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Open access

Reyna Daya, Faheem Seedat, Khushica Purbhoo, Saajidah Bulbulia, and Zaheer Bayat

presentation A 47-year-old unemployed African man presented to the endocrine clinic with a history of fatigue, headaches, and low libido. He reported no nausea, vomiting, or any change in vision. There was no other significant medical, family, or drug history

Open access

Nyasatu G Chamba, Ahlam A Amour, Abid M Sadiq, Tecla R Lyamuya, Emmanuel V Assey, Adnan M Sadiq, and William P Howlett

Summary

Acromegaly is a rare disease caused by hypersecretion of the growth hormone (GH). Most cases are caused by either pituitary microadenoma or macroadenoma. The GH producing tumors present with clinical manifestations of acromegaly due to excessive GH secretion or symptoms resulting from mass effects of the enlarging tumor. The physical changes are usually slow and, therefore, recognition of the disease is delayed. These adenomas are never malignant but can have significant morbidity and mortality. A subgroup of patients with acromegaly present with severe hyperglycemia resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which requires insulin. Rarely are pituitary tumors responsible for generalized convulsions except when they are too large. We hereby present two cases, the first is that of a 26-year-old female who presented with new onset status epilepticus, DKA with a 1-year history of diabetes mellitus (DM). On examination, she had clinical features of acromegaly. The second case is that of a 34-year-old female who presented with new onset status epilepticus, hyperglycemia with a history of recently diagnosed DM, and features of gigantism. In both cases, their diagnosis was confirmed by elevated serum GH and later by elevated insulin-like growth factor type 1 levels, and CT of the head demonstrating large pituitary macroadenoma. The importance of clinical history and examination, as well as investigations is vital in the recognition of acromegaly. The prognosis of acromegalic patients depends on early clinical recognition and tumor size reduction by either medical or surgical therapy.

Learning points

  • Conditions such as status epilepticus and DKA may be clinical presentations in patients presenting with acromegaly.

  • Seizures are rare in people with pituitary adenoma and typically occur when the tumor invades the suprasellar area due to mass effect on the brain.

  • This article shows how best we were able to manage the acromegaly complications in a low resource setting.

  • Hyperprolactinemia in acromegaly may be due to disruption of the normal dopaminergic inhibition of prolactin secretion due to mass effect of the macroadenoma, and around 25% of GH-secreting adenomas co-secrete prolactin.

Open access

John J Orrego and Joseph A Chorny

56-year-old African female with chronic right-sided abdominal pain was found to have a left adrenal incidentaloma. An unenhanced adrenal CT scan revealed a 4.5 × 3.1 × 3.2 cm left adrenal mass, with a density of 25 Hounsfield units ( Fig. 1 ). The

Open access

Priya Darshani Chhiba and David Segal

. All patients in the case series had a single stimulation test, using clonidine. South African funders are satisfied with a single growth hormone stimulation test, accompanied by supportive auxological data. The mean age at rhGH initiation was 10

Open access

Clement Olukayode Aransiola and Arinola Ipadeola

. Though studies from other sub-Saharan countries still support the rarity of Paget's disease Dahniya reported that 14 cases of Paget's disease were seen in an African community over a 4-year period (1978–1982) (2) . During a comparable 4-year period, no

