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Open access

Hessa Boharoon, Shaunak Navalkissoor, Tu Vinh Luong, Martyn Caplin, and Ashley Grossman

Summary

Insulinomas are rare pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) that are typically sporadic and solitary, with the majority being <2 cm in diameter at diagnosis. The median duration of symptoms before diagnosis is variable; however, this is usually in the region of 12–18 months. We report on an insulinoma diagnosed some 25 years following initial symptoms, having by that stage attained a diameter of 4 cm. We present a 50-year-old man who was reported with hypoglycaemic symptoms on his wedding 25 years prior to eventual confirmation of an insulinoma. He had since learned to live with the symptoms by eating frequently to manage his hypoglycaemia. However, over recent months, he reported a substantial deterioration in his symptoms, and indeed, had collapsed on two occasions. He had a fasting glucose of 2.9 mmol/L with grossly inappropriate elevated insulin and C-peptide levels. MRI demonstrated a 4.1 cm lesion at the body of pancreas and an indeterminate 9-mm liver lesion with a negative 68Gallium-DOTATATE PET scan. Accordingly, he was initiated on diazoxide and referred to the surgical team for distal pancreatectomy: histology confirmed a 4.4-cm well-differentiated pancreatic NEN of intermediate grade (NEN G2, Grade 2, 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) pancreatic-NEN classification), with positive immunohistochemistry for insulin. His hypoglycaemia episodes have ceased, and he remains under active surveillance. Our case demonstrates the possibility of dietary control of insulinoma-induced hypoglycaemia, and the likelihood that such a prolonged delay in diagnosis has led to the uncommonly large size of the apparently benign tumour which is usually ‘small and indolent’.

Learning points

  • Most patients with insulinomas have lesions that are 1–2 cm in size, with 96% being less than 3 cm.

  • The mean tumour size of insulinomas found in 3 of the largest reported series was 1.5 cm, with a range of 0.1–7.0 cm.

  • It is not uncommon for patients to have symptoms for several months to years before diagnosis; however, no reported cases had the symptoms such long for 25 years, and the large size of the tumour in this case may reflect the very long history.

Open access

Matthew J Verheyden, Natassia Rodrigo, Anthony J Gill, and Sarah J Glastras

Summary

Necrobiosis lipoidica (NL) is a rare and chronic disease characterised by yellow-brown, atrophic, telangiectatic plaques usually located on the lower extremities, with pathological features of collagen necrobiosis and dermal inflammation. Most cases are seen in those with diabetes mellitus, particularly type 1 diabetes (T1DM), and many without diabetes have evidence of abnormal glucose tolerance or family history of autoimmune disease. In this study, we describe four patients with NL and T1DM. A common theme is late identification and delay in diagnosis. Hence, we discuss the clinical features, need for clinicopathological correlation, and the management and prognostic implications for this distinctive entity. While most remain relatively asymptomatic, others progress to debilitating disease with pruritus, dysesthesia, and pain. Pain is often intense in the presence of ulcerated plaques, a morbid complication of NL. Diagnosis requires the integration of both clinical and histopathological findings. NL has proven a challenging condition to treat, and despite the numerous therapeutic modalities available, there is no standard of care. Hence, in this study, we provide an overview of current management strategies available for NL.

Learning points

  • Necrobiosis lipoidica (NL) is classically seen in patients with type 1 diabetes.

  • Koebner phenomenon, defined as the appearance of new skin lesions on previously unaffected skin secondary to trauma, is a well-recognised feature in NL.

  • Background skin phototype contributes to variable yellow appearance of lesions in NL.

  • Diagnosis of NL requires careful clinicopathological correlation.

  • NL is a chronic disease often refractory to treatment leading to significant morbidity for the patient and a management conundrum for the multidisciplinary healthcare team.

  • No standard therapeutic regimen has been established for the management of NL.

Open access

Carolina Chaves, Teresa Kay, and João Anselmo

Summary

Leptin is secreted by adipocytes in response to fat storage and binds to its receptor (LEPR), which is ubiquitously expressed throughout the body. Leptin regulates energy expenditure and is anorexigenic. In this study, we describe the clinical and hormonal findings of three siblings with a personal history of rapid weight gain during the first months of life. They had delayed puberty, high levels of FSH (15.6 ± 3.7 mUI/mL; reference: 1.5–12.4) and LH (12.3 ± 2.2 mUI/mL; reference: 1.7–8.6), normal oestradiol and total testosterone and successful fertility. None of the patients had dyslipidemia, diabetes or thyroid disease. Next-generation sequencing identified a pathogenic homozygous variant c.2357T>C, p.(Leu786Pro) in LEPR. Their parents and children were heterozygous for this mutation. We compared clinical and biochemical findings of homozygous carriers with first-degree heterozygous family members and ten randomly selected patients with adult-onset morbid obesity. Homozygous carriers of the mutation had significantly higher BMI (32.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2 vs 44.5 ± 7.1 kg/m2, P = 0.023) and increased serum levels of leptin (26.3 ± 9.3 ng/mL vs 80 ± 36.4 ng/mL, P = 0.028) than their heterozygous relatives. Compared with the ten patients with adult-onset morbid obesity, serum levels of leptin were not significantly higher in homozygous carriers (53.8 ± 24.1 ng/mL vs 80 ± 36.4 ng/mL, P = 0.149), and thus serum levels of leptin were not a useful discriminative marker of LEPR mutations. We described a rare three-generation family with monogenic obesity due to a mutation in LEPR. Patients with early onset obesity should be considered for genetic screening, as the identification of mutations may allow personalized treatment options (e.g. MC4R-agonists) and targeted successful weight loss.

