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Maria Flynn Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Christopher Noss Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Robert Miller Department of Cardiac Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Corey Adams Department of Cardiac Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Dean Ruether Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Denise Chan Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Janice Pasieka Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Kirstie Lithgow Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Summary

Carcinoid heart disease is a rare complication of carcinoid syndrome, resulting in right-sided valvular heart disease and subsequent heart failure due to long-term exposure to vasoactive substances. The management of this condition is complex, often requiring surgical intervention. Current perioperative regimens entail the use of prophylactic somatostatin analogs to prevent carcinoid crisis; however, regimens vary widely among practitioners and evidence supporting their efficacy in this clinical setting is mixed. This case report describes the perioperative management of a 65-year-old man with carcinoid heart disease requiring tricuspid and pulmonary valve replacement surgery. As an adjunct to somatostatin analog therapy, the novel tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor, telotristat, was initiated preoperatively. This combination resulted in normalization of preoperative urinary 5-HIAA levels. The patient successfully underwent tricuspid and pulmonic valve replacement without evidence of carcinoid crisis. This clinical case is the first published documenting the use of telotristat in the perioperative period in a patient with carcinoid syndrome and carcinoid heart disease and was associated with a good long-term outcome despite the high-risk nature of the case.

Learning points

  • Carcinoid crisis is a life-threatening complication of carcinoid syndrome, resulting in hemodynamic instability, bronchospasm, and arrhythmia.

  • Cardiac surgical patients with carcinoid syndrome present a unique challenge as they are subject to physiologic conditions and medications which can potentiate intraoperative carcinoid crisis.

  • Perioperative management of patients with carcinoid syndrome currently entails the use of prophylactic somatostatin analogs; however, these agents do not prevent carcinoid crisis in all cases.

  • Telotristat, a tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor, shows promise as an adjunctive therapy to somatostatin analogs to reduce the risk of intraoperative carcinoid crisis.

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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.

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David Fennell Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Clare Miller Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Stephen Ludgate Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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John Conneely Department of Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Serena O’Brien Department of Critical Care Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Ian Conrick-Martin Department of Critical Care Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Jennifer Hastings Department of Critical Care Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Siobhán E McQuaid Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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Summary

Phaeochromocytoma, a rare neuroendocrine tumour of chromaffin cell origin, is characterised by catecholamine excess. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic disease to life-threatening multiorgan dysfunction. Catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy is a dreaded complication with high lethality. While there is lack of evidence-based guidelines for use of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) in the management of this condition, limited to case reports and small case series, V-A ECMO has been reported as ‘bridge to recovery’ therapy, providing circulatory support in the initial period of stabilisation prior to surgery. We report on two patients presenting with catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy and circulatory collapse who were successfully treated with V-A ECMO for 5 and 6 days, respectively, providing initial haemodynamic support. After stabilisation and introduction of alpha-blockade, both cases had favourable outcomes, with successful laparoscopic adrenalectomies on days 62 and 83 of admission, respectively. Our case reports provide further support for the use of V-A ECMO in the treatment of such gravely ill patients.

Learning points

  • Phaeochromocytoma should be considered in the diagnosis of patients presenting with acute cardiomyopathy.

  • Management of catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy is complex and requires multidisciplinary specialist input.

  • Pre-operative management of phaeochromocytoma involves alpha-blockade; however, haemodynamic instability in the setting of cardiogenic shock can preclude alpha-blockade use.

  • Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a life-saving intervention which may be considered in cases of acute catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic shock in order to provide the required haemodynamic support in the initial phase of treatment, enabling the administration of traditional pharmacological agents, including alpha-blockade.

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Gabriele Costanzo Endocrine Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital, Catania, Italy

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Salvatore Curatolo Dermatology Unit, Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy

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Barbara Busà Pharmacy Unit, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital, Catania, Italy

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Antonino Belfiore Endocrine Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital, Catania, Italy

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Damiano Gullo Endocrine Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital, Catania, Italy

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Summary

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). GLP-1 analogs exert several biological activities connected not only with an insulinotropic effect but also with immunoregulation and reduction of inflammation. A 73-year-old male patient with class III obesity was referred to us for T2DM, which was not controlled with metformin therapy. He had suffered from plaque psoriasis for some years and was treated with topical therapy and adalimumab, without success. The psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) was 33.2 (indicating severe psoriasis), and the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) was 26.0 (indicating an extremely negative effect on the patient's life). Semaglutide (starting with 0.25 mg/week for 4 weeks, increased to 0.50 mg/week for 12 weeks, and then to 1 mg/week) was added to metformin. After 4 months, glycemic parameters had improved, and his body weight decreased. Unexpectedly, skin lesions of plaque psoriasis improved. PASI decreased by 19% compared with baseline and quality of life, assessed with the DLQI, markedly ameliorated. After 10 months, glycemic and obesity parameters, as well as psoriasis, improved further. HbA1c, BMI, and PASI were reduced by 32, 16.3, and 92%, respectively, compared with the baseline. DLQI declined to 0, meaning there was no effect of plaque psoriasis on the patient’s life.

