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Umberto Spennato Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Jennifer Siegwart Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Britta Hartmann Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Division Medical Genetics, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Elisabeth Julia Fischer Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Division Medical Genetics, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Cecilia Bracco Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Division Medical Genetics, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Joel Capraro Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland

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Beat Mueller Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland
Medical Faculty of the University of Basel, Switzerland

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Philipp Schuetz Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland
Medical Faculty of the University of Basel, Switzerland

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Andreas Werner Jehle Department of Internal Medicine, Hirslanden Klinik St. Anna, Lucerne, Switzerland
Transplantation Immunology and Nephrology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland

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Tristan Struja Medical University Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Switzerland
Medical Faculty of the University of Basel, Switzerland

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Summary

Barakat syndrome, also called HDR syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder encompassing hypoparathyroidism (H), sensorineural deafness (D) and renal disease (R). A 64-year-old woman was referred to our endocrinology clinic for a switch in treatment (from dihydrotachysterol to calcitriol). She had progressive sensorineural deafness since the age of 18 and idiopathic hypoparathyroidism diagnosed at age of 36. Her medical history included osteoporosis with hip/spine fractures, nephrolithiasis and a family history of hearing loss, osteoporosis and kidney disease. The patient’s clinical presentation indicated Barakat syndrome. Genetic analysis found a GATA3:c.916C>T nonsense variant. Further tests such as audiometry, labs and renal imaging supported the diagnosis. Due to rarity and manifold symptoms, diagnosis can be challenging. Optional GATA3 testing was suggested in 2018, except in cases of isolated sensorineural deafness or renal disease with pertinent family history. In isolated ‘H’ cases without ‘D’ and ‘R’, GATA3 studies are not required, as no haploinsufficiency cases were reported. Given the rise in genetic disorders, physicians should consistently consider rare genetic disorders in patients with suggestive symptoms, even decades after onset. Although diagnosis might not always impact management directly, it aids patients in accepting their condition and has broader family implications.

Learning points

  • There is currently an important increase in genetic and clinical characterization of new orphan diseases and their causative agents.

  • Unbiased re-evaluation for possible genetic disorders is necessary at every consultation.

  • It is essential to recognize the differential diagnosis of idiopathic hypoparathyroidism.

  • The patient’s clinical presentation and family history can be important to establish the correct diagnosis.

  • Physicians should not hesitate to search a patient’s signs and symptoms online.

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Yuko Kiyohara Department of Medicine, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Rei Hirose Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Hiroshi Kawamata Department of Interventional Radiology, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Kazuki Nakai Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Akane Hirataka Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Jun Saito Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Yuya Tsurutani Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

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Summary

Fibromuscular dysplasia can cause renovascular hypertension. Since fibromuscular dysplasia may be underdiagnosed, precise diagnosis and management are crucial, especially for young women. A 20-year-old woman with hypertension and hypokalemia was referred to our hospital for further evaluation of secondary hypertension. At the previous hospital, her blood pressure was 160/110 mmHg and the serum potassium level was 2.9 mEq/L. The equilibrium phase on contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed a low-density area in the upper median portion of the right kidney. On admission to our hospital, her blood pressure was 141/96 mmHg under 5 mg of amlodipine. Laboratory tests revealed plasma renin activity of 11.3 ng/mL/h and plasma aldosterone concentration of 117.1 pg/mL. Renal venous sampling of active renin concentration showed a right-to-left renin ratio of 3.13, confirming a significant increase in renin secretion from the right kidney. Selective reno-angiography detected focal stenosis with adjacent aneurysmal dilation and tortuosity in the proximal branch of the right renal artery. She was diagnosed with branch artery fibromuscular dysplasia and successfully treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty. After the treatment, she was free from hypertension and hypokalemia without any medications. Since branch artery fibromuscular dysplasia is sometimes difficult to diagnose, contrast-enhanced computed tomography can be a promising diagnostic tool as shown in this case. Concerning treatment, our patient was treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, which should be considered for women of reproductive age because recommended antihypertensive medications can be teratogenic even in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Learning points

  • Although branch artery fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is sometimes difficult to diagnose, it should be considered in patients with high-renin, high-aldosterone hypertension.

