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  • Author: Maurizio Gasperi x
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Elisabetta Cecconi, Maurizio Gasperi, Maura Genovesi, Fausto Bogazzi, Lucia Grasso, Filomena Cetani, Massimo Procopio, Claudio Marcocci, Luigi Bartalena and Enio Martino

Objective: To investigate, in a large group of postmenopausal primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP) women, whether the concomitance of GH deficiency (GHD) may contribute to the development of changes in bone mineral density (BMD).

Design: GH secretion, bone status and metabolism were investigated in 50 postmenopausal women with PHP and in a control group of 60 women with no evidence of PHP, matched for age, age at menopause and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: GH response to growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)+arginine (Arg), femoral neck BMD (g/cm2) by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, BMI, serum-ionized calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and markers of bone remodelling were evaluated in all patients and controls.

Results: Among PHP patients, GH secretion was reduced (8.8 ± 4.2 μg/l, range 1.1–16.5 μg/l) in 34 patients and normal (28.7 ± 11.8 μg/l, range 17.9–55.7 μg/l) in the remaining 16 (P < 0.05), no women in the control group had GHD (peak GH 33.8 ± 10.9 μg/l, range 21.7 ± 63.2 μg/l). Osteoporosis (T-score < − 2.5) and osteopenia (T-score > −2.5 and < −1) were found in 73.5 and 17.6% of GHD patients, in 37.5 and 43.7% of patients with normal GH secretion and 3.1 and 27% of controls. T-score and BMD were not correlated with ionized calcium, age, age at menopause, BMI, GH peak and IGF-I but were correlated with serum PTH levels in both groups. T-score was correlated with serum levels of markers of bone remodelling only in PHP patients with GHD.

Conclusions: Concomitant impairment of GH secretion may play a pathogenetic role in the occurrence of changes in bone mass observed in PHP and contribute to make them more severe.

Free access

Renata S Auriemma, Rosario Pivonello, Ylenia Perone, Ludovica F S Grasso, Lucia Ferreri, Chiara Simeoli, Davide Iacuaniello, Maurizio Gasperi and Annamaria Colao


Cabergoline (CAB) has been found to be associated with increased risk of cardiac valve regurgitation in Parkinson's disease, whereas several retrospective analyses failed to detect a similar relation in hyperprolactinemic patients. The current study aimed at investigating cardiac valve disease before and after 24 and 60 months of continuous treatment with CAB only in patients with hyperprolactinemia.

Subjects and methods

Forty patients (11 men and 29 women, aged 38.7±12.5 years) newly diagnosed with hyperprolactinemia entered the study. Cumulative CAB dose ranged from 12 to 588 mg (median 48 mg) at 24 months and 48–1260 mg (median 149 mg) at 60 months. All patients underwent a complete trans-thoracic echocardiographic examination. Valve regurgitation was assessed according to the American Society of Echocardiography.


At baseline, the prevalence of trace mitral, aortic, pulmonic, and tricuspid regurgitations was 20, 2.5, 10, and 40% respectively, with no patient showing clinically relevant valvulopathy. After 24 months, no change in the prevalence of trace mitral (P=0.78) and pulmonic (P=0.89) regurgitations and of mild aortic (P=0.89) and tricuspid (P=0.89) regurgitations was found when compared with baseline. After 60 months, the prevalence of trace tricuspid regurgitation was only slightly increased when compared with that after 24 months (37.5%; P=0.82), but none of the patients developed significant valvulopathy. No correlation was found between cumulative dose and prevalence or grade of valve regurgitation at both evaluations. Prolactin levels normalized in all patients but one.


CAB does not increase the risk of significant cardiac valve regurgitation in prolactinomas after the first 5 years of treatment.

Free access

Luca Manetti, Giuseppe Rossi, Lucia Grasso, Valentina Raffaelli, Ilaria Scattina, Simone Del Sarto, Mirco Cosottini, Aldo Iannelli, Maurizio Gasperi, Fausto Bogazzi and Enio Martino


Several tests have been proposed to diagnose patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS). The aims of the study were: i) to evaluate the performance of salivary cortisol (SC) in hypercortisolism and ii) to compare SC with serum cortisol (SeC) and urinary cortisol.

Design and patients

This was a diagnostic study. Twenty-seven patients with untreated Cushing's disease (CD untr), 21 women consuming oral contraceptive pill (OCP), 18 pregnant women, and 89 healthy subjects (controls) were enrolled.


SC and SeC at baseline and after the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) and urinary free cortisol (UFC) were measured.


Midnight SC had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group and a specificity of 97.7% in the controls. Specificity remained high (95.2%) in women taking OCP, while in pregnant women, it decreased to 83.3%. SC after the LDDST showed a sensitivity of 96.3% in the CD untr group; specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 90.5% in OCP women. Midnight SeC had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group. SeC after the LDDST had a sensitivity of 100% in the CD untr group while specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 61.9% in women taking OCP. For UFC, sensitivity was 92.6% in the CD untr group while specificity was 97.7% in the controls and 100% in the OCP group.


SC is a reliable parameter for the diagnosis of severe hypercortisolism, with high sensitivity and specificity. In women during pregnancy or taking OCP, the measurement of SC, identifying the free fraction, could be helpful to exclude CS.

Free access

Luca Manetti, Arthur B Parkes, Isabella Lupi, Graziano Di Cianni, Fausto Bogazzi, Sonia Albertini, Lisa Linda Morselli, Valentina Raffaelli, Dania Russo, Giuseppe Rossi, Maurizio Gasperi, John H Lazarus and Enio Martino


The aim of this study was to evaluate antipituitary antibody (APA) prevalence in a series of patients with postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) during pregnancy and in the postpartum.


We conducted a nested case–control study on consecutive PPT and normal pregnant women at the Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes Sciences in Cardiff and at the Department of Endocrinology in Pisa.


We enrolled 30 women with PPT: 17 were hypothyroid (Hypo), 7 with hyperthyroidism (Hyper) and 6 with a transient hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism (Biphasic). Twenty-one healthy pregnant women served as controls. APA (measured using indirect immunofluorescence), free thyroxine, free triiodothyronine, TSH, antithyroid autoantibodies, and thyroid ultrasound were performed during pregnancy and postpartum. The stored sera have been sent to Pisa, where serum APA, IGF1, and cortisol were measured.


APA were found in 8 out of the 30 PPT patients (26.7%) and in one normal pregnancy (4.7%, P=0.063). Three out of the seventeen Hypo with PPT (17.6%), three out of the seven Hyper PPT (42.8%), and two out of the six Biphasic PPT (33.3%) were positive for APA. APA prevalence was not significantly different in the PPT subgroups (P=0.453). With one exception, APA all increased in the postpartum period (87.5%, P<0.016). Basal serum IGF1 and cortisol were in the normal range with the exception of two patients with positive APA who presented low serum IGF1 levels (36 and 45 ng/ml).


APA are frequently present in the postpartum period in patients affected by PPT. Further studies are necessary to evaluate whether APA in PPT patients are associated with pituitary function impairment.