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F Lumachi, M Ermani, G Luisetto, A Nardi, SM Basso, V Camozzi, and G Favia

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the possible relationship between serum calcium, serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and arterial blood pressure (BP) in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (HPT). DESIGN: A retrospective population-based study. METHODS: Charts of 194 patients with proven primary HPT were reviewed, and the main clinical and biochemical parameters were recorded. There were 48 men (24.7%) and 146 women (75.3%), with a median age of 59 years (range 23-82 years). Patients who used antihypertensive drugs or hormone replacement therapy had been previously excluded. All patients underwent successful parathyroidectomy, and were cured of their disease. RESULTS: There were no differences (P=NS) between men and women in systolic (143.3+/-19.1 vs 145.4+/-17.1 mmHg) and diastolic (87.1+/-12.3 vs 88.4+/-9.9 mmHg) BP, and in the main biochemical parameters. A significant (P<0.01) correlation was found between (i) serum calcium and serum PTH levels (r=0.39, F=88.36), (ii) age and BP, both systolic (r=0.61, F=118.16) and diastolic (r=0.48, F=64.5), and (iii) body mass index (BMI) and BP (r=0.45 and 0.36 respectively). There was no significant association of serum calcium levels with systolic (r=0.0974, t=1.3422, P=0.18) or diastolic (r=0.1117, t=1.5409, P=0.12) BP, and of serum PTH levels with systolic (r=-0.0349, t=-0.4783, P=0.63) or diastolic (r=-0.0793, t=-1.0913, P=0.28) BP. Multivariate analysis confirmed that none of the independent biochemical parameters significantly correlated with BP, both systolic and diastolic. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with primary HPT there is no relationship between PTH, calcium and BP. Thus, in hyperparathyroid patients, BP should be considered as an independent variable, mainly related to age and BMI.

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P Perros, L Baldeschi, K Boboridis, A J Dickinson, A Hullo, G J Kahaly, P Kendall-Taylor, G E Krassas, C M Lane, J H Lazarus, C Marcocci, M Marino, M P Mourits, M Nardi, J Orgiazzi, A Pinchera, S Pitz, M F Prummel, and W M Wiersinga

Group-author : The European Group of Graves’ Orbitopathy

Objective: To determine management patterns among clinicians who treat patients with Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) in Europe.

Design and methods: Questionnaire survey including a case scenario of members of professional organisations representing endocrinologists, ophthalmologists and nuclear medicine physicians.

Results: A multidisciplinary approach to manage GO was valued by 96.3% of responders, although 31.5% did not participate or refer to a multidisciplinary team and 21.5% of patients with GO treated by responders were not managed in a multidisciplinary setting. Access to surgery for sight-threatening GO was available only within weeks or months according to 59.5% of responders. Reluctance to refer urgently to an ophthalmologist was noted by 32.7% of responders despite the presence of suspected optic neuropathy. The use of steroids was not influenced by the age of the patient, but fewer responders chose to use steroids in a diabetic patient (72.1 vs 90.5%, P < 0.001). Development of cushingoid features resulted in a reduction in steroid use (90.5 vs 36.5%, P < 0.001) and increase in the use of orbital irradiation (from 23.8% to 40.4%, P < 0.05) and surgical decompression (from 20.9 to 52.9%, P < 0.001). More ophthalmologists chose surgical decompression for patients with threatened vision due to optic neuropathy, who were intolerant to steroids than other specialists (70.3 vs 41.8%, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Deficiencies in the management of patients with GO in Europe were identified by this survey. Further training of clinicians, easier access of patients to specialist multidisciplinary centres and the publication of practice guidelines may help improve the management of this condition in Europe.