Gonadal dysfunction is an adverse outcome in patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which may become apparent already during puberty. Clinical consequences of gonadal dysfunction include menstrual disturbances in females and hypogonadism and impaired fertility in males and females. In males, gonadal dysfunction can be caused by primary gonadal failure due to testicular adrenal rest tumours (TART), and by secondary gonadal failure due to poor hormonal control. In females, gonadal dysfunction can result from an overproduction of adrenal androgens including 11-oxygenated C-19 androgens and progestins, and rarely from ovarian adrenal rest tumours. In all patients with CAH, optimal hormonal control is the key for adequate gonadal function. Therefore, regular measurements of adrenal steroids and/or their metabolites should be performed. In addition, markers of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis need to be assessed. In females, the regularity of the menstrual cycle should be evaluated. In males, regular evaluation for TART using ultrasonography is recommended from the start of puberty or even earlier when poor hormonal control is present. When TART is present, counselling on cryopreservation of semen should be offered.
Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Nike Stikkelbroeck, Henrik Falhammar, and Nicole Reisch
Han J W J Repping-Wuts, Nike M M L Stikkelbroeck, Alida Noordzij, Mies Kerstens, and Ad R M M Hermus
To assess self-management in patients receiving glucocorticoid replacement therapy for primary or secondary adrenal failure before and 6 months after a glucocorticoid education group meeting.
All patients with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, treated at the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, were invited by their endocrinologist to participate in a 3-h glucocorticoid education group meeting, consisting of a lecture about the disease and glucocorticoid doses adjustments in case of stress, followed by an instruction on how to inject hydrocortisone i.m. Finally, all participants could practise the i.m. injection and discuss their experience with (imminent) adrenal crises with other patients and the health care providers. Two weeks before the meeting and 6 months after the meeting, patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire about how they would act in six different conditions (e.g. febrile illness or vomiting).
Of the 405 patients who were invited, 246 patients (61%) participated. At baseline the response by the participants on the questionnaire was 100% (n=246) and at follow-up 74% (n=183). At follow-up, significantly more participants (P≤0.005) gave the correct answers to how to act in different situations (e.g. self-administration of a glucocorticoid injection and phone contact in case of vomiting/diarrhoea without fever). Moreover, the use of self-management tools, such as having a ‘medicine passport (travel document with information about disease and medication) (P=0.007) or SOS medallion (P=0.0007)’, increased.
A glucocorticoid education group meeting for patients with adrenal failure seems helpful to improve self-management and proper use of stress-related glucocorticoid dose adjustment.
Cornelie D Andela, Han Repping-Wuts, Nike M M L Stikkelbroeck, Mathilde C Pronk, Jitske Tiemensma, Ad R Hermus, Adrian A Kaptein, Alberto M Pereira, Noelle G A Kamminga, and Nienke R Biermasz
Patients with pituitary disease report impairments in Quality of Life (QoL) despite optimal biomedical care. Until now, the effects of a self-management intervention (SMI) addressing psychological and social issues for these patients and their partners have not been studied.
To examine the effects of a SMI i.e. Patient and Partner Education Programme for Pituitary disease (PPEP-Pituitary).
Design and subjects
A multicentre randomized controlled trial included 174 patients with pituitary disease, and 63 partners were allocated to either PPEP-Pituitary or a control group. PPEP-Pituitary included eight weekly sessions (90 min). Self-efficacy, bother and needs for support, illness perceptions, coping and QoL were assessed before the intervention (T0), directly after (T1) and after six months (T2). Mood was assessed before and after each session.
Patients in PPEP-Pituitary reported improved mood after each session (except for session 1). In partners, mood only improved after the last three sessions. Patients reported higher self-efficacy at T1 (P = 0.016) which persisted up to T2 (P = 0.033), and less bother by mood problems directly after PPEP-Pituitary (P = 0.01), but more bother after six months (P = 0.001), although this increase was not different from baseline (P = 0.346). Partners in PPEP-Pituitary reported more vitality (P = 0.008) which persisted up to T2 (P = 0.034). At T2, partners also reported less anxiety and depressive symptoms (P ≤ 0.014).
This first study evaluating the effects of a SMI targeting psychosocial issues in patients with pituitary disease and their partners demonstrated promising positive results. Future research should focus on the refinement and implementation of this SMI into clinical practice.
Hanneke J B H Beijers, Nike M L Stikkelbroeck, Arjen R Mensenkamp, Rolph Pfundt, Rob B van der Luijt, Henri J L M Timmers, Ad R M M Hermus, and Marlies J E Kempers
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the tumor suppressor gene MEN1 and can be diagnosed based on clinical, familial and/or genetic criteria. We present a family in which we found both germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1.
In our proband, we diagnosed MEN1. The mutation was not detected in her parents (DNA extracted from leucocytes). When her brother was found to harbor the same MEN1 mutation as our proband and, around the same time, their father was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine carcinoma, this tumor was investigated for the MEN1 mutation as well. In the histologic biopsy of this tumor, the same MEN1 mutation was detected as previously found in his children. Re-analysis of his blood using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) showed a minimal, but consistently decreased signal for the MEN1-specific MLPA probes. The deletion was confirmed in his son by high-resolution array analysis. Based on the array data, we concluded that the deletion was limited to the MEN1 gene and that the father had both germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1.
To our knowledge, this is the first reported family with combined germline and somatic mosaicism for MEN1. This study illustrates that germline mosaicism is important to consider in apparently sporadic de novo MEN1 mutations, because of its particular importance for genetic counseling, specifically when evaluating the risk for family members and when considering the possibility of somatic mosaicism in the parent with germline mosaicism.