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Tamaryn Fox Department of Internal Medicine, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Hamza Akhtar Department of Cardiology, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Nissa Blocher Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Catherine Anastasopoulou Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Summary

Graves’ disease can have multiple cardiac manifestations. A rare complication is that of severe mitral regurgitation secondary to mitral valve chordae rupture, due to both compromise of valve integrity by deposition of glycosaminoglycans and the hemodynamic stresses of thyrotoxicosis. Pregnancy, with its related hemodynamic changes, is another setting in which mitral valve chordae rupture has occasionally been documented. We present a unique case of a 36-year-old female with uncontrolled Graves’ disease who presented during pregnancy at 13 weeks gestation with atrial flutter and features of congestive heart failure. Echocardiogram found severe mitral regurgitation secondary to a ruptured mitral chord. She was treated conservatively with diuresis and ultimately delivered her baby without complication at 28 weeks when she had preterm premature rupture of membranes. She is currently on methimazole and propranolol and pending definitive management of her Graves’ disease. This represents not only a rare cardiac complication in a patient with Graves’ disease but also is the first in the literature, to our knowledge, which describes this complication in a pregnant patient with Graves’ disease.

Learning points

  • Thyroid disease can have multiple effects on the heart through hemodynamic and structural changes and can result in heart failure, arrhythmias, valvular disease, and pulmonary hypertension.

  • Graves’ disease can cause glycosaminoglycan deposition in valvular tissue resulting in fragile leaflets that can rupture with little stress.

  • Pregnancy and thyrotoxicosis have similar hemodynamic consequences with increased cardiac output and reduced systemic vascular resistance.

  • Be vigilant in those with hyperthyroidism with a new murmur or features of acute heart failure, as a ruptured valve chord can result in increased morbidity and mortality if not recognized and addressed quickly.

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N Viola Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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C Urbani Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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M Cosottini Neuroradiology, Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

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A Abruzzese Neuroradiology, Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

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L Manetti Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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G Cosentino Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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G Marconcini Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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C Marcocci Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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F Bogazzi Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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I Lupi Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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Summary

Pituitary apoplexy (PA) is a medical emergency with complex diagnosis and management. In this study, we describe a case of PA in a 63-year-old male treated with oral anticoagulant therapy for atrial fibrillation. In the patient, PA manifested itself with asthenia and severe headache not responsive to common analgesics. Despite the finding of a pituitary mass through CT, and in anticipation of the endocrinological evaluation and pituitary MRI, the patient’s clinical condition worsened with an escalation of headache and asthenia associated with deterioration of the visual field and impairment of consciousness level. The emergency assessments revealed an adrenal failure, whereas MRI showed a haemorrhagic pituitary macroadenoma with compression of the optic chiasm. Intravenous fluids repletion and high-dose hydrocortisone were started with a rapid improvement of the patient’s health and visual field abnormalities. Hydrocortisone was gradually reduced to a replacement dose. During the follow-up, panhypopituitarism was documented, and replacement therapies with l-thyroxine and testosterone were introduced. Three months later, a pituitary MRI showed a 50% reduction in the pituitary adenoma volume.

Learning points

  • Pituitary apoplexy (PA) is a medical emergency that can result in haemodynamic instability and abnormalities in the level of consciousness.

  • The management of PA requires a multidisciplinary team that includes endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, neuro-radiologists, and neuro-surgeons.

  • Pituitary MRI with gadolinium is the diagnostic gold standard for PA.

  • PA therapy aims to improve general conditions and treat compression symptoms, especially visual field abnormalities.

  • Adrenocorticotrophic hormone deficiency is a common and severe complication of PA. Thus, all patients with PA must be promptly treated with injective synthetic glucocorticoids (e.g. hydrocortisone 100 mg) and i.v. saline.

  • PA must be taken into consideration in case of sudden headache in patients with a pituitary macroadenoma, especially if other risk factors are recognized.

