associated with insulin resistance, but it is uncertain whether inflammation in adipose tissue is a contributing factor.

Aim

To test if GH/IGF1 promotes inflammation in adipocytes, and if this is relevant for systemic insulin resistance in acromegaly. Furthermore, to investigate the effect of treatment modalities (transsphenoidal surgery (TS), somatostatin analogs (SAs), and pegvisomant (PGV)) on glucose metabolism and inflammatory biomarkers in acromegaly.

Methods

The in vitro effects of GH/IGF1 on gene expression of adipokines in human adipocytes were investigated. Body composition, glucose metabolism, and circulating adipokines (adiponectin (AD), high-molecular weight AD (HMWAD), leptin, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1), and thioredoxin (TRX)) were measured in 37 patients with active acromegaly before and after treatment.

Results

In vitro GH, but not IGF1, increased VEGF and MCP1 in human adipocytes. In all treatment groups, body fat increased and IGF1 decreased to the same extent. Fasting glucose decreased in the TS (P=0.016) and PGV (P=0.042) groups, but tended to increase in the SA group (P=0.078). Insulin and HOMA-IR decreased in both TS and SA groups, while the PGV group showed no changes. Serum VEGF and MCP1 decreased significantly in the TS group only (P=0.010, P=0.002), while HMWAD increased with PGV treatment only (P=0.018). A multivariate analysis model identified the changes in GH and VEGF as predictors of improvement in HOMA-IR after treatment (R 2=0.39, P=0.002).

Conclusions

i) GH directly promotes inflammation of human adipocytes by increasing VEGF and MCP1 levels; ii) glucose metabolism and inflammation (VEGF and MCP1) improve to some extent after treatment, despite an increase in adipose tissue mass; and iii) the decrease in insulin resistance after therapy in acromegaly depends, to some extent, on treatment modalities.

Free access

Charlotte Steffensen, Alberto M Pereira, Olaf M Dekkers, and Jens Otto L Jørgensen

Objective

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Cushing’s syndrome (CS) share clinical characteristics, and several small studies have recorded a high prevalence of hypercortisolism in T2D, which could have therapeutic implications. We aimed to assess the prevalence of endogenous hypercortisolism in T2D patients.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.

Methods

A search was performed in SCOPUS, MEDLINE, and EMBASE for original articles assessing the prevalence of endogenous hypercortisolism and CS in T2D. Data were pooled in a random-effect logistic regression model and reported with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

Results

Fourteen articles were included, with a total of 2827 T2D patients. The pooled prevalence of hypercortisolism and CS was 3.4% (95% CI: 1.5–5.9) and 1.4% (95 CI: 0.4–2.9) respectively. The prevalence did not differ between studies of unselected patients and patients selected based on the presence of metabolic features such as obesity or poor glycemic control (P = 0.41 from meta-regression). Imaging in patients with hypercortisolism (n = 102) revealed adrenal tumors and pituitary tumors in 52 and 14% respectively.

Conclusions

Endogenous hypercortisolism is a relatively frequent finding in T2D, which may have therapeutic implications.

Free access

Kristine Z Rubeck, Michael Madsen, Caroline Marie Andreasen, Sanne Fisker, Jan Frystyk, and Jens Otto L Jørgensen

Context

Control of disease activity in acromegaly is critical, but the biochemical definitions remain controversial.

Objective

To compare traditional and novel biomarkers and health status in patients with acromegaly treated with either surgery alone or somatostatin analog (SA).

Design and methods

Sixty-three patients in long-term remission based on normalized total IGF1 levels after surgery alone (n=36) or SA (n=27) were studied in a cross-sectional manner. The groups were comparable at diagnosis regarding demographic and biochemical variables. Each subject underwent 3 h of serum sampling including a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Health status was measured by two questionnaires: EuroQoL and Acrostudy (Patient-assessed-Acromegaly symptom questionnaire (PASQ)).

Results

Total and bioactive IGF1 (μg/l) levels were similar (total: 185±10 (SA) versus 171±8 (surgery) (P=0.28); bioactive: 1.9±0.2 vs 1.9±0.1 (P=0.70)). Suppression of total and free GH (μg/l) during OGTT was blunted in the SA group (total GHnadir: 0.59±0.08 (SA) versus 0.34±0.06 (surgery) (P=0.01); free GHnadir: 0.43±0.06 vs 0.19±0.04 (P<0.01)). The insulin response to OGTT was delayed, and the 2-h glucose level was elevated during SA treatment (P=0.02). Disease-specific health status was better in patients after surgery (P=0.02).

