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Open access

Elaine E Sanderson, Mark Shah, Amanda J Hooper, Damon A Bell, and Catherine S Choong

Summary

We report a case of an 11-year-old girl presenting with a new diagnosis of diabetes associated with a heterozygous missense mutation in the insulin receptor (INSR) gene. This case highlights that INSR gene variants can be a cause for monogenic diabetes in children and adolescents and the need for genetic evaluation in atypical presentations of diabetes. We also describe the possible role of metformin in treating individuals with type A insulin resistance syndrome due to INSR gene variants.

Learning points

  • Insulin receptor (INSR) gene variants can be a cause of monogenic diabetes in children and adolescents.

  • Genetic evaluation should be considered in children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes (T2D), particularly where there is an atypical presentation and/or positive family history.

  • Metformin may have a role in the treatment of type A insulin resistance syndrome due to heterozygous mutation of the INSR gene.

Open access

Alexandra Stephenson, Zoya Punjwani, Markus Eszlinger, Beata Sawicka, Artur Bossowski, and Ralf Paschke

Summary

Familial nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism (FNAH) is rare and occurs due to a constitutively activating thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) germline mutation. Forty-one families with FNAH have been reported so far. In the study, 17 of 41 families were not diagnosed with FNAH until three generations or more were described with hyperthyroidism. We report a case of FNAH diagnosed in the third generation. The index patient was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at age 3. Large fluctuations in thyroid hormone levels occurred during anti-thyroid drug treatment, and he developed a goiter. The patient’s mother had similar history, requiring two surgical interventions and radioiodine treatment. The younger brother of the index patient did not experience large thyroid hormone level fluctuations, nor increased thyroid growth. A heterozygous TSHR c.1357A>G mutation, resulting in a M453V amino acid exchange, was detected in all three patients leading to FNAH diagnosis, with complete genotype–phenotype segregation. Based on Sorting intolerant from tolerant (SIFT) and PolyPhen2 scores of 0.01 and 0.99, respectively, an effect on protein function can be assumed. As illustrated by this family with FNAH, total thyr oidectomy is necessary for patients with nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism. Development of goiter is common, anti-thyroid drug treatment is often difficult, and remission of hyperthyroidism does not occur after discontinuation of anti-thyroid drug treatment. Thus, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of FNAH is necessary to avoid predictable, unnecessary complications and further surgical interventions.

Learning points

  • In the study, 19/42 cases of familial nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism (FNAH), including the reported case, were not diagnosed as FNAH until the third generation; this lead to suboptimal treatment and frequent relapses of nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism (NAH).

  • Detection of thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) mutations in patients with suspected FNAH to confirm diagnosis is essential to ensure proper treatment for the patient and further affected family members.

  • NAH will persist without proper treatment by total thyroidectomy.

  • Symptoms and age of onset may vary between family members

  • All family members with a TSHR germline mutation should be monitored with thyroid-stimulating hormone and for symptoms throughout their lives.

Open access

Darija Tudor, Iva Kolombo, Ana Tot, Drasko Cikojevic, Marko Simunovic, and Veselin Skrabic

Summary

This is a case report of a child with chronic hyponatremia due to the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) as a paraneoplastic manifestation of olfactory neuroblastoma (OFN). We hereby report a clinical presentation as well as a pragmatic approach to one of the most common electrolytic disorders in the pediatric population and have emphasized the necessity of involving the sinonasal area in the diagnostic procedure while evaluating possible causes of SIADH. This report indicates that the chronicity of the process along with the gradual onset of hyponatremia occurrence is responsible for the lack of neurological symptoms at the moment of disease presentation.

Learning points

  • Hyponatremia is not infrequently attributed to SIADH.

  • Paraneoplastic syndromes are uncommon but they should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pediatric SIADH.

  • Chronic insidious hyponatremia may not be associated with clear neurological symptoms despite its severity.