Learning points

  • Psoriasis in patients with type 2 diabetes is often resistant to therapy.

  • We observed an obese patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus who achieved glycemic control and weight loss with the addition of semaglutide to metformin and had a relevant and long-lasting improvement of plaque psoriasis, which was previously resistant to biologic therapy.

  • Therapy with semaglutide may be attempted in eligible patients with difficult to treat plaque psoriasis.

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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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Giuseppina Molinaro UOC Internal Medicine, The Pellegrini Hospital, Naples, Italy;

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Renato De Vecchis Medical and Polyspecialist Centre, Department of Cardiology, DSB 29 “S.Gennaro dei Poveri Hospital”, Naples, Italy;

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Elio Badolati Medical and Polyspecialist Centre, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders, DSB 29 “S.Gennaro dei Poveri Hospital”, Naples,Italy

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Raffaele Giannattasio Medical and Polyspecialist Centre, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders, DSB 29 “S.Gennaro dei Poveri Hospital”, Naples,Italy

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Summary

The authors examine several reports of the literature concerning thyrotoxic dilated cardiomyopathy. In particular, it is pointed out that this clinical manifestation of hyperthyroidism is rare in readily diagnosed and properly treated hyperthyroidism. Case reports are analyzed comparatively. A case deriving from the direct experience of the authors is also presented.

Learning points:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy has been reported as the initial presentation of hyperthyroidism in only 6% of patients although <1% developed severe LV dysfunction.

  • Clinical picture of thyrotoxic dilated cardiomyopathy can degenerate into an overt cardiogenic shock sometimes requiring the use of devices for mechanical assistance to the circulation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

  • For thyrotoxic dilated cardiomyopathy, evidence-based pharmacologic measures valid for heart failure should always be supplemented by the administration of specific thyroid therapies such as thionamides (methimazole, carbimazole or propylthiouracil), whose relatively long latency of action should be supported by the i.v. administration of small doses of beta-blocker.

  • In cases of cardiogenic shock, the administration of beta-blocker should be carried out only after the restoration of satisfactory blood pressure levels- with the prudent use of synthetic catecholamines, if necessary.

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Tomomi Nakao First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Ken Takeshima First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Hiroyuki Ariyasu First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Chiaki Kurimoto First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Shinsuke Uraki First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Shuhei Morita First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Yasushi Furukawa First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Hiroshi Iwakura First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Takashi Akamizu First Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama City, Wakayama, Japan

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Summary

Thyroid storm (TS) is a life-threatening condition that may suffer thyrotoxic patients. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is a rescue approach for TS with acute hepatic failure, but it should be initiated with careful considerations. We present a 55-year-old male patient with untreated Graves’ disease who developed TS. Severe hyperthyroidism and refractory atrial fibrillation with congestive heart failure aggregated to multiple organ failure. The patient was recovered by intensive multimodal therapy, but we had difficulty in introducing TPE treatment considering the risk of exacerbation of congestive heart failure due to plasma volume overload. In addition, serum total bilirubin level was not elevated in the early phase to the level of indication for TPE. The clinical course of this patient instructed delayed elevation of bilirubin until the level of indication for TPE in some patients and also demonstrated the risk of exacerbation of congestive heart failure by TPE.

Learning points:

  • Our patient with thyroid storm could be diagnosed and treated promptly using Japan Thyroid Association guidelines for thyroid storm.

  • Delayed elevation of serum bilirubin levels could make the decision of introducing therapeutic plasma exchange difficult in cases of thyroid storm with acute hepatic failure.

  • The risk of worsening congestive heart failure should be considered carefully when performing therapeutic plasma exchange.

Open access
Eka Melson Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Sidra Amir University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Lisa Shepherd Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Samina Kauser University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Bethan Freestone University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Punith Kempegowda University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Summary

