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Marine Ollivier, Magalie Haissaguerre, Amandine Ferriere and Antoine Tabarin

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Cédric Fagour, Stéphane Bardet, Vincent Rohmer, Yannick Arimone, Pierre Lecomte, Nathalie Valli and Antoine Tabarin

Objectives

Prognostic factors for progression of benign adrenocortical adenomas (AI) remain poorly known. We assessed the usefulness of 131I-6-β-iodomethylnorcholesterol scintigraphy (IMS) to predict the occurrence of adrenal hyperfunction or mass enlargement.

Design

Fifty-one consecutive inpatients with unilateral AI and normal 24-h urinary free cortisol (UFC) were enrolled in a multicenter observational prospective study to investigate the relationship between the scintigraphic pattern and the progression of biological abnormalities of the hypothalamo-pituitary–adrenal axis or tumor size.

Results

Biochemically defined ‘subclinical’ Cushing's syndrome (SCS) was found at baseline in 47% of patients. Unilateral uptake (UU) was significantly associated with SCS (P<0.05). During the follow-up (4.3±1.6-year): 53% of patients showed unchanged hormonal evaluation, 29% displayed intermittent SCS and 18% showed definitive hormonal progression of SCS but without overt biochemical hypercortisolism. UU was associated with persistence of SCS and hormonal progression (P<0.01). In multivariate analysis, UU and impaired 1 mg dexamethasone suppression were independently associated with hormonal progression. Three patients with UU developed clinical CS despite persistently normal UFC. Tumor size increased in 10% patients and was not associated with any scintigraphic pattern.

Conclusion

Evolution of SCS toward overt biochemical CS in patients with AI is a rare event during a 4-year follow-up. UU is predictive for the occurrence of SCS, its persistence and progression within the spectrum of SCS. Further studies aiming to establish the clinical consequences of SCS are needed to recommend IMS as a complementary evaluation in patients with AI and biochemical SCS.

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Julie Brossaud, Philippe Gosse, Blandine Gatta, Antoine Tabarin, Guy Simonnet and Jean-Benoît Corcuff

Objectives

We set up plasma normetanephrine (pNMA) and metanephrine (pMA) assays as they demonstrated their usefulness for diagnosing phaeochromocytomas. Our scope is to describe some practical laboratory aspects and the clinical relevance of these assays in our endocrinological or cardiological departments.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the results of MA from a population of in- and outpatients over a 7-year period. Subjects (n=2536) from endocrinological or cardiological departments were investigated (66 phaeochromocytomas). Urinary NMA (uNMA) and pNMA, and urinary MA (uMA) and pMA were assayed by HPLC with electrochemical detection.

Results

pNMA and pMA assays are now more frequently requested than uNMA and uMA. This changed our laboratory work load with improved delivery, sensitivity and reliability of plasma assays as well as reduced apparatus maintenance time.

The pNMA and pMA upper reference limits (URLs) of subjects with no phaeochromocytoma were 1040 and 430 pmol/l respectively. Sensitivity and specificity based on receiver operating characteristic curves optimal points were 83 and 93% for pNMA at 972 pmol/l and 67 and 98% for pMA at 638 pmol/l. Sensitivity and specificity of paired tests of pMA (positive test: at least one analyte above its URLs) were 100 and 91% respectively.

Conclusion

The very low concentration of analytes requires a sustained very good apparatus analytical sensitivity. This can be obtained in an up-to-date laboratory. In terms of clinical performances, assays in plasma or urine are equivalent. Depending on local preferences, populations, strategies or departments, requests for one or the other assay may sustain the need for specifically defined reference ranges.

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Jean-Benoît Corcuff, Jacques Young, Pauline Masquefa-Giraud, Philippe Chanson, Eric Baudin and Antoine Tabarin

Context

Severe Cushing's syndrome elicited by ectopic ACTH syndrome (EAS) or adrenal carcinoma (ACC) can threaten life in the short term. The effectiveness of oral administration of the inhibitors of steroidogenesis ketoconazole and metyrapone in this situation is poorly described.

Objective

To report the short-term effectiveness and tolerability of metyrapone and ketoconazole elicited either by EAS or by ACC in patients exhibiting severe hypercortisolism.

Design

Retrospective analysis of data obtained for patients with urinary free cortisol (UFC) level estimated to be fivefold the upper limit of the normal range (ULN).

Patients and settings

A total of 14 patients with EAS and eight with ACC treated in two tertiary-care university hospitals.

Intervention

Metyrapone and ketoconazole treatment in combination (along with symptomatic treatments for co-morbidities).

Main outcome

Evolution of clinically relevant endpoints (blood pressure, kalaemia and glycaemia) and biological intensity of hypercortisolism 1 week and 1 month after starting steroidogenesis inhibition.

