Olympia Koulouri, Andrea Steuwe, Daniel Gillett, Andrew C Hoole, Andrew S Powlson, Neil A Donnelly, Neil G Burnet, Nagui M Antoun, Heok Cheow, Richard J Mannion, John D Pickard and Mark Gurnell
We report our experience of functional imaging with 11C-methionine positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET–CT) co-registered with 3D gradient echo (spoiled gradient recalled (SPGR)) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the investigation of ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome.
Twenty patients with i) de novo Cushing's disease (CD, n=10), ii) residual or recurrent hypercortisolism following first pituitary surgery (±radiotherapy; n=8) or iii) ectopic Cushing's syndrome (n=2) were referred to our centre for functional imaging studies between 2010 and 2015. Six of the patients with de novo CD and five of those with persistent/relapsed disease had a suspected abnormality on conventional MRI.
All patients underwent 11C-methionine PET–CT. For pituitary imaging, co-registration of PET–CT images with contemporaneous SPGR MRI (1 mm slice thickness) was performed, followed by detailed mapping of 11C-methionine uptake across the sella in three planes (coronal, sagittal and axial). This allowed us to determine whether suspected adenomas seen on structural imaging exhibited focal tracer uptake on functional imaging.
In seven of ten patients with de novo CD, asymmetric 11C-methionine uptake was observed within the sella, which co-localized with the suspected site of a corticotroph microadenoma visualised on SPGR MRI (and which was subsequently confirmed histologically following successful transsphenoidal surgery (TSS)). Focal 11C-methionine uptake that correlated with a suspected abnormality on pituitary MRI was seen in five of eight patients with residual or recurrent Cushing's syndrome following first TSS (and pituitary radiotherapy in two cases). Two patients elected to undergo repeat TSS with histology confirming a corticotroph tumour in each case. In two patients with the ectopic ACTH syndrome, 11C-methionine was concentrated in sites of distant metastases, with minimal uptake in the sellar region.
11C-methionine PET–CT can aid the detection of ACTH-secreting tumours in Cushing's syndrome and facilitate targeted therapy.
Serena Khoo, Greta Lyons, Anne McGowan, Mark Gurnell, Susan Oddy, W Edward Visser, Sjoerd van den Berg, David Halsall, Kevin Taylor, Krishna Chatterjee and Carla Moran
Familial dysalbuminaemic hyperthyroxinaemia (FDH), most commonly due to an Arginine to Histidine mutation at residue 218 (R218H) in the albumin gene, causes artefactual elevation of free thyroid hormones in euthyroid individuals. We have evaluated the susceptibility of most current free thyroid hormone immunoassay methods used in the United Kingdom, Europe and Far East to interference by R218H FDH.
Different, one- and two-step immunoassay methods were tested, measuring free T4 (FT4) and free T3 (FT3) in 37 individuals with genetically proven R218H FDH.
With the exception of Ortho VITROS, FT4 measurements were raised in all assays, with greatest to lowest susceptibility to interference being Beckman ACCESS > Roche ELECSYS > FUJIREBIO Lumipulse > Siemens CENTAUR > Abbott ARCHITECT > Perkin-Elmer DELFIA. Five different assays recorded high FT3 levels, with the Siemens CENTAUR method measuring high FT3 values in up to 30% of cases. However, depending on the assay method, FT4 measurements were unexpectedly normal in some, genetically confirmed, affected relatives of index FDH cases.
All FT4 immunoassays evaluated are prone to interference by R218H FDH, with their varying susceptibility not being related to assay architecture but likely due to differing assay conditions or buffer composition. Added susceptibility of many FT3 assays to measurement interference, resulting in high FT4 and FT3 with non-suppressed TSH levels, raises the possibility of R218H FDH being misdiagnosed as resistance to thyroid hormone beta or TSH-secreting pituitary tumour, potentially leading to unnecessary investigation and inappropriate treatment.
