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Rob Gonsalves Division of Endocrinology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Kirk Aleck Division of Genetics, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Dorothee Newbern Division of Endocrinology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Gabriel Shaibi Division of Endocrinology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Chirag Kapadia Division of Endocrinology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Oliver Oatman Division of Endocrinology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Summary

Single-minded homolog 1 (SIM1) is a transcription factor that plays a role in the development of both the hypothalamus and pituitary. SIM1 gene mutations are known to cause obesity in humans, and chromosomal deletions encompassing SIM1 and other genes necessary for pituitary development can cause a Prader–Willi-like syndrome with obesity and hypopituitarism. There have been no reported cases of hypopituitarism linked to a single SIM1 mutation. A 21-month-old male presented to endocrinology clinic with excessive weight gain and severe obesity. History was also notable for excessive drinking and urination. Endocrine workup revealed central hypothyroidism, partial diabetes insipidus, and central adrenal insufficiency. Genetic evaluation revealed a novel mutation in the SIM1 gene. No other genetic abnormalities to account for his obesity and hypopituitarism were identified. While we cannot definitively state this mutation is pathogenic, it is notable that SIM1 plays a role in the development of all three of the patient’s affected hormone axes. He is now 6 years old and remains on treatment for his pituitary hormone deficiencies and continues to exhibit excessive weight gain despite lifestyle interventions.

Learning points:

  • Mutations in SIM1 are a well-recognized cause of monogenic human obesity, and there have been case reports of Prader–Willi-like syndrome and hypopituitarism in patients with chromosomal deletions that contain the SIM1 gene.

  • SIM1 is expressed during the development of the hypothalamus, specifically in neuroendocrine lineages that give rise to the hormones oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, corticotropin-releasing hormone, and somatostatin.

  • Pituitary testing should be considered in patients with severe obesity and a known genetic abnormality affecting the SIM1 gene, particularly in the pediatric population.

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Tzy Harn Chua Department of Endocrinology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore

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Wann Jia Loh Department of Endocrinology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore

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Summary

Severe hyponatremia and osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS) are opposite ends of a spectrum of emergency disorders related to sodium concentrations. Management of severe hyponatremia is challenging because of the difficulty in balancing the risk of overcorrection leading to ODS as well as under-correction causing cerebral oedema, particularly in a patient with chronic hypocortisolism and hypothyroidism. We report a case of a patient with Noonan syndrome and untreated anterior hypopituitarism who presented with symptomatic hyponatremia and developed transient ODS.

Learning points:

  • Patients with severe anterior hypopituitarism with severe hyponatremia are susceptible to the rapid rise of sodium level with a small amount of fluid and hydrocortisone.

  • These patients with chronic anterior hypopituitarism are at high risk of developing ODS and therefore, care should be taken to avoid a rise of more than 4–6 mmol/L per day.

  • Early recognition and rescue desmopressin and i.v. dextrose 5% fluids to reduce serum sodium concentration may be helpful in treating acute ODS.

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Taieb Ach Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Douai Hospital Center, Douai, France
Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital of Farhat Hached Sousse

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Perrine Wojewoda Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Douai Hospital Center, Douai, France

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Flora Toullet Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Douai Hospital Center, Douai, France

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Roxane Ducloux Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Douai Hospital Center, Douai, France

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Véronique Avérous Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Douai Hospital Center, Douai, France

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Summary

Multiple endocrine metastases are a rare but possible complication of lung adenocarcinoma (LAC). Pituitary metastasis is a rare condition with poor clinical expression. Diabetes insipidus (DI) is its most common presenting symptom. Here we report an original case of a pituitary stalk (PS) metastasis from LAC presenting as central DI followed by adrenal insufficiency (AI) from bilateral adrenal metastasis, without known evidence of the primary malignancy. A 45-year-old woman whose first clinical manifestations were polyuria and polydipsia was admitted. She was completely asymptomatic with no cough, no weight loss or anorexia. Chest radiography was normal. Brain MRI showed a thick pituitary stalk (PS). DI was confirmed by water restriction test and treated with vasopressin with great clinical results. Explorations for systemic and infectious disease were negative. Few months later, an acute AI led to discovering bilateral adrenal mass on abdominal CT. A suspicious 2.3 cm apical lung nodule was found later. Histopathological adrenal biopsy revealed an LAC. The patient received systemic chemotherapy with hormonal replacement for endocrinological failures by both vasopressin and hydrocortisone. We present this rare case of metastatic PS thickness arising from LAC associated with bilateral adrenal metastasis. Screening of patients with DI and stalk thickness for lung and breast cancer must be considered. Multiple endocrine failures as a diagnostic motive of LAC is a rare but possible circumstance.