Open access

Amir Babiker, Wejdan Al Hamdan, Sondos Kinani, Yasser Kazzaz, Abdelhadi Habeb, Talal Al Harbi, Mohammed Al Dubayee, M Al Namshan, and Abdul Aleem Attasi

Summary

The use of antihypertensive medications in patients with pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PCC/PG) is usually a challenge. We report a case of familial paraganglioma that was successfully treated by esmolol and other antihypertensive medications without associated perioperative complications. Our patient was an 11-year-old girl who presented with classic symptoms and signs of PCC/PG and a CT scan of the abdomen that showed a right-sided paravertebral mass. Her father was diagnosed with paraganglioma a few years ago. Prazosin had been started but she continued to experience uncontrolled paroxysms of blood pressure (BP). She was known to have asthma; hence, she developed serious bronchospasm with atenolol. She was, therefore, switched to esmolol that successfully controlled her BP in addition to prazosin and intermittent doses of hydralazine prior to laparoscopic surgery with no side effects of medications or postoperative complications. Esmolol could be a good alternative to routinely used beta-blockers in children with PCC/PG with labile hypertension and related symptoms in the pre and intra-operative periods. It is titrable, effective, and can be weaned rapidly helping to avoid postoperative complications. Further larger studies on the use of esmolol in children with PCC/PG are needed to confirm our observation.

Learning points

  • In addition to alpha-blockers, esmolol could be a good alternative for routinely used beta-blockers to control paroxysmal hypertension and tachycardia in the pre- and intra-operative periods.

  • Esmolol is titrable and an effective beta-blocker. It can be weaned rapidly helping to avoid postoperative complications in children with PCC/PG.

  • Children with PCC/PG and other comorbidity like asthma may particularly benefit from the use of esmolol due to no or less side effects on airway resistance and the advantage of rapid titration of the medication compared to other beta-blockers.

Open access

Vinaya Srirangam Nadhamuni, Donato Iacovazzo, Jane Evanson, Anju Sahdev, Jacqueline Trouillas, Lorraine McAndrew, Tom R Kurzawinski, David Bryant, Khalid Hussain, Satya Bhattacharya, and Márta Korbonits

Summary

A male patient with a germline mutation in MEN1 presented at the age of 18 with classical features of gigantism. Previously, he had undergone resection of an insulin-secreting pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (pNET) at the age of 10 years and had subtotal parathyroidectomy due to primary hyperparathyroidism at the age of 15 years. He was found to have significantly elevated serum IGF-1, GH, GHRH and calcitonin levels. Pituitary MRI showed an overall bulky gland with a 3 mm hypoechoic area. Abdominal MRI showed a 27 mm mass in the head of the pancreas and a 6 mm lesion in the tail. Lanreotide-Autogel 120 mg/month reduced GHRH by 45% and IGF-1 by 20%. Following pancreaticoduodenectomy, four NETs were identified with positive GHRH and calcitonin staining and Ki-67 index of 2% in the largest lesion. The pancreas tail lesion was not removed. Post-operatively, GHRH and calcitonin levels were undetectable, IGF-1 levels normalised and GH suppressed normally on glucose challenge. Post-operative fasting glucose and HbA1c levels have remained normal at the last check-up. While adolescent-onset cases of GHRH-secreting pNETs have been described, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of ectopic GHRH in a paediatric setting leading to gigantism in a patient with MEN1. Our case highlights the importance of distinguishing between pituitary and ectopic causes of gigantism, especially in the setting of MEN1, where paediatric somatotroph adenomas causing gigantism are extremely rare.

Learning points

  • It is important to diagnose gigantism and its underlying cause (pituitary vs ectopic) early in order to prevent further growth and avoid unnecessary pituitary surgery. The most common primary tumour sites in ectopic acromegaly include the lung (53%) and the pancreas (34%) (): 76% of patients with a pNET secreting GHRH showed a MEN1 mutation ().

