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  • Author: Hans P Koppeschaar x
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Hans FA Vasen, Karel J van Erpecum, Ferdinand Roelfsema, Friedhelm Raue, Hans Koppeschaar, Gerrit Griffioen and Gerard P van Berge Henegouwen

Vasen HFA, van Erpecum KJ, Roelfsema F, Raue F, Koppeschaar H, Griffioen G, van Berge Henegouwen GP. Increased prevalence of colonic adenomas in patients with acromegaly. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;131:235–7. ISSN 0804–4643

Forty-nine acromegalics and 57 controls matched for age and sex underwent colonoscopy. The control group consisted of patients investigated because of atypical abdominal complaints compatible with irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. The exclusion criteria for both groups included: age over 75 years, previous colonic polyps or cancer, previous colonic surgery, rectal blood loss, anemia, previous abdominal radiation, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or barium enema performed for any indication within 3 years prior to the present study. Colonoscopy was successful in reaching the cecum in 72 and 77% of the controls and acromegalics, respectively (p = NS). Eleven (22%) of 49 acromegalics had biopsy-proven colonic adenomas versus only five (9%) of the control group (p≤0.05). Multiple adenomas were found in three of the 11 acromegalics and in none of the controls. In five of these 11 patients and in only one of the controls, at least one adenoma was located in the right colon. In addition, acromegalics tended to have larger adenomas. The group of acromegalics with and without adenomas did not differ significantly in age or duration of active disease. In conclusion, the present study shows that acromegalic patients have an increased risk of developing colonic adenomas.

HFA Vasen, Department of Gastroenterology, Leiden University Hospital, Rijsnburgerweg 10, 2333 AA Leiden, The Netherlands

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Bernhard Saller, Anders F Mattsson, Peter H Kann, Hans P Koppeschaar, Johan Svensson, Marjolein Pompen and Maria Koltowska-Häggström

Objective: This study set out to determine the change in quality of life (QoL) and healthcare utilization during 2 years of growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy in adults with GH deficiency. Data were compared from three European countries.

Design: Analysis was made from KIMS, the Pfizer International Metabolic Database on adult GH deficiency.

Methods: QoL and healthcare utilization were measured at baseline and after 1 and 2 years of GH replacement in patient cohorts from Sweden (n = 302), The Netherlands (n = 103) and Germany (n = 98). QoL was assessed by the QoL-Assessment in Growth Hormone Deficient Adults (QoL-AGHDA) questionnaire, and the KIMS Patient Life Situation Form was used to evaluate healthcare utilization.

Results: QoL improved significantly (P < 0.0001) and comparably in all three cohorts. The improvement was seen during the first year of treatment and QoL remained improved during the second year. The number of days in hospital was reduced by 83% (P < 0.0001) during GH replacement. There were no country-specific differences either at baseline or during follow-up. The same was true for the number of days of sick leave (reduction of 63%; P = 0.0004). Significant reductions were recorded in the number of doctor visits in each of the three cohorts after 2 years of GH replacement (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This study provides a detailed comparative analysis of GH replacement therapy in GHD patients in three European countries. Despite some differences in treatment strategies, the beneficial effects on QoL, patient-reported outcomes and healthcare utilization are essentially similar in the healthcare environment of Western European countries.

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Sander V Haijma, P Sytze van Dam, Wouter R de Vries, Inge Maitimu-Smeele, Carlos Dieguez, Felipe F Casanueva and Hans P F Koppeschaar

Objective and design: Ageing and obesity result in decreased activity of the GH/IGF-I axis and concomitant impaired GH responses to secretory stimuli. We therefore determined the validity of the GH cut-off value of 15.0 μg/l in the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH)/GH releasing peptide-6 (GHRP-6) test for the diagnosis of GH deficiency in elderly or severely obese men.

Methods: We performed a combined GHRH/GHRP-6 test in ten elderly men (mean age 74 years; mean body mass index (BMI) 24.6 kg/m2), nine obese men (mean age 47 years; mean BMI 40.6 kg/m2) and seven healthy male controls (mean age 51 years, mean BMI 24.3 kg/m2). After assessment of fasting plasma GH, IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), GHRH (100 μg) and GHRP-6 (93 μg) were given intravenously as a bolus injection. Repeated GH measurements were performed for two hours. Results: Both peak GH levels and areas under the curve (AUC) were significantly lower in the obese than in the controls (peak 13.2 vs 53.4 μg/l, P = 0.001; AUC 707 vs 3250 μg/l × 120 min; P = 0.001). Mean GH response in the elderly was lower than in the controls (peak 35.0 μg/l; AUC 2274 μg/l × 120 min), but this was not statistically significant. In contrast, GH peak levels in seven obese men remained below the cut-off level of 15.0 μg/l associated with severe GH deficiency. All others had GH peak levels exceeding this threshold. IGFBP-3 levels were significantly lower in the elderly than in the controls (1.35 vs 2.05 mg/l, P = 0.001). Baseline GH or IGF-I did not differ significantly between groups.

