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Kanella Kantreva Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Stavroula A Paschou Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Katerina Stefanaki Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Kanella Pappa Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Paraskevi Kazakou Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Dionysios Vrachnis Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Evangelia Kavoura Pathology Department, IASO Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Kitty Pavlakis Pathology Department, IASO Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Eirini Giovannopoulou Department of Gynecological Oncology, IASO Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Konstantinos Lathouras Department of Gynecological Oncology, IASO Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Maria Alevizaki Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Katerina Saltiki Endocrine Unit and Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Summary

Struma ovarii is an ovarian teratoma that comprises 2–5% of all ovarian teratomas. Malignant transformation of struma ovarii occurs in less than 5% of all cases, and metastatic disease is even rarer. We report two cases initially diagnosed with benign struma ovarii that presented malignant transformation, specifically highly differentiated follicular carcinoma of the ovary (HDFCO), some years after the first diagnosis. Case 1 concerns a 37-year-old female featuring HDFCO of the right ovary with multiple metastatic foci, who was diagnosed with benign struma ovarii 14 years ago. Case 2 concerns a 26-year-old female diagnosed with HDFCO of the left ovary. This patient was initially diagnosed with benign struma ovarii 6 years ago that recurred 4 years after the diagnosis. Both patients were treated with surgery, adjunctive total thyroidectomy, and radioactive iodine (131I) therapy.

Learning points

  • Malignant transformation of struma ovarii is very rare (<5%).

  • Diagnosis of HDFCO without extra ovarian dissemination is difficult due to the resemblance of its histological appearance with normal thyroid tissue.

  • There is no consensus on the postoperative treatment of malignant struma ovarii (MSO). Clinical and histological features of MSO should be assessed for the postoperative treatment decisions.

  • TSH suppression and thyroglobulin level measurements are necessary for patient follow-up.

Open access
Sarah N Parry Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

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Namson S Lau Metabolism & Obesity Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Liverpool Diabetes Collaboration, Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, Sydney, Australia
South West Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

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Summary

Approximately 80% of adrenal incidentalomas are benign, and development into adrenal cortical cancer is extremely rare. This is a major reason behind clinical guidelines recommending surveillance of incidentalomas for a relatively short duration of up to 5 years. Surveillance of lesions less than 1 cm is not routinely recommended. A 70-year-old lady was diagnosed with a non-hyperfunctioning 8 mm right adrenal lesion. She underwent annual biochemical and radiological assessment for 5 years before surveillance was extended to 2-yearly intervals. The lesion was stable in size, and radiological characteristics were consistent with a benign adenoma. Seven years after the initial detection of the adrenal lesion, she developed acute abdominal pain. Imaging revealed a 7 cm right adrenal lesion, which was surgically resected and histologically confirmed to be adrenal cortical cancer. She died 1 year later. Clinical guidelines have moved towards a shortened duration of surveillance of incidentalomas. Even though malignant transformation is a rare event, it is possible that this will result in a delayed diagnosis of adrenal cortical cancer, a highly aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. To our knowledge, this is the first published case of an adrenal lesion of less than 1 cm developing into adrenal cortical cancer.

Learning points

  • Adrenal incidentalomas are increasingly common.

  • Clinical practice guidelines exist to aid in differentiating benign and malignant lesions and assessing functional status.

  • Transformation of adrenal incidentalomas to adrenal cortical carcinomas is a rare but recognised event.

Open access
Chi-Ta Hsieh Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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Jui-Ting Yu Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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Tang-Yi Tsao Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Department of Post-Baccalaureate Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Yao Hsien Tseng Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs' Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Department of Post-Baccalaureate Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Summary

A 69-year-old woman presented with weight loss, fever, dizziness, exertional dyspnea, and drenching night sweats. Imaging showed a thyroid goiter at the left lobe that measured 5.6 × 3.4 × 3.5 cm in size. On computed tomography, she was found to have large adrenal masses. Core needle biopsy of the left thyroid mass revealed the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue extranodal marginal zone B cell lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) typically develop in lymph nodes or other lymphatic tissues. There have been cases where the thyroid has been affected, and the secondary involvement of the adrenal gland is common. In reported cases, 7–59% of patients with NHL exhibited symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Our patient presented no symptoms of thyroid dysfunction or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The patient had bilateral adrenal lymphomas that led to adrenal insufficiency. Immunochemotherapy provided a good response in this case, as seen by the rapid improvement in thyroid and adrenal mass on follow-up PET/CT.

