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Open access

Rigya Arya, Tehmina Ahmad, and Satya Dash

Summary

Central diabetes insipidus (CDI) is a rare manifestation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with unclear etiology. When present, CDI in AML has most often been described in patients with chromosome 3 or 7 aberrations and no abnormalities on brain imaging. In this case, we present a woman with newly diagnosed AML t(12;14)(p12;q13) found to have diabetes insipidus (DI) with partial anterior pituitary dysfunction and abnormal brain imaging. While in hospital, the patient developed an elevated serum sodium of 151 mmol/L with a serum osmolality of 323 mmol/kg and urine osmolality of 154 mmol/kg. On history, she reported polyuria and polydipsia for 5 months preceding hospitalization. Based on her clinical symptoms and biochemistry, she was diagnosed with DI and treated using intravenous desmopressin with good effect; sodium improved to 144 mmol/L with a serum osmolality of 302 mmol/kg and urine osmolality of 501 mmol/kg. An MRI of the brain done for the assessment of neurologic involvement revealed symmetric high-T2 signal within the hypothalamus extending into the mamillary bodies bilaterally, a partially empty sella, and loss of the pituitary bright spot. A pituitary panel was completed which suggested partial anterior pituitary dysfunction. The patient’s robust improvement with low-dose desmopressin therapy along with her imaging findings indicated a central rather than nephrogenic cause for her DI. Given the time course of her presentation with respect to her AML diagnosis, MRI findings, and investigations excluding other causes, her CDI and partial anterior pituitary dysfunction were suspected to be secondary to hypothalamic leukemic infiltration.

Learning points

  • Leukemic infiltration of the pituitary gland is a rare cause of central diabetes insipidus (CDI) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

  • Patients with AML and CDI may compensate for polyuria and prevent hypernatremia with increased water intake.

  • AML-associated CDI can require long-term desmopressin treatment, independent of AML response to treatment.

Open access

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

Summary

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

Learning points

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

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

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

  • Understanding the spectrum of diabetes allows for precision medicine.

Open access

Yudi Camacho, Yusra Jamal, Andy Wang, Patrick Chiarolanzio, and Gayotri Goswami

Summary

Mass effect from a goiter is a serious complication with potentially life-threatening consequences. In rare instances, a goiter can compress nearby vessels, compromising cerebral blood flow, which can lead to an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes generally occur due to atherogenic or embolic phenomenon, albeit a rare etiology can be due to a mechanical obstruction of great vessels of the neck that provide blood supply to the brain. An unusual example of a similar obstruction is the mass effect of an expansive goiter on the carotid artery (CA) in the neck. We present a rare case of a 90-year-old female who had a historically untreated goiter for 13 years. She presented with symptoms of acute stroke, including right-sided weakness and dysarthria. CT angiogram of the neck revealed a massively enlarged thyroid gland causing compression and intermittent obstruction of the blood flow in the left common CA. Subsequently, the patient underwent a total thyroidectomy. Postoperatively, she had a remarkable recovery of her symptoms of right-sided weakness and dysarthria. Acknowledging stroke as a grave mechanical complication of a large multinodular goiter is crucial for timely and appropriate management to avoid serious consequences.

Learning points

  • The natural history of euthyroid multinodular goiters include abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, which results in local compression of structures in the neck causing neurovascular injury.

  • Timely diagnosis and surgical management of an enlarging goiter compressing the CA can reduce morbidity from an ischemic stroke.

  • Ischemic stroke is a rare and dangerous complication of a giant multinodular goiter.