Conclusions: GH responses following GHRH/GHRP-6 administration were significantly reduced in severely obese men, but were not significantly reduced in elderly men, despite a negative trend. Our data indicate that the cut-off GH level of 15.0 μg/l after GHRH + GHRP-6 administration for the diagnosis of severe GH deficiency cannot be used in severely obese men.

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Rob J van Geest, Inna V Sasim, Hans P F Koppeschaar, Rachel Kalmann, Simone N Stravers, Ward R Bijlsma and Maarten P Mourits

Objective

To assess whether methylprednisolone (MP) pulse therapy is efficacious in the treatment of moderately severe Graves' orbitopathy (GO).

Design

Prospective, placebo (PL)-controlled, double-blind, randomized study.

Methods

Fifteen previously untreated patients with active, moderately severe GO participated in the study; 6 patients received MP and 9 patients a PL. Moderately severe disease was defined using the NOSPECS classification of clinical signs of GO . Activity was measured with the clinical activity score (CAS). A dose of 500 mg MP or only solvent was administered intravenously, over three consecutive days, in four cycles at 4 weekly intervals (6 g of MP in total). Qualitatively, a successful treatment outcome was defined as an improvement in one major and/or two minor criteria in the worst eye at week 48. The major criteria were: improvement in diplopia grade; improvement in eye movement; a decrease in CAS of three points. The minor criteria were: decrease of eyelid retraction; decrease of proptosis; improvement in grade of soft tissue swelling; a decrease in CAS of two points.

Results

The qualitative treatment outcome was successful at the end of the trial in five out of six (83%) patients receiving MP and in one out of nine (11%) patients given the PL (relative risk=7.5; (95% confidence interval 1.1–49.3), P=0.005). The treatment was well tolerated.

Conclusions

In spite of the small number of patients, a significant difference in outcome was observed between MP- and PL-treated patients. We conclude that MP pulse therapy appears to be an effective treatment for active, moderately severe GO.

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Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Anders F Mattsson, John P Monson, Paul Kind, Xavier Badia, Felipe F Casanueva, Jan Busschbach, Hans P F Koppeschaar and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective: To determine whether impaired quality of life (QoL) in adults with GH deficiency (GHD) is reversible with long-term GH therapy and whether the responses in QoL dimensions differ from each other.

Methods: QoL was measured by the Quality of Life–Assessment for Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults (QoL-AGHDA) in general population samples in England & Wales, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden (n = 892, 1038, 868 and 1682 respectively) and compared with corresponding patients’ data from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) (n = 758, 247, 197 and 484 respectively) for 4–6 years a follow-up. The subsets of patients from England and Wales, and Sweden with longitudinal data for 5 years’ follow-up were also analysed. The change of the total QoL-AGHDA scores and responses within dimensions were evaluated. Subanalyses were performed to identify any specificity in response pattern for gender, age, disease-onset and aetiology.

Results: Irrespective of the degree of impairment, overall QoL improved dramatically in the first 12 months, with steady progress thereafter towards the country-specific population mean. Problems with memory and tiredness were the most serious burden for untreated patients, followed by tenseness, self-confidence and problems with socialising. With treatment, these improved in the reverse order, normalising for the latter three.

Conclusions: Long-term GH replacement results in sustained improvements towards the normative country-specific values in overall QoL and in most impaired dimensions. The lasting improvement and almost identical pattern of response in each patient subgroup and independent of the level of QoL impairment support the hypothesis that GHD may cause these patients’ psychological problems.

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Christa C van Bunderen, Nadège C van Varsseveld, Martijn W Heymans, Anton A M Franken, Hans P F Koppeschaar, Aart J van der Lely and Madeleine L Drent

Objective

The effect of GH deficiency (GHD) on the metabolic profile of acromegaly patients is unclear in patients previously treated for acromegaly, as are the efficacy and safety of GH treatment in this particular group. The aim of the study is to describe the characteristics of patients with severe GHD who were previously treated for acromegaly, and to investigate the effects of long-term GH treatment on cardiovascular risk factors and morbidity, compared with patients who were treated for a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA).

Design

A nationwide surveillance study.

Methods

Sixty-five patients from the Dutch National Registry of Growth Hormone Treatment in Adults with previous acromegaly were compared with 778 patients with previous NFPA. Cardiovascular indices, including body composition, lipid profile, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and morbidity were investigated.

Results

GHD patients with previous acromegaly had an unfavorable metabolic profile comparable with or more than GHD patients with previous NFPA. GH treatment led to improvement of the lipid profile in both groups, also after excluding patients using lipid-lowering medication. In patients with previous acromegaly, HbA1c levels increased more than in patients with previous NFPA (estimate 0.03, 95% CI 0.002–0.06, P=0.04). The risk for developing cardiovascular diseases was not different between the groups.