Conclusions

i) Despite similar and normalized IGF1 levels, SA treatment compared with surgery alone was associated with less suppressed GH levels and less symptom relief; ii) this discordance may be due to specific suppression of hepatic IGF1 production by SA; iii) we suggest that biochemical assessment during SA treatment should include both GH and IGF1.

Free access

Diana Cruz-Topete, Britt Christensen, Lucila Sackmann-Sala, Shigeru Okada, Jens Otto L Jorgensen, and John J Kopchick

Context

Transsphenoidal adenomectomy is the primary treatment for acromegaly. However, assessment of the therapeutical outcome remains problematic since the existing biomarkers of disease activity frequently show discordant results.

Objective

To discover novel serum biomarkers of disease activity in acromegalic patients before and after surgery.

Design

Serum samples of eight newly diagnosed acromegaly patients before and after transsphenoidal surgery were analyzed for proteomic changes by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Protein spots displaying statistically significant changes, pre- versus post-surgery, were identified by mass spectrometry (MS), tandem MS (MS/MS), and western blot analysis.

Results

Six protein spots displaying decreased intensities after surgery were identified as transthyretin (two isoforms), haptoglobin α2, β-hemoglobin, and apolipoprotein A-1 (two isoforms). One protein spot, identified as complement C4B precursor, was increased after the surgery.

Conclusions

Seven serum protein spots were differentially expressed following surgery in acromegalic patients. The identified proteins represent potential novel biomarkers to assess the effectiveness of surgical treatment in acromegalic individuals. Future studies will validate the use of the identified proteins as biomarkers of disease activity after medical treatment of acromegaly.

Free access

Olaf M Dekkers, Erzsébet Horváth-Puhó, Suzanne C Cannegieter, Jan P Vandenbroucke, Henrik Toft Sørensen, and Jens Otto L Jørgensen

Objective

Several studies have shown an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in hyperthyroidism, but most studies have been too small to address the effect of hyperthyroidism on individual cardiovascular endpoints. Our main aim was to assess the association among hyperthyroidism, acute cardiovascular events and mortality.

Design

It is a nationwide population-based cohort study. Data were obtained from the Danish Civil Registration System and the Danish National Patient Registry, which covers all Danish hospitals. We compared the rate of all-cause mortality as well as venous thromboembolism (VTE), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), ischemic and non-ischemic stroke, arterial embolism, atrial fibrillation (AF) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the two cohorts. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated.

Results

The study included 85 856 hyperthyroid patients and 847 057 matched population-based controls. Mean follow-up time was 9.2 years. The HR for mortality was highest in the first 3 months after diagnosis of hyperthyroidism: 4.62, 95% CI: 4.40–4.85, and remained elevated during long-term follow-up (>3 years) (HR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.33–1.37). The risk for all examined cardiovascular events was increased, with the highest risk in the first 3 months after hyperthyroidism diagnosis. The 3-month post-diagnosis risk was highest for atrial fibrillation (HR: 7.32, 95% CI: 6.58–8.14) and arterial embolism (HR: 6.08, 95% CI: 4.30–8.61), but the risks of VTE, AMI, ischemic and non-ischemic stroke and PCI were increased also 2- to 3-fold.

Conclusions

We found an increased risk for all-cause mortality and acute cardiovascular events in patients with hyperthyroidism.

Free access

Louise Holland-Bill, Christian Fynbo Christiansen, Uffe Heide-Jørgensen, Sinna Pilgaard Ulrichsen, Troels Ring, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, and Henrik Toft Sørensen

Objective

We aimed to investigate the impact of hyponatremia severity on mortality risk and assess any evidence of a dose–response relation, utilizing prospectively collected data from population-based registries.

Design

Cohort study of 279 508 first-time acute admissions to Departments of Internal Medicine in the North and Central Denmark Regions from 2006 to 2011.

Methods

We used the Kaplan–Meier method (1 – survival function) to compute 30-day and 1-year mortality in patients with normonatremia and categories of increasing hyponatremia severity. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% CIs, adjusted for age, gender and previous morbidities, and stratified by clinical subgroups were estimated by the pseudo-value approach. The probability of death was estimated treating serum sodium as a continuous variable.