Open access

Kushalee Poornima Jayawickreme, Dimuthu T Muthukuda, Chithranga Kariyawasam, Lalitha Piyarisi, and Buddhi A Abeywickrama

Summary

Treatment of insulinoma can be challenging, while surgical resection is considered the first line. When surgery is contraindicated or is refused, minimally invasive procedures such as selective arterial embolization, local ablative techniques including alcohol ablation, radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation are being used of late. The world’s first microwave ablation of insulinoma was performed in 2015, after which there have been only a handful of reported cases. A 78-year-old female presented with painful swelling of the left lower limb. She was drowsy and was previously misdiagnosed as epilepsy when she had similar episodes since 2 years ago. She had hypoglycaemia with high serum insulin and C-peptide, and mildly high adjusted calcium, serum prolactin. MRI did not show pituitary adenoma. Lower limb venous duplex scan showed left lower limb deep vein thrombosis for which she was treated with anticoagulation. CT of the abdomen showed a tumour measuring 1.8 cm, located in the antero-superior aspect of the body of the pancreas, with the superior surface being abutted by the splenic artery and the inferior surface being 3 mm above the pancreatic duct, suggestive of an insulinoma. Selective transcatheter arterial embolization of the pancreatic tumour was attempted but was abandoned due to multiple small feeding arteries. Microwave ablation of the tumour was performed successfully. Since there was a possibility of the ablation being compromised due to the heat sink at the splenic artery, 2 mL of 99% alcohol was injected into the rim of the tumour near the artery. She was subsequently normoglycaemic. She defaulted follow up for repeat imaging of pancreas and screening for MEN1 syndrome due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minimally invasive procedures are preferred over surgery in selected patients with insulinoma, out of which microwave ablation could be preferentially recommended due to its efficacy and minimal complications. We report the first case of MWA performed in combination with AA in successfully treating insulinoma to our knowledge. This is also the first reported case of DVT associated with isolated insulinoma prior to intervention, though it is rarely reported in MEN1 syndrome.

Learning points

  • Novel therapeutic minimally invasive procedures are successful in treating selected cases of insulinoma.

  • Microwave ablation could be recommended preferentially over selective trans-arterial embolization, and radiofrequency ablation in treating insulinoma due to its efficacy and minimal complications.

  • We report the first case of microwave ablation performed in combination with alcohol ablation in successfully treating insulinoma to our knowledge.

Open access

Liza Das, Usha Singh, Bhanu Malhotra, Sanjay Kumar Bhadada, Pulkit Rastogi, Paramjeet Singh, Pinaki Dutta, and Sameeksha Tadepalli

Summary

Thyroid eye disease (TED) is the most common extra-thyroidal manifestation in Graves’ disease (GD). Additional/concurrent/synchronous pathologies may be present, especially in elderly patients who present with atypical features such as non-axial (or eccentric) proptosis, absence of lid lag and restricted superior extra-ocular movements. A 70-year-old female presented with progressive proptosis of her left eye and diplopia. She was diagnosed with GD a year prior and initiated on carbimazole. On examination, she had eccentric proptosis, restricted superior extra-ocular movements and a palpable mass in the supero-temporal quadrant of the left eye. Her T3 (1.33 ng/mL) and T4 (8.85 µg/dL) were normal with carbimazole. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-receptor antibody was positive (3.15 IU/L, reference range <1.75). MRI revealed an enhancing lesion infiltrating the left superior rectus, with concurrent characteristic muscle belly involvement bilaterally. Orbital biopsy showed atypical lymphoid cells (CD20+), suggesting marginal zone lymphoma. CT thorax and abdomen, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and bone marrow examination were normal. The patient was administered orbital radiotherapy for her localised lymphoma and carbimazole was continued. TED is the most common cause of orbital involvement overall and in GD. However, additional or alternative pathology may be present which requires evaluation. MRI can be a useful adjunct in these patients. Orbital lymphoma needs to be staged with workup for disseminated disease. Radiotherapy is the treatment of choice for localized disease. The index case provides evidence for synchronous presentation of dual pathology and highlights the importance of astute clinical examination as well as keeps a low threshold for MRI in selected cases.

Learning points

  • Thyroid eye disease can co-exist with other ocular pathology, especially in elderly individuals.

  • Eccentric proptosis, absent lid lag and restriction of eye movements (suggesting tendon involvement) should alert towards the presence of alternative pathology.

  • Orbital imaging using MRI not only has greater sensitivity in diagnosing radiologically bilateral disease in patients who have unilateral involvement clinically but is also useful to identify concurrent neoplasms.