Conclusions

The patients with GHD after previous acromegaly have an unfavorable metabolic profile comparable with patients with GHD after previous NFPA. In both groups, the lipid profile improves during GH treatment. Changes in glucose metabolism should be monitored closely. GH treatment in patients with GHD previously treated for acromegaly had no deleterious effect on cardiovascular morbidity.

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Christa C van Bunderen, Carline J van den Dries, Martijn W Heymans, Anton A M Franken, Hans P F Koppeschaar, Aart J van der Lely and Madeleine L Drent

Objective

Isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) could provide a model to investigate the influence of GH deficiency per se and the effect of GH replacement therapy without the influence from other pituitary hormone deficiencies or their treatment. The aim of this study is to address the questions about differences between IGHD and multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies (MPHDs) in clinical presentation and in responsiveness to GH treatment.

Design

A nationwide surveillance study was carried out to describe the difference in the clinical presentation and responsiveness to GH treatment of patients with IGHD and MPHDs.

Methods

The Dutch National Registry of GH Treatment in Adults was founded in 1998 to gain more insight into long-term efficacy and safety of GH therapy. Out of 2891 enrolled patients, 266 patients with IGHD at the start of GH treatment were identified and compared with 310 patients with MPHDs. Cardiovascular indices will be investigated at baseline and during long-term follow-up, including body composition, lipid profile, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and morbidity.

Results

Patients with IGHD and MPHDs were demonstrated to be different entities at clinical presentation. Metabolically, patients with MPHDs had a larger waist circumference, lower HDL cholesterol level, and higher triglyceride level. The effect of GH treatment was comparable between patient groups. GH seems to protect against rising lipid levels and blood pressure, even after excluding patients using corresponding concomitant medication. The risk for cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus during follow-up was not different between patients with IGHD and MPHDs.

Conclusions

Patients with IGHD had a less impaired metabolic profile than patients with MPHDs at baseline. Influence of other pituitary hormone replacement therapies on the effect of GH treatment is not demonstrated.

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Corné A Roelen, Hans P Koppeschaar, Wouter R de Vries, Pierre M Zelissen, Yvonne E Snel, Manorath E Doerga, Jos H Thijssen and Rien A Blankenstein

Roelen CA, Koppeschaar HP, de Vries WR, Zelissen PM, Snel YE, Doerga ME, Thijssen JH, Blankenstein RA. High-affinity growth hormone binding protein, insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 in adults with growth hormone deficiency. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;135:82–6. ISSN 0804–4643

The high-affinity growth hormone binding protein (GHBP) circulates in human blood and represents the extracellular domain of the growth hormone (GH) receptor. The effects of GH deficiency on GHBP in adults are not clear. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum GHBP levels in adults with GH deficiency and to assess whether GHBP measurement may contribute to the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency, based on a two-step model. We measured insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) and GHBP levels in serum samples of 36 patients with adult-onset GH deficiency. The GHBP levels were measured by FPLC size-exclusion chromatography; IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels were measured by RIA. Serum GHBP levels were elevated above the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval in 26 patients, whereas IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels were low in 10 patients and in 16 patients, respectively. The combination of low serum IGF-I and low IGFBP-3 levels was found in 10 patients. In nine patients, serum IGF-I levels were low, with elevated GHBP levels. Low serum IGF-I, low IGFBP-3 and elevated GHBP levels were found in five patients. Only four out of 36 patients had serum IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and GHBP levels that were within the 95% confidence interval of the control values. We conclude that adults with acquired GH deficiency have elevated GHBP levels in comparison to healthy subjects. We suggest that measurement of GHBP levels might contribute to the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency, though further research is required to study the additional value of GHBP measurements.

HPF Koppeschaar, Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Utrecht, HPL00.407, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Hans P. F. Koppeschaar, Ronald J. M. Croughs, Johanna W. van 't Verlaat, Martin J. Hendriks, Cor J. M. Arts, Jos H. H. Thijssen and Frits Schwarz

Abstract. Transfrontal hypophysectomy was performed in a patient with Cushing's disease and gross enlargement of the pituitary. Despite some reduction of cortisol production active Cushing's syndrome remained due to the presence of a tumour remnant. Medical treatment with the GABA-transaminase inhibitor sodium valproate induced hypocorticism necessitating corticosteroid substitution therapy. Nine months after sodium valproate withdrawal hypercorticism was documented. Re-institution of sodium valproate treatment induced hypocorticism again.

As sodium valproate is known to induce a decrease of plasma ACTH in Nelson's syndrome, it is proposed that large tumours present at the time of diagnosis and those appearing after adrenalectomy may represent the spectrum of a single disorder. A prospective trial to study the effects of sodium valproate and other neurotransmitter modulating agents on the size and endocrine function of ACTH secreting macroadenomas is urgently needed.