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Katherine Wu Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Shejil Kumar Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Ed Hsiao Department of Radiology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Ian Kerridge Department of Haematology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Min Ru Qiu Department of Anatomical Pathology, SydPath, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia
St Vincent’s Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

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Rhonda Siddall Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

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Roderick Clifton-Bligh Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Cancer Genetics Unit, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia
Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney, Australia

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Anthony J Gill Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney, Australia
Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology Group, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia

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Matti L Gild Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Cancer Genetics Unit, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia
Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney, Australia

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Summary

RET mutations are implicated in 60% of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) cases. The RET-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor selpercatinib is associated with unprecedented efficacy compared to previous multi-kinase treatments. Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a clonal histiocytic neoplasm usually driven by somatic BRAF mutations, resulting in dysregulated MAPK signalling. We describe a 22-year-old woman with metastatic MTC to regional lymph nodes, lung and liver. Tumour tissue harboured a somatic pathogenic RET variant p.(M918T) and selpercatinib was commenced. She experienced sustained clinical, biochemical and radiological responses. Two years later, she developed rapidly progressive apical lung nodules, prompting biopsy. Histopathology demonstrated LCH with a rare BRAF variant p.(V600_K601>D). The lung nodules improved with inhaled corticosteroids. We hypothesize that selective pressure from RET blockade may have activated a downstream somatic BRAF mutation, resulting in pulmonary LCH. We recommend continued vigilance for neoplasms driven by dysregulated downstream MAPK signalling in patients undergoing selective RET inhibition.

Learning points

  • Patients with RET-altered MTC can experience rapid disease improvement and sustained disease stability with selective RET blockade (selpercatinib).

  • LCH is a clonal neoplasm driven by MAPK activation, for which the most common mechanism is BRAF mutation.

  • Both MTC and pulmonary LCH are driven by dysregulated MAPK signalling pathway activation.

  • We hypothesise that the RET-specific inhibitor selpercatinib may have caused the activation of dormant LCH secondary to selective pressure and clonal proliferation.

Open access
R K Dharmaputra Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Gold Coast, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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C M Piesse Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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S Chaubey Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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A K Sinha Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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H C Chiam Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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Summary

A 48-year-old Asian male, presented to the hospital for an elective total thyroidectomy in the context of 6.3 cm thyroid nodule. The fine needle aspiration cytology of the nodule confirmed papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with some atypical histiocytes. He has a history of idiopathic arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D) and has been taking oral DDAVP 100 µg daily, self-adjusting the dose based on thirst and polyuria. Additionally, he also has a history of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax. His total thyroidectomy was aborted due to significant intraoperative bleeding, and his admission was further complicated by post-operative hyponatraemic seizure. Thyroid histology revealed the diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), and further investigation with contrast CT demonstrated multi-organ involvement of the thyroid, lungs, and bones.

Learning points

  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a condition that can affect one or more organ systems, including the pituitary, where it can present as AVP deficiency. Strict monitoring of fluid balance, as well as serial monitoring of serum sodium, is essential in all patients with AVP-D in the perioperative setting.

  • Iatrogenic hyponatraemic seizure is an uncommon but serious complication of DDAVP treatment in hospitalised patients with AVP-D. DDAVP dosing must be carefully monitored.

  • LCH with multisystem involvement is an important mimic for metastatic conditions, and histological diagnosis is essential to guide treatment and prognosis.

  • Although LCH without bone marrow involvement is unlikely to increase the risk of bleeding, its effect on tissue integrity may make surgery more challenging.

  • BRAF-V600E mutation is an important driver mutation and a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of LCH.

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
Lauren T Tyack Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia

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Bronwyn G A Stuckey Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia
Keogh Institute for Medical Research, Nedlands, WA, Australia
Medical School, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia

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John P Walsh Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia
Medical School, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia

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Summary

We report a case of catamenial erythema multiforme major in a 46-year-old female. She was treated successfully with goserelin, a GnRH agonist, until the expected age of menopause; however, its therapeutic effects persisted for longer than expected, possibly due to accumulation in adipose tissue.

Learning points

  • A group of menstrual cycle-related dermatoses and hypersensitivity syndromes exist but are rarely reported in the literature.

