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Marina Yukina Department of Therapeutic Endocrinology, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia

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Nurana Nuralieva Department of Therapeutic Endocrinology, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia

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Maksim Solovyev Department of Therapeutic Endocrinology, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia

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Ekaterina Troshina Department of Therapeutic Endocrinology, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia
Russian Academy of Sciences, Endocrinology Service, Department of Therapeutic Endocrinology, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia

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Evgeny Vasilyev Laboratory of Inherited Endocrine Disorders, Endocrinology Research Centre (ERC), Moscow, Russia

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Summary

Insulin autoimmune syndrome (Hirata’s disease) is a disorder caused by development of autoantibodies to insulin and manifested by hypoglycaemic syndrome. The overwhelming majority of physicians do not include it in the differential diagnosis of hypoglycaemic states because of a misconception of an extremely low prevalence of this condition. This results in unnecessary drug therapy and unjustified surgical interventions in patients that otherwise would be successfully treated conservatively. This disease is strongly associated with certain alleles of the HLA gene. In most cases, this condition develops in predisposed individuals taking drugs containing sulfhydryl groups. Formation of autoantibodies to insulin may be observed in patients with other autoimmune disorders, as well as in those with multiple myeloma or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. This paper presents the first Russian case report of insulin autoimmune syndrome in an adult patient.

Learning points:

  • Insulin autoimmune syndrome, Hirata’s disease, anti-insulin antibodies, and hypoglycaemia.

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S Livadas Endocrine Unit, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece

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I Androulakis Endocrine Unit, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece

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N Angelopoulos Endocrine Unit, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece

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A Lytras Endocrine Unit, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece

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F Papagiannopoulos Novo-Nordisk, Athens, Greece

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G Kassi Endocrine Unit, Alexandra Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Summary

HAIR-AN syndrome, the coexistence of Hirsutism, Insulin Resistance (IR) and Acanthosis Nigricans, constitutes a rare nosologic entity. It is characterized from clinical and biochemical hyperandrogenism accompanied with severe insulin resistance, chronic anovulation and metabolic abnormalities. Literally, HAIR-AN represents an extreme case of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In everyday practice, the management of HAIR-AN constitutes a therapeutic challenge with the available pharmaceutical agents. Specifically, the degree of IR cannot be significantly ameliorated with metformin administration, whereas oral contraceptives chronic administration is associated with worsening of metabolic profile. Liraglutide and exenatide, in combination with metformin, have been introduced in the management of significantly obese women with PCOS with satisfactory results. Based on this notion, we prescribed liraglutide in five women with HAIR-AN. In all participants a significant improvement regarding the degree of IR, fat depositions, androgen levels and the pattern of menstrual cycle was observed, with minimal weight loss. Furthermore, one woman became pregnant during liraglutide treatment giving birth to a healthy child. Accordingly, we conclude that liraglutide constitutes an effective alternative in the management of women with HAIR-AN.

Learning points:

  • HAIR-AN management is challenging and classic therapeutic regimens are ineffective.

  • Literally HAIR-AN syndrome, the coexistence of Hirsutism, Insulin Resistance and Acanthosis Nigricans, represents an extreme case of polycystic ovary syndrome.

  • In cases of HAIR-AN, liraglutide constitutes an effective and safe choice.

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Shinichiro Teramoto Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Yuichi Tange Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Hisato Ishii Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital, Chiba, Japan

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Hiromasa Goto Department of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Ikuko Ogino Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Hajime Arai Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Summary

A 67-year-old woman with a past history of type 2 diabetes mellitus presented with worsening glycemic control. She had some acromegaly symptoms and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a pituitary tumor. Endocrinological examination found the resting growth hormone (GH) level within the normal range, but elevated insulin-like growth factor 1 level. A 75 g oral glucose tolerance test showed inadequate suppression of nadir GH levels. Acromegaly due to GH-secreting pituitary tumor was diagnosed. The patient underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery resulting in gross total removal of the tumor and recovered well postoperatively. Histological examination of the tumor showed coexistence of relatively large gangliocytoma cells and pituitary adenoma cells, suggesting mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma. In addition, colocalization of GH and GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) in pituitary adenoma cells was revealed, so the adenomatous components were more likely to produce GHRH in our mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma case. Mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma is very rare, and the present unique case demonstrated only the adenomatous components associated with GHRH production.

