Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 39 items for :

  • Patient Demographics x
  • Insight into disease pathogenesis or mechanism of therapy x
  • Gland/Organ x
  • Refine by Access: Open Access content only x
Clear All
Open access

Cody Harper, James Michael, Tarek Rahmeh, and Vicki Munro

Summary

The most common sites of distant metastases of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) are lung and bone. Widespread distant metastases of PTC are rare and associated with poor overall prognosis. Metastases to sites such as liver and pancreas are extremely rare, and literature is sparse on overall survival. In this report, we present a 57-year-old man whose initial presentation of PTC was with pancreatic, liver, and lung metastases, and subsequently developed metastases to bone and brain. He underwent a total thyroidectomy, neck dissection, and tracheal resection. Pathology revealed a predominant columnar cell variant PTC with focal areas of tall cell variant, and genomic sequencing showed both PIK3CA and BRAF gene mutations. Radioactive iodine ablation with I-131 did not show any uptake in metastatic sites and he had progression of the metastases within 6 months. Therefore, therapy with lenvatinib was initiated for radioactive iodine refractory disease. Our patient has tolerated the lenvatinib well, and all his sites of metastases decreased in size. His liver and pancreatic lesions took longer to respond but showed response 6 months after initiation of lenvatinib, and he remains on full dose lenvatinib 18 months into treatment.

Learning points

  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) usually metastasizes to lung and bone but can rarely occur in many other sites.

  • Patients with distant metastases have significantly worse long-term prognosis.

  • Lenvatinib can be an effective treatment of radioactive iodine refractory PTC with rare sites of distant metastases.

  • Lenvatinib can be an effective treatment of PTC with BRAF V600E and PIK3CA mutation.

Open access

Keerthana Haridas

Summary

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.

Learning points

  • 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.

Open access

Livia Lugarinho Correa, Priscila Alves Medeiros de Sousa, Leticia Dinis, Luana Barboza Carloto, Maitane Nuñez-Garcia, Ignacio Sajoux, and Sidney Senhorini

Summary

There is a close association between obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The value of weight loss in the management of patients with T2D has long been known. Loss of 15% or more of body weight can have a disease-modifying effect in people with diabetes inducing remission in a large proportion of patients. Very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) have been proposed as an appealing nutritional strategy for obesity management. The diet was shown to result in significant weight loss in the short, intermediate, and long terms and improvement in body composition parameters as well as glycemic and lipid profiles. The reported case is a 35-year-old man with obesity, dyslipidemia, and T2D for 5 years. Despite the use of five antidiabetic medications, including insulin, HbA1c was 10.1%. A VLCKD through a commercial multidisciplinary weight loss program (PnK method) was prescribed and all medications were discontinued. The method is based on high-biological-value protein preparations and has 5 steps, the first 3 steps (active stage) consist of a VLCKD (600–800 kcal/d) that is low in carbohydrates (<50 g daily from vegetables) and lipids. The amount of proteins ranged between 0.8 and 1.2 g/kg of ideal body weight. After only 3 months, the patient lost 20 kg with weight normalization and diabetes remission, and after 2 years of follow-up, the patient remained without the pathologies. Due to the rapid and significant weight loss, VLCKD emerges as a useful tool in T2D remission in patients with obesity.

Learning points

  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are conditions that share key pathophysiological mechanisms.

  • Loss of 15% or more of body weight can have a disease-modifying effect in people with T2D inducing remission in a large proportion of patients.

  • Diabetes remission should be defined as a return of HbA1c to <6.5% and which persists for at least 3 months in the absence of usual glucose-lowering pharmacotherapy.

  • The very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (VLCKD) is a nutritional approach that has significant beneficial effects on anthropometric and metabolic parameters.

  • Due to the rapid and significant weight loss, VLCKD emerges as a useful tool in T2D remission in patients with obesity.

