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Free access

Pepijn van Houten, Romana Netea-Maier, Margreet Wagenmakers, Sean Roerink, Ad Hermus, and Annenienke van de Ven

Objective

Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is associated with osteoporosis and high fracture risk. Besides male sex, it is unknown which variables influence bone mineral density (BMD) at diagnosis and it is unclear to what extent BMD normalizes during long-term follow-up after treatment of CS. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with BMD at diagnosis of CS and to determine the long-term course of BMD and fracture rate after successful treatment of CS.

Design

Retrospective cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort study.

Methods

Data were collected from 231 patients with CS who were treated at the Radboud University Medical Centre between 1968 and 2020.

Results

At diagnosis, male sex was associated with lower Z-scores at the lumbar spine (LS) compared with female sex: −0.97s.d. (−1.45 to −0.49) after correction for possible confounders. Shorter duration of symptoms and younger age were also associated with lower Z-scores at diagnosis, while etiology of CS, urinary cortisol excretion and gonadal status were not associated with Z-scores at diagnosis. Z-scores improved up to 20 years after treatment. Fifteen years after treatment, men showed larger improvements of Z-scores than women; +2.56 (1.82–3.30) increase in LS Z-score vs +1.48 (0.96–2.00) respectively. Fracture incidence was highest during the 2 years before diagnosis and decreased after treatment.

Conclusion

Male sex, younger age and shorter duration of symptoms are associated with lower BMD at diagnosis of CS. BMD continues to improve up to 20 years after treatment of CS. Fracture rate decreases after treatment of CS.

Free access

Mark R Postma, Romana T Netea-Maier, Gerrit van den Berg, Jens Homan, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus, and André P van Beek

Objective

To assess the influence of long-acting somatostatin analogs (SSTA) after initial pituitary surgery on long-term health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in relation to disease control in patients with acromegaly.

Design

This is a cross-sectional study in two tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.

Patients and methods

One hundred and eight patients with acromegaly, in whom transsphenoidal (n=101, 94%) or transcranial (n=7, 6%) surgery was performed. Subsequently, 46 (43%) received additional radiotherapy and 41 (38%) were on postoperative treatment with SSTA because of persistent or recurrent disease at the time of study. All subjects filled in standardized questionnaires measuring HR-QoL. Disease control at the time of study was assessed by local IGF1 SDS.

Results

IGF1 SDS were slightly higher in patients treated with SSTA in comparison with patients without use of SSTA (0.85±1.52 vs 0.25±1.21, P=0.026), but the percentage of patients with insufficient control (IGF1 SDS >2) was not different (17 vs 9%, P=0.208). Patients using SSTA reported poorer scores on most subscales of the RAND-36 and the acromegaly QoL and on all subscales of the multidimensional fatigue inventory-20. A subgroup analysis in patients with similar IGF1 levels (SSTA+, n=26, IGF1 SDS 0.44±0.72 vs SSTA−, n=44, IGF1 SDS 0.41±0.65) revealed worse scores on physical functioning, physical fatigue, reduced activity, vitality, and general health perception across all HR-QoL questionnaires in patients treated with SSTA.

Conclusion

QoL is impaired in association with the need for prolonged postoperative therapy by SSTA in patients with acromegaly despite similar IGF1 levels.

Free access

Annenienke C van de Ven, Romana T Netea-Maier, Femmie de Vegt, H Alec Ross, Fred C G J Sweep, Lambertus A Kiemeney, Johannes W Smit, Ad R Hermus, and Martin den Heijer

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of age on the association between thyroid function and mortality.

Design

The Nijmegen Biomedical Study is a population-based study, comprising 5816 randomly selected adults of all age groups without previously known thyroid disease.

Methods

TSH, free thyroxine (FT4) and peroxidase antibodies were measured in 2002–2003. The number of deaths were established in 2012 (median follow-up time 9.4 years).

Results

Subclinical thyrotoxicosis was associated with mortality in subjects aged <65 years (hazard ratio (HR) 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.7), but not in subjects aged >65 years. As for thyroid function within the normal range: in the 493 participants aged 80 years or older, an FT4 level in the high-normal range (18.5–22 pmol/l) was associated with a higher mortality in comparison with FT4 levels in the middle range (11.5–15.0 pmol/l): HR 1.7 (95% CI 1.0–2.9). In these elderly, TSH levels within the high-normal range (3.0–4.0 mIU/l) were also associated with a higher mortality in comparison with TSH levels within the middle range (1.0–2.0 mIU/l): HR 1.8 (95% CI 1.0–3.1).

