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Matthew J Verheyden Department of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology Group, Kolling Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Natassia Rodrigo Department of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology Group, Kolling Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Nepean Hospital, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

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Anthony J Gill Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology Group, Kolling Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
NSW Health Pathology, Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia

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Sarah J Glastras Department of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology Group, Kolling Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Summary

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

Learning points

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

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

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

  • Diagnosis of NL requires careful clinicopathological correlation.

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

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

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Jenny S W Yun Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Chris McCormack Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Michelle Goh Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Cherie Chiang Department of Internal Medicine, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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Summary

Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a common dermatosis associated with hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. However, AN has been rarely reported in patients with insulinoma, a state of persistent hyperinsulinemia. We present a case of metastatic insulinoma, in whom AN manifested after the first cycle of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT). A 40-year-old man was diagnosed with metastatic insulinoma after 5 months of symptomatic hypoglycemia. Within 1 month post PRRT, the patient became euglycemic but developed a pigmented, pruritic rash which was confirmed on biopsy as AN. We discuss the rare manifestation of AN in subjects with insulinoma, the role of insulin in the pathogenesis of AN, malignant AN in non-insulin-secreting malignancies and association with other insulin-resistant endocrinopathies such as acromegaly.

Learning points

  • Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a common dermatosis which is typically asymptomatic and associated with the hyperinsulinemic state.

  • Malignant AN can rapidly spread, cause pruritus and affect mucosa and the oral cavity.

  • AN is extremely rare in patients with insulinoma despite marked hyperinsulinemia.

  • Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy might have triggered TGF-α secretion in this subject which led to malignant AN.

  • Rapid spread or unusual distribution of pruritic AN warrants further investigation to exclude underlying malignancy.

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Najoua Rbiai Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Mohammed VI Hospital

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Ikram Mahroug Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Mohammed VI Hospital

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Nada Zizi Laboratory of Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Public Health
Department of Dermatology, Mohammed VI Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohamed Ist University, Oujda, Morocco

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Hanane Latrech Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Mohammed VI Hospital
Laboratory of Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Public Health

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Summary

Cushing’s disease or pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-dependent Cushing’s syndrome is considered a rare condition. It is caused by hypersecretion of the ACTH by a pituitary adenoma that ultimately induces endogenous hypercortisolism by stimulating the adrenal glands. It is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. The clinical signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism are usually common and non-specific including obesity, moon face, hypertension, hirsutism and facial plethora. The association between Cushing’s disease and calcinosis cutis which is defined as dystrophic calcium deposition in the skin and subcutaneous tissues is extremely rare. To the best of our knowledge, it has never been described previously in humans, probably like a symptom or complication of chronic and severe hypercortisolism. In this paper, we report a case of a 30-year-old female diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and presented bilateral leg’s calcinosis cutis complicated with ulceration. The evolution was favorable and the complete cicatrization was obtained 12 months following the suppression of systemic glucocorticoid excess.

Learning points

  • Calcinosis cutis is common in autoimmune connective diseases. However, to our knowledge, it has never been reported in humans with Cushing’s disease.

  • Given the rarity of this association, the diagnostic approach to calcinosis cutis must exclude the other etiologies.

  • Calcinosis cutis is challenging to treat with no gold standard therapy. In our case, the use of the combination of colchicine and bisphosphonates does not significantly improve the patient’s outcomes. In fact, we suppose that without treating the endogenous hypercortisolism, the calcinosis cutis will not resolve.

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Ricaurte Crespo-Trevino Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
Neuro-Ophthalmology of Texas, and Neuro-Eye Clinical Trials Inc., Houston, Texas, USA

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Jade Schiffman Neuro-Ophthalmology of Texas, and Neuro-Eye Clinical Trials Inc., Houston, Texas, USA

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Shoaib Ugradar Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Kimberly Cockerham Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA

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Raymond Douglas The Jules Stein Eye Institute University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

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David de Leon-Garza Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico

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Rosa Tang Neuro-Ophthalmology of Texas, and Neuro-Eye Clinical Trials Inc., Houston, Texas, USA

