Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a rare, autosomal recessive, multisystem non-motile ciliopathy of progressive onset. It is primarily characterised by rod–cone dystrophy, early-onset obesity and related complications, postaxial polydactyly, renal and genitourinary abnormalities, learning disabilities, and hypogonadism. The diagnosis is based on Beales’ modified diagnostic criteria. We present a case of two monozygotic female twins, 17 years of age at presentation, referred for obesity since childhood. The initial hormonal work-up was negative and no dysmorphic features were noted. They were diagnosed with exogenous obesity. However, after ophthalmologic problems became apparent, rod–cone dystrophy was observed and genetic testing was performed. A mutation in the BBS2 gene led to the diagnosis of BBS, although the full diagnostic criteria were not met. This case not only highlights the need to raise awareness for BBS but also exposes two limitations of the current diagnostic standard. The first limitation is the low sensitivity of the clinical diagnostic model, due to the progressive onset and the high variability of the syndrome. The second limitation is the unclear role of genetic testing. As genetic testing becomes more widely available, genetic diagnosis preceding clinical diagnosis will become more common, leading to a diagnostic conundrum. We propose an update of the diagnostic model. A less strict application in the presence of confirmed genetic mutations should be applied, as this could facilitate earlier diagnosis and intervention. This is important because therapeutic agents are being developed that could have a significant impact on quality of life and prognosis.
Due to the low prevalence, the significant inter-and intrafamilial variation, and the slowly evolving phenotype, monogenic forms of obesity such as Bardet–Biedl syndrome are difficult to diagnose. Despite advances in the understanding of the presentation, pathophysiology and access to accurate genetic characterisation, a substantial number of diagnoses are still made by ophthalmology, as recognition of BBS in other departments of medicine, remains limited.
Clinical diagnosis of BBS is based on Beales’ modified diagnostic criteria which require the presence of four primary features or three primary features plus two secondary features. This model has its limitations. Due to the progressive onset of clinical symptoms, patients generally do not meet the diagnostic criteria early in life, leading to a delay in diagnosis. In addition, the role of genetic testing remains controversial. However, as it becomes more widely available, genetic diagnosis may precede a full clinical diagnosis.
BBS has an impact on the quality of life and prognosis of both the patient and the family. Obesity management strategies are an important part of the multidisciplinary approach, as there is no cure available. Setmelanotide has shown promising results in a phase 3 trial, but its effect in clinical practice remains unproven.
There is a scarcity of literature relating to post-bariatric hypoglycaemia (PBH) in pregnancy. Recurrent hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia can have significant consequences for both the mother and the developing fetus. We describe a case of a young pregnant woman who was diagnosed with symptomatic PBH in the second trimester of pregnancy using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) 3 years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. Instigating a low glycaemic index and complex carbohydrate diet significantly improved the patient’s glycaemic excursions. Given that this condition is likely underdiagnosed as a complication of RYGB surgery, a greater awareness of this complication is needed. Patients should be adequately consented pre-operatively for this relatively frequent late surgical complication to enable patients to identify symptoms of this condition at an early stage and seek medical treatment.
PBH is an important diagnosis in patients post-RYGB surgery, particularly in women of childbearing age when consequences of both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia during pregnancy can adversely affect both mother and the fetus.
Adverse outcomes of recurrent hypoglycaemia to the fetus can include small for gestational age, intrauterine growth restriction and possible impairment of beta cell function.
Providing adequate carbohydrate intake to allow growth of the fetus during pregnancy while also attempting to resolve both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia associated with PBH by reducing the intake of simple carbohydrates and high glycaemic index foods can prove challenging.
Patients should be adequately consented for late complications of RYGB surgery such as PBH in order to allow early recognition of symptoms and enable prompt treatment.
Endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary are a subtype of epithelial ovarian tumors, with sertoliform endometrioid carcinomas being a rare variant. We report a case of a previously healthy premenopausal woman presenting with androgenic symptoms in the form of hirsutism and male pattern alopecia. On further testing, she was found to have high levels of luteinizing hormone and total testosterone levels, and imaging revealed a large pelvic abdominal mass in the right ovary. She underwent total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Microscopy and histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of sertoliform endometrioid carcinoma. Her symptoms improved significantly on follow-up. Androgenic tumors might not be common in premenopausal women; however, it is important to maintain a high level of suspicion in patients presenting with virilizing symptoms especially of rapid progression.