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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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S Ludgate Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ryde Hospital, Eastwood, N ew South Wales, Australia

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M Lin Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ryde Hospital, Eastwood, N ew South Wales, Australia

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M Mayadunne Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ryde Hospital, Eastwood, N ew South Wales, Australia

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J Steen Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ryde Hospital, Eastwood, N ew South Wales, Australia

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K W Ho Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ryde Hospital, Eastwood, N ew South Wales, Australia
Department of Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Department of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia

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Summary

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) is a rare condition characterised by acute onset hypokalaemia and paralysis which most commonly affects men of Asian descent between the ages of 20 and 40 years (, ). It has been reported in approximately 2% of patients with thyrotoxicosis in China and Japan (, , ). Hypokalaemia in TPP results from a massive intracellular shift of potassium induced by the thyroid hormone sensitisation of Na+/K+-ATPase (). Treatment of TPP includes prevention of this shift by using beta-blockade, rapid potassium replacement and treatment of the underlying hyperthyroidism. We present two cases of TPP with differing outcomes. In the first case, a 33-year-old Filipino gentleman presented to our emergency department (ED) with a 3-month history of recurrent proximal lower limb weakness. Serum potassium was 2.2 mmol/L (3.3–5.1) and he was given i.v. potassium replacement. Thyroid function tests (TFTs) and thyroid antibodies were consistent with Graves thyrotoxicosis. He was discharged home on carbimazole and remains well controlled on long-term medical therapy. In the second case, a 22-year-old Malaysian gentleman presented to our ED with new-onset bilateral lower limb painless paralysis. Serum potassium was 1.9 mmol/L with TFTs demonstrating Graves thyrotoxicosis. He was treated with i.v. potassium replacement and discharged home on carbimazole and propranolol. He represented to the hospital on two further occasions with TPP and was advised to consider total thyroidectomy given his refractory Graves’ disease. These cases highlight the importance of prompt recognition of this rare life-threatening complication of Graves’ disease, especially in patients of Asian descent.

Learning points

  • Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis is a rare condition characterised by hypokalaemia and acute painless muscle weakness in the presence of thyrotoxicosis.

  • The signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis can be subtle in these patients.

  • It is most commonly seen in Asian males between the ages of 20 and 40 and is most frequently caused by Graves’ disease.

  • Prompt recognition is essential as it is a life-threatening condition.

  • Urgent i.v. potassium replacement and beta-blockade with a non-selective beta-blocker are the mainstays of treatment.

  • i.v. potassium replacement should not be given in dextrose as this can potentiate hypokalaemia.

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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

Open access
Emir Muzurović Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology Section, Clinical Center of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
Faculty of Medicine, University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro

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Sanja Medenica Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology Section, Clinical Center of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
Faculty of Medicine, University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro

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Milovan Kalezić Department of Cardiology, Clinical Center of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro

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Siniša Pavlović Pacemaker Center, Clinical Center of Serbia, Faculty of Medicine University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

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Summary

We present a 54-year-old patient admitted to the emergency department due to loss of consciousness. The initial ECG registered monomorphic ventricular extrasystoles and prolonged QT interval (QT corrected (QTc) >500 ms). Sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) was registered on 24-h Holter ECG monitoring, which clinically was presented as a crisis of consciousness. Coronary angiography and other visualization methods were normal. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation was planned for the purpose of secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Laboratory and hormonal analyzes revealed primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), chronic kidney disease, and hypokalemia. Neck ultrasound showed a 25 mm, sharply outlined homogenous tumor mass which was separated from thyroid gland (TG) and exerted a mild impression on lower parts of the left lobe. Dual wash technetium-99m sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy with single-photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT also showed the uptake of tracer behind the lower half of the left lobe of the TG. Surgical treatment, lower left parathyroidectomy, was performed, and pathohistological analysis verified parathyroid adenoma. The patient was rhythmically and hemodynamically stable for 7 days after surgery, without additional complaints, and was discharged from the hospital. Timely diagnosis of PHPT, correct assessment and surgical treatment, did not lead our patient to unnecessary ICD implantation. Our case suggests an additional intertwining of electrolyte disorders and ventricular arrhythmias in PHPT and more importantly emphasizes the need for caution when indicating ICD, even in patients with the most serious life-threatening arrhythmias.

Learning points

  • Electrolyte abnormalities in PHPT can have highly malignant consequences, and the occurrence of hypokalemia in the presence of hypercalcemia is underestimated in PHPT, and the consequences can be life-threatening.

  • Although hypercalcemia causes shortened QT interval, concomitant severe hypokalemia may overcome hypercalcemia and prolong QT interval, even in the absence of structural heart disease or LQTS.

  • Timely diagnosis of PHPT, correct assessment and surgical treatment, do not lead to unnecessary ICD implantation.