  • A history of recurrent cutaneous eruptions in premenopausal females should be considered in the context of the menstrual cycle.

  • The diagnosis of menstrual cycle-related dermatoses is largely clinical, although provocation testing can assist.

  • Treatment options are broad and are aimed at reducing the immune response and/or suppressing ovulation.

  • Goserelin may accumulate and have a gonadotrophin-suppressing effect for longer than expected.

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Kimberly Voon Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia

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Bronwyn G A Stuckey Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia
Keogh Institute for Medical Research, Nedlands, WA, Australia
School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia

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Summary

With rising rates of adoption and surrogacy, induced lactation is likely to become increasingly relevant, allowing women who did not undergo pregnancy to breastfeed. We describe the case of a woman with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) on conventional oestrogen therapy who was expecting a child via surrogacy and who wished to breastfeed. The woman was commenced on supplementary oestrogen therapy, domperidone and breast stimulation by mechanical breast pump 8 weeks prior to the delivery of her child. Following delivery, the patient produced a small, unquantified amount of milk, allowing her to suckle the infant for a short period of time. Induced lactation is possible in chromosomally XY individuals. It has been most successful in cis-women and transwomen, both of whom have had progesterone/progestogen exposure to the breast. We suggest that the addition of a progestogen to our patient’s treatment regimen, either as part of her original hormone therapy or part of the lactation induction program, would have improved her changes of establishing successful lactation.

Learning points

  • Induced lactation is possible in chromosomally XY individuals with the use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies.

  • There are no standardised guidelines regarding the optimal regimen for induced lactation.

  • Progesterone exposure to the breast is essential for ductal branching and alveolar maturation.

  • In the published literature, induced lactation is more successful in transwomen and other XY individuals who have had prior progesterone exposure.

  • The addition of progestogen to our patient’s treatment regimen would have improved her chances of establishing successful lactation.

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Sabine Kleissl-Muir Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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Bodil Rasmussen Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Centre for Quality and Patient Safety, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety, Institute of Health Transformation -Western Health Partnership, Western Health, St Albans, Victoria, Australia
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark and Steno Diabetes Centre, Odense M, Denmark

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Alice Owen School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Caryn Zinn Human Potential Centre, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

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Andrea Driscoll Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Centre for Quality and Patient Safety, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Department of Cardiology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia

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Summary

In patients with diabetes mellitus, the toxic milieu caused by abnormal glucose and free fatty acid handling can lead to heart failure (HF). Referred to as diabetic cardiomyopathy (DMCM), this syndrome often exists in the absence of conventional risk factors for HF such as history of myocardial infarction or hypertension. Low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs) have recently been endorsed as an efficacious therapeutic dietary approach to prevent and reverse cardiometabolic disease including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). LCDs improve systemic insulin resistance (IR), reverses cardiac remodelling in a rodent model and downregulates the expression of sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) receptors in the kidney. It is therefore conceivable that a lifestyle approach such as adopting an LCD can be offered to patients with DMCM. The reported case is that of a 45-year-old man with a 15-year history of non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, T2DM and obesity. The patient volunteered to engage in a 16-week low-carbohydrate dietary intervention trial and then self-selected to remain on this diet for 1 year. The whole-food LCD was based on simple ‘traffic light’ style food lists and not designed to restrict calories, protein, fat or salt. After 1 year, the patient had lost 39 kg and his cardiometabolic markers had significantly improved. LCDs present a potentially beneficial approach for patients with DMCM and could be considered as a lifestyle intervention before SGLT2i therapy is commenced.

Learning points

  • Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DMCM) is a syndrome precipitated mainly by the detrimental effects of glucose metabolism disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes.

  • Low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) mimic many effects of sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i).

  • LCDs are a dietary pattern which can have significant and beneficial effects on metabolic and anthropometric markers in patients with DMCM.

  • LCDs and SGLT2i therapy could be combined and may achieve better clinical outcomes for patients with DMCM.

  • Combination therapy may be carried out under close supervision as the real risk for diabetic ketoacidosis remains.

Open access
Bronwyn G A Stuckey Keogh Institute for Medical Research, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Wester