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Open access

M Lockhart, E Ali, M Mustafa, W Tormey, S Sreenan, A Saaed, and JH McDermott


A patient treated with intramuscular testosterone replacement therapy for primary hypogonadism developed blurred vision shortly after receiving his testosterone injection. The symptom resolved over subsequent weeks and recurred after his next injection. A diagnosis of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSR) was confirmed following ophthalmology review. A decision was made to change the patient’s testosterone regime from this 12-weekly intramuscular injection to a daily topical testosterone gel, given the possibility that peak blood levels of testosterone following intramuscular injection were causing his ocular complaint. His CSR did not recur after this change in treatment. CSR secondary to testosterone therapy is a rare finding but has been reported previously in the literature.

Learning Points

  • Blurred vision in patients treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should prompt an ophthalmology review.

  • The potential for reduced risk of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSR) with daily transdermal testosterone remains a matter of conjecture.

  • CSR is a rare potential side effect of TRT.

Open access

Benthe A M Dijkman, Christel J M de Blok, Koen M A Dreijerink, and Martin den Heijer


A 31-year-old woman with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) experienced breast volume fluctuations during biphasic hormone replacement therapy consisting of estradiol and cyclical dydrogesterone, a progestin. 3D breast volume measurements showed a 100 cc volume (17%) difference between estradiol monotherapy and combined estradiol and dydrogesterone treatment. Progestogen-dependent breast volume changes have not been reported in the literature. Our findings suggest a correlation between progestogen use and breast volume. Due to the rapid cyclical changes, we hypothesize that the effect is caused by fluid retention.

Learning points

  • There is limited reports available on the effects of progesterone on breast development and volume.

  • 3D imaging provides an easy-to-use method to quantify breast volume.

  • The patient in our case description clearly showed that cyclic progesterone use might induce substantial cyclic changes in breast volume.

  • In women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), monotherapy with estrogen or continuous supplementation of progesterone might be preferable over cyclic progesterone use.

Open access

Valentim Lopes, Catarina Machado, and Adriana De Sousa Lages


We report a case of a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer who unintentionally started gaining weight, feeling tired, and constipated 44 weeks after the initiation of trastuzumab. Hypothyroidism secondary to an autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab was diagnosed, the first case described in Portugal and the fourth case described worldwide. Our intention regarding the publication of this case report is to alert the clinicians treating people with trastuzumab that they should ask the patients about symptoms of hypothyroidism and should screen the thyroid function of the patients before, during, and after the initiation of trastuzumab.

Learning points

  • Trastuzumab is a humanized MAB used in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.

  • Trastuzumab-associated autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is rare (incidence rate in an RCT of 0.3%).

  • Manifestations of autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab resemble those of hypothyroidism in other clinical contexts, but the presence of goiter is highlighted as a reason for medical evaluation. Biochemically, it is characterized by an increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with or without a low FT4/FT3, and sonographically with a pattern of thyroiditis.

  • The treatment consists of levothyroxine, in a dose of 1.6–1.8 µg/kg/day, with re-evaluation of the thyroid function in 4–6 weeks.

  • We report the first case of autoimmune thyroiditis secondary to trastuzumab in Portugal.

  • It is important to evaluate the thyroid function before, during, and after the initiation of this therapeutic agent.

Open access

Sue Sleiman, Feyrous Bacha, and David J Handelsman


We report the successful delivery of a healthy baby after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with frozen-thawed autologous sperm, cryostored for 26 years, the longest successful autologous sperm cryostorage reported. Sperm was cryostored for a 15-year-old boy at the time of his cancer diagnosis. Semen samples were frozen with cryoprotectant, using a graduated vapour-phase nitrogen protocol. Straws were stored in a large vapour-phase nitrogen tank until transfer for use. The couple underwent a single ICSI–in vitro fertilisation procedure using the frozen-thawed sperm with a transfer of five fertilised embryos, resulting in the live birth of a healthy baby boy. This reinforces the importance of offering sperm cryopreservation to men who have not completed their family prior to gonadotoxic treatment for cancer or other diseases. As practical, low-cost fertility insurance, it should be offered to any young man who can collect semen and it provides essentially unlimited duration of fertility preservation.

Learning points

  • Gonadotoxic chemo or radiotherapy treatment for cancer or other diseases usually causes temporary or permanent male infertility.

  • Sperm cryostorage serves as a practical, low-cost insurance to facilitate future paternity.

  • All men who have not completed their families and are scheduled for gonadotoxic treatments should be offered sperm cryostorage.

  • There is no lower age limit for young men who can collect semen.

  • Sperm cryostorage offers essentially indefinite duration for the preservation of male fertility.

