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Open access

Luísa Correia Martins, Ana Rita Coutinho, Mónica Jerónimo, Joana Serra Caetano, Rita Cardoso, Isabel Dinis, and Alice Mirante

pharmacological treatment during follow-up Reference values 2012 2013 2014 2015 June March September February 3rd June 6th June * August October January April July † TSH

Open access

Shinya Makino, Takeshi Uchihashi, Yasuo Kataoka, and Masayoshi Fujiwara

. The patient has shown improvement for both diabetes and AA over the last 5 years. Case presentation A 41-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with hyperglycemia on 3rd February 2009. During a health check in 2007, his fasting plasma

Open access

Dalal Ali, Patrick Divilly, Ruth Prichard, Dermot O’Toole, Donal O’Shea, and Rachel K Crowley


Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare inherited endocrine disorder with a high rate of penetrance. The incidence of MEN1 is 1/30,000 in the general population; however, it is quite rare for a patient to present for medical attention with MEN1 for the first time in pregnancy. Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is one of the most common features of MEN1. The incidence of PHPT occurring in pregnancy is 1%. Despite advances in the medical, surgical and obstetric care over the years, management of this condition during pregnancy may be challenging. It can be difficult to identify pregnant women with PHPT requiring intervention and to monitor safely. Hypercalcemia can result in significant maternal and fetal adverse outcomes including: miscarriage, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm delivery, neonatal hypocalcaemia, pre-eclampsia and maternal nephrolithiasis. Herein, we present a case study of a lady with a strong family history of MEN1, who was biochemically proven to have PHPT and evidence of Zollinger Ellison Syndrome (ZE) on endoscopy. This patient delayed her assisted pregnancy plans for in vitro fertilization (IVF) until completion of the MEN1 workup; nevertheless, she spontaneously achieved an unplanned pregnancy. As a result, she required intervention with parathyroidectomy in the second trimester of her pregnancy as her calcium level continued to rise. This case study highlights the workup, follow up and management of MEN1 presenting with PHPT and ZE in pregnancy.

Learning points

  • Women of childbearing age who are suspected to have a diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism ideally should have genetic testing and avoid pregnancy until definitive plans are in place.

  • Zollinger Ellison syndrome in pregnancy means off-label use of high dose of proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Use of PPI in pregnancy is considered to be safe based on retrospective studies. Omeprazole, however, is FDA class C drug because of lack of large prospective studies or large case series during pregnancy.

  • Calcium supplements in the form of calcium carbonate must be converted to calcium chloride by gastric acid in order to be absorbed, however, patients rendered achlorhydric as a result of PPI use will have impaired absorption of calcium. Therefore, use of calcium citrate might be considered a better option in this case.

Open access

Jin Hui Ho, Ana Vetriana Abd Wahab, Yin Khet Fung, and Serena Sert Kim Khoo


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is associated with menstrual irregularities, ovulatory dysfunction, hirsutism, insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic syndrome but is rarely associated with severe hyperandrogenaemia and virilisation resulting in male pattern baldness and clitoromegaly. Total serum testosterone greater than twice the upper limit of the reference range or free androgen index of over five-fold elevated suggests a diagnosis other than PCOS. We reported a case of a 15 years old obese girl presented with secondary amenorrhoea, virilising signs: frontal baldness, clitoromegaly and prominent signs of insulin resistance and marked acanthosis nigricans. Her total testosterone level was markedly elevated at 9.4 nmol/L (0.5–1.7 nmol/L) and MRI pelvis revealed a right ovarian mass with fat and cystic component and a left polycystic ovary. The patient underwent laparoscopic right ovarian cystectomy and histologically confirmed mature cystic teratoma. Post-operatively, her testosterone level declined but did not normalise, menses resumed but remained irregular. Her fasting insulin was elevated 85.2 mIU/L (3–25 mIU/L) and HOMA-IR was high at 13.1 (>2) with persistent acanthosis nigricans suggesting co-existing HAIR-AN syndrome, an extreme phenotype of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Learning points:

  • Rapid onset of hyperandrogenic symptoms, especially if associated with signs of virilisation must raise the suspicion of an androgen-secreting tumour.

  • Total serum testosterone greater than twofold the upper limit of the reference range or free androgen indices over fivefold suggest a diagnosis other than polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

  • High levels of testosterone with normal levels of the DHEA-S suggest an ovarian source.

