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S M Ng, S C Wong, D M Isherwood and M Didi

Background: A recent study suggested that sexual dimorphism affects initial thyroid function in congenital hypothyroidism (CH) but differs according to aetiology of CH.

Aims: To determine if sexual dimorphism was associated with biochemical severity of CH and its aetiology in our large British population.

Methods: We examined retrospectively the initial thyroid function tests of 140 infants diagnosed with CH from screening. All infants underwent Tc-pertechnetate radionuclide scans at diagnosis to establish the aetiology of CH prior to commencement of treatment. Patients were classified into athyreosis, ectopia and presumed dyshormonogenesis on the basis of thyroid scans. A comparison of males and females were made within the three aetiological groups for gestational age, birth weight, initial dose of levothyroxine (LT4), screening TSH, confirmatory plasma thyroxine (T4), confirmatory plasma TSH and age of TSH suppression.

Results: There was no significant difference between sexes for gestation, birth weight and initial treatment dose in all aetiological subgroups. In thyroid ectopia, screening TSH and confirmatory plasma TSH were significantly higher in females compared with males (P < 0.01), while confirmatory plasma T4 were significantly lower in females (P < 0.05). No difference was detected between males and females in athyreosis and dyshormonogenesis subgroups for screening TSH, confirmatory plasma TSH and total T4.

Conclusion: Sexual dimorphism influenced the biochemical severity of thyroid ectopia in congenital hypothyroidism in our British population. However, this effect was not apparent in patients with athyreosis or dyshormonogenesis. Further advances in the molecular genetics of CH are essential to evaluate this phenomenon further.

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I Banerjee, M Skae, S E Flanagan, L Rigby, L Patel, M Didi, J Blair, S Ehtisham, S Ellard, K E Cosgrove, M J Dunne and P E Clayton

Objective

In children with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI), KATP channel genes (ABCC8 and KCNJ11) can be screened rapidly for potential pathogenic mutations. We aimed to assess the contribution of rapid genetic testing to the clinical management of CHI.

Design

Follow-up observational study at two CHI referral hospitals.

Methods

Clinical outcomes such as subtotal pancreatectomy, 18F-Dopa positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET–CT) scanning, stability on medical treatment and remission were assessed in a cohort of 101 children with CHI.

Results

In total, 32 (32%) children had pathogenic mutations in KATP channel genes (27 in ABCC8 and five in KCNJ11), of which 11 (34%) were novel. In those negative at initial screening, other mutations (GLUD1, GCK, and HNF4A) were identified in three children. Those with homozygous/compound heterozygous ABCC8/KCNJ11 mutations were more likely to require a subtotal pancreatectomy CHI (7/10, 70%). Those with paternal heterozygous mutations were investigated with 18F-Dopa PET–CT scanning and 7/13 (54%) had a focal lesionectomy, whereas four (31%) required subtotal pancreatectomy for diffuse CHI. Those with maternal heterozygous mutations were most likely to achieve remission (5/5, 100%). In 66 with no identified mutation, 43 (65%) achieved remission, 22 (33%) were stable on medical treatment and only one child required a subtotal pancreatectomy.

Conclusions

Rapid genetic analysis is important in the management pathway of CHI; it provides aetiological confirmation of the diagnosis, indicates the likely need for a subtotal pancreatectomy and identifies those who require 18F-Dopa PET–CT scanning. In the absence of a mutation, reassurance of a favourable outcome can be given early in the course of CHI.