Catarina B d'Alva, Gwenaelle Abiven-Lepage, Vivian Viallon, Lionel Groussin, Marie Annick Dugue, Xavier Bertagna, and Jerôme Bertherat
Adrenocortical tumors (ACT) account for no more than 0.2% of the causes of androgen excess (AE). Conversely, these rare tumors have a very poor prognosis. It is difficult and important to exclude this diagnosis whenever there is AE.
Retrospective investigation of androgen profiles in a large consecutive series of androgen-secreting (AS) ACT to assess their relative diagnostic value.
A total of 44 consecutive female patients with ACT-AS and a comparison group of 102 women with non-tumor causes of AE (NTAE).
Patients with ACT-AS were older than the ones with NTAE (37.7 vs 24.8 years; P<0.001) and the prevalence of hirsutism, acne, and oligo/amenorrhea were not different. Free testosterone was the most commonly elevated androgen in ACT-AS (94%), followed by androstenedione (90%), DHEAS (82%), and total testosterone (76%), and all three androgens were simultaneously elevated in 56% of the cases. Androgen serum levels became subnormal in all ACT-AS patients after complete tumor removal. In NTAE, the most commonly elevated androgen was androstenedione (93%), while all three androgens were elevated in only 22% of the cases. Free testosterone values above 6.85 pg/ml (23.6 pmol/l) had the best diagnostic value for ACT-AS (sensitivity 82%, confidence interval (CI): 57–96%; specificity 97%, CI: 91–100%). Basal LH and FSH levels were significantly lower in the ACT-AS group.
Free testosterone was the most reliable marker of ACT-AS. However, the large overlap of androgen levels between ACT-AS and NTAE groups suggests that additional hormonal and/or imaging investigations are required to rule out ACT-AS in case of increased androgens.
Gwenaëlle Abiven-Lepage, Joël Coste, Frédérique Tissier, Lionel Groussin, Line Billaud, Bertrand Dousset, François Goffinet, Xavier Bertagna, Jérôme Bertherat, and Marie-Laure Raffin-Sanson
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, severe disease. Pregnancy-associated ACC has rarely been reported. We wished to evaluate the characteristics and prognosis of ACC diagnosed in patients during pregnancy or in the postpartum period, comparing them with those for ACC diagnosed in nonpregnant women.
Clinical presentation, hormonal secretion, staging, survival, and obstetric data are reported. Patients were included between 1963 and 2007. Mean follow-up was 48 months.
Patients and methods
This is a retrospective cohort study carried out at a referral center. All female patients aged 16–49 years diagnosed with ACC during the observation period were included (n=110). Twelve of these women were pregnant or in the first 6 months after delivery. Hormonal secretion, staging, obstetric data, and survival were analyzed. For the survival analysis, pregnant patients were compared with a subgroup of nonpregnant women matched for age, stage, and year of diagnosis (1 pregnant patient/2 controls).
Adrenocortical tumors diagnosed during pregnancy or in the postpartum period tend to be more often cortisol-secreting tumors (P=0.06) and to be discovered at a more advanced stage than those in nonpregnant women, although the differences were not significant. Fetal outcome was poor. Overall survival of the mother was worse than that of matched controls (hazard ratio of death: 3.98, confidence interval=1.34–11.85, P=0.013).
ACC diagnosed during pregnancy or in the postpartum period is associated with a poor fetal outcome and a poorer prognosis than ACC diagnosed in nonpregnant women.
Rossella Libé, Joël Coste, Laurence Guignat, Frédérique Tissier, Hervé Lefebvre, Gaëlle Barrande, Christiane Ajzenberg, Igor Tauveron, Eric Clauser, Bertrand Dousset, Xavier Bertagna, Jérôme Bertherat, and Lionel Groussin
ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (AIMAH) is a rare and heterogeneous condition characterized by abnormal steroid production. Cortisol secretion can be regulated by aberrant hormone receptors.
A large series of patients with AIMAH were evaluated to provide information on the prevalence and profile of aberrant regulations, in relation with the functional status.
Design and patients
Thirty-two consecutive patients with AIMAH were prospectively studied: 10 had a Cushing's syndrome (CS), and 22 had a subclinical CS (SCS).
A baseline endocrine evaluation was followed by an in vivo protocol in search of aberrant cortisol responses (seven provocative tests). An acute inhibition test with the somatostatin analog octreotide was also performed.
At least one aberrant cortisol response was identified in 28 of 32 (87%) patients. The overall prevalence of aberrant responses was independent of the functional status. Responses to the upright posture and to metoclopramide were frequently observed (67 and 56% respectively). A glucagon response was frequently observed in the SCS group (58%). A cortisol inhibition by octreotide was specifically found in the three CS patients who positively responded to the mixed meal, and was observed also in 12 of 13 (92%) patients with SCS.
Cortisol responses indicative of aberrant receptor expression were highly prevalent in AIMAH. Thorough phenotyping of AIMAH may help uncover the underlying pathophysiology.
Laura Bessiène, Fidéline Bonnet, Florence Tenenbaum, Mathieu Jozwiak, Anthony Corchia, Jérôme Bertherat, and Lionel Groussin
Claire Chambre, Emily McMurray, Camille Baudry, Marine Lataud, Laurence Guignat, Sébastien Gaujoux, Najiba Lahlou, Jean Guibourdenche, Frédérique Tissier, Mathilde Sibony, Bertrand Dousset, Xavier Bertagna, Jérôme Bertherat, Paul Legmann, and Lionel Groussin
Computed tomography (CT) unenhanced attenuation value of <10 Hounsfield units (HU) has an excellent specificity (98%) to diagnose lipid-rich adrenocortical adenomas (ACAs) with a weaker sensitivity (71%).