  • Ovarian androgen-secreting tumour and HAIR-AN syndrome, an extreme spectrum of PCOS can co-exist.

Open access

Serena Khoo, Greta Lyons, Andrew Solomon, Susan Oddy, David Halsall, Krishna Chatterjee, and Carla Moran


Familial dysalbuminemic hyperthyroxinemia (FDH) is a cause of discordant thyroid function tests (TFTs), due to interference in free T4 assays, caused by the mutant albumin. The coexistence of thyroid disease and FDH can further complicate diagnosis and potentially result in inappropriate management. We describe a case of both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease occurring on a background of FDH. A 42-year-old lady with longstanding autoimmune hypothyroidism was treated with thyroxine but in varying dosage, because TFTs, showing high Free T4 (FT4) and normal TSH levels, were discordant. Discontinuation of thyroxine led to marked TSH rise but with normal FT4 levels. She then developed Graves’ disease and thyroid ophthalmopathy, with markedly elevated FT4 (62.7 pmol/L), suppressed TSH (<0.03 mU/L) and positive anti-TSH receptor antibody levels. However, propylthiouracil treatment even in low dosage (100 mg daily) resulted in profound hypothyroidism (TSH: 138 mU/L; FT4: 4.8 pmol/L), prompting its discontinuation and recommencement of thyroxine. The presence of discordant thyroid hormone measurements from two different methods suggested analytical interference. Elevated circulating total T4 (TT4), (227 nmol/L; NR: 69–141) but normal thyroxine binding globulin (TBG) (19.2 µg/mL; NR: 14.0–31.0) levels, together with increased binding of patient’s serum to radiolabelled T4, suggested FDH, and ALB sequencing confirmed a causal albumin variant (R218H). This case highlights difficulty ascertaining true thyroid status in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease and coexisting FDH. Early recognition of FDH as a cause for discordant TFTs may improve patient management.

Learning points:

  • The typical biochemical features of familial dysalbuminemic hyperthyroxinemia (FDH) are (genuinely) raised total and (spuriously) raised free T4 concentrations due to enhanced binding of the mutant albumin to thyroid hormones, with normal TBG and TSH concentrations.

  • Given the high prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease, it is not surprising that assay interference from coexisting FDH may lead to discordant thyroid function tests confounding diagnosis and resulting in inappropriate therapy.

  • Discrepant thyroid hormone measurements using two different immunoassay methods should alert to the possibility of laboratory analytical interference. The diagnosis of FDH is suspected if there is a similar abnormal familial pattern of TFTs and increased binding of radiolabelled 125I-T4 to the patient’s serum, and can be confirmed by ALB gene sequencing.

  • When autoimmune thyroid disease coexists with FDH, TSH levels are the most reliable biochemical marker of thyroid status. Measurement of FT4 using equilibrium dialysis or ultrafiltration are more reliable but less readily available.

Open access

Aditi Sharma, Thilipan Thaventhiran, Suzanne Braggins, Channa N Jayasena, and Vassiliki Bravis


Infection is a common complication of advanced diabetic foot disease, increasing the risk of acute admission and amputation. It is less well-known that foot ulceration and osteomyelitis may cause bacteraemia-associated hematogenous seeding and subsequent epidural abscess formation. Here we describe the case of a 57-year-old woman with known diabetic foot ulcer with underlying osteomyelitis admitted with backpain in the absence of trauma. Her condition deteriorated secondary to overwhelming sepsis. MRI of the spine confirmed spondylodiscitis and posterior epidural collection, not amenable to surgical intervention due to patient’s comorbidities and high surgical risk. Despite prolonged antibiotic therapy, the patient died following a hospital admission lasting 2.5 months. This case highlights the importance of regular contact with diabetes foot service for optimisation and prompt treatment of diabetic foot disease, which can be an underestimated potential source of remote site invasive systemic infection. Secondly, high clinical suspicion in admitting clinicians is imperative in ensuring timely diagnosis and early intervention to minimise fatal consequences.

Learning points:

  • Approximately 10% of patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime.

  • Spondylodiscitis (incorporating vertebral osteomyelitis, spondylitis and discitis) is a rare condition and diabetes is the most common predisposing risk factor.

  • Spondylodiscitis often presents with no other symptom other than back pain. Neurological or infective symptoms can be present or absent.

  • High clinical suspicion in clinicians is imperative in ensuring timely diagnosis and early intervention to minimise devastating consequences.