Our 47-year-old patient presented with virilizing symptoms that were rapidly progressing, which raises the suspicion of an underlying androgen secreting neoplasm.
Sertoliform endometrioid carcinoma (SEC) is an extremely rare variant of endometrioid carcinomas and tend to present at an earlier stage as compared to most endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary.
Recognition of SEC in virilizing patients is important as it is a well-differentiated, low-grade malignancy with a good prognosis when confined to the ovary.
Neonatal hypoglycemia is a serious condition that can have a major impact on the growing neonatal brain. The differential diagnosis of neonatal hypoglycemia is broad and includes hyperinsulinism as well as panhypopituitarism. The FOXA2 gene has been involved in the development of the pancreas as well as the pituitary gland. Six cases have been reported thus far with FOXA2 mutations presenting with variable degrees of hypopituitarism, and only two patients had permanent hyperinsulinism; other cases have been reported with microdeletions in 20p11, the location that encompasses FOXA2, and those patients presented with a wider phenotype. A full-term female infant presented with severe hypoglycemia. Critical sampling showed an insulin of 1 mIU/mL, suppressed beta-hydroxybutyric acids, and suppressed free fatty acids. Blood glucose responded to glucagon administration. Growth hormone (GH) stimulation test later showed undetectable GH in all samples, and cortisol failed to respond appropriately to stimulation. Gonadotropins were undetectable at 1 month of life, and MRI showed ectopic posterior pituitary, interrupted stalk, hypoplastic anterior pituitary, cavum septum pellucidum, and diminutive appearance of optic nerves. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a likely pathogenic de novo c.604 T>C, p.Tyr202His FOXA2 mutation. We expand the known phenotype on FOXA2 mutations and report a likely pathogenic, novel mutation associated with hyperinsulinism and panhypopituitarism.
FOXA2 has been shown to play an important role in the neuroectodermal and endodermal development.
FOXA2 mutation may lead to the rare combination of hyperinsulinism and panhypopituitarism.
Patients reported so far all responded well to diazoxide. Dysmorphology may be subtle, and liver functions should be monitored.
A 55-year-old patient was admitted to our department for the management of a repetitive alteration of consciousness. Biological investigation results were consistent with endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. Insulinoma was therefore suspected. Abdominal computed tomography and endoscopic ultrasound showed no obvious pancreatic mass.Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy showed abnormal radioactive uptake in both the pancreatic tail and the uncinate process. Contrariwise, abdominal magnetic resonance imaging showed a unique lesion in the pancreas tail. The patient was then proposed for pancreatic surgery. Both intraoperative manual palpation and intraoperative ultrasonography of the pancreas showed a single corporal lesion of 1.5 cm. No lesion was found in the uncinate process. After a left pancreatectomy, the lesion was histopathologically confirmed to be a well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor. The symptoms of the patient resolved almost immediately following the surgery. The follow-up is one and a half years to date.
The exact preoperative localization of the pancreatic mass remains the most challenging part of insulinoma diagnostic workup.
The radiologist’s experience is the best warrantor to a precise localization of the tumor.
111In-DTPA-octreotide uptake in the pancreatic uncinate process may be physiological and its interpretation must, therefore, be vigilant.
Manual palpation along with intraoperative ultrasonography is considered as the most effective method for the localization of insulinomas during open surgery.