Open access

S A A van den Berg, N E van ‘t Veer, J M A Emmen, and R H T van Beek

Summary

We present a case of iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, induced by treatment with fluticasone furoate (1–2 dd, 27.5 µg in each nostril) in a pediatric patient treated for congenital HIV. The pediatric patient described in this case report is a young girl of African descent, treated for congenital HIV with a combination therapy of Lopinavir/Ritonavir (1 dd 320/80 mg), Lamivudine (1 dd 160 mg) and Abacavir (1 dd 320 mg). Our pediatric patient presented with typical Cushingoid features (i.e. striae of the upper legs, full moon face, increased body and facial hair) within weeks after starting fluticasone furoate therapy, which was exacerbated after increasing the dose to 2 dd because of complaints of unresolved rhinitis. Biochemical analysis fitted iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, with a repeatedly low cortisol (<0.03 µM, ref 0.14–0.60 µM) and low ACTH (9 pg/mL, ref 9–52 pg/mL) without signs of adrenal insufficiency. No other biochemical abnormalities that could point to adrenal or pituitary dysfunction were detected; electrolytes, thyroid and gonadal function, and IGF-1 were within the normal range. Pharmacogenetic analysis revealed that the pediatric patient carried the CYP3A4 *1B/*1G and CYP3A5 *3/*3 genotype (associated with a partial and complete loss of enzyme activity, respectively) which is associated with the development of iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome in patients treated for HIV due to the strong inhibition of CYP3 enzymes by Ritonavir. Upon discontinuation of fluticasone treatment, the pediatric patient improved both clinically and biochemically with normalisation of cortisol and ACTH within a couple of weeks.

Learning points:

  • Fluticasone therapy may induce iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome in a patient treated with anti-retroviral therapy.

  • Pharmacogenetic analysis, in particular CYP3A genotyping, provides useful information in patients treated for HIV with respect to possible future steroid treatment.

  • Fluticasone furoate is not detected in the Siemens Immulite cortisol binding assay.

Open access

Miriam Hinaa Ahmad and Ismat Shafiq

asparaginase therapy and mostly reported in children with incidence of 0.8% ( 3 ). Here, we present a case of an adolescent presenting with DKA after PEG-asparaginase therapy. Case presentation A 21-year-old African American female with history of

Open access

Maryam Rahman, Ignacio Jusué-Torres, Abdulrahman Alkabbani, Roberto Salvatori, Fausto J Rodríguez, and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Summary

Pituitary adenomas are usually solitary lesions. Rarely, patients may present with two distinct pituitary tumors. We report a case of synchronous secretory pituitary adenomas in a woman who initially presented with elevated prolactin levels. She was initially treated with cabergoline, but, after many years, she began developing symptoms consistent with acromegaly. Imaging revealed two distinct tumors within the pituitary gland. Endocrinological investigation confirmed acromegaly. At the time of surgery, two separate tumors were identified and resected. Pathological analysis demonstrated one tumor as a prolactinoma, and the other tumor as a GH-secreting adenoma. Postoperatively, her GH and IGF1 levels normalized, while the prolactin level remained slightly above normal. This case highlights that GH and prolactin level elevation is not always from co-secretion by the same adenoma.

Learning points

  • Synchronous pituitary adenomas represent <0.5% of pituitary tumors requiring surgery.

  • In the setting of elevated GH and prolactin levels, one cannot assume that they are co-secreted by the same adenoma.

  • A careful study of hormonal workup and pre-operative imaging is necessary for synchronous pituitary adenomas to assure resection of both tumors.

Open access

Priya Vaidyanathan and Paul Kaplowitz

Summary

Pubertal gynecomastia is common, can be seen in 65% of the adolescent boys and is considered physiological. It is thought to be due to transient imbalance between the ratio of testosterone and estradiol in the early stages of puberty. It resolves in 1–2 years and requires no treatment. However, more persistent and severe pubertal gynecomastia is less common and can be associated with pathological disorders. These can be due to diminished androgen production, increased estrogen production or androgen resistance. We report a case of persistent pubertal gynecomastia due to partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS), classical hormone findings and a novel mutation in the androgen receptor (AR) gene.

Learning points:

  • Laboratory testing of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), leutinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone for pubertal gynecomastia is most helpful in the setting of undervirization.

  • The hormonal finding of very high testosterone, elevated LH and estradiol and relatively normal FSH are classical findings of PAIS.

  • Gynecomastia due to PAIS will not resolve and surgery for breast reduction should be recommended.

Open access

A Chinoy, N B Wright, M Bone, and R Padidela

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).