Olympia Koulouri, Narayanan Kandasamy, Andrew C Hoole, Daniel Gillett, Sarah Heard, Andrew S Powlson, Dominic G O’Donovan, Anand K Annamalai, Helen L Simpson, Scott A Akker, Simon J B Aylwin, Antonia Brooke, Harit Buch, Miles J Levy, Niamh Martin, Damian Morris, Craig Parkinson, James R Tysome, Tom Santarius, Neil Donnelly, John Buscombe, Istvan Boros, Rob Smith, Franklin Aigbirhio, Nagui M Antoun, Neil G Burnet, Heok Cheow, Richard J Mannion, John D Pickard and Mark Gurnell
To determine if functional imaging using 11C-methionine positron emission tomography co-registered with 3D gradient echo MRI (Met-PET/MRI), can identify sites of residual active tumour in treated acromegaly, and discriminate these from post-treatment change, to allow further targeted treatment.
Twenty-six patients with persistent acromegaly after previous treatment, in whom MRI appearances were considered indeterminate, were referred to our centre for further evaluation over a 4.5-year period. Met-PET/MRI was performed in each case, and findings were used to decide regarding adjunctive therapy. Four patients with clinical and biochemical remission after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS), but in whom residual tumour was suspected on post-operative MRI, were also studied.
Met-PET/MRI demonstrated tracer uptake only within the normal gland in the four patients who had achieved complete remission after primary surgery. In contrast, in 26 patients with active acromegaly, Met-PET/MRI localised sites of abnormal tracer uptake in all but one case. Based on these findings, fourteen subjects underwent endoscopic TSS, leading to a marked improvement in (n = 7), or complete resolution of (n = 7), residual acromegaly. One patient received stereotactic radiosurgery and two patients with cavernous sinus invasion were treated with image-guided fractionated radiotherapy, with good disease control. Three subjects await further intervention. Five patients chose to receive adjunctive medical therapy. Only one patient developed additional pituitary deficits after Met-PET/MRI-guided TSS.
In patients with persistent acromegaly after primary therapy, Met-PET/MRI can help identify the site(s) of residual pituitary adenoma when MRI appearances are inconclusive and direct further targeted intervention (surgery or radiotherapy).
Ann McCormack, Olaf M Dekkers, Stephan Petersenn, Vera Popovic, Jacqueline Trouillas, Gerald Raverot, Pia Burman and ESE survey collaborators
To collect outcome data in a large cohort of patients with aggressive pituitary tumours (APT)/carcinomas (PC) and specifically report effects of temozolomide (TMZ) treatment.
Electronic survey to ESE members Dec 2015–Nov 2016.
Reports on 166 patients (40 PC, 125 APT, 1 unclassified) were obtained. Median age at diagnosis was 43 (range 4–79) years. 69% of the tumours were clinically functioning, and the most frequent immunohistochemical subtype were corticotroph tumours (45%). Ki-67 index did not distinguish APT from PC, median 7% and 10% respectively. TMZ was first-line chemotherapy in 157 patients. At the end of the treatment (median 9 cycles), radiological evaluation showed complete response (CR) in 6%, partial response (PR) in 31%, stable disease (SD) in 33% and progressive disease in 30%. Response was more frequent in patients receiving concomitant radiotherapy and TMZ. CR was seen only in patients with low MGMT expression. Clinically functioning tumours were more likely to respond than non-functioning tumours, independent of MGMT status. Of patients with CR, PR and SD, 25, 40 and 48% respectively progressed after a median of 12-month follow-up. Other oncological drugs given as primary treatment and to TMZ failures resulted in PR in 20%.
This survey confirms that TMZ is established as first-line chemotherapeutic treatment of APT/PC. Clinically functioning tumours, low MGMT and concurrent radiotherapy were associated with a better response. The limited long-term effect of TMZ and the poor efficacy of other drugs highlight the need to identify additional effective therapies.