Open access

Eimear Mary O’Donovan, Begona Sanchez-Lechuga, Emma Prehn, and Maria Michelle Byrne

Summary

The coexistence of autoimmune diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes (MODY) is rare. The absence of pancreatic autoantibodies is a key factor prompting MODY genetic testing. In this study, we report three cases of young-onset diabetes with progressive beta-cell dysfunction, strongly positive glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies, and genetic confirmation of pathogenic gene variants of HNF-1A, HNF-4A, and ABCC8-MODY. The first case is a woman diagnosed with HNF-1A-MODY diabetes more than 30 years after her diagnosis of adult-onset diabetes at 25 years. She required insulin after her fourth pregnancy. She became ketotic on oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHAs) and subsequently, her GAD antibodies tested positive. The second case is a woman diagnosed with diabetes at 17 years who was subsequently diagnosed with HNF-4A-MODY after many hypoglycaemic episodes on low-dose insulin. GAD antibodies were strongly positive. The last case is a man diagnosed with diabetes at 26 years who was well controlled on OHAs and required insulin years later due to sudden deterioration in glycaemic control. His ABCC8-MODY was diagnosed upon realisation of strong family history and his GAD antibodies tested positive. All subjects are now treated with insulin. Less than 1% of subjects with MODY have positive autoantibodies. These cases highlight individuals who may have two different types of diabetes simultaneously or consecutively. Deterioration of glycaemic control in subjects with MODY diabetes should highlight the need to look for the emergence of autoantibodies. At each clinic visit, one should update the family history as MODY was diagnosed in each case after the development of diabetes in their offspring.

Learning points

  • These cases highlight the rare coexistence of autoimmune diabetes and MODY.

  • Deterioration of glycaemic control in subjects with MODY diabetes should highlight the emergence of autoantibodies.

  • One should revise and update the family history as the diagnosis of MODY was made after the development of diabetes in offspring.

  • Understanding the spectrum of diabetes allows for precision medicine.

Open access

Minna Koivikko, Tapani Ebeling, Markus Mäkinen, Juhani Leppäluoto, Antti Raappana, Petteri Ahtiainen, and Pasi Salmela

Summary

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 NM_001370259.2(MEN1):c.466G>C(p.Gly156Arg) is characterized by tumors of various endocrine organs. We report on a rare, growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)-releasing pancreatic tumor in a MEN1 patient with a long-term follow-up after surgery. A 22-year-old male with MEN1 syndrome, primary hyperparathyroidism and an acromegalic habitus was observed to have a pancreatic tumor on abdominal CT scanning, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) were elevated and plasma GHRH was exceptionally high. GHRH and GH were measured before the treatment and were followed during the study. During octreotide treatment, IGF1 normalized and the GH curve was near normal. After surgical treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism, a pancreatic tail tumor was enucleated. The tumor cells were positive for GHRH antibody staining. After the operation, acromegaly was cured as judged by laboratory tests. No reactivation of acromegaly has been seen during a 20-year follow-up. In conclusion, an ectopic GHRH-producing, pancreatic endocrine neoplasia may represent a rare manifestation of MEN1 syndrome.

Learning points

  • Clinical suspicion is in a key position in detecting acromegaly.

  • Remember genetic disorders with young individuals having primary hyperparathyroidism.

  • Consider multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome when a person has several endocrine neoplasia.

  • Acromegaly may be of ectopic origin with patients showing no abnormalities in radiological imaging of the pituitary gland.

Open access

J M K de Filette, Bastiaan Sol, Gil Awada, Corina E Andreescu, David Unuane, Sandrine Aspeslagh, Jan Poelaert, and Bert Bravenboer

Summary

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is of an unprecedented magnitude and has made it challenging to properly treat patients with urgent or rare endocrine disorders. Little is known about the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with rare endocrine malignancies, such as pituitary carcinoma. We describe the case of a 43-year-old patient with adrenocorticotrophic hormone-secreting pituitary carcinoma who developed a severe COVID-19 infection. He had stabilized Cushing’s disease after multiple lines of treatment and was currently receiving maintenance immunotherapy with nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks) and steroidogenesis inhibition with ketoconazole (800 mg daily). On admission, he was urgently intubated for respiratory exhaustion. Supplementation of corticosteroid requirements consisted of high-dose dexamethasone, in analogy with the RECOVERY trial, followed by the reintroduction of ketoconazole under the coverage of a hydrocortisone stress regimen, which was continued at a dose depending on the current level of stress. He had a prolonged and complicated stay at the intensive care unit but was eventually discharged and able to continue his rehabilitation. The case points out that multiple risk factors for severe COVID-19 are present in patients with Cushing’s syndrome. ‘Block-replacement’ therapy with suppression of endogenous steroidogenesis and supplementation of corticosteroid requirements might be preferred in this patient population.

