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S Filipponi, M Guerrieri, G Arnaldi, M Giovagnetti, AM Masini, E Lezoche and F Mantero

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility, safety and results of laparoscopic transperitoneal adrenalectomies performed with the patient supine, in patients affected by secreting and silent adrenal lesions. METHODS: Exclusion criteria were suspected adrenal primary malignancies. Fifty patients (33 women and 17 men; mean age 49.6 years, range 19-75 years) underwent 51 laparoscopic adrenalectomies (one bilateral). After complete endocrinological evaluation, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, or a combination thereof, 14 non-secreting adenomas, 13 aldosterone-producing adenomas, 13 cortisol-producing adenomas, eight phaeochromocytomas (one bilateral), one androgen-secreting adenoma, and two metastases were considered eligible for adrenalectomy. In five patients, associated procedures were performed during surgery. RESULTS: The lesions ranged in size from 1.5 to 10 cm. There were no intraoperative complications and no blood transfusions were required. The postoperative course was uneventful and painless in all patients. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 2.5 days. In all hypertensive patients, significant improvement or cure of hypertension was observed at follow-up (mean 18 months). In patients with secreting adenomas, normalization of hormone concentrations was obtained after removal of the tumour. In six patients with incidentaloma, the exaggerated 17-hydroxyprogesterone response to ACTH disappeared after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Secreting and non-secreting adrenal lesions were treated safely by laparoscopy. Relatively small incidentalomas and subclinical hormonally active tumours can be removed by laparoscopy. Early diagnosis enhances prevention and treatment.

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PP Morosini, A Taccaliti, G Arnaldi, G Simonella, MD Petrelli, V Mancini, R Montironi, M Scarpelli, L Diamanti and F Mantero

Morosini PP, Taccaliti A, Arnaldi G, Simonella G, Petrelli MD, Mancini V, Montironi R, Scarpelli M. Diamanti L, Mantero F. Enhanced expression of transforming growth factor β1 in rat thyroid hyperplasia is thyrotropin induced and time dependent. Eur J Endocrinol 1996:134:373–8. ISSN 0804–4643

Forty-three 8-week-old male Wistar rats were studied to evaluate temporal changes of transforming growth factor β1 TGF-β1) mRNA levels in thyroid tissue during pharmacologically induced goiter. Four rats were treated with purified bovine thyrotropin (TSH; Ambinon, 2 mU/day sc) for 7 days before being sacrificed. Thirty-one were treated with propylthiouracil (PTU), added to their drinking water at a concentration of 0.2 g%, and subsequently were sacrificed as follows: five after 1 week PTU-1): five after 2 weeks PTU-2): five after 4 weeks PTU-4): five after 8 weeks PTU-8): five after 12 weeks (PTU-12). In six rats, after 12 weeks of treatment, PTU was withdrawn for 2 months and subsequently started again in three rats which were sacrificed after 2 weeks (PTU-R); the remaining three rats were sacrificed without any further treatment (PTU-R control). Eight rats (control rats) were never treated and served as controls. After sacrifice, blood was drawn for determination of total thyroxine and the thyroid was excised and subdivided into two lobes. Northern analysis for TGF-β1 was performed in one lobe, while histological and immunohistochemical studies were performed in the other lobe. Gene expression of TGF-β1 was induced in TSH- and PTU-treated rats. In TSH-treated rats TGF-β1 gene expression was less detectable than in PTU-treated rats, where it became evident after 2 weeks and remained through weeks 4–8. Gene expression of TGF-β1 was also seen in PTU-R rats, but not in the control and in the PTU-R control. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a different presence and location for the TGF-β1 protein, which appears to be dependent on the time of exposure to mitogenic stimulus. In conclusion, TGF-β1 is produced in response to both a direct (TSH by itself) and indirect (TSH induced by PTU-induced hypothyroidism) cellular proliferative stimulus and is not linked to an adaptative phenomenon secondary to hypothyroidism. The immunohistochemical location of TGF-β1 within the thyrocytes is influenced by mitogen exposure time. A TGF-β1 immunohistochemical evaluation may be important to define exposure time and activity of goitrogenic stimuli.

Pierpaolo Morosini, Clinica di Endocrinologia, c/o Ospedale Regionale, Via Conca, 60100 Torrette Ancona, Italy

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G Occhi, G Trivellin, F Ceccato, P De Lazzari, G Giorgi, S Demattè, F Grimaldi, R Castello, M V Davì, G Arnaldi, L Salviati, G Opocher, F Mantero and C Scaroni


Germline mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) gene and the p27KIP1 encoding gene CDKN1B have been associated with two well-defined hereditary conditions, familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 4 (MEN4). Somatotropinomas are present in most AIP mutated FIPA kindreds, as well as in two-thirds of MEN4 patients who carry pituitary tumors.


Germline DNA samples of 131 Italian sporadic acromegalic patients including 38 individuals with multiple tumors, and of six FIPA families (four homogeneous for prolactinomas and two heterogeneous with prolactin/nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas) were collected in a multicentric collaborative study. The prevalence of AIP and CDKN1B gene point mutations and copy number variations were evaluated.


