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  • Author: M A E M Wagenmakers x
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M A E M Wagenmakers, R T Netea-Maier, J B Prins, T Dekkers, M den Heijer and A R M M Hermus

Objective

The determinants that cause impaired quality of life (QOL) in patients in long-term remission of Cushing's syndrome (CS) are unknown. The aim of this study was to get more insight into the patient and disease characteristics related to impaired QOL in these patients.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Methods

The QOL of 123 patients in remission of CS (age 52.2±12.0 years, 106 women, duration of remission 13.3±10.4 years, 80% pituitary CS), assessed with seven validated questionnaires, was compared with the QOL of an age- and sex-matched control group (n=105). To investigate the influence of the aetiology of CS on QOL, patients in remission of pituitary and adrenal CS were compared. Furthermore, the influence of hormonal deficiencies, treatment strategy, duration of remission, gender and age on QOL was investigated.

Results

QOL in the total patient group and each patient subgroup was significantly worse on practically all dimensions of questionnaires compared with the control group (P<0.05), except for patients in remission of pituitary CS without hormonal deficiencies who had an impaired QOL on 50% of the QOL dimensions. Subgroup analysis revealed no difference in QOL between different patient groups, especially no difference between patients in remission of adrenal and pituitary CS. Female gender and a shorter duration of remission had a negative influence on QOL in the patient group.

Conclusions

QOL remains impaired in patients in long-term remission of CS regardless of aetiology, presence of hormonal deficiencies and treatment strategies. More research is needed to establish the causes.

Free access

M A E M Wagenmakers, H D Boogaarts, S H P P Roerink, H J L M Timmers, N M M L Stikkelbroeck, J W A Smit, E J van Lindert, R T Netea-Maier, J A Grotenhuis and A R M M Hermus

Context

Although the endoscopic technique of transsphenoidal pituitary surgery (TS) has been widely adopted, reports on its results in Cushing's disease (CD) are still scarce and no studies have investigated long-term recurrence rates. This is the largest endoscopic series published till now.

Objective

To gain insight into the role of endoscopic TS as a primary treatment option for CD, especially in patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-negative CD and (invasive) macroadenomas.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Patients and methods

The medical records of 86 patients with CD who underwent endoscopic TS were examined. Data on preoperative and postoperative evaluation, perioperative complications, and follow-up were collected. Remission was defined as disappearance of clinical symptoms with a fasting plasma cortisol level ≤50 nmol/l either basal or after 1 mg dexamethasone.

Results

The remission rate in different adenoma subclasses varied significantly: 60% in MRI-negative CD (n=20), 83% in microadenomas (n=35), 94% in noninvasive macroadenomas (n=16), and 40% in macroadenomas that invaded the cavernous sinus (n=15). The recurrence rate was 16% after 71±39 months of follow-up (mean±s.d., range 10–165 months).

Conclusions

Endoscopic TS is a safe and effective treatment for all patients with CD. Recurrence rates after endoscopic TS are comparable with those reported for microscopic TS. Our data suggest that in patients with noninvasive and invasive macroadenomas, the endoscopic technique of TS should be the treatment of choice as remission rates seem to be higher than those reported for microscopic TS, although no comparative study has been performed.

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T L C Wolters, S H P P Roerink, R B T M Sterenborg, M A E M Wagenmakers, O Husson, J W A Smit, A R M M Hermus and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly has a negative influence on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies provide limited information on the course of HRQoL during treatment. This study aims to assess the effect of treatment on the course of HRQoL at six predefined time points.

Design

This prospective study examines HRQoL in treatment-naive patients before and during the first 2.5 years of acromegaly treatment.

Methods

Therapy-naive acromegaly patients completed three validated questionnaires (RAND-36, AcroQoL, and the Appearance Self-Esteem (ASE)) at six predetermined time points before, during, and after treatment. Outcomes were correlated to IGF1 levels and disease control status.

Results

Twenty-seven acromegaly patients completed the questionnaires at all time points. After treatment, all patients had controlled acromegaly. Scores of RAND-36 domains General health, Vitality and Health change, and all AcroQoL dimensions (except for Relations) improved during treatment (P ≤ 0.003); the largest changes were detected during the first year. Gender influenced HRQoL scores, since AcroQoL scores significantly improved in males but not in females. Over time, IGF1 levels were negatively correlated with HRQoL. After 2.5 years of follow-up, HRQoL of controlled patients was still lower than in the general population.

Conclusion

HRQoL of acromegaly patients was considerably reduced at diagnosis. Disease control was associated with an improvement of HRQoL scores. Males showed a more pronounced improvement than females. The largest changes were detected in the first year of treatment. However, HRQoL during and after treatment remained impaired in acromegaly patients, emphasizing the need of additional support.

Free access

Mark R Postma, Thalijn L C Wolters, Gerrit van den Berg, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Anneke C Muller Kobold, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus, Romana T Netea-Maier and André P van Beek

Objective

To assess the effect of somatostatin analogs (SSAs) on mortality in relation to disease control of acromegaly after pituitary surgery.

Design

A retrospective study in two large tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.

Methods

Overall, 319 patients with acromegaly in whom pituitary surgery was performed as primary therapy between January 1980 and July 2017 were included. Postoperative treatment with SSA was prescribed to 174 (55%) patients because of persistent or recurrent disease. Disease control at last visit was assessed by IGF1 standard deviation score (SDS). Adequate disease control was defined as IGF1 SDS ≤2. Univariate determinants of mortality and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for groups with and without SSA at any moment postoperatively and at last visit.

