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M Kassem, K Brixen, W Blum, L Mosekilde and EF Eriksen

Kassem M, Brixen K, Blum W, Mosekilde L, Eriksen EF. No evidence for reduced spontaneous or growth-hormone-stimulated serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II or IGF binding protein 3 in women with spinal osteoporosis. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;131:150–5. ISSN 0804–4643

To test the hypothesis that a dysfunctional growth hormone (GH)–insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis may play a role in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, we compared the levels of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) in 15 women with spinal osteoporosis (i.e. at least one non-traumatic vertebral fracture) and 15 normal age-matched women. Furthermore, the response to 3 days' treatment with recombinant human GH (r-hGH) (0.2 IU kg−1·day−1) was determined. The basal levels of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGFBP-3 were similar in patients and controls (mean ± sem): IGF-I, 16.5 ± 1.3 versus 16.0 ± 1.3 nmol/l (NS); IGF-II, 79.9 ± 3.6 versus 72.5 ± 4.1 nmol/l (NS); and IGFBP-3, 125.7 ± 6.5 versus 130.3 ± 7.8 nmol/l (NS). Stimulation with r-hGH elicited increased levels of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGFBP-3 within both groups (p < 0.001). The maximal values expressed as a percentage of baseline were: IGF-I, 341 ± 26% versus 369 ± 22%, IGF-II, 125 ± 4% versus 119 ± 5%, IGFBP-3, 141 ± 5% versus 147 ± 7% in osteoporotic patients and controls, respectively. No significant differences were observed between patients and controls in either their maximal response or in the area under the response curves. Our results do not support the hypothesis of a dysfunctional GH–IGF axis in women with spinal osteoporosis.

Kim Brixen, University Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Tage-Hansens gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

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L Rejnmark, AL Lauridsen, P Vestergaard, L Heickendorff, F Andreasen and L Mosekilde

OBJECTIVE: Diurnal variations in plasma levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D) have previously only been investigated in young individuals, and these studies have failed to demonstrate a diurnal rhythm. We have studied whether plasma levels of 1,25(OH)(2)D and vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) vary in a diurnal rhythm in postmenopausal women. METHODS: Blood and urine were sampled with 2- and 4-h intervals in order to assess diurnal variations in plasma levels of 1,25(OH)(2)D, DBP and parathyroid hormone (PTH), as well as in plasma levels and urinary excretion rates of calcium and phosphate. Additionally, the free 1,25(OH)(2)D index was calculated (the molar ratio of 1,25(OH)(2)D to DBP). RESULTS: Plasma 1,25(OH)(2)D exhibited a diurnal rhythm (P<0.01) with a nadir in the morning (99+/-12 pmol/l), followed by a rapid increase to a plateau during the day (113+/-13 pmol/l, i.e. 14% above nadir level; P=0.005). A similar pattern of variation was found in plasma levels of DBP with peak levels 15% above nadir levels (P<0.01). The free 1,25(OH)(2)D index did not vary in a diurnal rhythm. PTH and plasma levels and urinary excretions of calcium and phosphate exhibited a diurnal pattern of variation. The diurnal rhythm of DBP was correlated with the rhythm of 1,25(OH)(2)D (r=0.47, P<0.01) and plasma albumin (r=0.76, P<0.01). Moreover, the rhythm of plasma calcium and PTH varied inversely (r=-0.36, P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: With the disclosure of a diurnal rhythm of total plasma 1,25(OH)(2)D, all major hormones and minerals related to calcium homeostasis have now been shown to exhibit diurnal variations. In clinical studies, the diurnal variations of 1,25(OH)(2)D and DBP must be considered, i.e. blood sampling must be standardised according to the time of day.

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B Moosgaard, P Vestergaard, L Heickendorff, F Melsen, P Christiansen and L Mosekilde

Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is associated with reduced plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (P-25OHD) and usually increased plasma 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (P-1,25(OH)2D). Parathyroid tissue expresses the vitamin D receptor and it is thought that circulating 1,25(OH)2D participate in the regulation of parathyroid cell proliferation, differentiation and secretion.

Aim: To investigate the relations between circulating levels of 1,25(OH)2D and 25OHD respectively and parathyroid adenoma weight (AW), plasma-parathyroid hormone (P-PTH) and PTH secretion expressed as P-PTH/AW.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Material: One hundred and seventy-one consecutive hypercalcaemic caucasian patients aged 19–87 years (median 63, 84% females) with surgically proven parathyroid adenoma.

Results: A weak positive correlation was found between P-25OHD and P-1,25(OH)2D (r = 0.24, P < 0.005). AW depended on sex and body mass index. Following adjustment, it was correlated positively to P-PTH, calcium (Ca) and alkaline phosphatase (AP) and inversely to plasma phosphate in a multiple regression model. AW was not associated with vitamin D metabolites. Preoperative P-PTH correlated positively to plasma levels of Ca and AP, but inversely to phosphate and 25OHD (P < 0.001) levels. P-PTH was not associated with P-1,25(OH)2D (P = 0.65). The P-PTH:AW ratio correlated inversely to P-25OHD (P < 0.05), but showed no relations to plasma levels of Ca, phosphate or 1,25(OH)2D (P = 0.22).

Conclusion: In this material, low levels of 25OHD were related to higher levels of P-PTH and higher PTH:AW ratios in patients with PHPT suggesting that vitamin D deficiency increase PTH secretion activity. Neither PTH secretion nor AW was associated with circulating levels of 1,25(OH)2D.