  • Plasma GHRH testing is readily available in international laboratories and can be a useful diagnostic tool in distinguishing between pituitary acromegaly mediated by GH and ectopic acromegaly mediated by GHRH. Positive GHRH immunostaining in the NET tissue confirms the diagnosis.

  • Distinguishing between pituitary (somatotroph) hyperplasia secondary to ectopic GHRH and pituitary adenoma is difficult and requires specialist neuroradiology input and consideration, especially in the MEN1 setting. It is important to note that the vast majority of GHRH-secreting tumours (lung, pancreas, phaeochromocytoma) are expected to be visible on cross-sectional imaging (median diameter 55 mm) (). Therefore, we suggest that a chest X-ray and an abdominal ultrasound checking the adrenal glands and the pancreas should be included in the routine work-up of newly diagnosed acromegaly patients.

Open access

Kara Alex-Ann Beliard, Srinidhi Shyamkumar, Preneet Cheema Brar, and Robert Rapaport

Summary

We describe a case of an infant who presented with clinical features of hyperthyroidism. The child was found to be tachycardic, hypertensive and diaphoretic, she was noted to have poor weight gain and difficulty in sleeping. The child was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for care. She was found to have biochemical evidence of hyperthyroidism with positive thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. She responded well to methimazole and propranolol and had a remarkable recovery. She is the youngest patient to be diagnosed with Graves disease in the English literature, at 12 months of life.

Learning points

  • Hyperthyroidism must always be considered even at very young age, for patient presenting with poor weight gain and hyperdynamic state.

  • Autoimmune diseases are becoming more common in infancy.

  • Craniosynostosis and increased height for age are well-documented consequences of untreated hyperthyroidism in developing children.

Open access

Asmahan Abdalla, Mohammed Abdulrahman Alhassan, Reem Tawfeeg, Ayman Sanad, Hasan Tawamie, and Mohamed Abdullah

Summary

Systemic pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 (PHA1) is a rare genetic syndrome of tissue unresponsiveness to aldosterone caused by mutations affecting the epithelial Na channel (ENaC). The classical presentation is life-threatening neonatal/infantile salt-losing crises that mimic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Consistently, extra-renal manifestations, including respiratory symptoms that resemble cystic fibrosis, are well reported. Clinical diagnosis is made by the presence of hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis, respiratory symptoms, evidence of high renal and extra-renal salt loss in addition to high plasma renin and aldosterone levels. We herein report a novel manifestation of PHA1: episodic dyslipidemia in a 7-month-old Sudanese boy that occurred during the salt-losing crises. Whole exome sequencing of the patient revealed one homozygous missense variant c.1636G>A p.(Asp546Asn) in the SCNN1B gene, confirming our clinical and laboratory findings that were compatible with PHA1. This report aims to highlight the possible explanation of dyslipidemia in PHA1 and its expected consequences in the long term.

Learning points

  • A child presenting with features that mimic salt-losing congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) crises that do not respond to glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid therapy should alert the pediatricians to the possibility of end-organ resistance to aldosterone.

  • Pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 (PHA1) can be diagnosed even in the absence of advanced laboratory investigations.

  • To our knowledge, this is the first case of systemic PHA1 to have a documented episodic dyslipidemia (primarily as marked hypertriglyceridemia).

Open access

Angelika Mohn, Nella Polidori, Chiara Aiello, Cristiano Rizzo, Cosimo Giannini, Francesco Chiarelli, and Marco Cappa

Summary

Adrenoleukodystrophy is a peroxisomal X-linked recessive disease caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene, located on the X-chromosome (Xq28). Gene mutations in patient with adrenoleukodystrophy induce metabolic alterations characterized by impaired peroxisomal beta-oxidation and accumulation of very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) in plasma and in all tissues. Although nutritional intervention associated with a various mixture of oil prevents the accumulation of VLCFA, to date no causal treatment is available. Therefore, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and gene therapy are allowed only for very early stages of cerebral forms diagnosed during childhood.We reported a case series describing five family members affected by X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy caused by a novel mutation of the ABCD1 gene. Particularly, three brothers were affected while the sister and mother carried the mutation of the ABCD1 gene. In this family, the disease was diagnosed at different ages and with different clinical pictures highlighting the wide range of phenotypes related to this novel mutation. In addition, these characteristics stress the relevant role of early diagnosis to properly set a patient-based follow-up.

