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Isabella Lupi, Mirco Cosottini, Patrizio Caturegli, Luca Manetti, Claudio Urbani, Daniele Cappellani, Ilaria Scattina, Enio Martino, Claudio Marcocci and Fausto Bogazzi

Introduction

Autoimmune hypophysitis (AH) has a variable clinical presentation and natural history; likewise, its response to glucocorticoid therapy is often unpredictable.

Objective

To identify clinical and radiological findings associated with response to glucocorticoids.

Design and methods

12 consecutive patients with AH, evaluated from 2008 to 2016. AH was the exclusion diagnosis after ruling out other pituitary masses and secondary causes of hypophysitis. Mean follow-up time was 30 ± 27 months (range 12–96 months).

Results

MRI identified two main patterns of presentation: global enlargement of the pituitary gland or panhypophysitis (n = 4, PH), and pituitary stalk abnormality only, or infundibulo-neuro-hypophysitis (n = 8, INH). Multiple tropin defects were more common in PH (100%) than those in INH (28% P = 0.014), whereas diabetes insipidus was more common in INH (100%) than that in PH (50%; P = 0.028). All 4 PH and 4 out of 8 INH were treated with glucocorticoids. Pituitary volume significantly reduced in all PH patients (P = 0.012), defective anterior pituitary function recovered only in the two patients without diabetes insipidus (50%) and panhypopituitarism persisted, along with diabetes insipidus, in the remaining 2 (50%). In all INH patients, either treated or untreated, pituitary stalk diameter reduced (P = 0.008) but diabetes insipidus persisted in all.

Conclusions

Glucocorticoid therapy may improve anterior pituitary function in a subset of patients but has no effect on restoring posterior pituitary function. Diabetes insipidus appears as a negative prognostic factor for response to glucocorticoids.

Free access

Fausto Bogazzi, Luca Manetti, Martina Lombardi, Clara Giovannetti, Valentina Raffaelli, Claudio Urbani, Ilaria Scattina, Pasquale Pepe, Aldo Iannelli, Enio Martino and Giuseppe Rossi

Objective

To evaluate the impact of different peak GH cut-off limits after GHRH-Arg test, IGF1 measurement, or their combination in identifying patients with GH deficit (GHD).

Design and patients

Totally, 894 normal subjects (used for determining IGF1 normative limits) and 302 patients with suspected GHD were included. Different peak GH cut-off limits (used by European (depending on body mass index (BMI)) or North American (4.1 μg/l) Endocrine Societies, by HypoCCs (2.5 μg/l), or with 95% specificity (based on BMI), Method 1, 2, 3, or 4 respectively) and IGF1 were considered.

Methods

Peak GH after GHRH-Arg and IGF1.

Results

Different peak GH cut-off limits recognized different proportions of GHD (range, 24.8–62.9%). Methods 1 and 2 with high sensitivity recognized a higher proportion (95.5 and 92.5% respectively) of GHD among patients with three (T) pituitary hormone deficits (HD), whereas Method 4 (with high specificity) identified 96.7% normal subjects among those without pituitary HD; on the contrary, Method 4 identified only 75% GHD among patients with THD, whereas Method 1 recognized a high proportion (40%) of GHD among subjects without HD. Of the total patients, 82% with THD and 84.5% without HD were recognized as GHD or normal respectively by IGF1. Among the remaining patients with THD and normal IGF1, 75% was recognized as GHD by Method 1; among patients without HD and abnormal IGF1, 87.5% was identified as normal by Method 4. Overall, combination of IGF1 and Method 1 or Method 4 identified 95.5% GHD among patients with THD and 98.1% normal subjects among those without HD.

Conclusions

Single peak GH cut-offs have limits to sharply differentiate GHD from normal subjects; IGF1 may be used for selecting patients to be submitted to the GHRH-Arg test; the peak GH cut-off limits to be used for identifying healthy or diseased patients depend mainly on the clinical context.

Free access

Luca Manetti, Giuseppe Rossi, Lucia Grasso, Valentina Raffaelli, Ilaria Scattina, Simone Del Sarto, Mirco Cosottini, Aldo Iannelli, Maurizio Gasperi, Fausto Bogazzi and Enio Martino

Objective

Several tests have been proposed to diagnose patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS). The aims of the study were: i) to evaluate the performance of salivary cortisol (SC) in hypercortisolism and ii) to compare SC with serum cortisol (SeC) and urinary cortisol.

Design and patients

This was a diagnostic study. Twenty-seven patients with untreated Cushing's disease (CD untr), 21 women consuming oral contraceptive pill (OCP), 18 pregnant women, and 89 healthy subjects (controls) were enrolled.

Methods

SC and SeC at baseline and after the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) and urinary free cortisol (UFC) were measured.

