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Jaap Deinum, Hans Groenewoud, Gert Jan van der Wilt, Livia Lenzini and Gian Paolo Rossi

Notwithstanding the high prevalence of primary aldosteronism (PA), probably the most common form of secondary hypertension, the diagnosis of PA is often neglected or delayed, thus precluding target treatment, which is curative in many cases. For selection of the most appropriate treatment, a fundamental step is the distinction between a lateralized form, mainly aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA), and bilateral adrenocortical hyperplasia (BAH), also known as idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA). To this aim all current guidelines recommend adrenal vein sampling (AVS), a technically challenging procedure that often fails, particularly in non-experienced hands. Cosyntropin (synthetic ACTH) is administered in the attempt to maximize adrenal cortisol secretion and avoid pulsatile adrenocortical hormone secretion in about 40% of the referral centres around the world. However, the Endocrine Society guidelines do not advise about the use or not of cosyntropin as stimulus during AVS, as there are arguments in favour and against its use. These arguments are presented in this debate article reflecting the views of groups that currently use and do not use cosyntropin.

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Katrine Hygum, Jakob Starup-Linde, Torben Harsløf, Niklas Rye Jørgensen, Bolette Hartmann, Jens Juul Holst and Bente L Langdahl

Objective

Bone turnover has a diurnal variation influenced by food intake, incretin hormones, the sympathetic nervous system and osteocyte function. The aim of the study was to compare diurnal variation in bone turnover in patients with diabetes and controls.

Design

A clinical 24-h study with patients with type 1 diabetes (n = 5), patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 5) and controls (n = 5).

Methods

Inclusion criterion: age >50 years. Exclusion criteria: diseases/medication that affect bone metabolism or recent use of incretin-based drugs. We drew blood samples hourly during the day and every 3 h during the night. We served an identical diet on all study days. We used repeated-measures one-way ANOVA to compare the levels of the investigated markers, and we quantified the effect of time by comparing group mean standard deviations.

Results

The bone formation marker procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide showed a significant interaction between time and group (P = 0.01), and the mean standard deviation was lower in patients with type 2 diabetes compared with controls (P = 0.04) and patients with type 1 diabetes (P = 0.02). Other markers of bone formation and resorption showed significant effect of time. Levels of glucagon-like peptide-2, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and sclerostin only showed significant effect of time (all P values 0.01), but levels of sclerostin tended to being highest in type 2 diabetes and lowest in controls.

Conclusions

The diurnal variation in bone formation is attenuated in patients with type 2 diabetes. This is not explained by changes in incretin hormone levels, but possibly mediated by sclerostin.

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Giuseppa Patti, Saverio Scianguetta, Domenico Roberti, Alberto Di Mascio, Antonio Balsamo, Milena Brugnara, Marco Cappa, Maddalena Casale, Paolo Cavarzere, Sarah Cipriani, Sabrina Corbetta, Rossella Gaudino, Lorenzo Iughetti, Lucia Martini, Flavia Napoli, Alessandro Peri, Maria Carolina Salerno, Roberto Salerno, Elena Passeri, Mohamad Maghnie, Silverio Perrotta and Natascia Di Iorgi

Background

Autosomal dominant neurohypophyseal diabetes insipidus (adNDI) is caused by arginine vasopressin (AVP) deficiency resulting from mutations in the AVP-NPII gene encoding the AVP preprohormone.

Aim

To describe the clinical and molecular features of Italian unrelated families with central diabetes insipidus.

Patients and methods

We analyzed AVP-NPII gene in 13 families in whom diabetes insipidus appeared to be segregating.

Results

Twenty-two patients were found to carry a pathogenic AVP-NPII gene mutation. Two novel c.173 G>C (p.Cys58Ser) and c.215 C>A (p.Ala72Glu) missense mutations and additional eight different mutations previously described were identified; nine were missense and one non-sense mutation. Most mutations (eight out of ten) occurred in the region encoding for the NPII moiety; two mutations were detected in exon 1. No mutations were found in exon 3. Median age of onset was 32.5 months with a variability within the same mutation (3 to 360 months). No clear genotype–phenotype correlation has been observed, except for the c.55 G>A (p.Ala19Thr) mutation, which led to a later onset of disease (median age 120 months). Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed the absence of posterior pituitary hyperintensity in 8 out of 15 subjects, hypointense signal in 4 and normal signal in 2. Follow-up MRI showed the disappearance of the posterior pituitary hyperintensity after 6 years in one case.