Although pheochromocytoma classically presents with headaches, palpitations and paroxysmal hypertension, atypical presentations such as cardiomyopathy, stroke and subarachnoid haemorrhage have been infrequently documented. We present in this case report, an uncommon presentation of pheochromocytoma with myocardial infarction with normal coronary arteries (MINOCA). A 79-year-old woman presented with central crushing chest pain radiating to left arm associated with headache, palpitations, sweating and difficulty in breathing. For 2 years, she experienced brief episodes of headache, tinnitus, dizziness, palpitations, and sweating that spontaneously resolved. Clinical examination was unremarkable except for high blood pressure (210/105 mmHg). Her electrocardiogram showed T wave inversions from V1 to V6 and elevated troponins (774 ng/L at baseline and 932 ng/L 3 h from baseline (normal <16 ng/L) in keeping with a diagnosis of non-ST elevated myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography showed normal coronary arteries. Patient was hence treated as myocardial infarction with normal coronaries (MINOCA). Despite appropriate treatment for MINOCA, she continued to experience episodic headaches, palpitations, dizziness and erratic blood pressures (particularly severe hypertension shortly after beta-blocker administration). Further investigations revealed raised urine noradrenaline of 4724 nmol/24 h (<554 nmol/24 h) and urine adrenaline of 92863 nmol/24 h (<77 nmol/24 h). Computerised tomography demonstrated a well-defined rounded mass in right adrenal gland morphological of pheochromocytoma. She underwent laparoscopic right adrenalectomy with histology confirming pheochromocytoma. This case highlights the importance of thorough investigation for the underlying cause for MINOCA. In patients with unexplained erratic blood pressure control, pheochromocytoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis.

Learning points:

  • Pheochromocytoma is rare tumour that often presents with non-specific symptoms.

  • It is important to investigate underlying cause of MINOCA.

  • Thorough history is the key to diagnosis.

Open access
Yuri Tanaka Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Taisuke Uchida Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Hideki Yamaguchi Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Yohei Kudo Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Tadato Yonekawa Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Masamitsu Nakazato Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

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Summary

We report the case of a 48-year-old man with thyroid storm associated with fulminant hepatitis and elevated levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R). Fatigue, low-grade fever, shortness of breath, and weight loss developed over several months. The patient was admitted to the hospital because of tachycardia-induced heart failure and liver dysfunction. Graves’ disease with heart failure was diagnosed. He was treated with methimazole, inorganic iodide, and a β-blocker. On the day after admission, he became unconscious with a high fever and was transferred to the intensive care unit. Cardiogenic shock with atrial flutter was treated with intra-aortic balloon pumping and cardioversion. Hyperthyroidism decreased over 10 days, but hepatic failure developed. He was diagnosed with thyroid storm accompanied by fulminant hepatitis. Laboratory investigations revealed elevated levels of sIL-2R (9770 U/mL). The fulminant hepatitis was refractory to plasma exchange and plasma filtration with dialysis, and no donors for liver transplantation were available. He died of hemoperitoneum and gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to fulminant hepatitis 62 days after admission. Elevated circulating levels of sIL-2R might be a marker of poor prognosis in thyroid storm with fulminant hepatitis.

Learning points:

  • The prognosis of thyroid storm when fulminant hepatitis occurs is poor.

  • Liver transplantation is the preferred treatment for fulminant hepatitis induced by thyroid storm refractory to plasma exchange.

  • Elevated levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor might be a marker of poor prognosis in patients with thyroid storm.

Open access
Yang Timothy Du Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital

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Lynette Moore School of Medicine, University of Adelaide
SA Pathology, Women’s and Children’s Hospital

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Nicola K Poplawski Adult Genetics Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital

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Sunita M C De Sousa Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital
School of Medicine, University of Adelaide
Adult Genetics Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital
Center for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology and University of South Australia Alliance, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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Summary

A 26-year-old man presented with a combination of permanent neonatal diabetes due to pancreatic aplasia, complex congenital heart disease, central hypogonadism and growth hormone deficiency, structural renal abnormalities with proteinuria, umbilical hernia, neurocognitive impairment and dysmorphic features. His older brother had diabetes mellitus due to pancreatic hypoplasia, complex congenital heart disease, hypospadias and umbilical hernia. Their father had an atrial septal defect, umbilical hernia and diabetes mellitus diagnosed incidentally in adulthood on employment screening. The proband’s paternal grandmother had a congenital heart defect. Genetic testing of the proband revealed a novel heterozygous missense variant (Chr18:g.19761441T>C, c.1330T>C, p.Cys444Arg) in exon 4 of GATA6, which is class 5 (pathogenic) using American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics guidelines and is likely to account for his multisystem disorder. The same variant was detected in his brother and father, but not his paternal grandmother. This novel variant of GATA6 likely occurred de novo in the father with autosomal dominant inheritance in the proband and his brother. The case is exceptional as very few families with monogenic diabetes due to GATA6 mutations have been reported to date and we describe a new link between GATA6 and renal pathology.

Learning points:

  • Monogenic diabetes should be suspected in patients presenting with syndromic features, multisystem congenital disease, neonatal-onset diabetes and/or a suggestive family history.

  • Recognition and identification of genetic diabetes may improve patient understanding and empowerment and allow for better tailored management.

  • Identification of a genetic disorder may have important implications for family planning.

Open access