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Free access

Syed Ali Imran, Churn-Ern Yip, Netee Papneja, Khaled Aldahmani, Syed Mohammad, Fatima Imran, Deborah A Zwicker, Chris Theriault, Kara Thompson, David B Clarke and Stan Van Uum

Objectives

Pituitary incidentalomas (PI) are frequently found on brain imaging. Despite their high prevalence, little is known about their long-term natural history and there are limited guidelines on how to monitor them.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective study to compare epidemiological characteristics at presentation and the natural history of PI in population-based vs referral-based registries from two tertiary-care referral centers in Canada.

Results

A total of 328 patients with PI were included, of whom 73% had pituitary adenomas (PA) and 27% had non-pituitary sellar masses. The commonest indications for imaging were headache (28%), dizziness (12%) and stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) (9%). There was a slight female preponderance (52%) with a median age of 55 years at diagnosis; 71% presented as macroadenomas (>10mm). Of PA, 25% were functioning tumors and at presentation 36% of patients had evidence of secondary hormonal deficiency (SHD). Of the total cohort, 68% were treated medically or conservatively whereas 32% required surgery. Most tumors (87% in non-surgery and 68% in post-surgery group) remained stable during follow-up. Similarly, 84% of patients in the non-surgery and 73% in the surgery group did not develop additional SHD during follow-up. The diagnosis of non-functioning adenoma was a risk factor for tumor enlargement and a change in SHD status was associated with a change in tumor size.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that most PI seen in tertiary-care referral centers present as macroadenomas and may frequently be functional, often requiring medical or surgical intervention.

Open access

Aliya A Khan, Christian A Koch, Stan Van Uum, Jean Patrice Baillargeon, Jens Bollerslev, Maria Luisa Brandi, Claudio Marcocci, Lars Rejnmark, Rene Rizzoli, M Zakarea Shrayyef, Rajesh Thakker, Bulent O Yildiz and Bart Clarke

Purpose: To provide practice recommendations for the diagnosis and management of hypoparathyroidism in adults.

Methods: Key questions pertaining to the diagnosis and management of hypoparathyroidism were addressed following a literature review. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases from January 2000 to March 2018 using keywords ‘hypoparathyroidism, diagnosis, treatment, calcium, PTH, calcidiol, calcitriol, hydrochlorothiazide and pregnancy’. Only English language papers involving humans were included. We excluded letters, reviews and editorials. The quality of evidence was evaluated based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. These standards of care for hypoparathyroidism have been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Results: Hypoparathyroidism is a rare disease characterized by hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia and a low or inappropriately normal serum parathyroid hormone level (PTH). The majority of cases are post-surgical (75%) with nonsurgical causes accounting for the remaining 25% of cases. A careful review is required to determine the etiology of the hypoparathyroidism in individuals with nonsurgical disease. Hypoparathyroidism is associated with significant morbidity and poor quality of life. Treatment requires close monitoring as well as patient education. Conventional therapy with calcium supplements and active vitamin D analogs is effective in improving serum calcium as well as in controlling the symptoms of hypocalcemia. PTH replacement is of value in lowering the doses of calcium and active vitamin D analogs required and may be of value in lowering long-term complications of hypoparathyroidism. This manuscript addresses acute and chronic management of hypoparathyroidism in adults.

Main conclusions: Hypoparathyroidism requires careful evaluation and pharmacologic intervention in order to improve serum calcium and control the symptoms of hypocalcemia. Frequent laboratory monitoring of the biochemical profile and patient education is essential to achieving optimal control of serum calcium.