Conclusions

The relationship between thyroid function and mortality differs according to age. This finding might (partially) explain the discrepant results of previous studies examining the relationship between thyroid function and mortality in different age groups.

Free access

Kim Freriks, Theo C J Sas, Maaike A F Traas, Romana T Netea-Maier, Martin den Heijer, Ad R M M Hermus, Jan M Wit, Janiëlle A E M van Alfen-van der Velden, Barto J Otten, Sabine M P F de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, Martin Gotthardt, Philippe H Dejonckere, Gladys R J Zandwijken, Leonie A Menke, and Henri J L M Timmers

Objective

Short stature is a prominent feature of Turner syndrome (TS), which is partially overcome by GH treatment. We have previously reported the results of a trial on the effect of oxandrolone (Ox) in girls with TS. Ox in a dose of 0.03 mg/kg per day (Ox 0.03) significantly increased adult height gain, whereas Ox mg/kg per day (0.06) did not, at the cost of deceleration of breast development and mild virilization. The aim of this follow-up study in adult participants of the pediatric trial was to investigate the long-term effects of previous Ox treatment.

Design and methods

During the previous randomized controlled trial, 133 girls were treated with GH combined with placebo (Pl), Ox 0.03, or Ox 0.06 from 8 years of age and estrogen from 12 years. Sixty-eight women (Pl, n=23; Ox 0.03, n=27; and Ox 0.06, n=18) participated in the double-blind follow-up study (mean age, 24.0 years; mean time since stopping GH, 8.7 years; and mean time of Ox/Pl use, 4.9 years). We assessed height, body proportions, breast size, virilization, and body composition.

Results

Height gain (final minus predicted adult height) was maintained at follow-up (Ox 0.03 10.2±4.9 cm, Ox 0.06 9.7±4.4 cm vs Pl 8.0±4.6 cm). Breast size, Tanner breast stage, and body composition were not different between groups. Ox-treated women reported more subjective virilization and had a lower voice frequency.

Conclusion

Ox 0.03 mg/kg per day has a beneficial effect on adult height gain in TS patients. Despite previously reported deceleration of breast development during Ox 0.03 treatment, adult breast size is not affected. Mild virilization persists in only a small minority of patients. The long-term evaluation indicates that Ox 0.03 treatment is effective and safe.

Free access

Elena Valassi, Holger Franz, Thierry Brue, Richard A Feelders, Romana Netea-Maier, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Susan M Webb, Maria Yaneva, Martin Reincke, Michael Droste, Irina Komerdus, Dominique Maiter, Darko Kastelan, Philippe Chanson, Marija Pfeifer, Christian J Strasburger, Miklós Tóth, Olivier Chabre, Antoine Tabarin, Michal Krsek, Carmen Fajardo, Marek Bolanowski, Alicia Santos, John A H Wass, Peter J Trainer, and for the ERCUSYN Study Group

Objective

To evaluate which tests are performed to diagnose hypercortisolism in patients included in the European Registry on Cushing’s syndrome (ERCUSYN), and to examine if their use differs from the current guidelines.

Patients and methods

We analyzed data on the diagnostic tests performed in 1341 patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS) who have been entered into the ERCUSYN database between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2016 from 57 centers in 26 European countries. Sixty-seven percent had pituitary-dependent CS (PIT-CS), 24% had adrenal-dependent CS (ADR-CS), 6% had CS from an ectopic source (ECT-CS) and 3% were classified as having CS from other causes (OTH-CS).

Results

Of the first-line tests, urinary free cortisol (UFC) test was performed in 78% of patients, overnight 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in 60% and late-night salivary cortisol (LSaC) in 25%. Use of LSaC increased in the last five years as compared with previous years (P < 0.01). Use of HDDST was slightly more frequent in the last 5 years as compared with previous years (P < 0.05). Of the additional tests, late-night serum cortisol (LSeC) was measured in 62% and 48-h 2 mg/day low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) in 33% of cases. ACTH was performed in 78% of patients. LSeC and overnight 1 mg DST supported the diagnosis of both PIT-CS and ADR-CS more frequently than UFC (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Use of diagnostic tests for CS varies across Europe and partly differs from the currently available guidelines. It would seem pertinent that a European consensus be established to determine the best diagnostic approach to CS, taking into account specific inter-country differences with regard to the availability of diagnostic tools.

