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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
Alexis Elias Malavazos Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

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Chiara Meregalli Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Fabio Sorrentino Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Andrea Vignati Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Carola Dubini Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Valentina Scravaglieri Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Sara Basilico Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Federico Boniardi Endocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Pietro Spagnolo Unit of Radiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Piergiorgio Malagoli Unit of Dermatology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy

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Paolo Romanelli Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA

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Francesco Secchi Unit of Radiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

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Gianluca Iacobellis Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Miami, Florida, USA

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Summary

Psoriasis is often associated with abdominal obesity and type-2 diabetes (T2D). The inflammatory process in psoriasis can target adipose tissue depots, especially those surrounding the heart and coronary arteries, exposing to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. A 50-year-old female patient referred to us for abdominal obesity and T2D, which were not controlled with lifestyle modifications. She had suffered from psoriasis for some years and was treated with guselkumab, without success. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) attenuation and pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) attenuation for each coronary, defined as mean attenuation expressed in Hounsfield unit (HU), were assessed by routine coronary computed tomography angiography. At baseline, EAT attenuation was −80 HU and PCAT attenuation of the right coronary artery (RCA) was −68 HU, values associated with an increased cardiac mortality risk. Psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) was 12.0, indicating severe psoriasis, while dermatology life quality index (DLQI) was 20, indicating a negative effect on the patient’s life. Semaglutide (starting with 0.25 mg/week for 4 weeks, increased to 0.50 mg/week for 16 weeks, and then to 1 mg/week) was started. After 10 months, semaglutide treatment normalized glycated hemoglobin and induced weight loss, particularly at abdominal level, also followed by a reduction in computed tomography-measured EAT volume. EAT attenuation and PCAT attenuation of RCA decreased, showing an important reduction of 17.5 and 5.9% respectively, compared with baseline. PASI and DLQI decreased by 98.3 and 95% respectively, indicating an improvement in psoriasis skin lesions and an important amelioration of the patient’s quality of life, compared with baseline.

Learning points

  • Psoriasis patients affected by obesity and type-2 diabetes (T2D) are often resistant to biologic therapies.

  • Psoriasis is often associated with abdominal obesity, T2D, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), given their shared inflammatory properties and pathogenic similarities.

  • Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) inflammation can cause the distinctive pattern of CVD seen in psoriasis.

  • EAT and pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) attenuation, assessed by routine coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), can be used as biomarkers of inflammation and allow monitoring of medical anti-inflammatory therapies.

  • The actions of semaglutide to reduce energy intake, improve glycemic control, and produce effective weight loss, particularly at the visceral fat depot level, can diminish adipose tissue dysfunction, reduce EAT attenuation and PCAT attenuation of the right coronary artery (RCA) and concomitantly ameliorate the clinical severity of psoriasis.

  • Semaglutide therapy may be considered in psoriasis patients affected by T2D and abdominal obesity, despite low cardiovascular risk by traditional risk scores, who are resistant to biologic therapies.

Open access
Valentim Lopes Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal

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Catarina Machado Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal

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Adriana De Sousa Lages Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

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Summary

We report a case of a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer who unintentionally started gaining weight, feeling tired, and constipated 44 weeks after the initiation of trastuzumab. Hypothyroidism secondary to an autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab was diagnosed, the first case described in Portugal and the fourth case described worldwide. Our intention regarding the publication of this case report is to alert the clinicians treating people with trastuzumab that they should ask the patients about symptoms of hypothyroidism and should screen the thyroid function of the patients before, during, and after the initiation of trastuzumab.

Learning points

  • Trastuzumab is a humanized MAB used in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.

  • Trastuzumab-associated autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is rare (incidence rate in an RCT of 0.3%).

  • Manifestations of autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab resemble those of hypothyroidism in other clinical contexts, but the presence of goiter is highlighted as a reason for medical evaluation. Biochemically, it is characterized by an increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with or without a low FT4/FT3, and sonographically with a pattern of thyroiditis.