Learning points

  • Comorbidities for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are frequently present in patients with Cushing’s syndrome.

  • ‘Block-replacement’ with suppression of endogenous steroidogenesis and supplementation of corticosteroid requirements might be preferred to reduce the need for biochemical monitoring and avoid adrenal insufficiency.

  • The optimal corticosteroid dose/choice for COVID-19 is unclear, especially in patients with endogenous glucocorticoid excess.

  • First-line surgery vs initial disease control with steroidogenesis inhibitors for Cushing’s disease should be discussed depending on the current healthcare situation.

Open access

Wouter W. de Herder

Summary

The iconic photograph ‘A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970’ by the famous American photographer Diane Arbus (1923–1971) shows the 2.34 m (7 ft. 8¼ in.) acromegalic giant Eddie Carmel (1936–1972) and his parents in the living room of their New York home. The picture is a typical example of Arbus’ style. The relationship between the artist and the tall subject is described. A growth hormone-secreting pituitary macroadenoma was unsuccessfully treated with two cycles of pituitary radiotherapy achieving a 7000 rad cumulative dose and by incomplete pituitary surgery. Hypopituitarism was treated according to medical standards in the 1960s and 1970s. The giant patient died of increased intracranial pressure and at autopsy a residual acidophil pituitary macroadenoma was found, but also a perisellar meningioma which was most probably induced by the high dose of pituitary radiotherapy. The case report illustrates the possibilities and impossibilities of treating acromegaly 50 years ago and demonstrates the potential risks of high dose pituitary radiotherapy (in acromegaly).

Learning points

  • Acromegaly is a very old disease.

  • Therapy for acromegaly has evolved over the decades.

  • In art museums one can come across artistic impressions of endocrine disorders.

  • People suffering from disfiguring endocrine disorders like acromegaly were pre-WW2 ‘exposed’ in theaters and circuses.

  • High dose pituitary radiotherapy can be associated with secondary brain tumor formation.

Open access

S Ludgate, M Lin, M Mayadunne, J Steen, and K W Ho

Summary

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) is a rare condition characterised by acute onset hypokalaemia and paralysis which most commonly affects men of Asian descent between the ages of 20 and 40 years (, ). It has been reported in approximately 2% of patients with thyrotoxicosis in China and Japan (, , ). Hypokalaemia in TPP results from a massive intracellular shift of potassium induced by the thyroid hormone sensitisation of Na+/K+-ATPase (). Treatment of TPP includes prevention of this shift by using beta-blockade, rapid potassium replacement and treatment of the underlying hyperthyroidism. We present two cases of TPP with differing outcomes. In the first case, a 33-year-old Filipino gentleman presented to our emergency department (ED) with a 3-month history of recurrent proximal lower limb weakness. Serum potassium was 2.2 mmol/L (3.3–5.1) and he was given i.v. potassium replacement. Thyroid function tests (TFTs) and thyroid antibodies were consistent with Graves thyrotoxicosis. He was discharged home on carbimazole and remains well controlled on long-term medical therapy. In the second case, a 22-year-old Malaysian gentleman presented to our ED with new-onset bilateral lower limb painless paralysis. Serum potassium was 1.9 mmol/L with TFTs demonstrating Graves thyrotoxicosis. He was treated with i.v. potassium replacement and discharged home on carbimazole and propranolol. He represented to the hospital on two further occasions with TPP and was advised to consider total thyroidectomy given his refractory Graves’ disease. These cases highlight the importance of prompt recognition of this rare life-threatening complication of Graves’ disease, especially in patients of Asian descent.

Learning points

  • Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis is a rare condition characterised by hypokalaemia and acute painless muscle weakness in the presence of thyrotoxicosis.

  • The signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis can be subtle in these patients.

  • It is most commonly seen in Asian males between the ages of 20 and 40 and is most frequently caused by Graves’ disease.

  • Prompt recognition is essential as it is a life-threatening condition.