  • Branch artery FMD can present with a low-density area of the kidney on contrast-enhanced computed tomography, as shown in this case.

  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) can be an appropriate treatment for branch artery FMD, especially in young female patients.

  • PTA may immediately improve hypertension and hypokalemia without the need for medications.

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Tatsuro Aikawa Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Eiryu Sai Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Ayako Kudo Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Yuko O Kawaguchi Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Kazuhisa Takamura Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital, Tomioka, Urayasu-shi, Chiba, Japan

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Makoto Hiki Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Takayuki Yokoyama Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Tetsuro Miyazaki Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital, Tomioka, Urayasu-shi, Chiba, Japan

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Shinichiro Fujimoto Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Kazunori Shimada Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Sportology Center, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Ken-ichi Hirano Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Novel, Non-invasive, and Nutritional Therapeutics and Triglyceride Research Center (TGRC), Department of Triglyceride Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Furuedai, Suita, Osaka, Japan

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Hiroyuki Daida Faculty of Health Science, Juntendo University, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Tohru Minamino Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development-Core Research for Evolutionary Medical Science and Technology (AMED-CREST), Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Summary

Triglyceride deposit cardiomyovasculopathy (TGCV) is an intractable disease characterized by massive triglyceride (TG) accumulation in the myocardium and coronary arteries caused by genetic or acquired dysfunction of adipose TG lipase (ATGL). A phase IIa trial has been conducted involving patients with idiopathic TGCV using CNT-01 (tricaprin/trisdecanoin) by the Japan TGCV study group, which showed that CNT-01 improved myocardial lipolysis as demonstrated by iodine-123-beta-methyl iodophenyl-pentadecanoic acid (BMIPP) scintigraphy. We evaluated changes in myocardial TG content using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) before/after CNT-01. This report describes a male patient with hypertension, diabetes, angina pectoris, repeated percutaneous coronary intervention, chest pain, and exertional dyspnea that persisted despite standard medications and nitroglycerin. Idiopathic TGCV was diagnosed based on a remarkably reduced washout rate (WR) for BMIPP scintigraphy, high myocardial TG content on 1H-MRS, and no ATGL mutation. After an 8-week, 1.5 g/day CNT-01 administration, the WR of BMIPP increased from 5.1 to 13.3% and the myocardial TG content decreased from 8.4 to 5.9%, with no adverse effects. CNT-01 corrected myocardial lipolysis and subsequently reduced TG content in idiopathic TGCV as evaluated using 1H-MRS, which may be a useful, noninvasive evaluation of therapeutic efficacy.

Learning points

  • Triglyceride deposit cardiomyovasculopathy (TGCV) is an intractable disease characterized by massive triglyceride accumulation in the myocardium and coronary arteries, caused by genetic or acquired dysfunction of adipose triglyceride lipase.

  • Japan TGCV Study Group developed a specific treatment for idiopathic TGCV using CNT-01 (tricaprin/trisdecanoin), a type of medium-chain fatty acid.

  • CNT-01 corrected myocardial lipolysis and reduced TG content in idiopathic TGCV using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which may be a useful noninvasive evaluation of therapeutic efficacy.

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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.

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Saki Nakashima Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Masahiro Kawada Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Akinari Sekine Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Masayuki Yamanouchi Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Daisuke Ikuma Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Hiroki Mizuno Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Yuki Oba Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Eiko Hasegawa Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Tatsuya Suwabe Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Kei Kono Department of Pathology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Keiichi Kinowaki Department of Pathology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Kenichi Ohashi Department of Pathology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Human Pathology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

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Naoki Sawa Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Junichi Hoshino Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Yoshifumi Ubara Nephrology Center, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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A 63-year-old Japanese woman was admitted to our institute for the evaluation of proteinuria. The patient was diagnosed with medullary sponge kidney, distal type renal tubular acidosis, and renal infection at the age of 37. Thereafter, the patient had repeated renal infections. Urinary proteinuria appeared at around the age of 61 and gradually increased up to 1.0 g daily. In the same period, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) increased to 7.0%. On kidney biopsy, light microscopy showed a nodular glomerular lesion and capsular drop. Linear staining for immunoglobulin G along the glomerular basement membrane was observed by immunofluorescence. Electron microscopy showed thickening of the glomerular basement membrane to a width of 800–900 nm. A class III glomerular lesion was diagnosed according to the Tervaert classification. This case indicates that mild but prolonged hyperglycemia for more than 10 years may also contribute to the formation of nodular lesions, although long-standing repeated chronic renal infection and chronic acidosis may have been a precipitating factor in the formation of diabetic nephropathy, including nodular glomerular lesions. This hypothesis is of interest because nodular lesions specific to diabetes are currently considered to be associated with long-term severe hyperglycemia.