  • The treatment consists of levothyroxine, in a dose of 1.6–1.8 µg/kg/day, with re-evaluation of the thyroid function in 4–6 weeks.

  • We report the first case of autoimmune thyroiditis secondary to trastuzumab in Portugal.

  • It is important to evaluate the thyroid function before, during, and after the initiation of this therapeutic agent.

Open access
Benthe A M Dijkman Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Christel J M de Blok Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Koen M A Dreijerink Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Martin den Heijer Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Summary

A 31-year-old woman with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) experienced breast volume fluctuations during biphasic hormone replacement therapy consisting of estradiol and cyclical dydrogesterone, a progestin. 3D breast volume measurements showed a 100 cc volume (17%) difference between estradiol monotherapy and combined estradiol and dydrogesterone treatment. Progestogen-dependent breast volume changes have not been reported in the literature. Our findings suggest a correlation between progestogen use and breast volume. Due to the rapid cyclical changes, we hypothesize that the effect is caused by fluid retention.

Learning points

  • There is limited reports available on the effects of progesterone on breast development and volume.

  • 3D imaging provides an easy-to-use method to quantify breast volume.

  • The patient in our case description clearly showed that cyclic progesterone use might induce substantial cyclic changes in breast volume.

  • In women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), monotherapy with estrogen or continuous supplementation of progesterone might be preferable over cyclic progesterone use.

Open access
Norio Wada Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Arina Miyoshi Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shuhei Baba Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Hajime Sugawara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shinji Obara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Summary

A 40-year-old Japanese woman presented to the outpatient clinic with fever and palpitations 2 days after receiving the influenza vaccine (Influenza HA Vaccine ‘KMB’®) following the second dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine Moderna intramuscular injection®). At the first visit, the patient presented with a swollen thyroid gland with mild tenderness, and she was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) based on the presence of thyrotoxicosis (free T3: 5.42 pg/mL; free T4: 2.34 ng/dL; and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): <0.01 μIU/mL), a high C-reactive protein level (5.77 mg/dL), a negative TSH receptor antibody, and characteristic ultrasound findings. The patient’s human leukocyte antigen types were A2, A11, B35, B51, DR4, and DR1403. Prednisolone (15 mg/day) was given as an initial dose, after which the fever subsided, and the dose was tapered and discontinued after 6 weeks. The patient was thought to have developed SAT due to influenza vaccination. SAT after influenza vaccination may be overlooked. For patients with SAT, it is necessary to obtain information regarding their vaccination history.

Learning points

  • After influenza vaccination, subacute thyroiditis (SAT) may develop.

  • If persistent fever, anterior neck pain, swelling, tenderness of the thyroid gland, and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are observed immediately after vaccination for several viruses, including influenza, an examination to rule out the onset of SAT is recommended.

  • Human leukocyte antigen type A2 (HLA-A2) and HLA-B35 may be linked to the development of SAT following influenza vaccination.

  • The two doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine given before the influenza vaccine may affect the onset of SAT.

Open access
Aneez Joseph Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Kripa Elizabeth Cherian Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Nitin Kapoor Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Thomas V Paul Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Summary

Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia secondary to proximal renal tubular dysfunction is not an uncommon complication known to occur. A 46-year-old woman was referred for the evaluation of osteoporosis which was diagnosed elsewhere. She had polyarthralgia, bony pains and proximal muscle weakness of 1 year duration. She was diagnosed to have HIV infection and was on antiretroviral therapy that consisted of tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz for the past 12 years. She had attained menopause 5 years back. On examination, she had bone tenderness, proximal myopathy and painful restriction of movement of her lower limbs. Investigations showed features of renal tubular acidosis, hypophosphatemia and raised alkaline phosphatase that were suggestive of osteomalacia. X-ray of the pelvis showed diffuse osteopenia and an MRI of the pelvis done showed multiple insufficiency fractures involving the head of femur on both sides. Following this, her tenofovir-based regimen was changed to abacavir, efavirenz and lamivudine with addition of neutral phosphate supplements and calcitriol. On follow-up after 6 months, she had significant improvement in her symptoms as well as in the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine (33.2%), femoral neck (27.6%), trabecular bone score (13.2%) and reduction in the buckling ratio at the narrow neck (6.3%), inter-trochanteric region (34%) and femoral shaft (28.8%). Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia is encountered in individuals on prolonged treatment with tenofovir. Treatment consists of changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen, as well as supplementation of phosphate and calcitriol. Treatment results in remarkable improvement in symptoms and most densitometric indices.