Learning points:

  • Adrenal metastasis is a common location in lung adenocarcinoma; however, metastatic involvement of the pituitary stalk remains a rare occurrence, especially as a leading presentation to diagnose lung cancer.

  • The posterior pituitary and the infundibulum are the preferential sites for metastases, as they receive direct arterial blood supply from hypophyseal arteries.

  • Patients diagnosed with diabetes insipidus due to pituitary stalk thickness should be considered as a metastasis, after exclusion of the classical systemic and infectious diseases.

  • The diagnosis of an endocrinological metastatic primary lung adenocarcinoma for patients without respiratory symptoms is often delayed due to a lack of correlation between endocrinological symptoms and lung cancer.

  • The main originality of our case is the concomitant diagnosis of both endocrinological failures, as it was initiated with a diabetes insipidus and followed by an acute adrenal insufficiency.

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Misaki Aoshima Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Koji Nagayama Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Kei Takeshita Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Hiroshi Ajima Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Sakurako Orikasa Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Ayana Iwazaki ²Departments of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Seirei Hamamatsu General Hospital, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Hiroaki Takatori Department of Rheumatology, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Yutaka Oki Department of Family and Community Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

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Summary

Patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs, especially methotrexate (MTX), rarely develop lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs), known as MTX-related LPD (MTX–LPD). The primary site of MTX–LPD is often extranodal. This is the first reported case of MTX–LPD in the pituitary. A 65-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with symptoms of oculomotor nerve palsy and multiple subcutaneous nodules. She had been treated with MTX for 11 years for rheumatoid arthritis. Computed tomography showed multiple masses in the orbit, sinuses, lung fields, anterior mediastinum, kidney, and subcutaneous tissue. Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed a sellar mass. She was diagnosed with hypopituitarism and central diabetes insipidus based on endocrine examination. Although pituitary biopsy could not be performed, we concluded that the pituitary lesion was from MTX–LPD, similar to the lesions in the sinuses, anterior mediastinum, and subcutaneous tissue, which showed polymorphic LPD on biopsy. MTX was discontinued, and methylprednisolone was administered to improve the neurologic symptoms. After several weeks, there was marked improvement of all lesions, including the pituitary lesion, but the pituitary function did not improve. When pituitary lesions are caused by MTX–LPD, the possibility of anterior hypopituitarism and central diabetes insipidus needs to be considered. Further studies are needed to investigate the effectiveness of early diagnosis and treatment of MTX–LPD in restoring pituitary dysfunction.

Learning points

  • Pituitary lesions from MTX–LPD may cause hypopituitarism and central diabetes insipidus.

  • Pituitary metastasis of malignant lymphoma and primary pituitary lymphoma, which have the same tissue types with MTX–LPD, have poor prognosis, but the lesions of MTX–LPD can regress only after MTX discontinuation.

  • In cases of pituitary lesions alone, a diagnosis of MTX–LPD may be difficult, unless pituitary biopsy is performed. This possibility should be considered in patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs.

  • Pituitary hypofunction and diabetes insipidus may persist, even after regression of the lesions on imaging due to MTX discontinuation.

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E Sanz-Sapera Endocrinology, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

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S Sarria-Estrada Radiology, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

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F Arikan Neurosurgery, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

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B Biagetti Endocrinology, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

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Summary

Pituitary apoplexy is a rare but potentially life-threatening clinical syndrome characterised by ischaemic infarction or haemorrhage into a pituitary tumour that can lead to spontaneous remission of hormonal hypersecretion. We report the case of a 50-year-old man who attended the emergency department for sudden onset of headache. A computed tomography (CT) scan at admission revealed pituitary haemorrhage and the blood test confirmed the clinical suspicion of acromegaly and an associated hypopituitarism. The T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed the classic pituitary ring sign on the right side of the pituitary. Following admission, he developed acute-onset hyponatraemia that required hypertonic saline administration, improving progressively. Surprisingly, during the follow-up, IGF1 levels became normal and he progressively recovered pituitary function.

Learning points:

  • Patients with pituitary apoplexy may have spontaneous remission of hormonal hypersecretion. If it is not an emergency, we should delay a decision to undertake surgery following apoplexy and re-evaluate hormone secretion.

