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Free access

Han J W J Repping-Wuts, Nike M M L Stikkelbroeck, Alida Noordzij, Mies Kerstens and Ad R M M Hermus

Objective

To assess self-management in patients receiving glucocorticoid replacement therapy for primary or secondary adrenal failure before and 6 months after a glucocorticoid education group meeting.

Methods

All patients with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, treated at the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, were invited by their endocrinologist to participate in a 3-h glucocorticoid education group meeting, consisting of a lecture about the disease and glucocorticoid doses adjustments in case of stress, followed by an instruction on how to inject hydrocortisone i.m. Finally, all participants could practise the i.m. injection and discuss their experience with (imminent) adrenal crises with other patients and the health care providers. Two weeks before the meeting and 6 months after the meeting, patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire about how they would act in six different conditions (e.g. febrile illness or vomiting).

Results

Of the 405 patients who were invited, 246 patients (61%) participated. At baseline the response by the participants on the questionnaire was 100% (n=246) and at follow-up 74% (n=183). At follow-up, significantly more participants (P≤0.005) gave the correct answers to how to act in different situations (e.g. self-administration of a glucocorticoid injection and phone contact in case of vomiting/diarrhoea without fever). Moreover, the use of self-management tools, such as having a ‘medicine passport (travel document with information about disease and medication) (P=0.007) or SOS medallion (P=0.0007)’, increased.

Conclusion

A glucocorticoid education group meeting for patients with adrenal failure seems helpful to improve self-management and proper use of stress-related glucocorticoid dose adjustment.

Free access

Jeanne Margot Kroese, Christiaan F Mooij, Marinette van der Graaf, Ad R M M Hermus and Cees J Tack

Context

Patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) are chronically treated with supraphysiological doses of glucocorticoids, which are known to induce insulin resistance. Thiazolidinediones might reverse this effect and improve insulin sensitivity.

Objectives

To assess insulin sensitivity in CAH patients and the effect of pioglitazone treatment on insulin sensitivity in CAH patients. Secondary objectives were the effects of treatment with pioglitazone on blood pressure, body fat distribution, lipid, and steroid profiles.

Design

Randomized placebo controlled crossover trial.

Participants

Twelve CAH patients and 12 body mass and age-matched control subjects.

Intervention

Sixteen-week treatment with pioglitazone (45 mg/day) or placebo.

Main outcome measure

Insulin sensitivity measured by euglycemic clamp and oral glucose tolerance test. Further measures were 24-h blood pressure profiles, body fat distribution measured by magnetic resonance imaging, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and bioimpedance procedures, liver fat by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, lipid, and steroid profiles.

Results

CAH patients were insulin resistant compared with healthy controls. Treatment with pioglitazone significantly improved insulin sensitivity in CAH patients (glucose infusion rate (GIR) from 28.5±11.6 to 38.9±11.0 μmol/kg per min, P=0.000, GIR in controls 46.2±23.4 μmol/kg per min, P<0.05 versus CAH). Treatment with pioglitazone decreased blood pressure (systolic: 124.0±13.6 vs 127.0±14.9 mmHg, P<0.001, diastolic: 72.8±11.5 vs 77.4±12.6 mmHg, P<0.001). No changes in body fat distribution, lipid, and steroid profiles were observed.

Conclusions

CAH patients are insulin resistant compared with matched control subjects. Treatment with pioglitazone improves insulin sensitivity and decreases blood pressure in CAH patients.

Free access

Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Fred C G J Sweep, Johan G Blickman, Ad R M M Hermus and Barto J Otten

Objective: Testicular adrenal rest tumours (TART) are a well-known complication in adult male patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), with a reported prevalence of up to 94%. In adulthood, the tumours are associated with gonadal dysfunction most probably due to longstanding obstruction of the seminiferous tubules. The aim of our study was to determine the presence of TART and their influence on gonadal function in childhood.

Design: Retrospective study.

Patients and methods: Scrotal ultrasound was performed in 34 children with CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency who were between 2 and 18 years old. FSH, LH, testosterone and inhibin B concentrations were measured in serum of 27 patients.