Learning points

  • The early diagnosis of monogenic forms of obesity can be of great interest since new treatments for these conditions are becoming available.

  • Since BMI and leptin levels in patients with leptin receptor mutations are not significantly different from those found in randomly selected morbid obese patients, a careful medical history is mandatory to suspect this condition.

  • Loss of leptin receptor function has been associated with infertility. However, our patients were able to conceive, emphasizing the need for genetic counselling in affected patients with this condition.

Open access

Adam I Kaplan, Catherine Luxford, and Roderick J Clifton-Bligh

Summary

Biallelic pathological variants in the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) subunit β gene (TSHB) result in isolated TSH deficiency and secondary hypothyroidism, a rare form of central congenital hypothyroidism (CCH), with an estimated incidence of 1 in 65 000 births. It is characterised by low levels of free thyroxine and inappropriately low serum TSH and may therefore be missed on routine neonatal screening for hypothyroidism, which relies on elevated TSH. We describe a patient with CCH who developed recurrence of pituitary hyperplasia and symptomatic hypothyroidism due to poor compliance with thyroxine replacement. She was diagnosed with CCH as a neonate and had previously required trans-sphenoidal hypophysectomy surgery for pituitary hyperplasia associated with threatened chiasmal compression at 17 years of age due to variable adherence to thyroxine replacement. Genetic testing of TSHB identified compound heterozygosity with novel variant c.217A>C, p.(Thr73Pro), and a previously reported variant c.373delT, p.(Cys125Valfs*10). Continued variable adherence to treatment as an adult resulted in recurrence of significant pituitary hyperplasia, which subsequently resolved with improved compliance without the need for additional medications or repeat surgery. This case describes a novel TSHB variant associated with CCH and demonstrates the importance of consistent compliance with thyroxine replacement to treat hypothyroidism and prevent pituitary hyperplasia in central hypothyroidism.

Learning points

  • Pathogenic variants in the TSH subunit β gene (TSHB) are rare causes of central congenital hypothyroidism (CCH).

  • c.217A>C, p.(Thr73Pro), is a novel TSHB variant, presented in association with CCH in this case report.

  • Thyroxine replacement is critical to prevent clinical hypothyroidism and pituitary hyperplasia.

  • Pituitary hyperplasia can recur post-surgery if adherence to thyroxine replacement is not maintained.

  • Pituitary hyperplasia can dramatically reverse if compliance with thyroxine replacement is improved to maintain free thyroxine (FT4) levels in the middle-to-upper normal range, without the need for additional medications or surgeries.

Open access

Inês Vieira, Sofia Lopes, Margarida Bastos, Luísa Ruas, Dírcea Rodrigues, and Isabel Paiva

Summary

The coexistence of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NFT1) and Turner syndrome (TS) has only been reported in a few patients and may represent a diagnostic challenge. We describe the case of a 16-year-old girl, with a prior clinical diagnosis of NFT1, who was referred to Endocrinology appointments for the etiological study of primary amenorrhea. Evaluation of the anterior pituitary function was requested and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism was detected. During the etiological study, a 45X karyotype was found and TS was diagnosed. The fact that NFT1 can also be associated with short stature, short broad neck and hypertelorism was likely responsible for TS being diagnosed in late adolescence. As both TS and NFT1 are relatively common genetic disorders, it is important to be alert to the possibility that the presence of one disease does not invalidate the other.

Learning points

  • The concomitant presence of two syndromes in the same patient is unlikely and represents a diagnostic challenge.

  • Some phenotypic characteristics and clinical manifestations may be shared by several syndromes.

  • Some syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 may have very heterogeneous presentations.

  • It is important to be alert to the characteristics that are not explained by the initial diagnosis.

  • If such features are present, diagnostic work-up must be performed regardless of the initial syndromic diagnosis.

