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P. Loli, F. Vignati, G. Scialfa, E. Boccardi, V. Branca and M. E. Berselli

Abstract.

Preoperative localization of ACTH-secreting microadenomas has been performed in 9 patients with Cushing's disease by using bilateral and simultaneous venous sampling of the inferior petrosal sinuses. In addition to ACTH and PRL we determined GH levels after oCRH stimulation in order to confirm the possible occurrence of unilateral GH increases, as recently observed by us in one patient. A central-to-peripheral and an intersinus gradient of ACTH concentration was observed in all patients examined before and/or after oCRH stimulation. In 7 patients central-to-peripheral and side-to-side PRL gradients were recorded in basal conditions; in 5 of these patients a unilateral oCRH-induced PRL increase was observed. Six out of the 7 patients with unilateral PRL increases also showed an intersinus GH gradient in basal conditions (ratio ≥ 1.5); in 5 of them a clearcut oCRH-induced GH increase was observed. A peripheral oCRH-induced GH and PRL increase was not observed in any of the patients. The observation of a paradoxical oCRH-induced GH increase in the inferior petrosal sinus with the higher ACTH concentration is of speculative and clinical interest; whether it reflects co-secretion of hormones by the tumour or hormone release by non-tumourous cells via paracrine mechanism is still to be clarified. The unilateral GH increase could represent an additional signal of the presence and localization of an ACTH-secreting tumour.

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P. Loli, F. Frascatani, D. Gelli, M. Maggioni, F. Muratori and M. Ronzoni

Abstract.

In 14 patients with Addison's disease plasma levels of ACTH were studied after administration of a single oral dose (16 mg) of cyproheptadine.

The drug administration was followed by an inhibition of ACTH release.

These results support the view that cyproheptadine may exert an inhibitory effect on ACTH secretion in subjects whose corticosteroid feedback mechanism is normal.

We hypothesize that the effect of cyproheptadine might be related to its anti-serotonin or anti-histaminergic action.

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S Corbetta, C Eller-Vainicher, M Filopanti, P Saeli, G Vezzoli, T Arcidiacono, P Loli, M L Syren, L Soldati, P Beck-Peccoz and A Spada

Context: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) shows a great variability in clinical course and severity. Data concerning the association between polymorphic variants of the gene encoding the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) and clinical characteristics of PHPT are not conclusive.

Objective: To evaluate the frequency of three polymorphisms; A986S, R990G, and Q1011E of CaSR in patients with PHPT and to correlate the genotypes with clinical and biochemical parameters.

Patients and methods: The study included 94 consecutive unrelated patients referred to our Departments for PHPT diagnosis and management between 2000 and 2005 and 137 age and sex-matched healthy subjects. Patients and controls were genotyped according to standard procedures. Due to the rarity of 990G allele, homozygous and heterozygous subjects were grouped in R/G+G/G set. All PHPT patients were studied for calcium metabolism parameters and renal and bone complications.

Results: The proportion of CaSRvariants was similar in PHPT patients and controls. In PHPT patients, only R990G polymorphism was associated with disease parameters; in comparison with R/R, R/G+G/G patients showed lower mean serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and phosphate levels (139.9 ± 62.2 vs 199.9 ± 136.3 pg/ml, P < 0.05 and 0.69 ± 0.12 vs 0.81 ± 0.18 mmol/l, P = 0.031 respectively), higher mean 24-h urine calcium concentration and calcium excretion (9.05 ± 2.05 vs 6.77 ± 4.31 mmol/24 h, P = 0.012 and 67 ± 20 vs 51 ± 26 μmol/l GF, P = 0.039), and increased prevalence of nephrolithiasis (90.0 vs 44.2%, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: The study showed that patients with PHPT, bearing the 990G allele, had lower serum PTH levels and higher urinary calcium excretion in comparison with the other genotype, suggesting an increased sensitivityof the variant receptor to extracellular calcium. Since this variant was associated with increased occurrence of nephrolithiasis, analysis of this polymorphism might help to predict renal complication of the disease.