Open access

Michail Katsamakas, Eleni Tzitzili, Maria Boudina, Anastasia Kiziridou, Rosalia Valeri, Georgios Zafeiriou, and Alexandra Chrisoulidou

Summary

We present two cases of thyroid sarcoidosis that were misdiagnosed as thyroid cancer. In the first patient, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAc) of a suspicious thyroid nodule indicated the presence of papillary thyroid cancer, and the patient underwent thyroid surgery. However, histopathology identified a sarcoid granuloma, without any sign of malignancy. The second patient had a history of papillary microcarcinoma with suspicious lymph nodes diagnosed years after the initial diagnosis and was referred for assessment of cervical lymphadenopathy. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAc) of the suspicious lymph nodes erroneously indicated metastasis from thyroid cancer, and lateral modified lymph node dissection was performed, based on FNAc and ultrasonographic features. Histopathology excluded malignancy and identified non-caseating granulomas. Sarcoidosis of the thyroid may have a clinical presentation similar to well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma and, although rare, should be considered in the differential diagnosis, especially when other signs of the disease are already present. In these cases, FNAc provided a false diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma and lymph node metastases that led to unnecessary surgery.

Learning points

  • Sarcoidosis may share clinical and ultrasonographic features with papillary thyroid carcinoma.

  • Fine needle aspiration cytology is helpful in the diagnosis of both conditions; however, the overlapping cytological characteristics may lead to erroneous diagnosis.

  • The present cases illustrate the importance of cytological identification of these difficult cases. Every piece of information provided by the clinician is essential to the cytologist.

Open access

Marcio José Concepción Zavaleta, Sofia Pilar Ildefonso Najarro, Esteban Alberto Plasencia Dueñas, María Alejandra Quispe Flores, Diego Martín Moreno Marreros, Luis Alberto Concepción Urteaga, Laura Esther Luna Victorio, and Freddy Valdivia Fernández Dávila

Summary

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is the type of thyroid cancer that has the worst prognosis. It usually presents as a rapidly growing cervical mass that generates compressive symptoms. Its association with thyrotoxicosis is rare. A 76-year-old woman, with no contributory history, presented with a 3-month course of fast-growing cervical tumor, associated with tenderness, cough, and weight loss. Physical examination revealed goiter, localized erythema, and a painful and stone tumor dependent on the right thyroid lobe. Due to the malignant findings of the thyroid ultrasound, the patient underwent a thyroid core needle biopsy, which indicated ATC. Laboratory tests revealed leukocytosis, decreased thyroid-stimulating hormone, elevated free thyroxine (fT4), and increased thyroperoxidase (TPO) antibodies. At the beginning, we considered that the etiology of thyrotoxicosis was secondary to subacute thyroiditis (SAT) after SARS-CoV-2 infection, due to the immunochromatography result and chest tomography findings. The result of markedly elevated TPO antibodies left this etiology more remote. Therefore, we suspected Graves’ disease as an etiology; however, thyroid histopathology and ultrasound did not show compatible findings. Therefore, we suspect that the main etiology of thyrotoxicosis in the patient was the destruction of the thyroid follicles caused by a rapid invasion of malignant cells, which is responsible for the consequent release of preformed thyroid hormone. ATC is a rare endocrine neoplasm with high mortality; it may be associated with thyrotoxicosis, whose etiology can be varied; therefore, differential diagnosis is important for proper management.

Learning points

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the thyroid cancer with the worst prognosis and the highest mortality.

  • The association of anaplastic thyroid cancer with thyrotoxicosis is rare, and a differential diagnosis is necessary to provide adequate treatment.

  • Due to the current pandemic, in patients with thyrotoxicosis, it is important to rule out SARS-CoV-2 as an etiology.

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer, due to its aggressive behavior and rapid growth, can destroy thyroid follicular cells, generating preformed thyroid hormone release, being responsible for thyrotoxicosis.