Learning points

  • We report a novel mutation in the ABCD1 gene documented in a family group associated to an X-ALD possible Addison only phenotype.

  • All patients present just Addison disease but with different phenotypes despite the presence of the same mutations. Further follow-up is necessary to complete discuss the clinical development.

  • The diagnosis of ALD needs to be included in the differential diagnosis in all patients with idiopathic PAI through accurate evaluation of VLCFA concentrations and genetic confirmation testing.

  • Early diagnosis of neurological manifestation is important in order to refer timely to HSCT.

  • Further follow-up of these family members is necessary to characterize the final phenotype associated with this new mutation.

Open access

Carolina Chaves, Mariana Chaves, João Anselmo, and Rui César

Summary

Berardinelli–Seip congenital lipodystrophy (BSCL) is a rare autosomal recessive disease, characterized by the absence of subcutaneous adipose tissue, leptin deficiency and severe metabolic complications, such as insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. The most common mutation occurs in BCSL2 which encodes seipin, a protein involved in adipogenesis. We report a patient with BSCL who was diagnosed with diabetes at 11 years old. He was started on metformin 1000 mg twice daily, which lowered glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to less than 7%. Four months later, HbA1c raised above 7.5%, indicating secondary failure to metformin. Therefore, we added the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARG) agonist, pioglitazone. Since then and for the last 5 years his HbA1c has been within the normal range. These findings indicate that pioglitazone should be considered as a valid alternative in the treatment of diabetes in BSCL patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first specific report of successful long-term treatment with pioglitazone in a patient with BSCL.

Learning points

  • Berardinelli–Seip congenital lipodystrophy (BSCL) is a recessive genetic disorder associated with severe insulin resistance and early onset diabetes, usually around puberty. Failure of oral antidiabetic medication occurs within the first years of treatment in BSCL patients.

  • When failure to achieve metabolic control with metformin occurs, pioglitazone may be a safe option, lowering insulin resistance and improving both the metabolic control and lipodystrophic phenotype.

  • Herein we show that pioglitazone can be a safe and efficient alternative in the long-term treatment of BSCL patients with diabetes.

Open access

Celina Caetano, Jennifer Stroop, Faripour Forouhar, Andrea Orsey, and Carl Malchoff

Summary

Familial paraganglioma syndrome type 1 (PGL-1) is maternally imprinted, caused by SDHD mutations on the paternally inherited allele, and presents with paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas that are usually benign. We describe a kindred with a germline c.57delG SDHD mutation that demonstrates an aggressive and possibly expanded phenotype. Eight individuals across four generations were heterozygous for the c.57delG SDHD mutation. The three with known paternal inheritance were clinically affected. The aggressive phenotype was manifested by a neck paraganglioma with distant metastases, and to a lesser degree a neck paraganglioma infiltrating into local connective tissue and a pheochromocytoma presenting at age 8 y. A pulmonary capillary hemangioma may expand the SDHD phenotype. We conclude that the c.57delG SDHD mutation may confer a more aggressive and possibly expanded phenotype than other SDHD mutations.

Learning points:

  • The c.57delG SDHD mutation may confer a more aggressive phenotype than other mutations associated with familial paraganglioma syndrome type 1.

  • A capillary hemangioma, a component of other pseudohypoxia states, was observed in the lung of a single member of the c.57delG SDHD kindred.

  • This report supports the hypothesis of others that mutations found near the beginning of the SDHD open reading frame are more likely to demonstrate an aggressive phenotype.