Free access

Annenienke C van de Ven, Romana T Netea-Maier, H Alec Ross, Teun A E van Herwaarden, Suzanne Holewijn, Jacqueline de Graaf, Bart L A Kiemeney, Doorlène van Tienoven, Jack F M Wetzels, Johannes W Smit, Fred C G J Sweep, Ad R M M Hermus, and Martin den Heijer

Objective

Several cross-sectional studies on populations with iodine deficiency showed that TSH-levels are negatively associated with age, while in populations with high iodine intake TSH is positively associated with age. The question is whether such an age-thyroid function relation is an ongoing process apparent also in longitudinal studies and whether it reflects an actual iodine deficiency or an iodine insufficiency in the past.

Methods

In an area with a borderline iodine status in the past, we studied 980 participants of the Nijmegen Biomedical Study. We measured serum TSH, free thyroxine (FT4), total triiodothyronine (T3), peroxidase antibodies, and the urine iodine and creatinine concentration 4 years after our initial survey of thyroid function, in which we reported a negative association between TSH and age.

Results

Within 4 years, TSH decreased by 5.4% (95% CI 2.5–8.3%) and FT4 increased by 3.7% (95% CI 2.9–4.6%). Median urinary iodine concentration was 130 μg/l. Estimated 24-h iodine excretion was not associated with TSH, T3, change of TSH, or FT4 over time or with the presence of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase. Only FT4 appeared to be somewhat higher at lower urine iodine levels: a 1.01% (95% CI 0.17–1.84%) higher FT4 for each lower iodine quintile.

Conclusions

In this longitudinal study, we found an ongoing decrease in TSH and increase in FT4 in a previously iodine insufficient population, despite the adequate iodine status at present. This suggests that low iodine intake at young age leads to thyroid autonomy (and a tendency to hyperthyroidism) that persists despite normal iodine intake later in life.

Free access

Mark R Postma, Thalijn L C Wolters, Gerrit van den Berg, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Anneke C Muller Kobold, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus, Romana T Netea-Maier, and André P van Beek

Objective

To assess the effect of somatostatin analogs (SSAs) on mortality in relation to disease control of acromegaly after pituitary surgery.

Design

A retrospective study in two large tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.

Methods

Overall, 319 patients with acromegaly in whom pituitary surgery was performed as primary therapy between January 1980 and July 2017 were included. Postoperative treatment with SSA was prescribed to 174 (55%) patients because of persistent or recurrent disease. Disease control at last visit was assessed by IGF1 standard deviation score (SDS). Adequate disease control was defined as IGF1 SDS ≤2. Univariate determinants of mortality and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for groups with and without SSA at any moment postoperatively and at last visit.

Results

In total, 27 deaths were observed. In univariate analysis, determinants of mortality were inadequate disease control (relative risk (RR): 3.41, P = 0.005), surgery by craniotomy (RR: 3.53, P = 0.013) and glucocorticoid substitution (RR: 2.11, P = 0.047). There was a strong trend toward increased mortality for patients who used SSA (RR: 2.01, P = 0.067) and/or dopamine agonists (RR: 2.54, P = 0.052) at last visit. The SMR of patients with adequate disease control who used SSA at any moment postoperatively (1.07, P = 0.785) and at last visit (1.19; P = 0.600) was not increased. Insufficiently controlled patients had a significantly raised SMR (3.92, P = 0.006).

Conclusions

Postoperative use of SSA is not associated with increased mortality in patients with acromegaly who attain adequate disease control. In contrast, inadequate disease control, primary surgery by craniotomy and glucocorticoid substitution are associated with increased mortality.

Restricted access

Marloes Nies, Eus G J M Arts, Evert F S van Velsen, Johannes G M Burgerhof, Anneke C Muller Kobold, Eleonora P M Corssmit, Romana T Netea-Maier, Robin P Peeters, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Astrid E P Cantineau, and Thera P Links

Context

Whilst radioactive iodine (RAI) is often administered in the treatment for differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC), long-term data on male fertility after RAI are scarce.

Objective

To evaluate long-term male fertility after RAI for DTC, and to compare semen quality before and after RAI.

Design, setting, and patients

Multicenter study including males with DTC ≥2 years after their final RAI treatment with a cumulative activity of ≥3.7 GBq.

Main outcome measure(s)

Semen analysis, hormonal evaluation, and a fertility-focused questionnaire. Cut-off scores for ‘low semen quality’ were based on reference values of the general population as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Results

Fifty-one participants had a median age of 40.5 (interquartile range (IQR): 34.0–49.6) years upon evaluation and a median follow-up of 5.8 (IQR: 3.0–9.5) years after their last RAI administration. The median cumulative administered activity of RAI was 7.4 (range: 3.7–23.3) GBq. The proportion of males with a low semen volume, concentration, progressive motility, or total motile sperm count did not differ from the 10th percentile cut-off of a general population (P = 0.500, P = 0.131, P = 0.094, and P = 0.500, respectively). Cryopreserved semen was used by 1 participant of the 20 who had preserved semen.