Open access

Aneez Joseph, Kripa Elizabeth Cherian, Nitin Kapoor, and Thomas V Paul


Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia secondary to proximal renal tubular dysfunction is not an uncommon complication known to occur. A 46-year-old woman was referred for the evaluation of osteoporosis which was diagnosed elsewhere. She had polyarthralgia, bony pains and proximal muscle weakness of 1 year duration. She was diagnosed to have HIV infection and was on antiretroviral therapy that consisted of tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz for the past 12 years. She had attained menopause 5 years back. On examination, she had bone tenderness, proximal myopathy and painful restriction of movement of her lower limbs. Investigations showed features of renal tubular acidosis, hypophosphatemia and raised alkaline phosphatase that were suggestive of osteomalacia. X-ray of the pelvis showed diffuse osteopenia and an MRI of the pelvis done showed multiple insufficiency fractures involving the head of femur on both sides. Following this, her tenofovir-based regimen was changed to abacavir, efavirenz and lamivudine with addition of neutral phosphate supplements and calcitriol. On follow-up after 6 months, she had significant improvement in her symptoms as well as in the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine (33.2%), femoral neck (27.6%), trabecular bone score (13.2%) and reduction in the buckling ratio at the narrow neck (6.3%), inter-trochanteric region (34%) and femoral shaft (28.8%). Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia is encountered in individuals on prolonged treatment with tenofovir. Treatment consists of changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen, as well as supplementation of phosphate and calcitriol. Treatment results in remarkable improvement in symptoms and most densitometric indices.

Learning points

  • Tenofovir is a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and is a major drug in the treatment of retroviral and hepatitis B infections.

  • Tenofovir-related hypophosphatemic osteomalacia is related to proximal tubulopathy and is not an uncommon occurrence.

  • Treatment mandates changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen with supplementation of neutral phosphate and calcitriol.

  • Treatment results in a significant improvement in bone mineral density, trabecular bone score and hip geometric parameters.

Open access

Norio Wada, Arina Miyoshi, Shuhei Baba, Hajime Sugawara, and Shinji Obara


A 40-year-old Japanese woman presented to the outpatient clinic with fever and palpitations 2 days after receiving the influenza vaccine (Influenza HA Vaccine ‘KMB’®) following the second dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine Moderna intramuscular injection®). At the first visit, the patient presented with a swollen thyroid gland with mild tenderness, and she was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) based on the presence of thyrotoxicosis (free T3: 5.42 pg/mL; free T4: 2.34 ng/dL; and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): <0.01 μIU/mL), a high C-reactive protein level (5.77 mg/dL), a negative TSH receptor antibody, and characteristic ultrasound findings. The patient’s human leukocyte antigen types were A2, A11, B35, B51, DR4, and DR1403. Prednisolone (15 mg/day) was given as an initial dose, after which the fever subsided, and the dose was tapered and discontinued after 6 weeks. The patient was thought to have developed SAT due to influenza vaccination. SAT after influenza vaccination may be overlooked. For patients with SAT, it is necessary to obtain information regarding their vaccination history.

Learning points

  • After influenza vaccination, subacute thyroiditis (SAT) may develop.

  • If persistent fever, anterior neck pain, swelling, tenderness of the thyroid gland, and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are observed immediately after vaccination for several viruses, including influenza, an examination to rule out the onset of SAT is recommended.

  • Human leukocyte antigen type A2 (HLA-A2) and HLA-B35 may be linked to the development of SAT following influenza vaccination.

  • The two doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine given before the influenza vaccine may affect the onset of SAT.

Open access

Melanie Scheive, Neha Patel, and Zeb Saeed


Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) is a rare complication of hyperthyroidism triggered by precipitants that increase the activity of the sodium-potassium pump in the skeletal muscle. In our case study, a previously healthy 34-year-old male presented to the emergency department with new onset thyrotoxicosis, secondary to Graves’ disease. Given the severity of his triiodothyronine (T3) thyrotoxicosis, he was admitted and started on a high dose of beta-blocker, thioamides, and intravenous hydrocortisone. On the second day of his hospitalization, he developed acute flaccid paralysis of his lower extremities. Subsequent stroke workup was negative, and his electrolytes revealed severe hypokalemia and hyperglycemia consistent with TPP. He was treated with potassium and had a complete recovery of his paralysis and hypokalemia within hours. The patient has not had any recurrence since this singular episode in the hospital. This case highlights the scenario where the treatment of hyperthyroidism with high-dose corticosteroids to reduce the conversion of thyroxine to T3 inadvertently resulted in TPP. Clinicians should be aware of this potentially rare but serious consequence of using steroids to manage hyperthyroidism.

Learning points

  • High-dose steroids used to treat hyperthyroidism in hospitalized patients may rarely precipitate thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) by inducing hypokalemia and hyperglycemia.

  • TPP should be included in the differential diagnosis for acute flaccid paralysis in hospitalized patients with hyperthyroidism.

  • Since TPP is associated with trans-cellular shifts in potassium instead of total body potassium depletion, conservative repletion of potassium is recommended to avoid rebound hyperkalemia.