  • Hyponatraemia is an acute sign of hypocortisolism in pituitary apoplexy. However, SIADH although uncommon, could appear later as a consequence of direct hypothalamic insult and requires active and individualised treatment. For this reason, closely monitoring sodium at the beginning of the episode and throughout the first week is advisable to guard against SIADH.

  • Despite being less frequent, if pituitary apoplexy is limited to the tumour, the patient can recover pituitary function previously damaged by the undiagnosed macroadenoma.

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A Chinoy Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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N B Wright Department of Paediatric Radiology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK

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M Bone Department of General Paediatrics, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

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R Padidela Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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Summary

Hypokalaemia at presentation of diabetic ketoacidosis is uncommon as insulin deficiency and metabolic acidosis shifts potassium extracellularly. However, hypokalaemia is a recognised complication of the management of diabetic ketoacidosis as insulin administration and correction of metabolic acidosis shifts potassium intracellularly. We describe the case of a 9-year-old girl with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus presenting in diabetic ketoacidosis, with severe hypokalaemia at presentation due to severe and prolonged emesis. After commencing management for her diabetic ketoacidosis, her serum sodium and osmolality increased rapidly. However, despite maximal potassium concentrations running through peripheral access, and multiple intravenous potassium ‘corrections’, her hypokalaemia persisted. Seventy two hours after presentation, she became drowsy and confused, with imaging demonstrating central pontine myelinolysis – a rare entity seldom seen in diabetic ketoacidosis management in children despite rapid shifts in serum sodium and osmolality. We review the literature associating central pontine myelinolysis with hypokalaemia and hypothesise as to how the hypokalaemia may have contributed to the development of central pontine myelinolysis. We also recommend an approach to the management of a child in diabetic ketoacidosis with hypokalaemia at presentation.

Learning points:

  • Hypokalaemia is a recognised complication of treatment of paediatric diabetic ketoacidosis that should be aggressively managed to prevent acute complications.

  • Central pontine myelinolysis is rare in children, and usually observed in the presence of rapid correction of hyponatraemia. However, there is observational evidence of an association between hypokalaemia and central pontine myelinolysis, potentially by priming the endothelial cell membrane to injury by lesser fluctuations in osmotic pressure.

  • Consider central pontine myelinolysis as a complication of the management of paediatric diabetic ketoacidosis in the presence of relevant symptoms with profound hypokalaemia and/or fluctuations in serum sodium levels.

  • We have suggested an approach to the management strategies of hypokalaemia in paediatric diabetic ketoacidosis which includes oral potassium supplements if tolerated, minimising the duration and the rate of insulin infusion and increasing the concentration of potassium intravenously (via central line if necessary).

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Sebastian Hörber Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany

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Sarah Hudak Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

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Martin Kächele Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Intensive Care Unit, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

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Dietrich Overkamp Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

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Andreas Fritsche Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany

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Hans-Ulrich Häring Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany

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Andreas Peter Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany

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Martin Heni Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Vascular Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Chemistry, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany

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Summary

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. It usually occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes where it is typically associated with only moderately increased blood glucose. Here, we report the case of a 52-year-old female patient who was admitted to the emergency unit with severely altered mental status but stable vital signs. Laboratory results on admission revealed very high blood glucose (1687 mg/dL/93.6 mmol/L) and severe acidosis (pH <7) with proof of ketone bodies in serum and urine. Past history revealed a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosed 10 years ago and for which the patient was treated with risperidone for many years. Acute treatment with intravenous fluids, intravenous insulin infusion and sodium bicarbonate improved the symptoms. Further laboratory investigations confirmed diagnosis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes. After normalization of blood glucose levels, the patient could soon be discharged with a subcutaneous insulin therapy.

Learning points:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis as first manifestation of type 1 diabetes can occur with markedly elevated blood glucose concentrations in elder patients.

  • Atypical antipsychotics are associated with hyperglycemia and an increased risk of new-onset diabetes.

  • First report of risperidone-associated diabetic ketoacidosis in new-onset type 1 diabetes.

  • Patients treated with atypical antipsychotics require special care and regular laboratory examinations to detect hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.

  • In cases when the diagnosis is in doubt, blood gas analysis as well as determination of C-peptide and islet autoantibodies can help to establish the definite diabetes type.