Open access

Ana M Lopes, Josué Pereira, Isabel Ribeiro, Ana Martins da Silva, Henrique Queiroga, and Cláudia Amaral


Pituitary metastasis (PM) can be the initial presentation of an otherwise unknown malignancy. As PM has no clinical or radiological pathognomonic features, diagnosis is challenging. The authors describe the case of a symptomatic PM that revealed a primary lung adenocarcinoma. A 62-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis and no history of malignancy, incidentally presented with a diffusely enlarged and homogeneously enhancing pituitary gland associated with stalk enlargement. Clinical and biochemical evaluation revealed anterior hypopituitarism and diabetes insipidus. Hypophysitis was considered the most likely diagnosis. However, rapid visual deterioration and pituitary growth raised the suspicion of metastatic involvement. A search for systemic malignancy was performed, and CT revealed a lung mass, which proved to be a lung adenocarcinoma. Accordingly, the patient was started on immunotherapy. Resection of the pituitary lesion was performed, and histopathology analysis revealed metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. Following surgery, the patient underwent radiotherapy. More than 2 years after PM detection, the patient shows a clinically relevant response to antineoplastic therapy and no evidence of PM recurrence.

Learning points:

  • Although rare, metastatic involvement of the pituitary gland has been reported with increasing frequency during the last decades.

  • Pituitary metastasis can be the initial presentation of an otherwise unknown malignancy and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pituitary lesions, irrespective of a history of malignancy.

  • The sudden onset and rapid progression of visual or endocrine dysfunction from a pituitary lesion should strongly raise the suspicion of metastatic disease.

  • MRI features of pituitary metastasis can overlap with those of other pituitary lesions, including hypophysitis; however, rapid pituitary growth is highly suggestive of metastatic disease.

  • Survival after pituitary metastasis detection has improved over time, encouraging individualized interventions directed to metastasis to improve quality of life and increase survival.

Open access

Janani Devaraja, Sarah Sloan, Vicki Lee, and Paul Dimitri


An 11-year-old girl presented with acute lower limb weakness, dehydration, hypernatraemia and secondary rhabdomyolysis on a background of an 8-month history of polyuria. Radiological investigations revealed a suprasellar tumour which was diagnosed on biopsy as a non-metastatic germinoma. Further endocrinological investigations confirmed panhypopituitarism and she commenced desmopressin, hydrocortisone and thyroxine. Her chemotherapeutic regime consisted of etoposide, carboplatin and ifosfamide, the latter of which required 4 litres of hyperhydration therapy daily. During the first course of ifosfamide, titration of oral desmopressin was trialled but this resulted in erratic sodium control leading to disorientation. Based on limited literature, we then trialled an arginine-vasopressin (AVP) infusion. A sliding scale was developed to adjust the AVP dose, with an aim to achieve a urine output of 3–4 mL/kg/h. During the second course of ifosamide, AVP infusion was commenced at the outset and tighter control of urine output and sodium levels was achieved. In conclusion, we found that an AVP infusion during hyperhydration therapy was required to achieve eunatraemia in a patient with cranial diabetes insipidus. Developing an AVP sliding scale requires individual variation; further reports/case series are required to underpin practice.

Learning points:

  • Certain chemotherapeutic regimens require large fluid volumes of hyperhydration therapy which can result in significant complications secondary to rapid serum sodium shifts in patients with diabetes insipidus.

  • The use of a continuous AVP infusion and titrating with a sliding scale is more effective than oral desmopressin in regulating plasma sodium and fluid balance during hyperhydration therapy.

  • No adverse effects were found in our patient using a continuous AVP infusion.

  • Adjustment of the AVP infusion rate depends on urine output, fluid balance, plasma sodium levels and sensitivity/response of the child to titrated AVP doses.

Open access

Christine Yu, Inder J Chopra, and Edward Ha

, but was subsequently found to have diffusely metastatic melanoma of the liver, lungs, and bone on CT imaging in October 2011. She received rounds of ipilimumab on January 30 and February 21, 2012, with the second dose 3 weeks before admission. After

Open access

Charlotte Boughton, David Taylor, Lea Ghataore, Norman Taylor, and Benjamin C Whitelaw

(Azacitidine), and posaconazole 300 mg OD was recommenced. Posaconazole was interrupted for an admission with neutropenic sepsis and decompensated heart failure but then restarted on discharge in February 2017. At this point, he was also taking ramipril and