Results

After 1 week of treatment, median UFC fell from 40.0 to 3.2 ULN and from 16.0 to 1.0 ULN in patients with EAS and ACC respectively. Median UFC after 1 month of treatment was 0.5 and 1.0 ULN in patients with EAS and ACC respectively and UFC values were normal in 73 and 86% of patients respectively. Clinical status improved dramatically along with kalaemia, glycaemia and blood pressure, allowing a decrease in the relevant treatments.

Side effects were minimal and only two patients (one EAS and one ACC) experienced plasma transaminase elevations necessitating ketoconazole withdrawal.

Conclusion

Metyrapone–ketoconazole combination therapy is well tolerated and provides rapid control of endocrine cancer-related life-threatening hypercortisolism.

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Lucie Coppin, Amandine Ferrière, Michel Crépin, Magalie Haissaguerre, Miriam Ladsous, Antoine Tabarin and Marie-Françoise Odou

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Martin Fassnacht, Wiebke Arlt, Irina Bancos, Henning Dralle, John Newell-Price, Anju Sahdev, Antoine Tabarin, Massimo Terzolo, Stylianos Tsagarakis and Olaf M Dekkers

By definition, an adrenal incidentaloma is an asymptomatic adrenal mass detected on imaging not performed for suspected adrenal disease. In most cases, adrenal incidentalomas are nonfunctioning adrenocortical adenomas, but may also represent conditions requiring therapeutic intervention (e.g. adrenocortical carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, hormone-producing adenoma or metastasis). The purpose of this guideline is to provide clinicians with best possible evidence-based recommendations for clinical management of patients with adrenal incidentalomas based on the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system. We predefined four main clinical questions crucial for the management of adrenal incidentaloma patients, addressing these four with systematic literature searches: (A) How to assess risk of malignancy?; (B) How to define and manage low-level autonomous cortisol secretion, formerly called ‘subclinical’ Cushing’s syndrome?; (C) Who should have surgical treatment and how should it be performed?; (D) What follow-up is indicated if the adrenal incidentaloma is not surgically removed?

Selected recommendations:

(i) At the time of initial detection of an adrenal mass establishing whether the mass is benign or malignant is an important aim to avoid cumbersome and expensive follow-up imaging in those with benign disease. (ii) To exclude cortisol excess, a 1mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test should be performed (applying a cut-off value of serum cortisol ≤50nmol/L (1.8µg/dL)). (iii) For patients without clinical signs of overt Cushing’s syndrome but serum cortisol levels post 1mg dexamethasone >138nmol/L (>5µg/dL), we propose the term ‘autonomous cortisol secretion’. (iv) All patients with ‘(possible) autonomous cortisol’ secretion should be screened for hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus, to ensure these are appropriately treated. (v) Surgical treatment should be considered in an individualized approach in patients with ‘autonomous cortisol secretion’ who also have comorbidities that are potentially related to cortisol excess. (vi) In principle, the appropriateness of surgical intervention should be guided by the likelihood of malignancy, the presence and degree of hormone excess, age, general health and patient preference. (vii) Surgery is not usually indicated in patients with an asymptomatic, nonfunctioning unilateral adrenal mass and obvious benign features on imaging studies. We provide guidance on which surgical approach should be considered for adrenal masses with radiological findings suspicious of malignancy. Furthermore, we offer recommendations for the follow-up of patients with adrenal incidentaloma who do not undergo adrenal surgery, for those with bilateral incidentalomas, for patients with extra-adrenal malignancy and adrenal masses and for young and elderly patients with adrenal incidentalomas

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Sophie Mauclère-Denost, Sophie Leboulleux, Isabelle Borget, Angelo Paci, Jacques Young, Abir Al Ghuzlan, Desiree Deandreis, Laurence Drouard, Antoine Tabarin, Philippe Chanson, Martin Schlumberger and Eric Baudin

Background

The benefit-to-risk ratio of a high-dose strategy at the initiation of mitotane treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) remains unknown.

Methods

To evaluate the performance of a high-dose strategy, defined as the highest tolerated dose administered within 2 weeks and maintenance therapy over 4 weeks, we conducted a single-center, prospective study with two main objectives: to evaluate the percentage of patients who achieve a plasma mitotane level above 14 mg/l and to evaluate the tolerance of mitotane within the first 3 months of treatment. Plasma mitotane levels were measured monthly using HPLC.

Results

Twenty-two patients with ACC were prospectively enrolled. The high-dose mitotane strategy (4 g/day or more in all patients, with a median of 6 g/day within 2 weeks) enabled to reach the therapeutic threshold of >14 mg/l at 1, 2, or 3 months in 6/22 patients (27%), 7/22 patients (32%), and 7/22 patients (32%) respectively. In total, a therapeutic plasma mitotane level was reached in 14 out of 22 patients (63.6%) during the first 3 months in ten patients, and after 3 months in four patients. Grade 3–4 neurological or hematological toxicities were observed in three patients (13.6%).