  • Urgent i.v. potassium replacement and beta-blockade with a non-selective beta-blocker are the mainstays of treatment.

  • i.v. potassium replacement should not be given in dextrose as this can potentiate hypokalaemia.

Open access

Ana Dugic, Michael Kryk, Claudia Mellenthin, Christoph Braig, Lorenzo Catanese, Sandy Petermann, Jürgen Kothmann, and Steffen Mühldorfer

Summary

Drinking fruit juice is an increasingly popular health trend, as it is widely perceived as a source of vitamins and nutrients. However, high fructose load in fruit beverages can have harmful metabolic effects. When consumed in high amounts, fructose is linked with hypertriglyceridemia, fatty liver and insulin resistance. We present an unusual case of a patient with severe asymptomatic hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides of 9182 mg/dL) and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus, who reported a daily intake of 15 L of fruit juice over several weeks before presentation. The patient was referred to our emergency department with blood glucose of 527 mg/dL and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of 17.3%. Interestingly, features of diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state were absent. The patient was overweight with an otherwise unremarkable physical exam. Lipase levels, liver function tests and inflammatory markers were closely monitored and remained unremarkable. The initial therapeutic approach included i.v. volume resuscitation, insulin and heparin. Additionally, plasmapheresis was performed to prevent potentially fatal complications of hypertriglyceridemia. The patient was counseled on balanced nutrition and detrimental effects of fruit beverages. He was discharged home 6 days after admission. At a 2-week follow-up visit, his triglyceride level was 419 mg/dL, total cholesterol was 221 mg/dL and HbA1c was 12.7%. The present case highlights the role of fructose overconsumption as a contributory factor for severe hypertriglyceridemia in a patient with newly diagnosed diabetes. We discuss metabolic effects of uncontrolled fructose ingestion, as well as the interplay of primary and secondary factors, in the pathogenesis of hypertriglyceridemia accompanied by diabetes.

Learning points

  • Excessive dietary fructose intake can exacerbate hypertriglyceridemia in patients with underlying type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and absence of diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state.

  • When consumed in large amounts, fructose is considered a highly lipogenic nutrient linked with postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and de novo hepatic lipogenesis (DNL).

  • Severe lipemia (triglyceride plasma level > 9000 mg/dL) could be asymptomatic and not necessarily complicated by acute pancreatitis, although lipase levels should be closely monitored.

  • Plasmapheresis is an effective adjunct treatment option for rapid lowering of high serum lipids, which is paramount to prevent acute complications of severe hypertriglyceridemia.

Open access

Gabriele Costanzo, Salvatore Curatolo, Barbara Busà, Antonino Belfiore, and Damiano Gullo

Summary

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). GLP-1 analogs exert several biological activities connected not only with an insulinotropic effect but also with immunoregulation and reduction of inflammation. A 73-year-old male patient with class III obesity was referred to us for T2DM, which was not controlled with metformin therapy. He had suffered from plaque psoriasis for some years and was treated with topical therapy and adalimumab, without success. The psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) was 33.2 (indicating severe psoriasis), and the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) was 26.0 (indicating an extremely negative effect on the patient's life). Semaglutide (starting with 0.25 mg/week for 4 weeks, increased to 0.50 mg/week for 12 weeks, and then to 1 mg/week) was added to metformin. After 4 months, glycemic parameters had improved, and his body weight decreased. Unexpectedly, skin lesions of plaque psoriasis improved. PASI decreased by 19% compared with baseline and quality of life, assessed with the DLQI, markedly ameliorated. After 10 months, glycemic and obesity parameters, as well as psoriasis, improved further. HbA1c, BMI, and PASI were reduced by 32, 16.3, and 92%, respectively, compared with the baseline. DLQI declined to 0, meaning there was no effect of plaque psoriasis on the patient’s life.

Learning points

  • Psoriasis in patients with type 2 diabetes is often resistant to therapy.

  • We observed an obese patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus who achieved glycemic control and weight loss with the addition of semaglutide to metformin and had a relevant and long-lasting improvement of plaque psoriasis, which was previously resistant to biologic therapy.

  • Therapy with semaglutide may be attempted in eligible patients with difficult to treat plaque psoriasis.