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Janani Devaraja, Sarah Sloan, Vicki Lee, and Paul Dimitri

Summary

An 11-year-old girl presented with acute lower limb weakness, dehydration, hypernatraemia and secondary rhabdomyolysis on a background of an 8-month history of polyuria. Radiological investigations revealed a suprasellar tumour which was diagnosed on biopsy as a non-metastatic germinoma. Further endocrinological investigations confirmed panhypopituitarism and she commenced desmopressin, hydrocortisone and thyroxine. Her chemotherapeutic regime consisted of etoposide, carboplatin and ifosfamide, the latter of which required 4 litres of hyperhydration therapy daily. During the first course of ifosfamide, titration of oral desmopressin was trialled but this resulted in erratic sodium control leading to disorientation. Based on limited literature, we then trialled an arginine-vasopressin (AVP) infusion. A sliding scale was developed to adjust the AVP dose, with an aim to achieve a urine output of 3–4 mL/kg/h. During the second course of ifosamide, AVP infusion was commenced at the outset and tighter control of urine output and sodium levels was achieved. In conclusion, we found that an AVP infusion during hyperhydration therapy was required to achieve eunatraemia in a patient with cranial diabetes insipidus. Developing an AVP sliding scale requires individual variation; further reports/case series are required to underpin practice.

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Open access

Michele Fosci, Francesca Pigliaru, Antonio Stefano Salcuni, Massimo Ghiani, Maria Valeria Cherchi, Maria Antonietta Calia, Andrea Loviselli, and Fernanda Velluzzi

Summary

A 62-year-old patient with metastatic hypopharyngeal carcinoma underwent treatment with nivolumab, following which he developed symptoms suggestive of diabetes insipidus. Nivolumab was stopped and therapy with methylprednisolone was started. During corticosteroid therapy, the patient presented himself in poor health condition with fungal infection and glycemic decompensation. Methylprednisolone dose was tapered off, leading to the resolution of mycosis and the restoration of glycemic compensation, nevertheless polyuria and polydipsia persisted. Increase in urine osmolarity after desmopressin administration was made diagnosing central diabetes insipidus as a possibility. The neuroradiological data by pituitary MRI scan with gadolinium was compatible with coexistence of metastatic localization and infundibulo-neurohypophysitis secondary to therapy with nivolumab. To define the exact etiology of the pituitary pathology, histological confirmation would have been necessary; however, unfortunately, it was not possible. In the absence of histological confirmation, we believe it is likely that both pathologies coexisted.

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Nina Dauth, Victoria T Mücke, Marcus M Mücke, Christian M Lange, Martin Welker, Stefan Zeuzem, and Klaus Badenhoop

Summary

Wilson’s disease (WD) is a rare disorder of copper metabolism usually presenting with variable liver damage and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Here we report a 39-year-old Taiwanese female with late manifestation of WD presenting with gonadotroph, thyreotroph and corticotroph hypopituitarism. Molecular genetic testing revealed compound heterozygosity for two mutations in exons 12 and 14 (c.2828G>A and c.3140A>T). Copper-chelating therapy with D-penicillamine and zinc was initiated along with supplementation of hydrocortisone and L-thyroxine. Hypopituitarism resolved when urinary copper excretion returned to normal levels under copper chelation. This case should raise awareness of pituitary function in WD patients.

Learning points

  • Hypopituitarism can complicate Wilson’s disease (WD) and endocrinologists should be aware of it when caring for hypopituitary patients.
  • Hepatologists should consider endocrinologic testing for hypopituitarism when WD patients present with symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, thyroid or gonadal dysfunction.
  • Copper-chelating treatment is mandatory and may lead to the recovery of pituitary function in such patients.
Open access