3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) lyase deficiency is an inborn error of metabolism resulting in a lack of ketogenesis and leucine catabolism. Hallmarks of decompensation include hypoglycemia without ketosis (or hypoketosis), metabolic acidosis, and hyperammonemia. Management includes avoiding fasting and restricting dietary protein and fat. Conversely, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) requires carbohydrate restriction and/or anti-hyperglycemic agents; thus, managing these co-existing disorders is challenging. A 36-year-old male with HMG-CoA lyase deficiency and T2DM (Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): 7.9%) presented with confusion and shock. Blood work revealed metabolic acidosis, hyperammonemia, hyperglycemia, and hypoketosis. The patient was diagnosed with hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycemia and hyperammonemia secondary to HMG-CoA lyase metabolic decompensation requiring intensive care unit admission. Hyperammonemia management was challenging because alternative calories with i.v. dextrose (due to hyperglycemia) and i.v. lipids (due to HMG-CoA lyase deficiency) could not be provided as usual. The patient was started on hemodialysis and i.v. insulin with marked improvement. Once stabilized, metformin and insulin were initiated. T2DM impaired cellular glucose uptake and produced a state similar to hypoglycemia, despite the patient being profoundly hyperglycemic, which led to metabolic decompensation of HMG-CoA lyase deficiency. Managing T2DM and HMG-CoA lyase deficiency warrants special considerations due to the potential for metabolic decompensation with both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
In a patient with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) lyase deficiency and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), management principles include avoiding hypoglycemia to prevent metabolic decompensation, providing insulin for proper glucose utilization, and moderation of carbohydrate intake to prevent consequences of chronic hyperglycemia.
The development of insulin resistance in the form of T2DM in HMG-CoA lyase deficiency likely triggered a state similar to hypoglycemia, leading to cellular energy deficiency and subsequently metabolic decompensation.
It is important to avoid hypoglycemia in patients with HMG-CoA lyase deficiency and T2DM, as the risk of metabolic decompensation is increased due to the lack of ketogenesis in HMG-CoA lyase deficiency.
Selection of antidiabetic agents in this patient population requires careful consideration, and agents that have a higher risk of hypoglycemia should be avoided.
A 33-year-old female presented in 2013 with left flank pain. Ultrasound and MRI pelvis showed a complex mass 9 × 7 cm arising from the left ovary suggestive of ovarian torsion. She underwent a laparoscopic cystectomy, but the patient was lost to follow-up. Three years later, she presented with abdominal distension. Ultrasound and CT scan revealed a solid left ovarian mass with ascites and multiple peritoneal metastasis. Investigations showed elevated CA 125, CA 19-9. Ovarian malignancy was suspected. She underwent total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy on November 2016. The histopathology confirmed a well-differentiated thyroid cancer of ovarian origin with features of a papillary follicular variant without evidence of ovarian cancer and the thyroglobulin (Tg) level was elevated, more than 400 consistent with the diagnosis of malignant struma ovarii. The follow-up post-surgery showed normalization of CA 125, CA 19-9 and Tg. The patient underwent total thyroidectomy on January 2017. The histology was benign excluding thyroid cancer metastases to the ovary. She was started on thyroxine suppression, following which she received two ablation doses 131iodine (131I) each 5.3 GBq. The Tg remains slightly elevated at less than 10. 131I WBS showed no residual neck uptake and no distant avid metastasis. She was planned for molecular analysis which may indicate disease severity. We describe a case of malignant struma ovarii with widespread metastatic dissemination and a good response to surgery and 131I treatment without recurrence after 5 years of follow-up. The Tg remains slightly elevated indicating minimal stable residual disease.
Malignant struma ovarii is a rare disease; diagnosis is difficult and management is not well defined.
Presentation may mimic advanced carcinoma of the ovary.
Predominant sites of metastasis are adjacent pelvic structures.
Thyroidectomy and 131iodine therapy should be considered. The management should be similar to that of metastatic thyroid cancer.