Results

In total, 27 deaths were observed. In univariate analysis, determinants of mortality were inadequate disease control (relative risk (RR): 3.41, P = 0.005), surgery by craniotomy (RR: 3.53, P = 0.013) and glucocorticoid substitution (RR: 2.11, P = 0.047). There was a strong trend toward increased mortality for patients who used SSA (RR: 2.01, P = 0.067) and/or dopamine agonists (RR: 2.54, P = 0.052) at last visit. The SMR of patients with adequate disease control who used SSA at any moment postoperatively (1.07, P = 0.785) and at last visit (1.19; P = 0.600) was not increased. Insufficiently controlled patients had a significantly raised SMR (3.92, P = 0.006).

Conclusions

Postoperative use of SSA is not associated with increased mortality in patients with acromegaly who attain adequate disease control. In contrast, inadequate disease control, primary surgery by craniotomy and glucocorticoid substitution are associated with increased mortality.

Free access

Elena Valassi, Holger Franz, Thierry Brue, Richard A Feelders, Romana Netea-Maier, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Susan M Webb, Maria Yaneva, Martin Reincke, Michael Droste, Irina Komerdus, Dominique Maiter, Darko Kastelan, Philippe Chanson, Marija Pfeifer, Christian J Strasburger, Miklós Tóth, Olivier Chabre, Michal Krsek, Carmen Fajardo, Marek Bolanowski, Alicia Santos, Peter J Trainer, John A H Wass, Antoine Tabarin and for the ERCUSYN Study Group

Background

Surgery is the definitive treatment of Cushing’s syndrome (CS) but medications may also be used as a first-line therapy. Whether preoperative medical treatment (PMT) affects postoperative outcome remains controversial.

Objective

(1) Evaluate how frequently PMT is given to CS patients across Europe; (2) examine differences in preoperative characteristics of patients who receive PMT and those who undergo primary surgery and (3) determine if PMT influences postoperative outcome in pituitary-dependent CS (PIT-CS).

Patients and methods

1143 CS patients entered into the ERCUSYN database from 57 centers in 26 countries. Sixty-nine percent had PIT-CS, 25% adrenal-dependent CS (ADR-CS), 5% CS from an ectopic source (ECT-CS) and 1% were classified as having CS from other causes (OTH-CS).

Results

Twenty per cent of patients took PMT. ECT-CS and PIT-CS were more likely to receive PMT compared to ADR-CS (P < 0.001). Most commonly used drugs were ketoconazole (62%), metyrapone (16%) and a combination of both (12%). Median (interquartile range) duration of PMT was 109 (98) days. PIT-CS patients treated with PMT had more severe clinical features at diagnosis and poorer quality of life compared to those undergoing primary surgery (SX) (P < 0.05). Within 7 days of surgery, PIT-CS patients treated with PMT were more likely to have normal cortisol (P < 0.01) and a lower remission rate (P < 0.01). Within 6 months of surgery, no differences in morbidity or remission rates were observed between SX and PMT groups.

Conclusions

PMT may confound the interpretation of immediate postoperative outcome. Follow-up is recommended to definitely evaluate surgical results.

Restricted access

Elena Valassi, Antoine Tabarin, Thierry Brue, Richard A Feelders, Martin Reincke, Romana Netea-Maier, Miklós Tóth, Sabina Zacharieva, Susan M Webb, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Philippe Chanson, Marija Pfeiffer, Michael Droste, Irina Komerdus, Darko Kastelan, Dominique Maiter, Olivier Chabre, Holger Franz, Alicia Santos, Christian J Strasburger, Peter J Trainer, John Newell-Price, Oskar Ragnarsson and the ERCUSYN Study Group

Objective

Patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS) have increased mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the causes and time of death in a large cohort of patients with CS and to establish factors associated with increased mortality.

Methods

In this cohort study, we analyzed 1564 patients included in the European Registry on CS (ERCUSYN); 1045 (67%) had pituitary-dependent CS, 385 (25%) adrenal-dependent CS, 89 (5%) had an ectopic source and 45 (3%) other causes. The median (IQR) overall follow-up time in ERCUSYN was 2.7 (1.2–5.5) years.

Results

Forty-nine patients had died at the time of the analysis; 23 (47%) with pituitary-dependent CS, 6 (12%) with adrenal-dependent CS, 18 (37%) with ectopic CS and two (4%) with CS due to other causes. Of 42 patients whose cause of death was known, 15 (36%) died due to progression of the underlying disease, 13 (31%) due to infections, 7 (17%) due to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease and 2 due to pulmonary embolism. The commonest cause of death in patients with pituitary-dependent CS and adrenal-dependent CS were infectious diseases (n = 8) and progression of the underlying tumor (n = 10) in patients with ectopic CS. Patients who had died were older and more often males, and had more frequently muscle weakness, diabetes mellitus and ectopic CS, compared to survivors. Of 49 deceased patients, 22 (45%) died within 90 days from start of treatment and 5 (10%) before any treatment was given. The commonest cause of deaths in these 27 patients were infections (n = 10; 37%). In a regression analysis, age, ectopic CS and active disease were independently associated with overall death before and within 90 days from the start of treatment.

Conclusion

Mortality rate was highest in patients with ectopic CS. Infectious diseases were the commonest cause of death soon after diagnosis, emphasizing the need for careful clinical vigilance at that time, especially in patients presenting with concomitant diabetes mellitus.