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Open access

Bridget A Knight, Beverley M Shields, Andrew T Hattersley, and Bijay Vaidya

Objective

Subclinical hypothyroidism and isolated hypothyroxinaemia in pregnancy have been associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. We aimed to ascertain if these women have a worse metabolic phenotype than euthyroid pregnant women.

Design, subjects and methods

We recruited 956 healthy Caucasian women with singleton, non-diabetic pregnancies from routine antenatal clinics. Detailed anthropometric measurements (including BMI and skinfold thickness) and fasting blood samples (for TSH, free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), HbA1c, lipid profile, plasma glucose and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) analysis) were obtained at 28 weeks gestation.

Results

In comparison to euthyroid women (n=741), women with isolated hypothyroxinaemia (n=82) had significantly increased BMI (29.5 vs 27.5 kg/m2, P<0.001), sum of skinfolds (57.5 vs 51.3 mm, P=0.002), fasting plasma glucose (4.5 vs 4.3 mmol/l, P=0.01), triglycerides (2.3 vs 2.0 mmol/l, P<0.001) and HOMA-IR (2.0 vs 1.3, P=0.001). Metabolic parameters in women with subclinical hypothyroidism (n=133) were similar to those in euthyroid women. Maternal FT4 was negatively associated with BMI (r=−0.22), HbA1c (r=−0.14), triglycerides (r=−0.17), HOMA-IR (r=−0.15) but not total/HDL cholesterol ratio (r=−0.03). Maternal FT3:FT4 ratio was positively associated with BMI (r=0.4), HbA1c (r=0.21), triglycerides (r=0.2), HOMA–IR (r=0.33) and total/HDL cholesterol ratio (r=0.07). TSH was not associated with the metabolic parameters assessed.

Conclusions

Isolated hypothyroxinaemia, but not subclinical hypothyroidism, is associated with adverse metabolic phenotype in pregnancy, as is decreasing maternal FT4 and increasing FT3:FT4 ratio. These associations may be a reflection of changes in the thyroid hormone levels secondary to increase in BMI rather than changes in thyroid hormone levels affecting body weight and related metabolic parameters.

Restricted access

Thomas I Hewat, Daphne Yau, Joseph C S Jerome, Thomas W Laver, Jayne A L Houghton, Beverley M Shields, Sarah E Flanagan, and Kashyap A Patel

Objective

Mutations in the KATP channel genes, ABCC8 and KCNJ11, are the most common cause of congenital hyperinsulinism. The diagnosis of KATP-hyperinsulinism is important for the clinical management of the condition. We aimed to determine the clinical features that help to identify KATP-hyperinsulinism at diagnosis.

Design

We studied 761 individuals with KATP-hyperinsulinism and 862 probands with hyperinsulinism of unknown aetiology diagnosed before 6 months of age. All were referred as part of routine clinical care.

Methods

We compared the clinical features of KATP-hyperinsulinism and unknown hyperinsulinism cases. We performed logistic regression and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis to identify the features that predict KATP-hyperinsulinism.

Results

Higher birth weight, diazoxide unresponsiveness and diagnosis in the first week of life were independently associated with KATP-hyperinsulinism (adjusted odds ratio: 4.5 (95% CI: 3.4–5.9), 0.09 (0.06–0.13) and 3.3 (2.0–5.0) respectively). Birth weight and diazoxide unresponsiveness were additive and highly discriminatory for identifying KATP-hyperinsulinism (ROC area under the curve for birth weight 0.80, diazoxide responsiveness 0.77, and together 0.88, 95% CI: 0.85–0.90). In this study, 86% born large for gestation and 78% born appropriate for gestation and who did not respond to diazoxide treatment had KATP-hyperinsulinism. In contrast, of those individuals born small for gestation, none who were diazoxide responsive and only 4% of those who were diazoxide unresponsive had KATP-hyperinsulinism.

Conclusions

Individuals with hyperinsulinism born appropriate or large for gestation and unresponsive to diazoxide treatment are most likely to have an ABCC8 or KCNJ11 mutation. These patients should be prioritised for genetic testing of KATP channel genes.

Open access

Peter N Taylor, Vijay Panicker, Adrian Sayers, Beverley Shields, Ahmed Iqbal, Alexandra P Bremner, John P Beilby, Peter J Leedman, Andrew T Hattersley, Bijay Vaidya, Timothy Frayling, Jonathan Evans, Jonathan H Tobias, Nicholas J Timpson, John P Walsh, and Colin M Dayan

Objective

Common variants in PDE8B are associated with TSH but apparently without any effect on thyroid hormone levels that is difficult to explain. Furthermore, the stability of the association has not been examined in longitudinal studies or in patients on levothyroxine (l-T4).

Design

Totally, four cohorts were used (n=2557): the Busselton Health Study (thyroid function measured on two occasions), DEPTH, EFSOCH (selective cohorts), and WATTS (individuals on l-T4).

Methods

Meta-analysis to clarify associations between the rs4704397 single nucleotide polymorphism in PDE8B on TSH, tri-iodothyronine (T3), and T4 levels.

Results

Meta-analysis confirmed that genetic variation in PDE8B was associated with TSH (P=1.64×10−10 0.20 s.d./allele, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.142, 0.267) and identified a possible new association with free T4 (P=0.023, −0.07 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.137, −0.01), no association was seen with free T3 (P=0.218). The association between PDE8B and TSH was similar in 1981 (0.14 s.d./allele, 95% CI 0.04, 0.238) and 1994 (0.20 s.d./allele, 95% CI 0.102, 0.300) and even more consistent between PDE8B and free T4 in 1981 (−0.068 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.167, 0.031) and 1994 (−0.07 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.170, 0.030). No associations were seen between PDE8B and thyroid hormone parameters in individuals on l-T4.

Conclusion

Common genetic variation in PDE8B is associated with reciprocal changes in TSH and free T4 levels that are consistent over time and lost in individuals on l-T4. These findings identify a possible genetic marker reflecting variation in thyroid hormone output that will be of value in epidemiological studies and provides additional evidence that PDE8B is involved in TSH signaling in the thyroid.