Conclusions

Participants had a normal long-term semen quality. The proportion of participants with low semen quality parameters scoring below the 10th percentile did not differ from the general population. Cryopreservation of semen of males with DTC is not crucial for conceiving a child after RAI administration but may be considered in individual cases.

Restricted access

Antoinette D. Reichert, Marloes Nies, Wim J.e. Tissing, Anneke C. Muller-Kobold, Mariëlle S Klein Hesselink, Adrienne H Brouwers, Bas Havekes, Marry M. van den Heuvel - Eibrink, Helena J H van der Pal, John T M Plukker, Hanneke M van Santen, Eleonora P.M. Corssmit, Romana T Netea-Maier, Robin P. Peeters, Eveline W.c.m. van Dam, Johannes Gm Burgerhof, Peter van der Meer, Gianni Bocca, and Thera P Links

Background: Pediatric differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) has an excellent prognosis, but unknown late effects of treatment. Initial cardiac evaluation showed subclinical diastolic dysfunction in 20% of adult survivors. The objective of this follow-up study was to determine the clinical course of this finding.

Methods: This multicenter study, conducted between 2018 and 2020, re-evaluated survivors after 5 years. The primary endpoint was echocardiographic diastolic cardiac function (depicted by the mean of the early diastolic septal and early diastolic lateral tissue velocity [e’ mean]). Secondary endpoints were other echocardiographic parameters and plasma biomarkers.

Results: Follow-up evaluation was completed in 47 (71.2%) of 66 survivors who had completed their initial evaluation. Of these 47 survivors, 87.2% were women. Median age was 39.8 years (range 18.8-60.3), and the median follow-up after initial diagnosis was 23.4 years (range 10.2-48.8). Between the first and second evaluation, the e’ mean significantly decreased by 2.1 cm/s (SD 2.3 cm/s, P<0.001). The median left ventricular ejection fraction did not significantly change (58.0% vs. 59.0%, NS). In the best explanatory model of e’ mean, multivariate linear regression analysis showed that body mass index and age were significantly associated with e’ mean (β coefficient -0.169 , 95% confidence interval (CI) [-0.292;-0.047], P=0.008 and β coefficient -0.177 ,95% CI [-0.240;-0.113], P<0.001, respectively).

Conclusions and relevance: In these relatively young survivors of pediatric DTC, diastolic function decreased significantly during 5 year follow up and is possibly more pronounced than in normal ageing. This finding requires further follow-up to assess clinical consequences.

Open access

Marloes Nies, Bernadette L Dekker, Esther Sulkers, Gea A Huizinga, Mariëlle S Klein Hesselink, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Martha A Grootenhuis, Adrienne H Brouwers, Johannes G M Burgerhof, Eveline W C M van Dam, Bas Havekes, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Eleonora P M Corssmit, Leontien C M Kremer, Romana T Netea-Maier, Heleen J H van der Pal, Robin P Peeters, John T M Plukker, Cécile M Ronckers, Hanneke M van Santen, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Wim J E Tissing, Gianni Bocca, and Thera P Links

Objective

The impact of childhood differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) on psychosocial development has not yet been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the achievement of psychosocial developmental milestones in long-term survivors of childhood DTC.

Design and methods

Survivors of childhood DTC diagnosed between 1970 and 2013 were included. Reasons for exclusion were age <18 or >35 years at follow-up, a follow-up period <5 years or diagnosis with DTC as a second malignant neoplasm. Survivors gathered peer controls of similar age and sex (n = 30). A comparison group non-affected with cancer (n = 508) and other childhood cancer survivors (CCS) were also used to compare psychosocial development. To assess the achievement of psychosocial milestones (social, autonomy and psychosexual development), the course of life questionnaire (CoLQ) was used.

Results

We included 39 survivors of childhood DTC (response rate 83.0%, mean age at diagnosis 15.6 years, and mean age at evaluation 26.1 years). CoLQ scores did not significantly differ between survivors of childhood DTC and the two non-affected groups. CoLQ scores of childhood DTC survivors were compared to scores of other CCS diagnosed at similar ages (n = 76). DTC survivors scored significantly higher on social development than other CCS, but scores were similar on autonomy and psychosexual developmental scales.

Conclusions

Survivors of childhood DTC showed similar development on social, autonomy, and psychosexual domains compared to non-affected individuals. Social development was slightly more favorable in DTC survivors than in other CCS, but was similar on autonomy and psychosexual domains.