Conclusion

Employing a high-dose strategy at the time of mitotane initiation enabled therapeutic plasma levels of mitotane to be reached within 1 month in 27% of the total group of patients. If this strategy is adopted, we suggest that mitotane dose is readjusted according to plasma mitotane levels at 1 or/and 2 months and patient tolerance.

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Delphine Vezzosi, Catherine Cardot-Bauters, Nicolas Bouscaren, Maëlle Lebras, Mireille Bertholon-Grégoire, Patricia Niccoli, Nathalie Levy-Bohbot, Lionel Groussin, Philippe Bouchard, Antoine Tabarin, Philippe Chanson, Pierre Lecomte, Isabelle Guilhem, Nicolas Carrere, Eric Mirallié, François Pattou, Jean Louis Peix, Diane Goere, Françoise Borson-Chazot, Philippe Caron, Vanina Bongard, Bruno Carnaille, Pierre Goudet and Eric Baudin

Objective

Management of insulinomas in the context of MEN1 remains poorly studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term results of various surgical approaches in a large cohort of insulinoma–MEN1 patients.

Design and methods

Consecutive insulinoma–MEN1 patients operated on for a nonmetastatic insulinoma between 1957 and 2010 were retrospectively selected from the MEN1 database of the French Endocrine Tumor Group. The type of surgery was categorized as distal pancreatectomy (DP), total pancreatectomy/cephalic duodenopancreatectomy (TP/CDP), or enucleation (E). Primary endpoint was time until recurrence of hypoglycemia after initial surgery. Secondary endpoints were post-operative complications.

Results

The study included 73 patients (median age=28 years). Surgical procedures were DP (n=46), TP/CDP (n=9), or E (n=18). After a median post-operative follow-up of 9.0 years (inter-quartile range (IQR): 2.5–16.5 years), 60/73 patients (82.2%) remained hypoglycemia free. E and TP/CDP were associated with a higher risk of recurrent hypoglycemia episodes (unadjusted hazard ratio: 6.18 ((95% CI: 1.54–24.8); P=0.010) for E vs DP and 9.51 ((95% CI: 1.85–48.8); P=0.007) for TP/CDP vs DP. After adjustment for International Union against Cancer pTNM classification, enucleation remained significantly associated with a higher probability of recurrence. Long-term complications had occurred in 20 (43.5%) patients with DP, five (55.6%) with TP/CDP, but in none of the patients who have undergone E (P=0.002).

Conclusion

In the French Endocrine database, DP is associated with a lower risk for recurrent hypoglycemia episodes. Due to lower morbidity, E alone might be considered as an alternative.

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.

Free access

Thomas Cuny, Morgane Pertuit, Mona Sahnoun-Fathallah, Adrian Daly, Gianluca Occhi, Marie Françoise Odou, Antoine Tabarin, Marie Laure Nunes, Brigitte Delemer, Vincent Rohmer, Rachel Desailloud, Véronique Kerlan, Olivier Chabre, Jean-Louis Sadoul, Muriel Cogne, Philippe Caron, Christine Cortet-Rudelli, Anne Lienhardt, Isabelle Raingeard, Anne-Marie Guedj, Thierry Brue, Albert Beckers, Georges Weryha, Alain Enjalbert and Anne Barlier

Context

Germline mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein gene (AIP) have been identified in young patients (age ≤30 years old) with sporadic pituitary macroadenomas. Otherwise, there are few data concerning the prevalence of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) mutations in such a population.

Objective

We assessed the prevalence of both AIP and MEN1 genetic abnormalities (mutations and large gene deletions) in young patients (age ≤30 years old) diagnosed with sporadic and isolated macroadenoma, without hypercalcemia and/or MEN1-associated lesions.

Design

The entire coding sequences of AIP and MEN1 were screened for mutations. In cases of negative sequencing screening, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was performed for the detection of large genetic deletions.

Patients and settings

One hundred and seventy-four patients from endocrinology departments of 15 French University Hospital Centers were eligible for this study.

Results

Twenty-one out of 174 (12%) patients had AIP (n=15, 8.6%) or MEN1 (n=6, 3.4%) mutations. In pediatric patients (age ≤18 years old), AIP/MEN1 mutation frequency reached nearly 22% (n=10/46). AIPmut and MEN1mut were identified in 8/79 (10.1%) and 1/79 (1.2%) somatotropinoma patients respectively; they each accounted for 4/74 (5.4%) prolactinoma (PRL) patients with mutations. Half of those patients (n=3/6) with gigantism displayed mutations in AIP. Interestingly, 4/12 (33%) patients with non-secreting adenomas bore either AIP or MEN1 mutations, whereas none of the eight corticotroph adenomas or the single thyrotropinoma case had mutations. No large gene deletions were observed in sequencing-negative patients.

Conclusion

Mutations in MEN1 can be of significance in young patients with sporadic isolated pituitary macroadenomas, particularly PRL, and together with AIP, we suggest genetic analysis of MEN1 in such a population.