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Summary

Thyroid dermopathy is an uncommon manifestation of thyroid disease that impairs the quality of life in certain cases. Currently, the available treatments offer limited results and a chance of recurrence. Teprotumumab, a novel medication that results in the regression of thyroid ophthalmopathy, may have similar effects on dermopathy. We describe four patients treated with teprotumumab for their thyroid ophthalmopathy who concomitantly had dermatopathy upon initiation of their infusions. Patients improved after two to three infusions and three out of the four patients have not suffered a recurrence.Teprotumumab is a monoclonal antibody (MAB) that attenuates an inflammatory response, resulting in decreased edema and tissue expansion. Given the similarities of their pathophysiology, we believe that the resolution of thyroid dermatopathy and regression of thyroid eye disease occurs via the same mechanism. We encourage further investigation utilizing teprotumumab for patients whose dermopathy is associated with impaired quality of life.

Learning points

  • Thyroid dermopathy (TD), an uncommon manifestation of thyroid disease, may occasionally impair function and quality of life.

  • There are only a few treatments for TD, with limited results and high rates of recurrence.

  • Teprotumumab is a Food and Drug Administration-approved medication used for thyroid eye disease (TED).

  • Our patients treated with teprotumumab for TED showed improvement of TD, which demonstrates its potential use for this condition.

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Salvatore Cannavò Unit of Endocrinology of Department of Human Pathology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

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Serafinella Patrizia Cannavò Unit of Dermatology of Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

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Summary

Factitious Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is a very rare form of Münchausen syndrome. Its presentation and course are extremely heterogeneous, and diagnosis is generally challenging. We report the case of a 52-year-old woman who was initially investigated because of the occurrence of cushingoid features. Nevertheless, endocrine work-up showed very low morning plasma ACTH and serum cortisol levels. In addition, it also demonstrated central hypopituitarism and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Head MRI showed a small pituitary mass. Based on these results, and probably overlooking the initial clinical suspicion, general practitioner (GP) referred the patient to our Endocrine Unit for hypopituitarism. At inspection, moon face, central obesity, and bruising were evident. Multiple ulcerative skin lesions were also concentrated in the right arm and leg. Dermatology evaluation suggested that the lesions were self-provoked. For several days, the patient denied the assumption of corticosteroids, but we finally discovered that the GP’ nurse had prescribed betamethasone without the GP’s knowledge for about 2 years. In conclusion, the surreptitious assumption of corticosteroids is very rare, but the physicians should be aware that pituitary function could be impaired by high doses of corticosteroids, mimicking hypopituitarism. In these patients, a multidisciplinary approach and environmental investigation can be useful to diagnose factitious CS.

Learning points

  • Surreptitious assumption of corticosteroids can cause heterogeneous presentation, ranging from Cushing’s syndrome to multiple hypopituitarism.

  • Suppression of ACTH and cortisol levels in a patient with cushingoid features firstly suggests surreptitious assumption of corticosteroids.

  • A multidisciplinary approach can be extremely useful in patients with suspected factitious Cushing’s syndrome.

  • Sometimes, to prove surreptitious assumption of corticosteroids needs environmental investigation.

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Marina Yukina Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Nurana Nuralieva Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Ekaterina Sorkina Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Ekaterina Troshina Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Anatoly Tiulpakov Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Zhanna Belaya Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Galina Melnichenko Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia

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Summary

Lamin A/C (LMNA) gene mutations cause a heterogeneous group of progeroid disorders, including Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome, mandibuloacral dysplasia, atypical progeroid syndrome (APS) and generalized lipodystrophy-associated progeroid syndrome (GLPS). All of those syndromes are associated with some progeroid features, lipodystrophy and metabolic complications but vary differently depending on a particular mutation and even patients carrying the same gene variant are known to have clinical heterogeneity. We report a new 30-year-old female patient from Russia with an APS and generalized lipodystrophy (GL) due to the heterozygous de novo LMNA p.E262K mutation and compare her clinical and metabolic features to those of other described patients with APS. Despite many health issues, short stature, skeletal problems, GL and late diagnosis of APS, our patient seems to be relatively metabolically healthy for her age when compared to previously described patients with APS.

Learning points

  • Atypical progeroid syndromes (APS) are rare and heterogenic with different age of onset and degree of metabolic disorders, which makes this diagnosis very challenging for clinicians and may be missed until the adulthood.