Results

The prevalence of admission hyponatremia was 15% (41 803 patients). Thirty-day mortality was 3.6% in normonatremic patients compared to 7.3, 10.0, 10.4 and 9.6% in patients with serum sodium levels of 130–134.9, 125–129.9, 120–124.9 and <120 mmol/l, resulting in adjusted RRs of 1.4 (95% CI: 1.3–1.4), 1.7 (95% CI: 1.6–1.8), 1.7 (95% CI: 1.4–1.9) and 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1–1.5) respectively. Mortality risk was increased across virtually all clinical subgroups, and remained increased by 30–40% 1 year after admission. The probability of death increased when serum sodium decreased from 139 to 132 mmol/l. No clear increase in mortality was observed for lower concentrations.

Conclusions

Hyponatremia is highly prevalent among patients admitted to Departments of Internal Medicine and is associated with increased 30-day and 1-year mortality risk, regardless of underlying disease. This risk seems independent of hyponatremia severity.

Free access

Johanne Marie Holst, Erzsébet Horváth-Puhó, Rikke Beck Jensen, Mariane Rix, Kurt Kristensen, Niels Thomas Hertel, Olaf M Dekkers, Henrik Toft Sørensen, Anders Juul, and Jens Otto L Jørgensen

Objective

Cushing’s syndrome (CS) affects all age groups, but epidemiologic data in young patients are very limited. We therefore examined the incidence, prevalence and hospital morbidity of CS in children and adolescents.

Design

In a nationwide cohort study, we included all Danish citizens aged 0–20 years from 1977 to 2012. Data were obtained from the Danish National Patient Registry using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes and the Danish Civil Registration System. The diagnosis and treatment were validated by means of individual patient charts. Incidence rate of CS patients aged 0–20 years at diagnosis were computed (standardized to the age and sex distribution of the Danish population). The patients were followed for a maximum of 36 years. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of different hospital-recorded outcomes based on the ICD codes in patients with CS compared to the general population were assessed.

Results

We identified a total of 40 pediatric patients with CS, yielding an annual incidence of 0.89 cases/106 population (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.63–1.16). The median age at the time of diagnosis was 13.8 years (interquartile range: 10.5–18.2 years), 58% were female and 70% had adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing pituitary adenomas. During follow-up, CS patients (excluding three malignant cases) were at increased risk of being diagnosed with infections (SIR: 3.24, 95% CI: 1.05–7.54) and infertility (SIR: 4.56, 95% CI: 1.48–10.63). The three patients with an adrenocortical carcinoma died shortly after diagnosis, but mortality was not increased in the remaining patients.

Conclusions

CS is rare in the pediatric population. The risk of morbidity related to infections and infertility is elevated and merits further attention.

Free access

Jakob Dal, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Marianne Andersen, Lars Ø Kristensen, Peter Laurberg, Lars Pedersen, Olaf M Dekkers, Henrik Toft Sørensen, and Jens Otto L Jørgensen

Design

Valid data on acromegaly incidence, complications and mortality are scarce. The Danish Health Care System enables nationwide studies with complete follow-up and linkage among health-related databases to assess acromegaly incidence, prevalence, complications and mortality in a population-based cohort study.

Method

All incident cases of acromegaly in Denmark (1991–2010) were identified from health registries and validated by chart review. We estimated the annual incidence rate of acromegaly per 106 person-years (py) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). For every patient, 10 persons were sampled from the general population as a comparison cohort. Cox regression and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used.

Results

Mean age at diagnosis (48.7 years (CI: 95%: 47.2–50.1)) and annual incidence rate (3.8 cases/106 persons (95% CI: 3.6–4.1)) among the 405 cases remained stable. The prevalence in 2010 was 85 cases/106 persons. The patients were at increased risk of diabetes mellitus (HR: 4.0 (95% CI: 2.7–5.8)), heart failure (HR: 2.5 (95% CI: 1.4–4.5)), venous thromboembolism (HR: 2.3 (95% CI: 1.1–5.0)), sleep apnoea (HR: 11.7 (95% CI: 7.0–19.4)) and arthropathy (HR: 2.1 (95% CI: 1.6–2.6)). The complication risk was also increased before the diagnosis of acromegaly. Overall mortality risk was elevated (HR: 1.3 (95% CI: 1.0–1.7)) but uninfluenced by treatment modality.