Learning points

  • Nodular glomerular lesions in diabetes mellitus are thought to be associated with long-term severe hyperglycemia.

  • This case shows that although mild, long-term hyperglycemia for more than 10 years may also contribute to the formation of nodular lesions and that repeated chronic kidney infections over the years and chronic acidosis may be facilitating factors in the formation of diabetic nephropathy, including nodular glomerular lesions.

  • This case appears to be idiopathic nodular glomerulosclerosis of the medullary sponge kidney associated with chronic urinary tract infection.

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Maheswaran Dhanasekaran Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Siddharth Narayanan Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Ioannis Mastoris Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York City, New York, USA

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Suchita Mehta Northwell Health, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York, USA

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Summary

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) induce osmotic diuresis by inhibiting the proximal renal tubular reabsorption of the filtered glucose load, which in turn can occasionally lead to severe dehydration and hypotension amidst other adverse effects. We present a case of a 49-year-old man with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) on canagliflozin, a SGLT2i. The patient was brought to the emergency room following a motor vehicle accident. He was confused and had an altered mental status. His blood alcohol and urine toxicology screens were negative. Initial investigations revealed that he had severe hyponatremia with euglycemic ketoacidosis. The adverse condition was reversed with close monitoring and timely management, and the patient was eventually discharged. This is the first report to suggest hyponatremia as a potentially serious adverse effect following SGLT2i therapy. Its impact on the renal tubule handling of sodium and water is not yet well characterized. While further studies are warranted to understand better the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with SGLT2i-induced adverse effects, timely dose reduction or perhaps even its temporary discontinuation may be recommended to prevent complications.

Learning points

  • Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are usually well-tolerated, but some serious adverse effects have been documented.

  • Our case report suggests hyponatremia as a potential, rare side effect of SGLT2i and makes physicians aware of the occurrence of such life-threatening but preventable complications.

  • Timely and close monitoring of the patient, with temporary discontinuation of this drug, may be recommended towards effective management.

  • Studies demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of SGLT2i-related electrolyte derangements are warranted.

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N Ayub Department of Endocrine Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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A J A T Braat Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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H J L M Timmers Departments of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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M G E H Lam Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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R S van Leeuwaarde Department of Endocrine Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Summary

Von Hippel–Lindau’s disease (VHL) is a hereditary tumor syndrome characterized by its prototype lesions, hemangioblastomas, and renal cell carcinomas. Treatment for renal cell carcinomas can ultimately result in long-term dialysis. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) can also occur in the course of the disease. Currently, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is the standard treatment for progressive neuroendocrine tumors. However, little is known about treatment with PRRT in patients on dialysis, an infrequent presentation in patients with VHL. We present a 72-year-old man with VHL on hemodialysis and a progressive pNET. He received four cycles of PRRT with a reduced dose. Only mild thrombopenia was seen during treatments. The patient died 9 months after the last PRRT because of acute bleeding in a hemangioblastoma. Hemodialysis is not a limiting factor for PRRT treatment and it should be considered as it seems a safe short-term treatment option for this specific group.

Learning points

  • Von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) is a complex disease in which former interventions can limit optimal treatment for following VHL-related tumors later in life.

  • Metastasized pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors occur as part of VHL disease.

  • Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy seems a safe short-term treatment option in patients on hemodialysis.