Iftikhar JanPaediatric Surgery Division, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Asma DeebPediatric Endocrinology Division, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The most frequent causes of pancreatitis classically have been known to be gallstones or alcohol. However, genetics can also play a key role in predisposing patients to both chronic and acute pancreatitis. The serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK 1) gene is known to be strongly associated with pancreatitis. Patients with these underlying genetic mutations can have severe diseases with a high morbidity rate and frequent hospitalization. We report an Arab girl who presented with acute pancreatitis at the age of 7 years progressing to recurrent chronic pancreatitis over a few years. She had severe obesity from the age of 4 years and developed type 2 diabetes at the age of 12. She had a normal biliary system anatomy. Genetic analysis showed that she had combined heterozygous mutations in the SPINK1 gene (SPINK1, c.101A>G p.(Asn34Ser) and SPINK1, c.56-37T>C). Her parents were first-degree cousins, but neither had obesity. Mother was detected to have the same mutations. She had type 2 diabetes but never presented with pancreatitis. This case is the first to be reported from the Arab region with these combined mutations leading to recurrent chronic pancreatitis. It illustrates the importance of diagnosing the underlying genetic mutation in the absence of other known causes of pancreatitis. Considering the absence of pancreatitis history in the mother who did not have obesity but harboured the same mutations, we point out that severe obesity might be a triggering factor of pancreatitis in the presence of the mutations in SPINK1 gene in this child. While this is not an assumption from a single patient, we show that not all carriers of this mutation develop the disease even within the same family. Triggering factors like severe obesity might have a role in developing the disease.
Acute recurrent pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are uncommon in children but might be underdiagnosed.
Biliary tract anomalies and dyslipidaemias are known causative factors for pancreatitis, but pancreatitis can be seen in children with intact biliary system.
Genetic diagnosis should be sought in children with pancreatitis in the absence of known underlying predisposing factors.
SPINK1 mutations can predispose to an early-onset severe recurrent pancreatitis and acute pancreatitis.
Congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia (CLAH) is characterized by a defect in the STAR protein-encoding gene that attenuates all steroidogenesis pathways. Herein, we present the first reported case in Saudi Arabia of a 46 XY, phenotypically female infant with an unfamiliar, darkened complexion compared to the family’s skin color. Based on the clinical and biochemical findings, CLAH was diagnosed and glucocorticoid replacement therapy was initiated. As a result, we suggest that pediatricians should always investigate the possibility of adrenal insufficiency when encountering unusual dark skin.
Pediatricians should be prompted to rule out adrenal insufficiency in unexpectedly dark skin neonates.
In such patients, pediatricians should not wait until the neonate develops an adrenal crisis.
A low level of 17-hydroxyprogesterone does not always rule out the possibility of inherited adrenal gland disorders, and additional tests should be performed for early detection.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia and lymphoma (ATLL) and is a rare but important cause of hypercalcemia. A 53-year-old male with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy presented with acute on chronic bilateral lower extremity weakness and numbness. Initial blood work revealed hypercalcemia with corrected calcium of 16.2 mg/dL (8.5–11.5) with normal levels of phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase. Workup for hypercalcemia revealed parathyroid hormone (PTH) of 14 pg/mL (10–65), 25 hydroxy vitamin D at 19.6 ng/mL (30–100), 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D at 6.7 pg/mL (19.9–79.3), thyroid-stimulating hormone of 1.265 μIU/mL (0.5–5), undetectable PTH-related protein (PTHrP) and lactate dehydrogenase of 433 U/L (100–220). The urine calcium creatinine ratio was 0.388. Reverse transcriptase PCR was positive for HTLV-1 and negative for HTLV-2. Peripheral blood flow cytometry and lymph node biopsy confirmed ATLL. He received treatment with fluids, calcitonin and denosumab after which serum calcium levels fell (nadir: 7.7 mg/dL) and then normalized. Humoral hypercalcemia in this setting is mediated by receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), PTHrP and other cytokines. PTHrP levels depend on levels of the TAX gene product, cell type and lymphocyte-specific factors. Thus, a low level, like in our patient, does not rule out HTLV-1 infection/ATLL as the cause of hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is known to be responsive to monoclonal antibodies against RANKL given the compound’s role in mediating hypercalcemia in these cases.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1 infection and adult T-cell leukemia and lymphoma are associated with high rates of hypercalcemia and hypercalcemic crises.
Hypercalcemia in these cases is mediated by osteoclastic bone resorption carried out by several agents including receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha, interleukins, etc. A normal PTHRrP does not rule out humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy in this setting, as indicated by this case.
Hypercalcemia in such settings is highly responsive to monoclonal antibodies against RANKL given the role the ligand plays in resorptive hypercalcemia.