Results: TART were detected by ultrasound in 8 out of 34 (24%) children. In two of them, bilateral tumours were found. All lesions were located in the rete testis. Seven patients had the salt-wasting type of CAH; one patient had the simple virilising type of CAH. Mean tumour size was 4.1 mm (range 2–8 mm). In none of the patients were the tumours palpable. Two children with TART were between 5 and 10 years old, the other six children were above 10 years old. In all children with TART, LH, FSH, testosterone and inhibin B levels were similar to the patients without TART.

Conclusion: TART can be found in CAH children before the age of 10 years. The absence of gonadal dysfunction in our group of children suggests that gonadal dysfunction as frequently reported in adult CAH patients with TART develops after childhood.

Free access

Anke W van der Eerden, Marcel Th B Twickler, Fred C G J Sweep, Tjemme Beems, Henk T Hendricks, Ad R M M Hermus and Pieter E Vos

Context

A wide range (15–56%) of prevalences of anterior pituitary insufficiency are reported in patients after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, different study populations, study designs, and diagnostic procedures were used. No data are available on emergency-department-based cohorts of TBI patients.

Objective

To assess the prevalence of pituitary dysfunction in an emergency-department-based cohort of TBI patients using strict endocrinological diagnostic criteria.

Methods

Of all the patients presenting in the emergency department with TBI over a 2-year period, 516 matched the inclusion criteria. One hundred and seven patients (77 with mild TBI and 30 with moderate/severe TBI) agreed to participate. They were screened for anterior pituitary insufficiency by GHRH–arginine testing, evaluation of fasting morning hormone levels (cortisol, TSH, free thyroxine, FSH, LH, and 17β-estradiol or testosterone), and menstrual history 3–30 months after TBI. Abnormal screening results were defined as low peak GH to GHRH–arginine, or low levels of any of the end-organ hormones with low or normal pituitary hormone levels. Patients with abnormal screening results were extensively evaluated, including additional hormone provocation tests (insulin tolerance test, ACTH stimulation test, and repeated GHRH–arginine test) and assessment of free testosterone levels.

Results

Screening results were abnormal in 15 of 107 patients. In a subsequent extensive endocrine evaluation, anterior pituitary dysfunction was diagnosed in only one patient (partial hypocortisolism).

Conclusion

By applying strict diagnostic criteria to an emergency-department-based cohort of TBI patients, it was shown that anterior pituitary dysfunction is rare (<1%). Routine pituitary screening in unselected patients after TBI is unlikely to be cost-effective.

Free access

Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Kristof Duthoi, Barto J Otten, Frank C H d'Ancona, Christina A Hulsbergen-vd Kaa and Ad R M M Hermus

Background

In contrast to the high incidence of testicular adrenal rest tumours (TART) in adult male patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), ovarian adrenal rest tumours in female CAH patients are very rare and other locations of adrenal rest tumours have never been reported. Here, we report on an adult patient with CAH due to 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) deficiency with bilateral TART and additionally a large perirenal adrenal rest tumour.

Case report

The patient was known with CAH due to 3β-HSD deficiency and treated with hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone since the neonatal period. In puberty, there was lack of compliance with consequently high POMC concentrations. At the age of 16 years, bilateral TART were detected by scrotal ultrasound. Intensifying glucocorticoid medication did not result in decrease in POMC concentrations and shrinkage of size of the tumours. At the age of 23 years, abdominal ultrasound was performed because of abdominal complaints, showing a round inhomogeneous structure with a diameter of 4 cm near the left renal hilus. A computer tomography scan showed a multinodular lesion in the retroperitoneal region beside the left kidney. Histological investigation after removal of the tumour showed sheets of large polygonal cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, separated by dense fibrous tissue strands. The histological and immunohistochemical profile resulted in a diagnosis of an adrenal rest tumour.

Conclusion

In adult CAH patients, ectopic adrenal rest tumours can be present outside the testicular region. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether regularly screening for these tumours is useful.

Restricted access

Hanneke J B H Beijers, Nike M L Stikkelbroeck, Arjen R Mensenkamp, Rolph Pfundt, Rob B van der Luijt, Henri J L M Timmers, Ad R M M Hermus and Marlies J E Kempers

Context

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the tumor suppressor gene MEN1 and can be diagnosed based on clinical, familial and/or genetic criteria. We present a family in which we found both germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1.