To determine from a routine clinical perspective if unenhanced attenuation value is influenced by cortisol secretion in ACAs.
This was a retrospective study of cases collected between 2009 and 2012.
This study was conducted in a tertiary-care university hospital.
Seventy-two patients operated on for an ACA (Weiss score ≤2) were analysed. Thirty-four patients had an ACA oversecreting cortisol (Cush-ACA). Thirty-eight patients had an ACA without cortisol oversecretion (Non Hyper-ACA).
Main outcome measure
CT unenhanced attenuation value was correlated with the functional status. The Weiss score items were analysed.
Among the 34 patients with a Cush-ACA a minority (n=7) had an unenhanced attenuation value under 10 HU. Among the high precontrast density (>10 HU) Cush-ACAs, washout analysis after contrast administration was consistent with the benign nature of the tumor in ∼60% of the cases. Less than 25% clear cells (lipid-rich cells), a Weiss score item, was present in 50% of the Cush-ACAs in favour of a lipid-poor content.
Unenhanced attenuation value has a poor sensitivity to diagnose an ACA in case of cortisol oversecretion due to poor lipid content. Nevertheless, the accuracy of washout analysis was preserved in the group of Cush-ACAs.
Bruno Ragazzon, Rossella Libé, Guillaume Assié, Frédérique Tissier, Olivia Barreau, Claude Houdayer, Karine Perlemoine, Anne Audebourg, Eric Clauser, Fernande René-Corail, Xavier Bertagna, Bertrand Dousset, Jérôme Bertherat, and Lionel Groussin
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare disease with a poor overall outcome. Transcriptome analysis identified two groups of ACCs with different prognosis. In aggressive ACCs, somatic mutations of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 and the proto-oncogene β-catenin are detected in 50% of cases. For the remaining aggressive ACCs and for the group with a better prognosis, molecular alterations are unknown.
To identify new molecular actors driving adrenal tumorigenesis.
Analysis by mass array of 374 mutations among 32 common oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes was performed on the tumoral DNA of 26 ACCs, using Sequenom OncoCarta Panels.
Four mutations were identified, two previously known β-catenin mutations and one alteration in two other genes: JAK3 and retinoblastoma gene (RB1). The JAK3 alteration was found in leukocyte DNA and therefore considered as a polymorphism and not a somatic event. The full RB1 tumor suppressor gene was subsequently sequenced in a cohort of 49 ACCs (26 ACCs from the ‘OncoCarta cohort’ and 23 other ACCs): three somatic mutations were identified, all in the poor-outcome ACC group. By immunohistochemistry, a loss of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) was found exclusively in aggressive ACCs in 27% of cases (seven out of 26), three of them with an inactivating RB1 mutation. Among the seven pRb-negative ACCs, five had an allele loss at the RB1 locus.
Parallel analysis of somatic mutations among known cancer genes allowed us to identify RB1 as a new actor in aggressive ACCs. These results suggest a prognostic significance of pRb expression loss in ACCs.
Delphine Vezzosi, Catherine Cardot-Bauters, Nicolas Bouscaren, Maëlle Lebras, Mireille Bertholon-Grégoire, Patricia Niccoli, Nathalie Levy-Bohbot, Lionel Groussin, Philippe Bouchard, Antoine Tabarin, Philippe Chanson, Pierre Lecomte, Isabelle Guilhem, Nicolas Carrere, Eric Mirallié, François Pattou, Jean Louis Peix, Diane Goere, Françoise Borson-Chazot, Philippe Caron, Vanina Bongard, Bruno Carnaille, Pierre Goudet, and Eric Baudin
Management of insulinomas in the context of MEN1 remains poorly studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term results of various surgical approaches in a large cohort of insulinoma–MEN1 patients.
Design and methods
Consecutive insulinoma–MEN1 patients operated on for a nonmetastatic insulinoma between 1957 and 2010 were retrospectively selected from the MEN1 database of the French Endocrine Tumor Group. The type of surgery was categorized as distal pancreatectomy (DP), total pancreatectomy/cephalic duodenopancreatectomy (TP/CDP), or enucleation (E). Primary endpoint was time until recurrence of hypoglycemia after initial surgery. Secondary endpoints were post-operative complications.
The study included 73 patients (median age=28 years). Surgical procedures were DP (n=46), TP/CDP (n=9), or E (n=18). After a median post-operative follow-up of 9.0 years (inter-quartile range (IQR): 2.5–16.5 years), 60/73 patients (82.2%) remained hypoglycemia free. E and TP/CDP were associated with a higher risk of recurrent hypoglycemia episodes (unadjusted hazard ratio: 6.18 ((95% CI: 1.54–24.8); P=0.010) for E vs DP and 9.51 ((95% CI: 1.85–48.8); P=0.007) for TP/CDP vs DP. After adjustment for International Union against Cancer pTNM classification, enucleation remained significantly associated with a higher probability of recurrence. Long-term complications had occurred in 20 (43.5%) patients with DP, five (55.6%) with TP/CDP, but in none of the patients who have undergone E (P=0.002).
In the French Endocrine database, DP is associated with a lower risk for recurrent hypoglycemia episodes. Due to lower morbidity, E alone might be considered as an alternative.