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Andreas Stomby, Alireza Salami, Per Dahlqvist, Johan Arild Evang, Mats Ryberg, Jens Bollerslev, Tommy Olsson, Gudmundur Johannsson, and Oskar Ragnarsson

Objective

Cushing’s syndrome is associated with long-term cognitive deficits and affective symptoms such as depression and anxiety. The alterations in brain function underlying these deficits after Cushing’s syndrome are unclear and therefore we aimed to explore alterations in resting-state functional connectivity in patients with Cushing’s syndrome in remission.

Design

Cross-sectional case–control study.

Methods

Nineteen women with Cushing’s syndrome in remission for a median time of 7 years (IQR: 6–10) and a mean age of 45 years were included at three university clinics. These patients and 38 age-matched female controls underwent brain imaging at a single center. The main outcome measure was functional connectivity at rest, measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Results

The medial temporal lobe (MTL) and prefrontal cortex networks, exhibited elevated functional connectivity among patients compared to controls. The degree of elevated functional connectivity in the MTL was negatively associated with time in remission.

Conclusions

Resting-state functional connectivity within glucocorticoid receptor-rich regions, particularly the MTL and medial prefrontal cortex, was increased in patients. These differences in connectivity may provide a neural basis for the cognitive deficits and affective symptoms commonly experienced by patients with Cushing’s syndrome in remission.

Restricted access

Konstantina Vouzouneraki, Daniela Esposito, Sebastian Mukka, Daniel Granfeldt, Oskar Ragnarsson, Per Dahlqvist, and Daniel S Olsson

Objective

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is common in patients with acromegaly, with a reported prevalence of 19–64%. We studied CTS in a large national cohort of patients with acromegaly and the temporal relationship between the two diagnoses.

Design

Retrospective, nationwide, cohort study including patients diagnosed with acromegaly in Sweden, 2005–2017, identified in the Swedish Healthcare Registries.

Methods

CTS (diagnosis and surgery in specialised healthcare) was analysed from 8.5 years before the diagnosis of acromegaly until death or end of the study. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95% CIs were calculated for CTS with the Swedish population as reference.

Results

The analysis included 556 patients with acromegaly (50% women) diagnosed at mean (s.d.) age 50.1 (15.0) years. During the study period, 48 patients were diagnosed with CTS and 41 patients underwent at least one CTS surgery. In the latter group, 35 (85%) were operated for CTS before the acromegaly diagnosis; mean interval (range) 2.2 (0.3–8.5) years and the SIR for having CTS surgery before the diagnosis of acromegaly was 6.6 (4.8–8.9). Women with acromegaly had a higher risk for CTS than men (hazard ratio: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.3–4.7).

Conclusions

Patients with acromegaly had a 6-fold higher incidence for CTS surgery before the diagnosis of acromegaly compared with the general population. The majority of patients with both diagnoses were diagnosed with CTS prior to acromegaly. Increased awareness of signs of acromegaly in patients with CTS might help to shorten the diagnostic delay in acromegaly, especially in women.

Open access

Anna G Nilsson, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Pia Burman, Per Dahlqvist, Bertil Ekman, Britt Edén Engström, Oskar Ragnarsson, Stanko Skrtic, Jeanette Wahlberg, Heinrich Achenbach, Sharif Uddin, Claudio Marelli, and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

To investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of a once-daily, dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) tablet as oral glucocorticoid replacement therapy in patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (AI).

Design

Prospective, open-label, multicenter, 5-year extension study of DR-HC conducted at five university clinics in Sweden.

Methods

Seventy-one adult patients diagnosed with primary AI who were receiving stable glucocorticoid replacement therapy were recruited. Safety and tolerability outcomes included adverse events (AEs), intercurrent illness episodes, laboratory parameters and vital signs. Quality of life (QoL) was evaluated using generic questionnaires.

Results

Total DR-HC exposure was 328 patient-treatment years. Seventy patients reported 1060 AEs (323 per 100 patient-years); 85% were considered unrelated to DR-HC by the investigator. The most common AEs were nasopharyngitis (70%), fatigue (52%) and gastroenteritis (48%). Of 65 serious AEs reported by 32 patients (20 per 100 patient-years), four were considered to be possibly related to DR-HC: acute AI (n = 2), gastritis (n = 1) and syncope (n = 1). Two deaths were reported (fall from height and subarachnoid hemorrhage), both considered to be unrelated to DR-HC. From baseline to 5 years, intercurrent illness episodes remained relatively stable (mean 2.6–5.4 episodes per patient per year), fasting plasma glucose (0.7 mmol/L; P < 0.0001) and HDL cholesterol (0.2 mmol/L; P < 0.0001) increased and patient-/investigator-assessed tolerability improved. QoL total scores were unchanged but worsening physical functioning was recorded (P = 0.008).

Conclusions

In the first prospective study evaluating the long-term safety of glucocorticoid replacement therapy in patients with primary AI, DR-HC was well tolerated with no safety concerns observed during 5-year treatment.

Restricted access

Nils Bäcklund, Göran Brattsand, Marlen Israelsson, Oskar Ragnarsson, Pia Burman, Britt Edén Engström, Charlotte Høybye, Katarina Berinder, Jeanette Wahlberg, Tommy Olsson, and Per Dahlqvist

Objective

The challenge of diagnosing Cushing’s syndrome (CS) calls for high precision biochemical screening. This study aimed to establish robust reference intervals for, and compare the diagnostic accuracy of, salivary cortisol and cortisone in late-night samples and after a low-dose (1 mg) dexamethasone suppression test (DST).

Design and methods

Saliva samples were collected at 08:00 and 23:00 h, and at 08:00 h, after a DST, from 22 patients with CS and from 155 adult reference subjects. We also collected samples at 20:00 and 22:00 h from 78 of the reference subjects. Salivary cortisol and cortisone were analysed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The reference intervals were calculated as the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of the reference population measurements. Diagnostic accuracies of different tests were compared, based on areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curves.

Results

The upper reference limits of salivary cortisol and cortisone at 23:00 h were 3.6 nmol/L and 13.5 nmol/L, respectively. Using these reference limits, CS was detected with a sensitivity (95% CI) of 90% (70–99%) and specificity of 96% (91–98%) for cortisol, and a 100% (84–100%) sensitivity and 95% (90–98%) specificity for cortisone. After DST, cortisol and cortisone upper reference limits were 0.79 nmol/L and 3.5 nmol/L, respectively. CS was detected with 95% (75–100%) sensitivity and 96% (92–99%) specificity with cortisol, and 100% (83–100%) sensitivity and 94% (89–97%) specificity with cortisone. No differences in salivary cortisol or cortisone levels were found between samples collected at 22:00 and 23:00 h.

Conclusion

Salivary cortisol and cortisone in late-night samples and after DST showed high accuracy for diagnosing CS, salivary cortisone being slightly, but significantly better.