Learning points

  • Thyroid lymphoma requires a high index of suspicion for diagnosis in patients with a rapidly growing thyroid tumor, even in the absence of chronic inflammatory thyroid disease.

  • Depending on the extent of involvement, adrenal lymphoma may rapidly cause adrenal insufficiency.

  • In the setting of acute illness, appropriate levels of plasma cortisol are often unclear, necessitating early initiation of glucocorticoid therapy based on clinical suspicion, especially when features like bilateral adrenal masses and elevated ACTH levels are present.

  • Treatment modalities include chemotherapy and radiation therapy for localized lesions, together with hormone replacement for organ dysfunction.

  • The origin of the tumor influences the clinical outcome of patients with lymphoma simultaneously involving the thyroid and adrenal glands.

Open access
Isabella Chiardi Thyroid Unit of Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology, Lugano Regional Hospital, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan, Italy

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Priska Gaffuri Istituto Cantonale di Patologia, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland

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Andrea Leoncini Servizio di Radiologia e Radiologia Interventistica, Istituto di Imaging Della Svizzera Italiana (IIMSI), Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland

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Pierpaolo Trimboli Thyroid Unit of Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology, Lugano Regional Hospital, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Lugano, Switzerland

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Summary

Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies (NTMs) represent a diagnostic challenge, often displaying heterogeneous clinical manifestations. These metastases are rare but significant, accounting for approximately 2% of thyroid malignancies. Distinguishing them from primary thyroid malignancies is challenging due to the lack of specific ultrasound features, and the ultrasound-based risk stratification systems offer limited utility in such cases. Fine needle aspiration cytology is crucial for definitive diagnosis, yet it may not always provide accurate results. In this case report, we describe a unique instance of thyroid metastases originating from renal cell carcinoma, emphasizing the complexities in diagnosis and the importance of considering oncological conditions when assessing thyroid masses. Awareness of thyroid metastasis from NTMs, particularly in cases of diffuse thyroid hypoechogenicity and hypothyroidism, is essential for clinicians in their diagnostic approach.

Learning points

  • Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies are diagnostic challenges due to their heterogeneous clinical presentations, often mimicking primary thyroid malignancies.

  • Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies are relatively rare, but they still account for approximately 2% of thyroid malignancies.

  • It is fundamental to consider oncological conditions when assessing thyroid masses, especially in cases of diffuse thyroid hypoechogenicity, hypothyroidism, and history of other tumors.

  • Thyroid presentation is quite similar to that of autoimmune hypothyroidism, endocrinologists must be aware of the possibility of thyroid hypofunction due to the massive invasion of the parenchyma.

Open access
Mohammad Alali Kuwait Board of Internal Medicine, Kuwait City, Safat, Kuwait

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Sulaiman Hajji Department of Internal Medicine, Adan Hospital, Kuwait City, Kuwait

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Khalid Aljenaee Department of Internal Medicine, Adan Hospital, Kuwait City, Kuwait

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Summary

Endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary are a subtype of epithelial ovarian tumors, with sertoliform endometrioid carcinomas being a rare variant. We report a case of a previously healthy premenopausal woman presenting with androgenic symptoms in the form of hirsutism and male pattern alopecia. On further testing, she was found to have high levels of luteinizing hormone and total testosterone levels, and imaging revealed a large pelvic abdominal mass in the right ovary. She underwent total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Microscopy and histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of sertoliform endometrioid carcinoma. Her symptoms improved significantly on follow-up. Androgenic tumors might not be common in premenopausal women; however, it is important to maintain a high level of suspicion in patients presenting with virilizing symptoms especially of rapid progression.

Learning points

  • Our 47-year-old patient presented with virilizing symptoms that were rapidly progressing, which raises the suspicion of an underlying androgen secreting neoplasm.

  • Sertoliform endometrioid carcinoma (SEC) is an extremely rare variant of endometrioid carcinomas and tend to present at an earlier stage as compared to most endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary.

  • Recognition of SEC in virilizing patients is important as it is a well-differentiated, low-grade malignancy with a good prognosis when confined to the ovary.

