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Eleni Daniel and John D C Newell-Price

Steroidogenesis enzyme inhibitors are the mainstay of medical therapy in Cushing's syndrome (CS). Ketoconazole (KTZ) and metyrapone are the most commonly used agents. Although there is considerable experience of their use in individual specialist centres, these drugs have not been rigorously tested in prospective clinical trials. Clinicians face uncertainties and concerns with respect to the safety profile of these agents, and best means to monitor effect. We review steroidogenesis inhibitors in the management of CS, including older agents (KTZ, metyrapone, etomidate and mitotane) and those currently under development (LCI699, non-racemic KTZ), and offer a practical approach for their use in clinical practice.

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Eleni Daniel, Robert Jones, Matthew Bull, and John Newell-Price


Patients with SDHx mutations need long-term radiological surveillance for the development of paragangliomas and phaeochromocytomas, but no longitudinal data exist. The aim of the study was to assess the performance of rapid-sequence non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the long-term monitoring of patients with SDHx mutations.


Retrospective study between 2005 and 2015 at a University Hospital and regional endocrine genetics referral centre. Clinical and imaging data of 47 patients with SDHx mutations (SDHB (36), SDHC (6) and SDHD (5)) who had surveillance for detection of paragangliomas by rapid-sequence non-contrast MRI (base of skull to pubic symphysis) were collected.


Twelve index cases (nine SDHB, one SDHC and two SDHD) and 35 mutation-positive relatives were monitored for a mean of 6.4 years (range 3.1–10.0 years). Mean age at the end of the study: SDHB 46.9 ± 17.6 years; SDHC 42.3 ± 24.4 years; SDHD 54.9 ± 10.6 years. On excluding imaging at initial diagnosis of index cases, 42 patients underwent 116 rapid-sequence MRI scans: 83 scans were negative and 31 scans were positive for sPGL/HNPGL in 13 patients. Most patients had multiple scans (n = number of patients (number of rapid-sequence MRI scans during screening)): n = 9 (2), n = 20 (3), n = 6 (4), n = 1 (6). Nine patients (three index) were diagnosed with new paragangliomas during surveillance and non-operated tumour size was monitored in nine patients. There were two false-positive scans (1.6%). Scans were repeated every 27 ± 9 months.


Biannual rapid-sequence non-contrast MRI is effective to monitor patients with SDHx mutations for detection of new tumours and monitoring of known tumours.

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Eirini Maratou, Dimitrios J Hadjidakis, Anastasios Kollias, Katerina Tsegka, Melpomeni Peppa, Maria Alevizaki, P Mitrou, V Lambadiari, Eleni Boutati, Daniel Nikzas, Nikolaos Tountas, Theofanis Economopoulos, Sotirios A Raptis, and George Dimitriadis


Although clinical hypothyroidism (HO) is associated with insulin resistance, there is no information on insulin action in subclinical hypothyroidism (SHO).

Design and methods

To investigate this, we assessed the sensitivity of glucose metabolism to insulin both in vivo (by an oral glucose tolerance test) and in vitro (by measuring insulin-stimulated rates of glucose transport in isolated monocytes with flow cytometry) in 21 euthyroid subjects (EU), 12 patients with HO, and 13 patients with SHO.


All three groups had comparable plasma glucose levels, with the HO and SHO having higher plasma insulin than the EU (P<0.05). Homeostasis model assessment index was increased in HO (1.97±0.22) and SHO (1.99±0.13) versus EU (1.27±0.16, P<0.05), while Matsuda index was decreased in HO (3.89±0.36) and SHO (4.26±0.48) versus EU (7.76±0.87, P<0.001), suggesting insulin resistance in both fasting and post-glucose state. At 100 μU/ml insulin: i) GLUT4 levels on the monocyte plasma membrane were decreased in both HO (215±19 mean fluorescence intensity, MFI) and SHO (218±24 MFI) versus EU (270±25 MFI, P=0.03 and 0.04 respectively), and ii) glucose transport rates in monocytes from HO (481±30 MFI) and SHO (462±19 MFI) were decreased versus EU (571±15 MFI, P=0.04 and 0.004 respectively).


In patients with HO and SHO: i) insulin resistance was comparable; ii) insulin-stimulated rates of glucose transport in isolated monocytes were decreased due to impaired translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporters on the plasma membrane; iii) these findings could justify the increased risk for insulin resistance-associated disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, observed in patients with HO or SHO.

Open access

Irina Bacila, Nicole Freeman, Eleni Daniel, Marija Sandrk, Jillian Bryce, Salma Rashid Ali, Zehra Yavas Abalı, Navoda Atapattu, Tania A Bachega, Antonio Balsamo, Niels Birkebæk, Oliver Blankenstein, Walter Bonfig, Martine Cools, Eduardo Correa Costa, Feyza Darendeliler, Silvia Einaudi, Heba Hassan Elsedfy, Martijn Finken, Evelien Gevers, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E. Hannema, Claire E Higham, Violeta Iotova, Hetty J. van der Kamp, Marta Korbonits, Ruth E Krone, Corina Lichiardopol, Andrea Luczay, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Tatjana Milenkovic, Mirela C Miranda, Klaus Mohnike, Uta Neumann, Rita Ortolano, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Ajay Thankamony, Jeremy W Tomlinson, Ana Vieites, Liat de Vries, S Faisal Ahmed, Richard J Ross, and Nils P Krone

Objective: Despite published guidelines no unified approach to hormone replacement in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) exists. We aimed to explore geographical and temporal variations in the treatment with glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in CAH.

Design: This retrospective multi-center study, including 31 centers (16 countries), analyzed data from the International-CAH Registry.

Methods: Data was collected from 461 patients aged 0-18 years with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency (54.9% females) under follow-up between 1982 – 2018. Type, dose and timing of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement was analyzed from 4174 patient visits.

Results: The most frequently used glucocorticoid was hydrocortisone (87.6%). Overall, there were significant differences between age groups with regards to daily hydrocortisone-equivalent dose for body surface, with the lowest dose (median with interquartile range) of 12.0 (10.0 – 14.5) mg/ m2/ day at age 1 - 8 years and the highest dose of 14.0 (11.6 - 17.4) mg/ m2/ day at age 12-18 years. Glucocorticoid doses decreased after 2010 in patients 0-8 years (p<0.001) and remained unchanged in patients aged 8-18 years. Fludrocortisone was used in 92% of patients, with relative doses decreasing with age. A wide variation was observed among countries with regards to all aspects of steroid hormone replacement.

Conclusions: Data from the I-CAH Registry suggests international variations in hormone replacement therapy, with a tendency to treatment with high doses in children.