Learning points:

  • Sellar gangliocytoma coexisting with pituitary adenoma is recognized as a mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma and is very rare.

  • A proposed developmental mechanism of growth hormone (GH)-secreting mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma involves GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) produced by the gangliocytic components promoting the growth of tumor including GH-secreting adenomatous components.

  • Since our present case indicated that the adenomatous components of mixed gangliocytoma-pituitary adenoma could secrete both GH and GHRH simultaneously, progression of GH-secreting mixed gangliocytoma and pituitary adenoma may involve exposure to spontaneously produced GHRH due to the adenomatous components.

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Aoife Garrahy Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland

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Matilde Bettina Mijares Zamuner Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland

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Maria M Byrne Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland

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Summary

Coexistence of autoimmune diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is rare. We report the first case of coexisting latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood (LADA) and glucokinase (GCK) MODY. A 32-year-old woman was treated with insulin for gestational diabetes at age 32 years; post-partum, her fasting blood glucose was 6.0 mmol/L and 2-h glucose was 11.8 mmol/L following an oral glucose tolerance test, and she was maintained on diet alone. Five years later, a diagnosis of LADA was made when she presented with fasting blood glucose of 20.3 mmol/L and HbA1C 125 mmol/mol (13.6%). GCK-MODY was identified 14 years later when genetic testing was prompted by identification of a mutation in her cousin. Despite multiple daily insulin injections her glycaemic control remained above target and her clinical course has been complicated by multiple episodes of hypoglycaemia with unawareness. Although rare, coexistence of latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood and monogenic diabetes should be considered if there is a strong clinical suspicion, for example, family history. Hypoglycaemic unawareness developed secondary to frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia using standard glycaemic targets for LADA. This case highlights the importance of setting fasting glucose targets within the expected range for GCK-MODY in subjects with coexisting LADA.

Learning points:

  • We report the first case of coexisting latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood (LADA) and GCK-MODY.

  • It has been suggested that mutations in GCK may lead to altered counter-regulation and recognition of hypoglycaemia at higher blood glucose levels than patients without such mutation. However, in our case, hypoglycaemic unawareness developed secondary to frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia using standard glycaemic targets for LADA.

  • This case highlights the importance of setting fasting glucose targets within the expected range for GCK-MODY in subjects with coexisting LADA to avoid hypoglycaemia.

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Akihiko Ando Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan

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Shoichiro Nagasaka Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan
Division of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, Kanagawa Japan

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Shun Ishibashi Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan

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Summary

We report a case of a woman with diabetes mellitus caused by a genetic defect in ABCC8-coding sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1), a subunit of the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel protein. She was diagnosed with diabetes at 7 days after birth. After intravenous insulin drip for 1 month, her hyperglycaemia remitted. At the age of 13 years, her diabetes relapsed, and after that she had been treated by intensive insulin therapy for 25 years with relatively poor glycaemic control. She was switched to oral sulfonylurea therapy and attained euglycaemia. In addition, her insulin secretory capacity was ameliorated gradually.

Learning points:

  • Genetic testing should be considered in any individuals or family with diabetes that occurred within the first year or so of life.

  • Sulfonylurea can achieve good glycaemic control in patients with KATP channel mutations by restoring endogenous insulin secretion, even if they were treated with insulin for decades.

  • Early screening and genetic testing are important to improve the prognosis of patients with neonatal diabetes mellitus arising from ABCC8 or KCNJ11 mutation.