Conclusion

(i) The incidence rate and age at diagnosis of acromegaly have been stable over decades, and the prevalence is higher than previously reported. (ii) The risk of complications is very high even before the diagnosis. (iii) Mortality risk remains elevated but uninfluenced by mode of treatment.

Open access

Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Philippe F Backeljauw, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverly M K Biller, Margaret C S Boguszewski, Felipe F Casanueva, Philippe Chanson, Pierre Chatelain, Catherine S Choong, David R Clemmons, Laurie E Cohen, Pinchas Cohen, Jan Frystyk, Adda Grimberg, Yukihiro Hasegawa, Morey W Haymond, Ken Ho, Andrew R Hoffman, Jeff M P Holly, Reiko Horikawa, Charlotte Höybye, Jens Otto L Jorgensen, Gudmundur Johannsson, Anders Juul, Laurence Katznelson, John J Kopchick, K O Lee, Kuk-Wha Lee, Xiaoping Luo, Shlomo Melmed, Bradley S Miller, Madhusmita Misra, Vera Popovic, Ron G Rosenfeld, Judith Ross, Richard J Ross, Paul Saenger, Christian J Strasburger, Michael O Thorner, Haim Werner, and Kevin Yuen

Objective

The Growth Hormone (GH) Research Society (GRS) convened a workshop to address important issues regarding trial design, efficacy, and safety of long-acting growth hormone preparations (LAGH).

Participants

A closed meeting of 55 international scientists with expertise in GH, including pediatric and adult endocrinologists, basic scientists, regulatory scientists, and participants from the pharmaceutical industry.

Evidence

Current literature was reviewed for gaps in knowledge. Expert opinion was used to suggest studies required to address potential safety and efficacy issues.

Consensus process

Following plenary presentations summarizing the literature, breakout groups discussed questions framed by the planning committee. Attendees reconvened after each breakout session to share group reports. A writing team compiled the breakout session reports into a draft document that was discussed and revised in an open forum on the concluding day. This was edited further and then circulated to attendees from academic institutions for review after the meeting. Participants from pharmaceutical companies did not participate in the planning, writing, or in the discussions and text revision on the final day of the workshop. Scientists from industry and regulatory agencies reviewed the manuscript to identify any factual errors.

Conclusions

LAGH compounds may represent an advance over daily GH injections because of increased convenience and differing phamacodynamic properties, providing the potential for improved adherence and outcomes. Better methods to assess adherence must be developed and validated. Long-term surveillance registries that include assessment of efficacy, cost-benefit, disease burden, quality of life, and safety are essential for understanding the impact of sustained exposure to LAGH preparations.

Open access

Luciana Martel-Duguech, Jens Otto L Jorgensen, Márta Korbonits, Gudmundur Johannsson, Susan M Webb, and the ESE AGHD Study Group for a Pan-European audit

Guidelines recommend adults with pituitary disease in whom GH therapy is contemplated, to be tested for GH deficiency (AGHD); however, clinical practice is not uniform.

Aims

(1) To record current practice of AGHD management throughout Europe and benchmark it against guidelines; (2) To evaluate educational status of healthcare professionals about AGHD.

Design

Online survey in endocrine centres throughout Europe.

Patients and methods

Endocrinologists voluntarily completed an electronic questionnaire regarding AGHD patients diagnosed or treated in 2017–2018.

Results

Twenty-eight centres from 17 European countries participated, including 2139 AGHD patients, 28% of childhood-onset GHD. Aetiology was most frequently non-functioning pituitary adenoma (26%), craniopharyngioma (13%) and genetic/congenital midline malformations (13%). Diagnosis of GHD was confirmed by a stimulation test in 52% (GHRH+arginine: 45%; insulin-tolerance: 42%, glucagon: 6%; GHRH alone and clonidine tests: 7%); in the remaining, ≥3 pituitary deficiencies and low serum IGF-I were diagnostic. Initial GH dose was lower in older patients, but only women <26 years were prescribed a higher dose than men; dose titration was based on normal serum IGF-I, tolerance and side-effects. In one country, AGHD treatment was not approved. Full public reimbursement was not available in four countries and only in childhood-onset GHD in another. AGHD awareness was low among non-endocrine professionals and healthcare administrators. Postgraduate AGHD curriculum training deserves being improved.

Conclusion

Despite guideline recommendations, GH replacement in AGHD is still not available or reimbursed in all European countries. Knowledge among professionals and health administrators needs improvement to optimise the care of adults with GHD.