Conclusion

adNDI is a progressive disease with a variable age of onset. Molecular diagnosis and counseling should be provided to avoid unnecessary investigations and to ensure an early and adequate treatment.

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Alexander Faje, Kerry Reynolds, Leyre Zubiri, Donald Lawrence, Justine V Cohen, Ryan J Sullivan, Lisa Nachtigall and Nicholas Tritos

Objective

Little has been published describing hypophysitis after nivolumab or pembrolizumab treatment. We aimed to (i) assess the risk of hypophysitis following nivolumab or pembrolizumab treatment, (ii) characterize the clinical presentation and outcomes in these patients and (iii) compare these patients to hypophysitis following ipilimumab and ipilimumab plus nivolumab (combo). We hypothesized that headaches, pituitary enlargement on MRI and multiple anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies would occur less often in the nivolumab/pembrolizumab group versus ipilimumab or combo hypophysitis patients.

Design and methods

We conducted a multi-center retrospective review utilizing the Research Patient Database registry to evaluate individuals diagnosed with hypophysitis following treatment with nivolumab/pembrolizumab (n = 22), ipilimumab (n = 64) and combo (n = 20). Encounter notes, radiologic imaging and laboratory results for these patients were comprehensively reviewed.

Results

Hypophysitis was rare following treatment with nivolumab/pembrolizumab (0.5%, 17/3522) compared to ipilimumab (13.6%, 34/250), P < 0.0001. Hypophysitis was diagnosed later in nivolumab/pembrolizumab (median: 25.8 weeks, interquartile range (IR): 18.4–44.0) compared to ipilimumab (9.3, IR: 7.2–11.1) or combo patients (12.5, IR: 7.4–18.6), P < 0.0001 for both. Headache and pituitary enlargement occurred less commonly in nivolumab/pemrolizumab patients (23% and 5/18, respectively) compared to ipilimumab (75%, 60/61) and combo (75%, 16/17) treatment groups (P < 0.0001 versus ipilimumab and P = 0.001 versus combo for headache and P < 0.0001 for both for enlargement).

Conclusions

This study represents the first comprehensive cohort analysis of nivolumab or pembrolizumab-associated hypophysitis in a large patient group. Hypophysitis occurs rarely with these medications, and these patients have a distinct phenotype compared to hypophysitis after treatment with ipilimumab or ipilimumab plus nivolumab.

Free access

Frédérique Albarel, Frédéric Castinetti and Thierry Brue

In recent years, the development of immunotherapy has constituted a revolution in the therapy for many cancers, with a specific toxicity profile including endocrine immune-related adverse events. Immune check point inhibitors (ICI)-induced hypophysitis is a common endocrine side effect, particularly with CTLA-4 antibodies and combination therapy, with frequent hormonal deficiencies at diagnosis. It can be difficult to evoke such diagnosis as the initial clinical symptoms are not specific (headache, asthenia…); thus, patients receiving such immunomodulatory therapies should be closely monitored by systematic hormone measurements, especially in the first weeks of treatment. Usually, hormonal deficiencies improve, except for corticotroph function. Despite a lack of large prospective studies on ICI-induced hypophysitis, some detailed longitudinal cohort studies have focused on such cases of hypophysitis and allow for optimal monitoring, follow-up and management of patients with this immune-related adverse event. In the case of ICI-induced hypophysitis, patients need long-term multidisciplinary follow-up, with specific education for those patients with corticotropin deficiency to allow them to be autonomous with their treatment. In this review, based on a clinical case, we detail the most relevant and novel aspects related to the incidence, diagnosis, treatment, evolution and management of hypophysitis induced by immunotherapy, with a focus on possible mechanisms and current recommendations and guidelines. Lastly, we emphasize several key points, such as the absence of indication to systematically treat with high-dose glucocorticoid and the pursuit of immunotherapy in such hypophysitis. These points should be kept in mind by oncologists and endocrinologists who treat and monitor patients treated by immunotherapy.