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Athanasios Fountas Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Shu Teng Chai Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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John Ayuk Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Neil Gittoes Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Swarupsinh Chavda Departments of Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Niki Karavitaki Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Summary

Co-existence of craniopharyngioma and acromegaly has been very rarely reported. A 65-year-old man presented with visual deterioration, fatigue and frontal headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a suprasellar heterogeneous, mainly cystic, 1.9 × 2 × 1.9 cm mass compressing the optic chiasm and expanding to the third ventricle; the findings were consistent with a craniopharyngioma. Pituitary hormone profile showed hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, mildly elevated prolactin, increased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and normal thyroid function and cortisol reserve. The patient had transsphenoidal surgery and pathology of the specimen was diagnostic of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma. Post-operatively, he had diabetes insipidus, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and adrenocorticotropic hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency. Despite the hypopituitarism, his IGF-1 levels remained elevated and subsequent oral glucose tolerance test did not show complete growth hormone (GH) suppression. Further review of the pre-operative imaging revealed a 12 × 4 mm pituitary adenoma close to the right carotid artery and no signs of pituitary hyperplasia. At that time, he was also diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the left upper lung lobe finally managed with radical radiotherapy. Treatment with long-acting somatostatin analogue was initiated leading to biochemical control of the acromegaly. Latest imaging has shown no evidence of craniopharyngioma regrowth and stable adenoma. This is a unique case report of co-existence of craniopharyngioma, acromegaly and squamous lung cell carcinoma that highlights diagnostic and management challenges. Potential effects of the GH hypersecretion on the co-existent tumours of this patient are also briefly discussed.

Learning points:

  • Although an extremely rare clinical scenario, craniopharyngioma and acromegaly can co-exist; aetiopathogenic link between these two conditions is unlikely.

  • Meticulous review of unexpected biochemical findings is vital for correct diagnosis of dual pituitary pathology.

  • The potential adverse impact of GH excess due to acromegaly in a patient with craniopharyngioma (and other neoplasm) mandates adequate biochemical control of the GH hypersecretion.

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Syed Ali Imran Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Khaled A Aldahmani Division of Endocrinology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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Lynette Penney Department of Pediatrics, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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Sidney E Croul Department of Pathology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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David B Clarke Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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David M Collier Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Donato Iacovazzo Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Márta Korbonits Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Summary

Early-onset acromegaly causing gigantism is often associated with aryl-hydrocarbon-interacting receptor protein (AIP) mutation, especially if there is a positive family history. A15y male presented with tiredness and visual problems. He was 201 cm tall with a span of 217 cm. He had typical facial features of acromegaly, elevated IGF-1, secondary hypogonadism and a large macroadenoma. His paternal aunt had a history of acromegaly presenting at the age of 35 years. Following transsphenoidal surgery, his IGF-1 normalized and clinical symptoms improved. He was found to have a novel AIP mutation destroying the stop codon c.991T>C; p.*331R. Unexpectedly, his father and paternal aunt were negative for this mutation while his mother and older sister were unaffected carriers, suggesting that his aunt represents a phenocopy.

Learning points:

  • Typical presentation for a patient with AIP mutation with excess growth and eunuchoid proportions.

  • Unusual, previously not described AIP variant with loss of the stop codon.

  • Phenocopy may occur in families with a disease-causing germline mutation.

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Sarah Y Qian Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

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Matthew J L Hare Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

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Alan Pham Department of Anatomical Pathology, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

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Duncan J Topliss Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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Summary

Insulinomas are rare neuroendocrine tumours that classically present with fasting hypoglycaemia. This case report discusses an uncommon and challenging case of insulinoma soon after upper gastrointestinal surgery. A 63-year-old man presented with 6 months of post-prandial hypoglycaemia beginning after a laparoscopic revision of Toupet fundoplication. Hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia was confirmed during a spontaneous episode and in a mixed-meal test. Localisation studies including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and gallium dotatate positron emission tomography (68Ga Dotatate PET) were consistent with a small insulinoma in the mid-body of the pancreas. The lesion was excised and histopathology was confirmed a localised well-differentiated neuroendocrine pancreatic neoplasm. There have been no significant episodes of hypoglycaemia since. This case highlights several key points. Insulinoma should be sought in proven post-prandial hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia – even in the absence of fasting hypoglycaemia. The use of nuclear imaging targeting somatostatin and GLP1 receptors has improved accuracy of localisation. Despite these advances, accurate surgical resection can remain challenging.

Learning points:

  • Hypoglycaemia is defined by Whipple’s triad and can be provoked by fasting or mixed-meal tests.

  • Although uncommon, insulinomas can present with post-prandial hypoglycaemia.

  • In hypoglycaemia following gastrointestinal surgery (i.e. bariatric surgery or less commonly Nissen fundoplication) dumping syndrome or non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycaemia syndrome (NIPHS) should be considered.