Open access

Paula Condé Lamparelli Elias, Marcelo Volpon, Giovana de Gobbi Azevedo, Helio Machado, Gabriel Henrique Marques Gonçalves, Antonio Carlos Santos, Livia M Mermejo, Margaret de Castro, and Ayrton C Moreira


Postoperative (PO) complications after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) are rare when performed in pituitary referral centers. Partial hypopituitarism is more frequent and somewhat expected. Meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and visual deficits are unusual. Cerebrovascular complications, including cerebral vasospasm are rare, usually under-appreciated and not mentioned to the patient prior to the surgery. This is a report of a 51-year-old male with a non-functioning pituitary macroadenoma presenting with partial hypopituitarism and visual field loss. The patient was submitted to an uneventful TSS. On the first PO day, he developed a left palpebral ptosis with unequal pupils and impaired consciousness (12 points on Glasgow Coma Scale). CT scan revealed a perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) grade 1 according to the modified Fisher scale. High-dose dexamethasone (16 mg/day) was initiated and the patient became more alert (Glasgow 14). On the fifth PO day, due to progression of the neurological deficits (left III, IV, and VI cranial nerves palsy, ataxia, dysdiadochokinesia, right dysmetria, and dysarthria), a magnetic resonance angiography was obtained and revealed a recent mesencephalic infarct without evident vasospasm. Nevertheless, nimodipine 60 mg 4/4 h was initiated. No improvement was seen after 3 days of treatment. The patient was discharged and put on rehabilitation, returning to normal gait and balance after 7 months. This, therefore, is a case of an unexpected mesencephalic infarct probably due to vasospasm induced by minor SAH. Although exceptionally rare, informing the patient about this event prior to TSS is important due to its significant neurological impact. More data are needed considering preventive treatment with nimodipine as soon as SAH is detected after TSS and whether it would improve neurological outcomes.

Learning points

  • Whenever neurological deficits arise after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS), systemic infection, meningitis, electrolyte imbalance, and evident hemorrhage must be promptly investigated.

  • Although rare, cerebral vasospasm (CVS) after TSS is associated with high morbidity and high mortality rates.

  • Vigilance for vasospasm is necessary for patients undergoing TSS for pituitary adenoma, especially those with significant suprasellar extension.

  • Informing this event to the patient prior to TSS is essential due to its significant morbidity and mortality.

  • Post-TSS subarachnoid hemorrhage and hemiparesis may be important clues indicating CVS and infarction.

  • There is limited evidence in the literature regarding post-TSS CVS surveillance and treatment strategies which could have an impact on clinical decisions.

Open access

Amanda I Martinez and Nicholas Mezitis


Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, also known as Depo-Provera, is a progesterone-only contraceptive that is administered by injection to patients every three months. We describe the case of a 19-year-old female who was diagnosed with central diabetes insipidus following the administration of the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera. The patient was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome at age 16 and was originally prescribed oral contraceptives to restore menstrual regularity. Three years later, Depo-Provera was substituted for convenience, and symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia appeared one month after initiating the progesterone-only regimen. We are proposing that central diabetes insipidus may be a possible adverse effect of Depo-Provera in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who receive the progesterone-only contraception, due to the interference of their arginine vasopressin mechanism through the alteration of estrogen levels. We review potential mechanisms through the presentation of previously completed research in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Learning points

  • We propose that although rare, the decrease in estrogen that is experienced during the administration of Depo-Provera can interfere with arginine vasopressin release in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

  • Increased awareness of possible lasting adverse effects on fluid balance with unopposed progesterone administration in PCOS is important, as this case of the development of diabetes insipidus suggests.

  • Discussion of such potential side effects is important when considering contraceptive options for the regulation of menses in patients with PCOS.

Open access

Caoimhe Casey and Tom Higgins


Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that has previously been described following viral illnesses and occasionally post vaccination such as influenza vaccine. 2021 was a revolutionary year for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations with multiple different vaccines now available. There are increasing numbers of case reports of thyroiditis following these vaccinations. We report a case of a 50-year-old female who developed subacute thyroiditis 6 days post ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222 produced by AstraZeneca Vaxzevria). The initial thyrotoxic phase was followed by overt hypothyroidism. This resolved spontaneously within 5 months without levothyroxine replacement. We hope that our case will add to the growing literature of cases of thyroiditis occurring after multiple different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and create awareness of this rare but treatable adverse effect. We also review the literature on the proposed mechanisms behind this adverse effect.

Learning points

  • Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that can occur after a viral illness or vaccination against certain infections.

  • Subacute thyroiditis is a rare adverse effect that has been reported to occur after different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.

  • Subacute thyroiditis post vaccination is relatively straightforward to manage, with some patients requiring non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers, while more severe cases may require corticosteroid therapy. This adverse effect should not dissuade vaccination use at a population level.

  • There are many postulated mechanisms for the development of subacute thyroiditis following vaccination including the presence of the ACE-2 receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on the thyroid gland, an inflammatory/immune response as is seen in COVID-19 infection itself and molecular mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and healthy thyroid antigen.