Results

Midnight SC had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group and a specificity of 97.7% in the controls. Specificity remained high (95.2%) in women taking OCP, while in pregnant women, it decreased to 83.3%. SC after the LDDST showed a sensitivity of 96.3% in the CD untr group; specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 90.5% in OCP women. Midnight SeC had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group. SeC after the LDDST had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group while specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 61.9% in women taking OCP. For UFC, sensitivity was 92.6% in the CD untr group while specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 100% in the OCP group.

Conclusions

SC is a reliable parameter for the diagnosis of severe hypercortisolism, with high sensitivity and specificity. In women during pregnancy or taking OCP, the measurement of SC, identifying the free fraction, could be helpful to exclude CS.

Free access

Chiara Sardella, Daniele Cappellani, Claudio Urbani, Luca Manetti, Giulia Marconcini, Luca Tomisti, Isabella Lupi, Giuseppe Rossi, Ilaria Scattina, Martina Lombardi, Vitantonio Di Bello, Claudio Marcocci, Enio Martino and Fausto Bogazzi

Objective

The primary objective of this study is to identify the predictors of comorbidities and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) that can develop after diagnosis of acromegaly. The role of therapy for acromegaly in the event of such complications was also evaluated.

Design and methods

Retrospective cohort study was conducted on 200 consecutive acromegalic patients in a tertiary referral center. The following outcomes were evaluated: diabetes, hypertension and MACE. Each patient was included in the analysis of a specific outcome, unless they were affected when acromegaly was diagnosed, and further classified as follows: (i) in remission after adenomectomy (Hx), (ii) controlled by somatostatin analogues (SSA) (SSAc) or (iii) not controlled by SSA (SSAnc). Data were evaluated using Cox regression analysis.

Results

After diagnosis of acromegaly, diabetes occurred in 40.8% of patients. The SSAnc group had a three-fold higher risk of diabetes (HR: 3.32, P = 0.006), whereas the SSAc group had a 1.4-fold higher risk of diabetes (HR: 1.43, P = 0.38) compared with the Hx group. Hypertension occurred in 35.5% of patients, after diagnosis. The determinants of hypertension were age (HR: 1.06, P = 0.01) and BMI (HR: 1.05, P = 0.01). MACE occurred in 11.8% of patients, after diagnosis. Age (HR: 1.09, P = 0.005) and smoking habit (HR: 5.95, P = 0.01) were predictors of MACE. Conversely, therapy for acromegaly did not influence hypertension or MACE.

Conclusion

After diagnosis of acromegaly, control of the disease (irrespective of the type of treatment) and lifestyle are predictors of comorbidities and major adverse cardiovascular events.

Free access

Fausto Bogazzi, Annamaria Colao, Giuseppe Rossi, Martina Lombardi, Claudio Urbani, Chiara Sardella, Aldo Iannelli, Ilaria Scattina, Luca Manetti, Simone Del Sarto, Rosario Pivonello, Ludovica Francesca Stella Grasso, Isabella Lupi, Renata Simona Auriemma, Gaetano Lombardi and Enio Martino

Objective

Acromegalic patients have an increased risk of mortality. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of different therapies for acromegaly on mortality.

Design and methods

The mortality rate of 438 consecutive acromegalic patients was compared with that of the general population using the standardized mortality ratio (SMR); the effect of different therapies on survival was evaluated using Cox regression analysis.

Results

Twenty patients (4.5%) died between 1999 and 2009. Age- and sex-adjusted SMR was 0.70 (95% CI 0.43–1.08). The Cox regression analysis revealed that, in the whole population, both general risk factors (age and physical status) and specific factors for acromegaly (macroadenoma, hypopituitarism and uncontrolled disease) were associated with death. The most compromised patients at diagnosis had a higher mortality rate (P=0.001), which also occurred in patients with controlled acromegaly. Death occurred in 2.4% (adenomectomy), 2.6% (adenomectomy followed by somatostatin analogue (SSA) therapy) and 11.4% (SSA therapy as the primary therapy) of the patients. The risk of death was higher in patients receiving SSA therapy as the primary therapy (hazard ratio (HR) 5.52, 95% CI 1.06–28.77, P=0.043) than in all patients submitted to adenomectomy; however, a higher risk of death occurred only in diabetic patients treated with SSAs alone (HR 21.94, 95% CI 1.56–309.04, P=0.022). Radiotherapy was associated with an increased risk of mortality, which occurred in patients with the more locally advanced disease.

Conclusions

Therapies for acromegaly and comorbidities have lowered the risk of mortality to the level of the general population; the effect of SSA therapy alone or that following pituitary adenomectomy was comparable to that of curative neurosurgery on survival in non-diabetic patients; on the contrary, SSA therapy as the primary therapy may be less effective than adenomectomy in reducing mortality rate in diabetic patients.