Open access

Leevi A Toivonen, Marko H Neva, Thanos Sioris, Pia Isomäki, and Saara Metso

Summary

Gorham–Stout disease (GSD) is a rare bone disease characterized by massive osteolysis and lymphatic proliferation. The origin of the condition is unknown, and no established treatment protocol exists. Massive pleural effusion is a frequent complication of GSD in the thoracic region. We present the case of a 23-year-old male with thoracic GSD, subsequent paraparesis, and life-threatening pleural effusion. The patient was managed by a multidisciplinary team with a good recovery. The pleural effusion was successfully treated with a pleuro-peritoneal shunt. This is the first report of the use of this mini-invasive technique in the management of pleural effusion related to GSD. Further, we present the potential role of interleukin-6 and bone resorption markers in the measurement of the disease activity.

Learning points

  • Multidisciplinary approach is important in the management of rare and severe disorders such as Gorham-Stout disease.

  • Pleuro-peritoneal shunting is a valuable option in the treatment of pleural effusion related to GSD.

  • Interleukin-6 and bone resorption markers appear useful in measuring the disease activity of GSD.

Open access

Mauricio Alvarez, Oswaldo Rincon, Alejandra Alvarado, and Francisco Puentes

Summary

We present the case of a 23-year-old patient with maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 3 (MODY 3) and premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). There is no known correlation between MODY 3 and POI, although POI can impair glucose metabolism, and MODY can cause microvascular complications such as POI. We did not find literature describing a correlation between these two pathologies nor did we find similar cases described in the literature.

Learning points

  • Maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 3 (MODY 3) is an infrequent cause of diabetes that should be considered in young patients with atypical presentation of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

  • MODY 3 can be associated with microvascular complications of diabetes, which is why it is important to diagnose as early as possible.

  • Impairment of glucose metabolism has been demonstrated in patients with premature ovarian insufficiency and menopause.

Open access

Jay Nguyen and Dennis Joseph

Summary

Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) can present with symptoms of headache, vomiting, visual changes, and tinnitus. Papilledema may be seen on physical exam. Thyroid disease has been a rare secondary cause of increased ICP. We present a 16-year-old female who had a worsening headache for 6 months. She was found to have signs, symptoms, physical exam findings, and diagnostic studies consistent with both increased ICP and previously undiagnosed Graves’ disease. The patient was treated with a 19-month course of methimazole 40 mg daily. Her headache and papilledema resolved shortly after medication initiation. The timeline of symptoms and resolution of her increased ICP symptoms with treatment of Graves’ disease suggests that hyperthyroidism was the underlying cause of her increased ICP. Clinicians should consider Graves’ disease as the etiology in pediatric patients presenting with signs and symptoms of increased ICP with papilledema.

Learning points

  • Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) include headache, vomiting, transient visual changes, and tinnitus.

  • Secondary causes of increased ICP should be considered in males, young children, older patients, and those not overweight.

  • Clinicians should consider Graves’ disease as the etiology in pediatric patients presenting with signs and symptoms of increased ICP with papilledema. They should assess for orbitopathy and thyromegaly and inquire about symptoms that would be indicative of hyperthyroidism.

Open access

Hidekuni Takahashi, Shigeo Nishimata, Atsushi Kumada, Gaku Yamanaka, Yasuyo Kashiwagi, and Hisashi Kawashima

Summary

We encountered a case of childhood-onset lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis, based on the MRI and endocrinological findings, with decreased function of the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary. Three years after the diagnosis, the patient developed non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which was effectively treated by growth hormone (GH) supplementation. The present case demonstrated that NASH can be effectively treated by short-term GH supplementation, even in late childhood.

Learning points

  • In recent years, the efficacy of growth hormone replacement therapy in normalizing the liver function of adult-onset growth hormone deficiency patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has been reported.

  • Lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis is a very rare disease, particularly in childhood.

  • We here presented a rare case of a child with lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis who developed NASH and showed substantial improvement in liver function after growth hormone treatment.

Open access

N Ayub, A J A T Braat, H J L M Timmers, M G E H Lam, and R S van Leeuwaarde

Summary

Von Hippel–Lindau’s disease (VHL) is a hereditary tumor syndrome characterized by its prototype lesions, hemangioblastomas, and renal cell carcinomas. Treatment for renal cell carcinomas can ultimately result in long-term dialysis. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) can also occur in the course of the disease. Currently, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is the standard treatment for progressive neuroendocrine tumors. However, little is known about treatment with PRRT in patients on dialysis, an infrequent presentation in patients with VHL. We present a 72-year-old man with VHL on hemodialysis and a progressive pNET. He received four cycles of PRRT with a reduced dose. Only mild thrombopenia was seen during treatments. The patient died 9 months after the last PRRT because of acute bleeding in a hemangioblastoma. Hemodialysis is not a limiting factor for PRRT treatment and it should be considered as it seems a safe short-term treatment option for this specific group.

Learning points

  • Von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) is a complex disease in which former interventions can limit optimal treatment for following VHL-related tumors later in life.

  • Metastasized pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors occur as part of VHL disease.

  • Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy seems a safe short-term treatment option in patients on hemodialysis.