Family description

In our proband, we diagnosed MEN1. The mutation was not detected in her parents (DNA extracted from leucocytes). When her brother was found to harbor the same MEN1 mutation as our proband and, around the same time, their father was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine carcinoma, this tumor was investigated for the MEN1 mutation as well. In the histologic biopsy of this tumor, the same MEN1 mutation was detected as previously found in his children. Re-analysis of his blood using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) showed a minimal, but consistently decreased signal for the MEN1-specific MLPA probes. The deletion was confirmed in his son by high-resolution array analysis. Based on the array data, we concluded that the deletion was limited to the MEN1 gene and that the father had both germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this is the first reported family with combined germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1. This study illustrates that germline mosaicism is important to consider in apparently sporadic de novo MEN1 mutations, because of its particular importance for genetic counseling, specifically when evaluating the risk for family members and when considering the possibility of somatic mosaicism in the parent with germline mosaicism.

Free access

Mark R Postma, Romana T Netea-Maier, Gerrit van den Berg, Jens Homan, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus and André P van Beek

Objective

To assess the influence of long-acting somatostatin analogs (SSTA) after initial pituitary surgery on long-term health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in relation to disease control in patients with acromegaly.

Design

This is a cross-sectional study in two tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.

Patients and methods

One hundred and eight patients with acromegaly, in whom transsphenoidal (n=101, 94%) or transcranial (n=7, 6%) surgery was performed. Subsequently, 46 (43%) received additional radiotherapy and 41 (38%) were on postoperative treatment with SSTA because of persistent or recurrent disease at the time of study. All subjects filled in standardized questionnaires measuring HR-QoL. Disease control at the time of study was assessed by local IGF1 SDS.

Results

IGF1 SDS were slightly higher in patients treated with SSTA in comparison with patients without use of SSTA (0.85±1.52 vs 0.25±1.21, P=0.026), but the percentage of patients with insufficient control (IGF1 SDS >2) was not different (17 vs 9%, P=0.208). Patients using SSTA reported poorer scores on most subscales of the RAND-36 and the acromegaly QoL and on all subscales of the multidimensional fatigue inventory-20. A subgroup analysis in patients with similar IGF1 levels (SSTA+, n=26, IGF1 SDS 0.44±0.72 vs SSTA−, n=44, IGF1 SDS 0.41±0.65) revealed worse scores on physical functioning, physical fatigue, reduced activity, vitality, and general health perception across all HR-QoL questionnaires in patients treated with SSTA.

Conclusion

QoL is impaired in association with the need for prolonged postoperative therapy by SSTA in patients with acromegaly despite similar IGF1 levels.

Free access

Cornelie D Andela, Han Repping-Wuts, Nike M M L Stikkelbroeck, Mathilde C Pronk, Jitske Tiemensma, Ad R Hermus, Adrian A Kaptein, Alberto M Pereira, Noelle G A Kamminga and Nienke R Biermasz

Context

Patients with pituitary disease report impairments in Quality of Life (QoL) despite optimal biomedical care. Until now, the effects of a self-management intervention (SMI) addressing psychological and social issues for these patients and their partners have not been studied.

Objective

To examine the effects of a SMI i.e. Patient and Partner Education Programme for Pituitary disease (PPEP-Pituitary).

Design and subjects

A multicentre randomized controlled trial included 174 patients with pituitary disease, and 63 partners were allocated to either PPEP-Pituitary or a control group. PPEP-Pituitary included eight weekly sessions (90 min). Self-efficacy, bother and needs for support, illness perceptions, coping and QoL were assessed before the intervention (T0), directly after (T1) and after six months (T2). Mood was assessed before and after each session.

Results

Patients in PPEP-Pituitary reported improved mood after each session (except for session 1). In partners, mood only improved after the last three sessions. Patients reported higher self-efficacy at T1 (P = 0.016) which persisted up to T2 (P = 0.033), and less bother by mood problems directly after PPEP-Pituitary (P = 0.01), but more bother after six months (P = 0.001), although this increase was not different from baseline (P = 0.346). Partners in PPEP-Pituitary reported more vitality (P = 0.008) which persisted up to T2 (P = 0.034). At T2, partners also reported less anxiety and depressive symptoms (P ≤ 0.014).