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Su Ann Tee Department of Endocrinology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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Earn Hui Gan Department of Endocrinology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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Mohamad Zaher Kanaan Departments of Ophthalmology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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David Ashley Price Departments of Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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Tim Hoare Radiology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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Simon H S Pearce Department of Endocrinology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

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Summary

Primary adrenal insufficiency secondary to syphilis is extremely rare, with only five cases being reported in the literature. We report a case of adrenal insufficiency as a manifestation of Treponema pallidum infection (tertiary syphilis). A 69-year-old, previously fit and well Caucasian male was found to have adrenal insufficiency after being admitted with weight loss, anorexia and postural dizziness resulting in a fall. Biochemical testing showed hyponatraemia, hyperkalaemia, and an inadequate response to Synacthen testing, with a peak cortisol level of 302 nmol/L after administration of 250 µg Synacthen. Abdominal imaging revealed bilateral adrenal hyperplasia with inguinal and retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy. He was started on hydrocortisone replacement; however, it was not until he re-attended ophthalmology with a red eye and visual loss 1 month later, that further work-up revealed the diagnosis of tertiary syphilis. Following a course of penicillin, repeat imaging 5 months later showed resolution of the abnormal radiological appearances. However, adrenal function has not recovered and 3 years following initial presentation, the patient remains on both glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement. In conclusion, this case highlights the importance of considering syphilis as a potential differential diagnosis in patients presenting with adrenal insufficiency and bilateral adrenal masses, given the recent re-emergence of this condition. The relative ease of treating infectious causes of adrenal lesions makes accurate and timely diagnosis crucial.

Learning points:

  • Infectious causes, including syphilis, should be excluded before considering adrenalectomy or biopsy for any patient presenting with an adrenal mass.

  • It is important to perform a full infection screen including tests for human immunodeficiency virus, other blood-borne viruses and concurrent sexually transmitted diseases in patients presenting with bilateral adrenal hyperplasia with primary adrenal insufficiency.

  • Awareness of syphilis as a potential differential diagnosis is important, as it not only has a wide range of clinical presentations, but its prevalence has been increasing in recent times.

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Natassia Rodrigo Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

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Samantha Hocking Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

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Summary

This case illustrates the exceedingly rare phenomenon of transient diabetes insipidus, in association with pre-eclampsia, occurring in the post-partum period following an in vitro fertilisation pregnancy, in an otherwise well 48-year-old lady. Diabetes insipidus can manifest during pregnancy, induced by increased vasopressinase activity secreted by placental trophoblasts and usually manifests in the third trimester. This presentation elucidates not only the intricate balance between the physiology of pregnancy and hormonal homeostasis, but also the importance of post-partum care as the physiological changes of pregnancy still hold pathological potential in the weeks immediately following delivery.

Learning points:

  • Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare complication of pregnancy occurring in 1 in 30 000 pregnancies.

  • It is associated with excessive vasopressinase activity, secreted by placental trophoblasts, which increases the rate of degradation of anti-diuretic hormone.

  • It is responsive to synthetic desmopressin 1-deanimo-8-d-arginine vasopressin as this form is not degraded by placental vasopressinase.

  • Vasopressinase is proportional to placental weight, which is increased in pregnancies conceived with assisted reproductive techniques including in vitro fertilisation.

  • Vasopressinase-induced DI is associated with pre-eclampsia.

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Snezana Burmazovic Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland

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Christoph Henzen Department of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland

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Lukas Brander Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland

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Luca Cioccari Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland
Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Prahran, Australia

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Summary

The combination of hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state and central diabetes insipidus is unusual and poses unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for clinicians. In a patient with diabetes mellitus presenting with polyuria and polydipsia, poor glycaemic control is usually the first aetiology that is considered, and achieving glycaemic control remains the first course of action. However, severe hypernatraemia, hyperglycaemia and discordance between urine-specific gravity and urine osmolality suggest concurrent symptomatic diabetes insipidus. We report a rare case of concurrent manifestation of hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state and central diabetes insipidus in a patient with a history of craniopharyngioma.

Learning points:

  • In patients with diabetes mellitus presenting with polyuria and polydipsia, poor glycaemic control is usually the first aetiology to be considered.

  • However, a history of craniopharyngioma, severe hypernatraemia, hyperglycaemia and discordance between urine-specific gravity and osmolality provide evidence of concurrent diabetes insipidus.

  • Therefore, if a patient with diabetes mellitus presents with severe hypernatraemia, hyperglycaemia, a low or low normal urinary-specific gravity and worsening polyuria despite correction of hyperglycaemia, concurrent diabetes insipidus should be sought.

Open access