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David Joseph Tansey Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Jim John Egan Department of Respiratory Medicine and Lung & Heart Transplantation, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

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Michelle Murray Department of Respiratory Medicine and Lung & Heart Transplantation, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

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Katie Padfield Department of Anesthesia, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

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John Conneely Department of General Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

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Mensud Hatunic Department of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

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Summary

Phaeochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine-producing tumour. We present the case of phaeochromocytoma in a young man with a background history of a double-lung transplant for cystic fibrosis (CF). Clinical case: A 25-year-old man, with a background history of CF, CF-related diabetes (CFRD) and a double-lung transplant in 2012 was presented to the emergency department with crampy abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. He was diagnosed with distal intestinal obstructions syndrome (DIOS). Contrast-enhanced CT imaging of the abdomen and pelvis showed a 3.4 cm right adrenal lesion. This was confirmed by a subsequent MRI of adrenal glands that demonstrated moderate FDG uptake, suggestive of a diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma. The patient was noted to be hypertensive with a blood pressure averaging 170/90 mm/Hg despite treatment with three different anti-hypertensive medications – amlodipine, telmisartan and doxazosin. He had hypertension for the last 3 years and had noted increasingly frequent sweating episodes recently, without palpitations or headache. Laboratory analysis showed elevated plasma normetanephrines (NMN) of 3167 pmol/L (182–867) as well as elevated metanephrines (MN) of 793 pmol/L (61–377) and a high 3-MT of 257 pmol/L (<185). Once cathecholamine excess was identified biochemically, we proceeded to functional imaging to further investigate. MIBG scan showed a mild increase in the uptake of tracer to the right adrenal gland compared to the left. The case was discussed at a multidisciplinary (MDT) meeting at which the diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma was made. Following a challenging period of 4 weeks to control the patient’s blood pressure with an alpha-blocker and beta-blocker, the patient had an elective right adrenalectomy, with normalisation of his blood pressure post-surgery. The histopathology of the excised adrenal gland was consistent with a 3 cm phaeochromocytoma with no adverse features associated with malignant potential.

Learning points

  • Five to ten per cent of patients have a secondary cause for hypertension. Phaeochromocytomas are rare tumours, originating in chromaffin cells and they represent 0.1–1.0% of all secondary hypertension cases.

  • Secondary causes should be investigated in cases where:

  • Patient is presenting <20 years of age or >50 years of age,

  • There is refractory hypertension, or

  • There is serious end-organ damage present.

  • Patients may present with the triad of headache, sweating and palpitations or more vague, non-specific symptoms.

  • Patients with suspected phaeochromocytoma should have 24-h urinary catecholamines measured and if available, plasma metanephrines measured. Those with abnormal biochemical tests should be further investigated with imaging to locate the tumour.

  • Medical treatment involves alpha- and beta-blockade for at least 2 to 3 weeks before surgery as well as rehydration.

  • There is a possibility of relapse so high-risk patients require life-long follow-up.

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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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Rajiv Singh Department of Internal Medicine, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, U

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Cynthia Mohandas Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, UK

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Summary

A phaeochromocytoma is a rare neuroendocrine tumour derived from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla. Tumours can produce excessive amounts of catecholamines. The presenting symptoms can vary but often include the classic triad of episodic headaches, sweating and palpitations. Due to catecholamine excess, patients can develop cardiomyopathy. Bradycardia and collapse could be the result of sinus node dysfunction or transient dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Patients with co-existing diabetes can have improvement or resolution of their diabetes after successful adrenalectomy. We report a case of an 87-year-old lady who initially presented with sweating, palpitations and collapse, resulting in a permanent pacemaker insertion. She was later found to have a large adrenal incidentaloma with subsequent markedly elevated plasma metanephrine levels. She later presented with chest pain and in acute pulmonary oedema with normal coronary arteries visualised on coronary angiogram. After surgical excision of her phaeochromocytoma, her diabetes resolved with her HbA1c improving from 68 to 46 mmol/mol, with no further requirement for diabetic medications. Her pulmonary oedema improved with no ongoing need for diuretic therapy. This case highlights that phaeochromocytomas can affect multiple systems and there should be a very high index of suspicion in patients presenting with sweating, palpitations, hypertension and a history of diabetes and even in those with collapse.

Learning points

  • There should be a high index of suspicion for phaeochromocytomas in patients with palpitations, diaphoresis, anxiety, hypertension and diabetes.

  • Rarely phaeochromocytomas can present as bradycardia and collapse due to sinus node dysfunction or transient autonomic dysregulation and that should be considered in older patients.

  • Catecholamine cardiomyopathy can occur in phaeochromocytoma with potential resolution after successful surgical excision.

  • Diabetes can resolve after successful surgical treatment of a phaeochromocytoma.

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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.

Open access