  • The clinical picture of the APS depends on a particular mutation in the LMNA gene, but may vary even between the patients with the same mutation.

  • The APS due to a heterozygous LMNA p.E262K mutation, which we report in this patient, seems to have association with the generalized lipodystrophy, short stature and osteoporosis, but otherwise, it seems to cause relatively mild metabolic complications by the age of 30.

  • The patients with APS and lipodystrophy syndromes require a personalized and multidisciplinary approach, and so they should be referred to highly specialized reference-centres for diagnostics and treatment as early as possible.

  • Because of the high heterogeneity of such a rare disease as APS, every patient’s description is noteworthy for a better understanding of this challenging syndrome, including the analysis of genotype-phenotype correlations.

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João José Nunes Roque Department of Endocrinology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisboa, Portugal

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Irina Borisovna Samokhvalova Alves Department of Pathology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisboa, Portugal

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Ana Maria de Almeida Paiva Fernandes Rodrigues Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisboa, Portugal

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Maria João Bugalho Department of Endocrinology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisboa, Portugal
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

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Summary

Menopause is a relative hyperandrogenic state but the development of hirsutism or virilizing features should not be regarded as normal. We report the case of a 62-year-old woman with a 9-month history of progressive frontotemporal hair loss and hirsutism, particularly on her back, arms and forearms. Blood tests showed increased total testosterone of 5.20 nmol/L that remained elevated after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test. Free Androgen Index was 13.1 and DHEAS was repeatedly normal. Imaging examinations to study adrenals and ovaries were negative. The biochemical profile and the absence of imaging in favor of an adrenal tumor made us consider the ovarian origin as the most likely hypothesis. After informed consent, bilateral salpingectomy-oophorectomy and total hysterectomy were performed. Gross pathology revealed ovaries of increased volume and histology showed bilateral ovarian stromal hyperplasia. Testosterone levels normalized after surgery and hirsutism had completely subsided 8 months later.

Learning points:

  • Menopause is a relative hyperandrogenic state

  • Hirsutism and/or virilizing features, in a postmenopausal woman, should raise the hypothesis of a malignant cause

  • In the absence of an identifiable ovarian or adrenal tumor, the ovarian origin remains the most likely

  • Peripheral aromatization of excess androgen may conduct to high levels of estrogen increasing the risk of endometrial cancer

  • Bilateral oophorectomy results in significant clinical improvement.

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Joana Lima Ferreira Endocrinology Department, Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, Matosinhos, Portugal

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Francisco Simões de Carvalho Endocrinology Department, Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, Matosinhos, Portugal

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Ana Paula Marques Endocrinology Department, Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, Matosinhos, Portugal

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Rosa Maria Príncipe Endocrinology Department, Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, Matosinhos, Portugal

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Summary

Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is a very rare autoimmune entity, accounting for about 400 cases reported worldwide. It is characterized by the presence of at least two of three cardinal components: chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), hypoparathyroidism and Addison’s disease. It typically manifests in childhood with CMC and years later with hypoparathyroidism. A 50-year-old man was referred to the Endocrinology outpatient clinic due to irregular follow-up of primary hypoparathyroidism diagnosed at age 7. Previous analysis reported frequent fluctuations of calcium and phosphate levels and persistent hypercalciuria. He presented several comorbidities, including bilateral cataracts, other ocular disorders, transient alopecia and chronic gastritis. Due to weight loss, fatigue, gastrointestinal complaints and the findings at objective examination, Addison’s disease and CMC were investigated and confirmed. Antifungal therapy and hormonal replacement were started with evident clinical improvement. Regarding hypoparathyroidism, calcium-phosphate product decreased and other extraskeletal calcifications were diagnosed, such as nephrolithiasis and in basal ganglia. Further evaluation by genetic analysis revealed homozygosity for a frameshift mutation considered to be a pathogenic variant. It was reported only in two Asian siblings in compound heterozygosity. This case highlights the broad phenotypic spectrum of APS-1 and the significative intra-familial phenotype variability. A complete clinical history taking and high index of suspicion allowed the diagnosis of this rare entity. This case clarifies the need for regular long-term follow-up. In the specific case of hypoparathyroidism and Addison’s disease in combination, the management of APS-1 can be complex.