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Nikitas S Skarakis Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Irene Papadimitriou Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Labrini Papanastasiou Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Sofia Pappa Department of Pathology, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Anastasia Dimitriadi Department of Pathology, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Ioannis Glykas Department of Urology, General Hospital of Athens ‘G Gennimatas’, Athens, Greece

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Konstantinos Ntoumas Department of Urology, General Hospital of Athens ‘G Gennimatas’, Athens, Greece

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Penelope Lampropoulou Department of Radiology, General Hospital of Athens ‘G Gennimatas’, Athens, Greece

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Theodora Kounadi Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, ‘G. Gennimatas’ General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Summary

Juxtaglomerular cell tumour (JGCT) is an unusually encountered clinical entity. A 33-year-old man with severe long-standing hypertension and hypokalaemia is described. The patient also suffered from polyuria, polydipsia, nocturia and severe headaches. On admission, laboratory investigation revealed hypokalaemia, kaliuresis, high aldosterone and renin levels, and the abdomen CT identified a mass of 4 cm at the right kidney. Kidney function was normal. Following nephrectomy, the histological investigation revealed the presence of a JGCT. Immunostaining was positive for CD34 as well as for smooth muscle actin and vimentin. Following surgery, a marked control of his hypertension with calcium channel blockers and normalization of the serum potassium, renin or aldosterone levels were reached. According to our findings, JGCT could be included in the differential diagnosis of secondary hypertension as it consists of a curable cause. The association of JGCT with hypertension and hypokalaemia focusing on the clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation and management is herein discussed and a brief review of the existing literature is provided.

Learning points

  • Juxtaglomerular cell tumours (JGCT), despite their rarity, should be included in the differential diagnosis of secondary hypertension as they consist of a curable cause of hypertension.

  • JGCT could be presented with resistant hypertension along with hypokalaemia, kaliuresis and metabolic alkalosis. Early recognition and management can help to prevent cardiovascular complications.

  • Imaging (enhanced CT scans) may be considered as the primary diagnostic tool for the detection of renal or JGCT.

  • For the confirmation of the diagnosis, a histopathologic examination is needed.

Open access
Ryizan Nizar Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK

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Nathan W P Cantley Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK

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Jonathan C Y Tang Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK

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Summary

A 33-year-old gentleman of Egyptian heritage presented with a 21 years history of unexplained and recurrent hypercalcaemia, nephrolithiasis, nephrocalcinosis, and myocarditis. A similar history was also found in two first-degree relatives. Further investigation into the vitamin D metabolism pathway identified the biochemical hallmarks of infantile hypercalcaemia type 1 (IIH). A homozygous, likely pathogenic, variant in CYP24A1 was found on molecular genetic analysis confirming the diagnosis. Management now focuses on removing excess vitamin D from the metabolic pathway as well as reducing calcium intake to achieve serum-adjusted calcium to the middle of the reference range. If undiagnosed, IIH can cause serious renal complications and metabolic bone disease.

Learning points

  • Infantile hypercalcaemia type 1 (IIH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterised by homozygous mutations in the CYP24A1 gene that encodes the 24-hydroxylase enzyme used to convert active vitamin D metabolites such as 1,25-(OH)2-vitamin D into their inactive form.

  • IIH should be questioned in individuals presenting with a history of unexplained hypercalcaemia, especially if presenting from childhood and/or where there is an accompanying family history of the same in first and/or second degree relatives, causing complications such as nephrocalcinosis, pericarditis, and calcium-based nephrolithiasis.

  • Associated biochemistry of IIH is persistent mild to moderate hypercalcaemia, normal or raised 25-(OH)-vitamin D and elevated 1,25-(OH)2-vitamin D. An elevated ratio of 25-(OH)-vitamin D to 24,25-(OH)2-vitamin D can be a useful marker of defects in the 24-hydroxylase enzyme, whose measurement can be facilitated through the supra-regional assay service.

  • Management should focus on limiting the amount of vitamin D introduced into the body either via sunlight exposure or supplementation in addition to calcium dietary restriction to try and maintain appropriate calcium homeostasis

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Ayesha Ghayur Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Qurrat Elahi Department of Family Medicine, Pikeville Medicine Center, Pikeville, Kentucky, USA

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Chinmay Patel Department of Nephrology, Southern Kidney Associates, Shreveport, LA, USA

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Rishi Raj Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Pikeville Medical Center, Pikeville, Kentucky, USA

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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.

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