Open access
Seigo Konishi Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Mitsuhiro Kometani Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Ko Aiga Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Daisuke Aono Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Takahiro Nohara Integrative Cancer Therapy and Urology, Division of Cancer Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Hiroko Ikeda Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Shigehiro Karashima Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Yoshiyu Takeda Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan
Endocrine and Diabetes Center, Asanogawa General Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan

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Takashi Yoneda Department of Health Promotion and Medicine of the Future, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of telemedicine on a global scale. In endocrinology, telemedicine has mainly been used in relation to chronic diseases, including diabetes. Herein, we report the case of an 18-year-old woman with a hypertensive emergency due to a pheochromocytoma who was quickly diagnosed and treated using telemedicine. The patient was referred to a cardiovascular hospital because of fatigue and sweating that did not improve with carvedilol. She had fluctuating blood pressure and tachycardia. Subsequently, since her thyroid function was normal, endocrine hypertension not due to thyroid dysfunction was suspected; a case consultation was made by phone to our clinic. Plain computed tomography (CT) was recommended owing to the high possibility of a pheochromocytoma; the CT scan showed an adrenal tumor with a 30 mm diameter. To assess her condition, endocrinologists, together with the attending doctor, interviewed her and her family directly using an online tool to obtain detailed information. We thus determined that she was at risk of a pheochromocytoma crisis. She was transferred to our hospital immediately for treatment, was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, and underwent surgery. Telemedicine, especially involving doctor-to-patient with doctor consultations, can be effective in treating rare and emergent medical conditions such as pheochromocytoma crisis.

Learning points

  • Telemedicine can be used for chronic diseases and emergency conditions.

  • Online doctor-to-patient with doctor (D-to-P with D) consultations are useful when the expert opinion of a highly specialized physician present in a different geographical location is required.

  • Telemedicine, especially D-to-P with D online consultations, can be effectively used for the diagnosis of rare and emergent medical conditions, such as pheochromocytoma crisis.

Open access
Clara Cunha Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Filipa Mousinho Department of Haematology, Hospital São Francisco Xavier, Lisbon, Portugal

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Catarina Saraiva Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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João Sequeira Duarte Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Summary

Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy, accounting for less than 5% of all thyroid neoplasms. The follicular subtype is even more rare, accounting for approximately 10% of all PTL cases. We report a case of a 64-year-old woman, who presented with a rapidly growing goitre with mass effect and B symptoms. She had a history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and her thyroid ultrasound revealed diffuse goitre with a dominant nodule (56 × 63 × 60 mm) within the right thyroid lobe. Ultrasound-guided percutaneous fine-needle aspiration of the right thyroid nodule was classified as benign, according to Bethesda System, with lymphocytic thyroiditis. A CT scan of the neck showed diffuse enlargement of the thyroid gland extending towards the anterior mediastinum with tracheal deviation and lymphadenopathy within levels VII and right II–IV. The core needle biopsy of the right thyroid nodule revealed a follicular non-Hodgkin’s B cell lymphoma with a Ki67 of 60%. According to the Ann Arbor staging system, she was at stage IIIE. She underwent chemotherapy with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) with remarkable clinical improvement and is currently in remission 2 years after the diagnosis. PTL is an extremely rare malignancy that usually arises in a lymphocytic thyroiditis background, presenting as a rapidly enlarging goitre, which can lead to compressive symptoms or airway comprise.

Learning points

  • Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy, accounting for less than 5% of thyroid neoplasms.

  • PTL should be suspected when a patient presents with a rapidly enlarging goitre, especially in the setting of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

  • Fine-needle aspiration has a limited capacity for PTL diagnosis due to similar cytomorphological features of lymphoma with thyroiditis. Therefore, in case of clinical suspicion and if fine needle aspiration fails to diagnose PTL, a tissue biopsy should be performed.

  • Treatment is dependent on both the stage and histology of PTL. Chemotherapy and local radiotherapy remain the mainstay treatment for PTL.