Learning points

  • Tenofovir is a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and is a major drug in the treatment of retroviral and hepatitis B infections.

  • Tenofovir-related hypophosphatemic osteomalacia is related to proximal tubulopathy and is not an uncommon occurrence.

  • Treatment mandates changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen with supplementation of neutral phosphate and calcitriol.

  • Treatment results in a significant improvement in bone mineral density, trabecular bone score and hip geometric parameters.

Open access
Amanda I Martinez Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, Ohio, USA

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Nicholas Mezitis Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, Ohio, USA

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Summary

Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, also known as Depo-Provera, is a progesterone-only contraceptive that is administered by injection to patients every three months. We describe the case of a 19-year-old female who was diagnosed with central diabetes insipidus following the administration of the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera. The patient was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome at age 16 and was originally prescribed oral contraceptives to restore menstrual regularity. Three years later, Depo-Provera was substituted for convenience, and symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia appeared one month after initiating the progesterone-only regimen. We are proposing that central diabetes insipidus may be a possible adverse effect of Depo-Provera in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who receive the progesterone-only contraception, due to the interference of their arginine vasopressin mechanism through the alteration of estrogen levels. We review potential mechanisms through the presentation of previously completed research in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Learning points

  • We propose that although rare, the decrease in estrogen that is experienced during the administration of Depo-Provera can interfere with arginine vasopressin release in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

  • Increased awareness of possible lasting adverse effects on fluid balance with unopposed progesterone administration in PCOS is important, as this case of the development of diabetes insipidus suggests.

  • Discussion of such potential side effects is important when considering contraceptive options for the regulation of menses in patients with PCOS.

Open access
Caoimhe Casey University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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Tom Higgins University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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Summary

Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that has previously been described following viral illnesses and occasionally post vaccination such as influenza vaccine. 2021 was a revolutionary year for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations with multiple different vaccines now available. There are increasing numbers of case reports of thyroiditis following these vaccinations. We report a case of a 50-year-old female who developed subacute thyroiditis 6 days post ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222 produced by AstraZeneca Vaxzevria). The initial thyrotoxic phase was followed by overt hypothyroidism. This resolved spontaneously within 5 months without levothyroxine replacement. We hope that our case will add to the growing literature of cases of thyroiditis occurring after multiple different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and create awareness of this rare but treatable adverse effect. We also review the literature on the proposed mechanisms behind this adverse effect.

Learning points

  • Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that can occur after a viral illness or vaccination against certain infections.

  • Subacute thyroiditis is a rare adverse effect that has been reported to occur after different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.

  • Subacute thyroiditis post vaccination is relatively straightforward to manage, with some patients requiring non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers, while more severe cases may require corticosteroid therapy. This adverse effect should not dissuade vaccination use at a population level.

  • There are many postulated mechanisms for the development of subacute thyroiditis following vaccination including the presence of the ACE-2 receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on the thyroid gland, an inflammatory/immune response as is seen in COVID-19 infection itself and molecular mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and healthy thyroid antigen.