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Marco Castellana, Camilla Virili, Andrea Palermo, Francesco Giorgino, Luca Giovanella and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective

Despite the improvements in ultrasound (US) and scintigraphy, 10–20% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) still have discordant findings. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the safety and the diagnostic performance of US-guided PTH washout (FNA-PTH) in patients with PHPT, a suspected parathyroid lesion on US but negative or equivocal scintigraphy.

Methods

The review was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019124249). PubMed, Scopus, CENTRAL and Web of Science were searched until February 2019. Original articles reporting complications and diagnostic performance of FNA-PTH in biochemically and histopathologically diagnosed PHPT were selected. The risk of bias of included studies was assessed through QUADAS-2. Summary operating points were estimated using a random-effects model.

Results

Out of 2573 retrieved papers, nine cohort studies were included in the review. No major procedure-related complications were found. Pooled sensitivity was 95% (95% CI: 91–98; I 2: = 14%) and positive predictive value was 97% (95% CI: 93–100; I 2: = 39%). There were not enough data for specificity and negative predictive value to perform a meta-analysis. However, pooling results of all lesions, they were estimated to be 83 and 73%, respectively.

Conclusions

In patients with biochemically proven PHPT and discordant imaging, FNA-PTH was a safe and accurate procedure. In this specific setting of patients, FNA-PTH could be used as a rule-in test for minimally invasive parathyroidectomy.

Open access

Jens Bollerslev, Camilla Schalin-Jäntti, Lars Rejnmark, Heide Siggelkow, Hans Morreau, Rajesh Thakker, Antonio Sitges-Serra, Filomena Cetani, Claudio Marcocci and the PARAT Workshop Group

PARAT, a new European Society of Endocrinology program, aims to identify unmet scientific and educational needs of parathyroid disorders, such as primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), including parathyroid cancer (PC), and hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT). The discussions and consensus statements from the first PARAT workshop (September 2018) are reviewed. PHPT has a high prevalence in Western communities, yet evidence is sparse concerning the natural history and whether morbidity and long-term outcomes are related to hypercalcemia or plasma PTH concentrations or both. Cardiovascular mortality and prevalence of low energy fractures are increased, whereas quality of life is decreased, although their reversibility by treatment of PHPT has not been convincingly demonstrated. PC is a rare cause of PHPT, with increasing incidence, and international collaborative studies are required to advance knowledge of the genetic mechanisms, biomarkers for disease activity and optimal treatments. For example, ~20% of PCs demonstrate high mutational burden, and identifying targetable DNA variations, gene amplifications and gene fusions may facilitate personalized care, such as different forms of immunotherapy or targeted therapy. HypoPT, a designated orphan disease, is associated with a high risk of symptoms and complications. Most cases are secondary to neck surgery. However, there is a need to better understand the relation between disease biomarkers and intellectual function and to establish the role of PTH in target tissues, as these may facilitate the appropriate use of PTH substitution therapy. Management of parathyroid disorders is challenging, and PARAT has highlighted the need for international transdisciplinary scientific and educational studies in advancing in this field.

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Susan Kralisch, Annett Hoffmann, Nora Klöting, Armin Frille, Hartmut Kuhn, Marcin Nowicki, Sabine Paeschke, Anette Bachmann, Matthias Blüher, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C Harris, Michael Stumvoll, Mathias Fasshauer and Thomas Ebert

Objective

Neuregulin 4 (NRG4) has recently been introduced as a novel brown adipose tissue (BAT)-secreted adipokine with beneficial metabolic effects in mice. However, regulation of Nrg4 in end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has not been elucidated, so far.

Design/methods

Serum NRG4 levels were quantified by ELISA in 60 subjects with ESKD on chronic hemodialysis as compared to 60 subjects with an estimated glomerular filtration rate >50 mL/min/1.73 m2 in a cross-sectional cohort. Within both groups, about half of the patients had a T2DM. Furthermore, mRNA expression of Nrg4 was determined in two mouse models of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) as compared to two different groups of non-diabetic control mice. Moreover, mRNA expression of Nrg4 was investigated in cultured, differentiated mouse brown and white adipocytes, as well as hepatocytes, after treatment with the uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate.