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Bente L Langdahl, Anne Gitte R Loft, Erik F Eriksen, Leif Mosekilde and Peder Charles

Langdahl BL, Loft AGR, Eriksen EF, Mosekilde L, Charles P. Bone mass, bone turnover and body composition in former hypothyroid patients receiving replacement therapy. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:702–9. ISSN 0804–4643

The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to disclose whether long-term thyroxine replacement therapy (TRT) in primary hypothyroidism causes osteopenia. We compared 36 adult biochemically and clinically euthyroid patients who had received TRT for more than 5 years (mean 13 years) for primary hypothyroidism with 80 sex- and age-matched normal controls. Height, body weight and lean body mass were similar, but the patients had 21% higher fat body mass (p < 0.01) than their controls. Furthermore, compared to controls the patients had 29% higher serum thyroxine (T4) and 31% higher serum free T4 index (FT4I) levels (p < 0.001), whereas serum triiodothyronine (T3) and FT3I levels were both reduced by 7% (p < 0.05). In the patients, serum TSH was reduced significantly (p < 0.001). No significant differences were observed between patients and normals in regional or total bone mineral content or bone mineral density levels, apart from 20% higher lumbar bone mineral content among the premenopausal patients (p < 0.05). Surprisingly, the mean serum calcium level was slightly elevated (2.38 ± 0.08 vs 2.33 ± 0.07 nmol/l, p < 0.001), serum phosphate decreased (1.13 ± 0.19 vs 1.23 ± 0.16 mmol/l, p < 0.01) and 24-h renal calcium excretion was reduced by 19% (p < 0.05). No changes were observed in serum magnesium, intact parathyroid hormone or calcitriol. The biochemical markers of bone resorption (serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen, renal excretion of hydroxyproline, pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline) and formation (serum levels of carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen, osteocalcin and total and bone alkaline phosphatase) were similar in the two groups. We conclude that long-term thyroxine replacement therapy in primary hypothyroidism does not exert a negative effect on bone mass or alter bone turnover.

Bente L Langdahl, University Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Tage Hansensgade 2, DK-8000, Aarhus C, Denmark

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K. Emmertsen, F. Melsen, L. Mosekilde, Bi. Lund, Bj. Lund, O. H. Sørensen, P. Charles and J. Møller

Abstract. We previously reported increased mean serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D) and increased trabecular bone remodelling in patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MCT) and hypercalcitoninaemia. In the present paper we report that serum 1,25-(OH)2D and trabecular bone remodelling decreased following surgical cure for MCT and hypercalcitoninaemia in 4 patients despite no detectable post-surgical hypoparathyroidism or hypothyroidism. The results obtained in the present small number of patients suggest that the altered vitamin D metabolism and trabecular bone remodelling in patients with MCT is caused by the hypercalcitoninaemia.

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Line Cleemann, Britta E Hjerrild, Anna L Lauridsen, Lene Heickendorff, Jens S Christiansen, Leif Mosekilde and Claus H Gravholt


Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fractures are present in many women with Turner syndrome (TS).


Examine longitudinal changes in BMD in TS and relate changes to biochemical parameters.


Prospective, pragmatic, and observational study. Examinations at baseline and follow-up (5.9±0.7 years).


Tertiary hospital.


Fifty-four women with TS (43.0±9.95 years).


Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Main outcome measures

BMD (g/cm2) measured at lumbar spine, hip, and the non-dominant forearm. Bone formation and resorption markers, sex hormones, IGF1, and maximal oxygen uptake.


At follow-up, forearm BMD, radius ultradistal BMD, and hip BMD remained unchanged, radius 1/3 BMD declined (0.601±0.059 vs 0.592±0.059, P=0.03), while spine BMD increased (0.972±0.139 vs 1.010±0.144, P<0.0005). Bone formation markers did not change over time in TS. Bone resorption markers decreased over time in TS. Testosterone, IGF1, and maximal oxygen uptake was significantly reduced in TS.


Longitudinal changes in BMD in TS were slight. BMD can be maintained at most sites in well-informed women with TS, being encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including HRT and intake of calcium and vitamin D.

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P Vestergaard, J Lindholm, JO Jorgensen, C Hagen, HC Hoeck, P Laurberg, L Rejnmark, K Brixen, LO Kristensen, U Feldt-Rasmussen and L Mosekilde

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if fracture risk was increased in patients with Cushing's syndrome due to the increased endogenous cortisol production. DESIGN: Cohort. METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 125 patients with Cushing's syndrome diagnosed between 1985 and 1999 in Denmark. The response of each patient was compared with that of three age- and gender-matched control subjects randomly drawn among respondents to the same questionnaire from the background population. RESULTS: One hundred and four patients (83%) responded. The median age of the patients was 48 years (range 19-85 years). Sixty-eight had pituitary disease, 28 had adrenal disease, four had had both pituitary and adrenal surgery while four had not undergone surgery at the time of the study. The median time from diagnosis to surgery was 0.2 (range 0-3) years. Eighty-six percent were cured following surgery. There was an increased fracture risk within the last 2 years prior to diagnosis (incidence rate ratio 6.0, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 2.1-17.2). More than 2 years prior to diagnosis and following diagnosis there was no difference in fracture risk between patients and controls. The patients had more low-energy fractures than the controls (relative risk 5.4, 95% CI: 1.4-20.1). There was no difference in fracture risk between patients with adrenal or pituitary disease. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with Cushing's syndrome had an increased fracture risk in a narrow time interval before diagnosis, while no increase in fracture risk could be demonstrated after diagnosis and treatment.