Open access
Mohammed Anwar Hussain Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Aneez Joseph Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Vinoo Mathew Cherian Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Alok Srivastava Department of Haematology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Kripa Elizabeth Cherian Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Nitin Kapoor Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Thomas Vizhalil Paul Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Summary

Although bisphosphonates (BPs) are mainly used for the treatment of osteoporosis and are generally safe, long-term use and more dosage as utilised in malignant conditions may be associated with the rare adverse event of an atypical femoral fracture (AFF). Occasionally, the risk of developing an AFF persists long after BPs are withdrawn. A 39-year-old woman who underwent chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma presented to us with history of pain in the left thigh. She had received multiple doses of oral and parenteral BPs for about 10 years in view of the underlying myeloma with osteoporosis. Her investigations showed a suppressed CTX of 192 pg/mL, and radiograph of pelvis displayed thickened cortices with beaking of the left femoral shaft, which was suggestive of an AFF. Following discontinuation of BPs, she underwent prophylactic intra-medullary nailing with which her symptoms improved. Five years later, she presented with similar complaints on the right side. Investigations showed that her bone turnover continued to be suppressed with Cross linked C- Telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX) of 165 pg/mL and an X-ray done showed AFF on the right side despite being off BPs. A second intra-medullary nailing was done and on follow-up, she has been symptom-free and independent in her daily activities. Discontinuation of BPs may not prevent the incident second AFF and, therefore, thus warranting long-term follow-up.

Learning points

  • Regular screening and follow-up of patients who receive long-term bisphosphonate (BP) therapy should be done.

  • Discontinuation of BPs does not preclude the possibility of repeated occurrence of a second AFF.

  • Long-term BP therapy warrants regular monitoring and follow-up should an AFF occur

Open access
Sophie Bondje Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Camilla Barnes Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Felicity Kaplan Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Summary

Milk–alkali syndrome (MAS) is a triad of hypercalcaemia, metabolic alkalosis and renal insufficiency. In this study, we present a case of milk–alkali syndrome secondary to concurrent use of over-the-counter (OTC) calcium carbonate-containing antacid tablets (Rennie®) for dyspepsia and calcium carbonate with vitamin D3 (Adcal D3) for osteoporosis. A 72-year-old woman presented with a 2-day history of nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, constipation, lethargy and mild delirium. Past medical history included osteoporosis treated with daily Adcal D3. Initial blood tests showed elevated serum-adjusted calcium of 3.77 mmol/L (normal range, 2.2–2.6) and creatinine of 292 µmol/L (45–84) from a baseline of 84. This was corrected with i.v. pamidronate and i.v. fluids. She developed asymptomatic hypocalcaemia and rebound hyperparathyroidism. Myeloma screen, vasculitis screen and serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) were normal, while the CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis showed renal stones but no malignancy. A bone marrow biopsy showed no evidence of malignancy. Once the delirium resolved, we established that prior to admission, she had been excessively self-medicating with over-the-counter antacids (Rennie®) as required for epigastric pain. The increasing use of calcium preparations for the management of osteoporosis in addition to easily available OTC dyspepsia preparations has made MAS the third most common cause of hypercalcaemia hospitalisations. Educating patients and healthcare professionals on the risks associated with these seemingly safe medications is required. Appropriate warning labels on both calcium preparations used in the management of osteoporosis and OTC calcium-containing preparations would prevent further similar cases and unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

Learning points

What is known?

  • An association between high-dose calcium supplementation and hypercalcaemia crisis has been seen in case studies.

  • After as little as 1 week of excessive calcium carbonate ingestion, patients can present with symptomatic hypercalcemia, acute renal failure and metabolic alkalosis (1).

  • Women aged 50 and younger need 1 g of calcium per day, while aged 51 and older need 1.2 g (1).

  • Although the amount of calcium required for MAS is generally thought to be more than 4 g per day, there have been reports at intakes as low as 1.0–1.5 g per day in pre-existing risk factors including renal impairment (2).

What this study adds?

  • The danger of excessive ingestion of antacid is not adequately highlighted to prescribers and patients.

  • Appropriate warning labels on OTC calcium-containing preparations could prevent unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

Open access