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M Terzolo, A Stigliano, I Chiodini, P Loli, L Furlani, G Arnaldi, G Reimondo, A Pia, V Toscano, M Zini, G Borretta, E Papini, P Garofalo, B Allolio, B Dupas, F Mantero and A Tabarin

Objective

To assess currently available evidence on adrenal incidentaloma and provide recommendations for clinical practice.

Design

A panel of experts (appointed by the Italian Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AME)) appraised the methodological quality of the relevant studies, summarized their results, and discussed the evidence reports to find consensus.

Radiological assessment

Unenhanced computed tomography (CT) is recommended as the initial test with the use of an attenuation value of ≤10 Hounsfield units (HU) to differentiate between adenomas and non-adenomas. For tumors with a higher baseline attenuation value, we suggest considering delayed contrast-enhanced CT studies. Positron emission tomography (PET) or PET/CT should be considered when CT is inconclusive, whereas fine needle aspiration biopsy may be used only in selected cases suspicious of metastases (after biochemical exclusion of pheochromocytoma).

Hormonal assessment

Pheochromocytoma and excessive overt cortisol should be ruled out in all patients, whereas primary aldosteronism has to be considered in hypertensive and/or hypokalemic patients. The 1 mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test is the test recommended for screening of subclinical Cushing's syndrome (SCS) with a threshold at 138 nmol/l for considering this condition. A value of 50 nmol/l virtually excludes SCS with an area of uncertainty between 50 and 138 nmol/l.

Management

Surgery is recommended for masses with suspicious radiological aspects and masses causing overt catecholamine or steroid excess. Data are insufficient to make firm recommendations for or against surgery in patients with SCS. However, adrenalectomy may be considered when an adequate medical therapy does not reach the treatment goals of associated diseases potentially linked to hypercortisolism.

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Marco Bonomi, Valeria Vezzoli, Csilla Krausz, Fabiana Guizzardi, Silvia Vezzani, Manuela Simoni, Ivan Bassi, Paolo Duminuco, Natascia Di Iorgi, Claudia Giavoli, Alessandro Pizzocaro, Gianni Russo, Mirella Moro, Letizia Fatti, Alberto Ferlin, Laura Mazzanti, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvo Cannavò, Andrea M Isidori, Angela Ida Pincelli, Flavia Prodam, Antonio Mancini, Paolo Limone, Maria Laura Tanda, Rossella Gaudino, Mariacarolina Salerno, Pregnolato Francesca, Mohamad Maghnie, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani and Italian Network on Central Hypogonadism

Objective

Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare disorder with pubertal delay, normal (normoosmic-IHH, nIHH) or defective sense of smell (Kallmann syndrome, KS). Other reproductive and non-reproductive anomalies might be present although information on their frequency are scanty, particularly according to the age of presentation.

Design

Observational cohort study carried out between January 2008 and June 2016 within a national network of academic or general hospitals.

Methods

We performed a detailed phenotyping of 503 IHH patients with: (1) manifestations of hypogonadism with low sex steroid hormone and low/normal gonadotropins; (2) absence of expansive hypothalamic/pituitary lesions or multiple pituitary hormone defects. Cohort was divided on IHH onset (PPO, pre-pubertal onset or AO, adult onset) and olfactory function: PPO-nIHH (n = 275), KS (n = 184), AO-nIHH (n = 36) and AO-doIHH (AO-IHH with defective olfaction, n = 8).

Results

90% of patients were classified as PPO and 10% as AO. Typical midline and olfactory defects, bimanual synkinesis and familiarity for pubertal delay were also found among the AO-IHH. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly earlier and more frequently associated with congenital hypogonadism stigmata in patients with Kallmann’s syndrome (KS). Synkinesis, renal and male genital tract anomalies were enriched in KS. Overweight/obesity are significantly associated with AO-IHH rather than PPO-IHH.

Conclusions

Patients with KS are more prone to develop a severe and complex phenotype than nIHH. The presence of typical extra-gonadal defects and familiarity for PPO-IHH among the AO-IHH patients indicates a common predisposition with variable clinical expression. Overall, these findings improve the understanding of IHH and may have a positive impact on the management of patients and their families.