  • Improved imaging techniques including MRI, endoscopic ultrasound and functional nuclear medicine scans aid localisation of insulinomas.

  • Despite advances in imaging and surgical techniques, accurate resection of insulinomas remains challenging.

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Naoya Toriu Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Masayuki Yamanouchi Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Rikako Hiramatsu Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Noriko Hayami Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Junichi Hoshino Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Akinari Sekine Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Masahiro Kawada Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Eiko Hasegawa Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Tatsuya Suwabe Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Keiichi Sumida Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Toshiharu Ueno Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Naoki Sawa Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Kenichi Ohashi Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Pathology, Yokohama City University, Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan

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Takeshi Fujii Department of Pathology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

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Kenmei Takaichi Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan

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Motoko Yanagita Department of Nephrology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

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Tetsuro Kobayasi Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan

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Yoshifumi Ubara Nephrology Center and Department of Rheumatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan

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Summary

We report the case of a 67-year-old Japanese woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus. At 47 years of age, her hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was 10.0%, and she had overt nephropathy. The first renal biopsy yielded a diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. Intensive glycemic control was initiated and her HbA1c improved to 6.0%. Renal dysfunction showed no progression for 15 years. At 62 years of age, a second renal biopsy was performed. Glomerular lesions did not show progression but tubulointerstitial fibrosis and vascular lesions showed progression compared with the first biopsy. Intensive glycemic control can prevent the progression of glomerular lesions, but might not be effective for interstitial and vascular lesions.

Learning points:

  • Intensive control of blood glucose can prevent the progression of glomerular lesions.

  • Intensive control of blood glucose may not be able to prevent progression of interstitial and vascular lesions.

  • CSII reduces HbA1c without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia.

Open access
W K M G Amarawardena Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Department of Endocrinology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

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K D Liyanarachchi Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Department of Endocrinology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

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J D C Newell-Price Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Department of Endocrinology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

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R J M Ross Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

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D Iacovazzo Centre for Endocrinology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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M Debono Department of Endocrinology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

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Summary

The granulation pattern of somatotroph adenomas is well known to be associated with differing clinical and biochemical characteristics, and it has been shown that sparsely granulated tumours respond poorly to commonly used somatostatin receptor ligands (SRLs). We report a challenging case of acromegaly with a sparsely granulated tumour resistant to multiple modalities of treatment, ultimately achieving biochemical control with pasireotide. A 26-year-old lady presented with classical features of acromegaly, which was confirmed by an oral glucose tolerance test. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) was 1710 µg/L (103–310 µg/L) and mean growth hormone (GH) was >600 U/L. MRI scan showed a 4 cm pituitary macroadenoma with suprasellar extension and right-sided cavernous sinus invasion. She underwent trans-sphenoidal pituitary surgery. Histology displayed moderate amounts of sparsely granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, staining only for GH. Postoperative investigations showed uncontrolled disease (IGF1:1474 µg/L, mean GH:228 U/L) and residual tumour in the cavernous sinus. She received external beam fractionated radiation. Over the years, she received octreotide LAR (up to 30 mg), lanreotide (up to 120 mg) two weekly, cabergoline, pegvisomant and stereotactic radiosurgery to no avail. Only pegvisomant resulted in an element of disease control; however, this had to be stopped due to abnormal liver function tests. Fifteen years after the diagnosis, she was started on pasireotide 40 mg monthly. Within a month, her IGF1 dropped and has remained within the normal range (103–310 µg/L). Pasireotide has been well tolerated, and there has been significant clinical improvement. Somatostatin receptor subtyping revealed a positivity score of two for both sst5 and sst2a subtypes.

Learning points:

  • Age, size of the tumour, GH levels on presentation, histopathological type and the somatostatin receptor status of the tumour in acromegaly should be reviewed in patients who poorly respond to first-generation somatostatin receptor ligands.

  • Tumours that respond poorly to first-generation somatostatin receptor ligands, especially sparsely granulated somatotroph adenomas, can respond to pasireotide and treatment should be considered early in the management of resistant tumours.

  • Patients with membranous expression of sst5 are likely to be more responsive to pasireotide.

Open access