Open access
Omayma Elshafie Department of Endocrinology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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Samir Hussein Department of Radiology, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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Moza Al Kalbani Department of Gynaecology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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Aisha Al Hamadani Department of Pathology

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Abir Bou Khalil Department of Endocrinology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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Nicholas Woodhouse Department of Endocrinology, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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Summary

A 33-year-old female presented in 2013 with left flank pain. Ultrasound and MRI pelvis showed a complex mass 9 × 7 cm arising from the left ovary suggestive of ovarian torsion. She underwent a laparoscopic cystectomy, but the patient was lost to follow-up. Three years later, she presented with abdominal distension. Ultrasound and CT scan revealed a solid left ovarian mass with ascites and multiple peritoneal metastasis. Investigations showed elevated CA 125, CA 19-9. Ovarian malignancy was suspected. She underwent total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy on November 2016. The histopathology confirmed a well-differentiated thyroid cancer of ovarian origin with features of a papillary follicular variant without evidence of ovarian cancer and the thyroglobulin (Tg) level was elevated, more than 400 consistent with the diagnosis of malignant struma ovarii. The follow-up post-surgery showed normalization of CA 125, CA 19-9 and Tg. The patient underwent total thyroidectomy on January 2017. The histology was benign excluding thyroid cancer metastases to the ovary. She was started on thyroxine suppression, following which she received two ablation doses 131iodine (131I) each 5.3 GBq. The Tg remains slightly elevated at less than 10. 131I WBS showed no residual neck uptake and no distant avid metastasis. She was planned for molecular analysis which may indicate disease severity. We describe a case of malignant struma ovarii with widespread metastatic dissemination and a good response to surgery and 131I treatment without recurrence after 5 years of follow-up. The Tg remains slightly elevated indicating minimal stable residual disease.

Learning points

  • Malignant struma ovarii is a rare disease; diagnosis is difficult and management is not well defined.

  • Presentation may mimic advanced carcinoma of the ovary.

  • Predominant sites of metastasis are adjacent pelvic structures.

  • Thyroidectomy and 131iodine therapy should be considered. The management should be similar to that of metastatic thyroid cancer.

Open access
Pranav Gupta Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Karen Loechner Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Connecticut Childrens Medical Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA

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Briana C Patterson Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Eric Felner Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Summary

Insulinomas are a rare cause of persistent hypoglycemia in a previously healthy child. In addition to symptoms of hypoglycemia, individuals with insulinomas usually present with a history of incessant caloric intake and weight gain due to a constant need to counter hypoglycemia. In addition to an extensive review of the literature, we report the first case of an insulinoma coexisting with reduced appetite secondary to anorexia nervosa in an adolescent female.

Learning points

  • Eliciting a detailed family history is important in hypoglycemia cases.

  • Obtaining a thorough dietary intake, weight history, and menstrual cycles (in females) and considering a psychiatric consultation for an eating disorder when indicated.

  • Although rare in the pediatric population, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome should be considered in the evaluation of children and adolescents with hypoglycemia who also have a family history of pituitary, pancreatic, and/or parathyroid endocrinopathies.

Open access
Said Darawshi Department of Endocrinology, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
The Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel

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Mahmoud Darawshi Clalit Health Services, Northern District – Arrabah, Israel

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Deeb Daoud Naccache Department of Endocrinology, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
The Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel

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Severe hypocalcaemia in breast cancer with bone metastasis is a rare finding usually associated with an advanced stage of the disease. We report a case of a 45-year-old woman with a history of local ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast, who presented with muscle tremors and general weakness. Hypocalcaemia was evident, with a positive Chvostek sign and a serum calcium level of 5.9 mg/dL (1.47 mmol/L), phosphorus 5.9 mg/dL (normal range: 2.3–4.7 mg/dL) with normal levels of albumin, magnesium and parathyroid hormone. High oral doses of alpha calcitriol and calcium with i.v. infusion of high calcium doses were instituted, altogether sufficient to maintain only mild hypocalcaemia. A whole-body CT revealed bone lesions along the axial skeleton. A biopsy from a bone lesion revealed a metastasis of breast carcinoma. With this pathological finding, leuprolide (GNRH analogue) and chlorambucil (alkylating agent) were initiated, followed by prompt tapering of infused calcium down to full discontinuation. Serum calcium was kept stable close to the low normal range by high doses of oral alpha calcitriol and calcium. This course raises suspicion that breast metastases to the skeleton caused tumour-induced hypocalcaemia by a unique mechanism. We assume that hypocalcaemia in this case was promoted by a combination of hypoparathyroidism and bone metastasis.

Learning points

  • Severe hypocalcaemia can a presenting symptom for breast cancer relapse.

Open access