Open access

Ann-Elin Meling Stokland, Anne Lise Dahle, Vidar Laurits Kloster, Torbjørn Nedrebø, and Bjørn Gunnar Nedrebø

Summary

Myxedema coma is an important differential diagnosis in critically ill patients. Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount but challenging due to a lack of diagnostic criteria. We report a case about a patient who suffered from untreated hypothyroidism for several years. Before the correct diagnosis was made, he was admitted three times due to severe constipation. Eventually, he developed myxedema coma in connection with a urinary tract infection. The course was complicated by recurrent seizures, and neuroimaging showed bilateral hygromas. Hormone replacement therapy resulted in complete recovery and regression of hygromas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time hygroma is reported in association with myxedema coma.

Learning points

  • Myxedema coma is a difficult diagnosis to make due to a lack of diagnostic criteria.

  • Cardinal features include hypothermia, bradycardia, gastrointestinal symptoms, pericardial/pleural effusions and affection of CNS. Anemia and hyponatremia are common.

  • In case of suspected myxedema coma, neuroimaging should be a part of the evaluation in most cases.

  • There is a possible association between longstanding/severe hypothyroidism and hygroma.

Open access

Ayesha Ghayur, Qurrat Elahi, Chinmay Patel, and Rishi Raj

Summary

Hypothyroidism is a common medical condition and is often easily managed with excellent outcomes, when treated adequately. Compliance with levothyroxine (LT4) therapy is often compromised because of the need for a daily and lasting schedule. Overt rhabdomyolysis due to under-treatment or non-compliance is a rare occurrence. We report a case of rhabdomyolysis leading to acute kidney injury (AKI) on chronic kidney disease (CKD) requiring hemodialysis (HD) in a 68-year-old Caucasian male due to non-compliance with levothyroxine (LT4) therapy. Our patient 'ran out of levothyroxine' for approximately 4 weeks and developed gradually progressive muscle pain. The diagnosis of severe AKI due to rhabdomyolysis was made based on oliguria, elevated creatinine kinase (CK), and renal failure. Resuming the home dose of LT4 failed to correct CK levels, and there was a progressive decline in renal function. Although increasing doses of LT4 and three cycles of HD improved CK levels, they remained above baseline at the time of discharge. The patient recovered gradually and required HD for 4 weeks. CK levels normalized at 6 weeks. Through this case report, we highlight that non-compliance with LT4 therapy can lead to life-threatening complications such as renal failure and hence the need to educate patients on the significance of compliance with LT4 therapy should be addressed.

Learning points

  • Non-compliance to levothyroxine therapy is common and can lead to serious complications, including rhabdomyolysis.

  • Rhabdomyolysis is an uncommon presentation of hypothyroidism and severe rhabdomyolysis can result in renal failure requiring hemodialysis.

  • Rhabdomyolysis associated with hypothyroidism can be further exacerbated by concomitant use of statins.

Open access

Jean Marc Mizzi, Christopher Rizzo, and Stephen Fava

Summary

An 82-year-old female was admitted to a general hospital due to progressive bilateral lower limb weakness. A T8–T9 extramedullary meningioma was diagnosed by MRI, and the patient was referred for excision of the tumour. During the patient’s admission, she was noted to have persistent hyperkalaemia which was refractory to treatment. Following a review by an endocrinology team, a diagnosis of pseudohyperkalaemia secondary to thrombocytosis was made. This case demonstrates the importance of promptly identifying patients who are susceptible to pseudohyperkalaemia, in order to prevent its potentially serious consequences.

Learning points

  • Pseudohyperkalaemia should be considered in patients with unexplained or asymptomatic hyperkalaemia. It should also be considered in those patients who are resistant to the classical treatment of hyperkalaemia.

  • A diagnosis of pseudohyperkalaemia is considered when there is a difference of >0.4 mmol/L of potassium between serum and plasma potassium in the absence of symptoms and ECG changes.

  • In patients who are presenting with consistently elevated serum potassium levels, it may be beneficial to take venous blood gas and/ or plasma potassium levels to rule out pseudohyperkalaemia.

  • Pseudohyperkalaemia may subject patients to iatrogenic hypokalaemia which can be potentially fatal.

  • Pseudohyperkalaemia can occur secondary to thrombocytosis, red cell haemolysis due to improper blood letting techniques, leukaemia and lymphoma.