Two novel (IVS3+1G>A and c.871G>A) and one previously described (c.911G>A) AIP mutations were detected in four apparently sporadic cases (3.1%) with relatively high age at diagnosis (49±18, range 30–67). No mutations/rearrangements were detected in FIPA families. The highly conserved c.871G>A substitution was detected in a patient who also carried a MEN1 mutation suggesting that she is a double heterozygote. The possible pathogenic effect on AIP splicing of the silent substitution c.144G>A found in another patient was ruled out using a minigene-based approach. CDKN1B mutations/rearrangements were neither identified in patients with multiple neoplasia nor in FIPA families.


AIP is mutated in about 3% of apparently sporadic acromegalic patients. The relatively high age at diagnosis, as well as its sporadic presentation, suggests that these patients are carriers of mutations with reduced pathogenicity. p27KIP1 is unlikely to represent the common unifying nonendocrine etiology for acromegaly and cancer.

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M Terzolo, A Stigliano, I Chiodini, P Loli, L Furlani, G Arnaldi, G Reimondo, A Pia, V Toscano, M Zini, G Borretta, E Papini, P Garofalo, B Allolio, B Dupas, F Mantero and A Tabarin


To assess currently available evidence on adrenal incidentaloma and provide recommendations for clinical practice.


A panel of experts (appointed by the Italian Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AME)) appraised the methodological quality of the relevant studies, summarized their results, and discussed the evidence reports to find consensus.

Radiological assessment

Unenhanced computed tomography (CT) is recommended as the initial test with the use of an attenuation value of ≤10 Hounsfield units (HU) to differentiate between adenomas and non-adenomas. For tumors with a higher baseline attenuation value, we suggest considering delayed contrast-enhanced CT studies. Positron emission tomography (PET) or PET/CT should be considered when CT is inconclusive, whereas fine needle aspiration biopsy may be used only in selected cases suspicious of metastases (after biochemical exclusion of pheochromocytoma).

Hormonal assessment

Pheochromocytoma and excessive overt cortisol should be ruled out in all patients, whereas primary aldosteronism has to be considered in hypertensive and/or hypokalemic patients. The 1 mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test is the test recommended for screening of subclinical Cushing's syndrome (SCS) with a threshold at 138 nmol/l for considering this condition. A value of 50 nmol/l virtually excludes SCS with an area of uncertainty between 50 and 138 nmol/l.


Surgery is recommended for masses with suspicious radiological aspects and masses causing overt catecholamine or steroid excess. Data are insufficient to make firm recommendations for or against surgery in patients with SCS. However, adrenalectomy may be considered when an adequate medical therapy does not reach the treatment goals of associated diseases potentially linked to hypercortisolism.

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Marco Bonomi, Valeria Vezzoli, Csilla Krausz, Fabiana Guizzardi, Silvia Vezzani, Manuela Simoni, Ivan Bassi, Paolo Duminuco, Natascia Di Iorgi, Claudia Giavoli, Alessandro Pizzocaro, Gianni Russo, Mirella Moro, Letizia Fatti, Alberto Ferlin, Laura Mazzanti, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvo Cannavò, Andrea M Isidori, Angela Ida Pincelli, Flavia Prodam, Antonio Mancini, Paolo Limone, Maria Laura Tanda, Rossella Gaudino, Mariacarolina Salerno, Pregnolato Francesca, Mohamad Maghnie, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani and Italian Network on Central Hypogonadism


Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare disorder with pubertal delay, normal (normoosmic-IHH, nIHH) or defective sense of smell (Kallmann syndrome, KS). Other reproductive and non-reproductive anomalies might be present although information on their frequency are scanty, particularly according to the age of presentation.


Observational cohort study carried out between January 2008 and June 2016 within a national network of academic or general hospitals.


We performed a detailed phenotyping of 503 IHH patients with: (1) manifestations of hypogonadism with low sex steroid hormone and low/normal gonadotropins; (2) absence of expansive hypothalamic/pituitary lesions or multiple pituitary hormone defects. Cohort was divided on IHH onset (PPO, pre-pubertal onset or AO, adult onset) and olfactory function: PPO-nIHH (n = 275), KS (n = 184), AO-nIHH (n = 36) and AO-doIHH (AO-IHH with defective olfaction, n = 8).


90% of patients were classified as PPO and 10% as AO. Typical midline and olfactory defects, bimanual synkinesis and familiarity for pubertal delay were also found among the AO-IHH. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly earlier and more frequently associated with congenital hypogonadism stigmata in patients with Kallmann’s syndrome (KS). Synkinesis, renal and male genital tract anomalies were enriched in KS. Overweight/obesity are significantly associated with AO-IHH rather than PPO-IHH.


Patients with KS are more prone to develop a severe and complex phenotype than nIHH. The presence of typical extra-gonadal defects and familiarity for PPO-IHH among the AO-IHH patients indicates a common predisposition with variable clinical expression. Overall, these findings improve the understanding of IHH and may have a positive impact on the management of patients and their families.