Learning points:

  • Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is a deeply heterogeneous genetic entity with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and a significant intra-family phenotypic variability.

  • Early diagnosis of APS-1 is challenging but clinically relevant, as endocrine and non-endocrine manifestations may occur during its natural history.

  • APS-1 should be considered in cases of acquired hypoparathyroidism, and even more so with manifestations with early onset, family history and consanguinity.

  • APS-1 diagnosis needs a high index of suspicion. Key information such as all the comorbidities and family aspects would never be valued in the absence of a complete clinical history taking.

  • Especially in hypoparathyroidism and Addison’s disease in combination, the management of APS-1 can be complex and is not a matter of simply approaching individually each condition.

  • Regular long-term monitoring of APS-1 is essential. Intercalary contact by phone calls benefits the control of the disease and the management of complications.

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Agnieszka Łebkowska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Anna Krentowska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Agnieszka Adamska Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Danuta Lipińska Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Beata Piasecka Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Otylia Kowal-Bielecka Department of Rheumatology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Maria Górska Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Robert K Semple Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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Irina Kowalska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

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Summary

Type B insulin resistance syndrome (TBIR) is characterised by the rapid onset of severe insulin resistance due to circulating anti-insulin receptor antibodies (AIRAs). Widespread acanthosis nigricans is normally seen, and co-occurrence with other autoimmune diseases is common. We report a 27-year-old Caucasian man with psoriasis and connective tissue disease who presented with unexplained rapid weight loss, severe acanthosis nigricans, and hyperglycaemia punctuated by fasting hypoglycaemia. Severe insulin resistance was confirmed by hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamping, and immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated AIRAs, confirming TBIR. Treatment with corticosteroids, metformin and hydroxychloroquine allowed withdrawal of insulin therapy, with stabilisation of glycaemia and diminished signs of insulin resistance; however, morning fasting hypoglycaemic episodes persisted. Over three years of follow-up, metabolic control remained satisfactory on a regimen of metformin, hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate; however, psoriatic arthritis developed. This case illustrates TBIR as a rare but severe form of acquired insulin resistance and describes an effective multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

Learning points:

  • We describe an unusual case of type B insulin resistance syndrome (TBIR) in association with mixed connective tissue disease and psoriasis.

  • Clinical evidence of severe insulin resistance was corroborated by euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp, and anti-insulin receptor autoantibodies were confirmed by immunoprecipitation assay.

  • Treatment with metformin, hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate ameliorated extreme insulin resistance.

Open access
Daramjav Narantsatsral Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Takagi Junko Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Iwayama Hideyuki Department of Pediatrics, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan

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Inukai Daisuke Department of Otolaryngology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan

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Takama Hiroyuki Department of Dermatology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan

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Nomura Yuka Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Hirase Syo Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Morita Hiroyuki Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Otake Kazuo Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine

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Ogawa Tetsuya Department of Otolaryngology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan

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Takami Akiyoshi Department of Hematology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan

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Summary

Dupilumab an inhibitor of the interleukin (IL)-4R-alpha subunit is used for the treatment of allergic diseases. The patient was a 49-year-old man who received dupilumab for the treatment of severe atopic dermatitis. He presented hyperthyroidism with elevated thyroglobulin and anti-thyroid antibody negativity at 4 months after the initiation of therapy. On scintigraphy, the thyroid radioiodine uptake was low. Ultrasonography showed a diffuse hypoechoic area in the thyroid gland. A pathological study revealed lymphocytic infiltration. The administration of dupilumab was continued because of his atopic dermatitis that showed an excellent response. The patient`s hyperthyroidism changed to hypothyroidism 3 weeks later. Six months later his thyroid function normalized without any treatment. We herein describe the case of a patient with atopic dermatitis who developed painless thyroiditis under treatment with dupilumab. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of this event in the literature.

Learning points:

  • Dupilumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that blocks interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, has been shown to be effective in the treatment atopic dermatitis and asthma with eosinophilia.

  • Painless thyroiditis is characterized by transient hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and recovery without anti-thyroid treatment.

  • This is the first report of painless thyroiditis as an adverse effect of dupilumab, although conjunctivitis and nasopharyngitis are the main adverse effects of dupilumab.

Open access