Results

Median serum NRG4 was significantly lower in patients with ESKD compared to controls and the adipokine was independently associated with a beneficial renal, glucose and lipid profile. In mice with DKD, Nrg4 mRNA expression was decreased in all adipose tissue depots compared to control mice. The uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate did not significantly alter Nrg4 mRNA expression in adipocytes and hepatocytes, in vitro.

Conclusions

Circulating NRG4 is independently associated with a preserved renal function and mRNA expression of -Nrg4 is reduced in adipose tissue depots of mice with DKD. The BAT-secreted adipokine is further associated with a beneficial glucose and lipid profile supporting NRG4 as potential treatment target in metabolic and renal disease states.

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Julie Refardt, Clara Odilia Sailer, Irina Chifu, Bettina Winzeler, Ingeborg Schnyder, Martin Fassnacht, Wiebke Fenske, Mirjam Christ-Crain and the CODDI-Investigators

Background

Diagnosis and treatment of dysnatremia is challenging and further complicated by the pitfalls of different sodium measurement methods. Routinely used sodium measurements are the indirect (plasma/serum) and direct (whole blood) ion-selective electrode (ISE) method, showing discrepant results especially in the setting of acute illness. Few clinicians are aware of the differences between the methods in clinically stable patients or healthy volunteers.

Methods

Data of 140 patients and 91 healthy volunteers undergoing osmotic stimulation with hypertonic saline infusion were analyzed. Sodium levels were measured simultaneously by indirect and direct ISE method before and at different time points during osmotic stimulation up to a sodium threshold of ≥150 mmol/L. The primary outcome was the difference in sodium levels between the indirect and direct ISE method.

Results

878 sodium measurements were analyzed. Mean (s.d.) sodium levels ranged from 141 mmol/L (2.9) to 151 mmol/L (2.1) by the indirect ISE compared to 140 mmol/L (3) to 149 mmol/L (2.8) by the direct ISE method. The interclass correlation coefficient between the two methods was 0.844 (95% CI: 0.823–0.863). On average, measurements by the indirect ISE were 1.9 mmol/L (95% CI limits: −3.2 to 6.9) higher than those by the direct ISE method (P < 0.001). The tendency of the indirect ISE method resulting in higher levels increased with increasing sodium levels.

Conclusion

Intra-individual sodium levels differ significantly between the indirect and direct ISE method also in the absence of acute illness. It is therefore crucial to adhere to the same method in critical situations to avoid false decisions due to measurement differences.

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Iulia Potorac, Ashutosh Trehan, Kamila Szymańska, Julie Fudvoye, Albert Thiry, Ilpo Huhtaniemi, Adrian F Daly, Albert Beckers, Anne-Simone Parent and Adolfo Rivero-Müller

Testosterone production by the fetal testis depends on a functional relationship between hCG and the LH/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR). Failure of the receptor to correctly respond to its ligand leads to impaired sexual differentiation in males. A phenotypically female patient with pubertal delay had a 46,XY karyotype and was diagnosed with 46,XY disorder of sex development (DSD). Novel compound heterozygous LHCGR mutations were found in the signal peptide: a duplication p.L10_Q17dup of maternal origin, and a deletion (p.K12_L15del) and a p.L16Q missense mutation of paternal origin. cAMP production was very low for both the deletion and duplication mutations and was halved for the missense mutant. The duplication and missense mutations were both expressed intracellularly, but at very low levels at the cell membrane; they were most likely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. The deletion mutant had a very limited intracellular expression, indicating impaired biosynthesis. There was reduced expression of all three mutants, which was most marked for the deletion mutation. There was also decreased protein expression of all three mutant receptors. In the deletion mutation, the presence of a lower-molecular-weight band corresponding to LHCGR monomer, probably due to lack of glycosylation, and a lack of bands corresponding to dimers/oligomers suggests absent ER entry. This novel case of 46,XY DSD illustrates how different LHCGR signal peptide mutations led to complete receptor inactivation by separate mechanisms. The study underlines the importance of specific regions of signal peptides and expands the spectrum of LHCGR mutations.