Conclusion

This first study evaluating the effects of a SMI targeting psychosocial issues in patients with pituitary disease and their partners demonstrated promising positive results. Future research should focus on the refinement and implementation of this SMI into clinical practice.

Free access

Kim Freriks, Theo C J Sas, Maaike A F Traas, Romana T Netea-Maier, Martin den Heijer, Ad R M M Hermus, Jan M Wit, Janiëlle A E M van Alfen-van der Velden, Barto J Otten, Sabine M P F de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, Martin Gotthardt, Philippe H Dejonckere, Gladys R J Zandwijken, Leonie A Menke and Henri J L M Timmers

Objective

Short stature is a prominent feature of Turner syndrome (TS), which is partially overcome by GH treatment. We have previously reported the results of a trial on the effect of oxandrolone (Ox) in girls with TS. Ox in a dose of 0.03 mg/kg per day (Ox 0.03) significantly increased adult height gain, whereas Ox mg/kg per day (0.06) did not, at the cost of deceleration of breast development and mild virilization. The aim of this follow-up study in adult participants of the pediatric trial was to investigate the long-term effects of previous Ox treatment.

Design and methods

During the previous randomized controlled trial, 133 girls were treated with GH combined with placebo (Pl), Ox 0.03, or Ox 0.06 from 8 years of age and estrogen from 12 years. Sixty-eight women (Pl, n=23; Ox 0.03, n=27; and Ox 0.06, n=18) participated in the double-blind follow-up study (mean age, 24.0 years; mean time since stopping GH, 8.7 years; and mean time of Ox/Pl use, 4.9 years). We assessed height, body proportions, breast size, virilization, and body composition.

Results

Height gain (final minus predicted adult height) was maintained at follow-up (Ox 0.03 10.2±4.9 cm, Ox 0.06 9.7±4.4 cm vs Pl 8.0±4.6 cm). Breast size, Tanner breast stage, and body composition were not different between groups. Ox-treated women reported more subjective virilization and had a lower voice frequency.

Conclusion

Ox 0.03 mg/kg per day has a beneficial effect on adult height gain in TS patients. Despite previously reported deceleration of breast development during Ox 0.03 treatment, adult breast size is not affected. Mild virilization persists in only a small minority of patients. The long-term evaluation indicates that Ox 0.03 treatment is effective and safe.

Free access

Lutske Lodewijk, Pim J Bongers, Jakob W Kist, Elfi B Conemans, Joanne M de Laat, Carla R C Pieterman, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Ciska Jorna, Ad R Hermus, Olaf M Dekkers, Wouter W de Herder, Madeleine L Drent, Peter H Bisschop, Bas Havekes, Inne H M Borel Rinkes, Menno R Vriens and Gerlof D Valk

Objective

Currently, little is known about the prevalence of thyroid tumors in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) patients and it is unclear whether tumorigenesis of these thyroid tumors is MEN1-related. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas in MEN1 patients compared with nonMEN1 patients and to verify whether thyroid tumorigenesis is MEN1-related.

Design

A cross-sectional study.

Methods

The study included two groups: patients with MEN1 and a matched non-MEN1 control group without known thyroid disease, who underwent an ultrasound of the neck for the localization of parathyroid adenoma. Ninety-five MEN1 patients underwent ultrasound of the neck and were matched on gender and age with non-MEN1 patients. The prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas described in the ultrasound report was scored. Multinodular goiters, solitary nodes, and cysts were scored as incidentalomas. Presence of nuclear menin expression was evaluated by menin immunostaining of the thyroid tumors.

Results

In the MEN1 group, 43 (45%) patients had a thyroid incidentaloma compared with 48 (51%) in the non-MEN1 group, of which 14 (15%) and 16 (17%), respectively, were solitary nodes. Menin was expressed in the nuclei of all evaluated thyroid tumors.

Conclusions

MEN1 patients do not have a higher prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas compared with primary hyperparathyroidism patients without the diagnosis of MEN1. Menin was expressed in the thyroid tumors of MEN1 patients.