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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

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

Summary

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

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

Open access

Clement Olukayode Aransiola and Arinola Ipadeola

Summary

Paget's disease is a chronic and progressive disorder of bone characterized by focal areas of excessive osteoclastic resorption accompanied by a secondary increase in the osteoblastic activity. Paget's disease of bone (PBD) is a rare endocrine disease especially among Africans and Asians. Hence the detection of a case in a middle-aged Nigerian is of interest. We present the case of a 62-year-old Nigerian man in apparent good health who was found to have a markedly elevated serum total alkaline phosphatase (ALP) of 1179 U/l (reference range, 40–115 U/l) 4 years ago during a routine medical check-up in the USA. He had no history suggestive of PDB and also had no known family history of bone disease. Examination findings were not remarkable except for a relatively large head. A repeat ALP in our centre was 902 U/l (reference range, 40–120 U/l). Cranial CT scan showed diffuse cranial vault thickening consistent with Paget's disease which was confirmed by Tc-99m hydroxymethylene diphosphonate. He was placed on 40 mg alendronate tablets daily for 6 months. The patient has remained asymptomatic and has been in continuing biochemical remission during the 3-year follow-up period. The most recent ALP result is 88 U/l (reference range, 30–132 U/l) in April 2015.

Learning points

  • Serum total alkaline phosphatase remains a sensitive marker of bone turnover and an isolated increase above the upper limit of normal warrants more intense scrutiny in form of investigations targeted at excluding PD.
  • Paget's disease is very rare but can occur in the Africans as seen in this Nigerian man and most patients are asymptomatic.
  • Asymptomatic patients can benefit from treatment if disease is active, polyostotic or the lesions are located in bones with future risk of complications such as long bones, vertebrae and skull.
  • Bisphosphonates are still the mainstay of treatment and alendronate is a useful therapeutic option for treatment.

Open access

Ozen Oz Gul, Pinar Sisman, Soner Cander, Erdem Gozden, Meral Kurt, Ozlem Saraydaroglu, Turkay Kirdak, Canan Ersoy, and Erdinc Erturk

Summary

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare sporadic disease characterized by histiocytic neoplastic infiltration of various organ systems and a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from benign and self-limiting to lethal. Herein, we report a rare case of adult-onset multi-systemic LCH in a 36-year-old male patient with an initial perianal presentation and incidental finding of subsequent thyroid gland involvement in the follow-up period. The patient with a history of perianal LCH treated with surgical excision and local radiotherapy was referred to our Endocrinology Department upon detection of hypermetabolic nodular lesions in the left lateral lobe of thyroid gland on positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET/CT) scan in the nineth month of follow-up. Current evaluation revealed euthyroid status, a hypoechoic solid lesion of 13 × 9 mm in size with irregular borders in the left thyroid lobe on thyroid USG and cytologic assessment of thyroid nodule. The patient was diagnosed with suspected, oncocytic lesion, Hashimoto thyroiditis or LCH. The patient underwent total thyroidectomy and pathological assessment confirmed the diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Assessments in the sixth month of postoperative follow-up revealed euthyroid status with no thyroid tissue remnants or pathological lymph node on thyroid USG. In view of the multifocal lesions indicating multi-system disease, a systemic chemotherapy protocol with combination of prednisone (PRED) and vinblastine (VBL) has been planned by the hematology department.

Learning points:

  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) shows a wide clinical spectrum and prognosis that ranges from benign and self-limiting single-system disease (with single or multifocal lesions) to a potentially lethal multi-system disease with severe organ dysfunction and death in some cases.
  • It has been stated that the diagnosis is often delayed in perianal LCH unless LCH is specifically considered in the etiology, despite the fact that mucosal involvement may precede systemic involvement.
  • Our findings support the statement that most of patients with LCH were PET positive at the time of initial diagnosis, while also emphasize the inclusion of this imaging modality as a part of the diagnostic workflow as well as in the setting of treatment response evaluation among adult LCH patients.
Open access

Shamil D Cooray and Duncan J Topliss

Summary

A 58-year-old man with metastatic radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) presented with left thigh and right flank numbness. He had known progressive and widespread bony metastases, for which he received palliative radiotherapy, and multiple bilateral asymptomatic pulmonary metastases. CT scan and MRI of the spine revealed metastases at right T10–L1 vertebrae with extension into the central canal and epidural disease at T10 and T11 causing cord displacement and canal stenosis but retention of spinal cord signal. Spinal surgery was followed by palliative radiotherapy resulting in symptom resolution. Two months later, sorafenib received approval for use in Australia and was commenced and up-titrated with symptomatic management of mild adverse effects. Follow-up CT scan three months after commencement of sorafenib revealed regression of pulmonary metastases but no evident change in most bone metastases except for an advancing lesion eroding into the right acetabulum. The patient underwent a right total hip replacement, intra-lesional curettage and cementing. After six months of sorafenib therapy, CT scanning showed enlarging liver lesions with marked elevation of serum thyroglobulin. Lenvatinib was commenced and sorafenib was ceased. He now has stable disease with a falling thyroglobulin more than 5 years after metastatic radioiodine-refractory DTC was diagnosed.

In DTC, 5% of distant metastases become radioiodine-refractory, resulting in a median overall survival of 2.5–3.5 years. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy has recently been demonstrated to increase progression-free survival in these patients but poses some unique management issues and is best used as part of an integrated approach with directed therapy.

Learning points:

  • Directed therapies may have greater potential to control localised disease and related symptoms when compared to systemic therapies.
  • Consider TKI therapy in progressive disease where benefits outweigh risks.
  • Active surveillance and timely intervention are required for TKI-related adverse effects.
  • There is a need for further research on the clinical application of TKI therapy in advanced DTC, including comparative efficacy, sequencing and identifying responders.
Open access

M L Gild, L Heath, J Y Paik, R J Clifton-Bligh, and B G Robinson

Summary

Struma ovarii is a rare, usually benign ovarian tumour with malignancy occurring in <5% of cases. Metastases, particularly seeding to bone, are extremely rare. Presentation is variable but often features local pain and/or ascites and hyperthyroidism may occur. It is not established how to best treat and follow patients with extensive disease. Case reports of radioiodine (I131) ablative therapy following thyroidectomy have shown reduced recurrence. We describe the case of a 33-year-old woman who presented with bone pain and was diagnosed with skeletal metastases with features of follicular thyroid carcinoma. However, thyroid pathology was benign. She recalled that 5 years prior, an ovarian teratoma was excised, classified at that time as a dermoid cyst. Retrospective review of this pathology confirmed struma ovarii without obvious malignant features. The patient was found to have widespread metastases to bone and viscera and her thyroglobulin was >3000 µg/L following recombinant TSH administration prior to her first dose of I131. At 25 months following radioiodine treatment, she is in remission with an undetectable thyroglobulin and clear I131 surveillance scans. This case demonstrates an unusual presentation of malignant struma ovarii together with challenges of predicting metastatic disease, and demonstrates a successful radioiodine regimen inducing remission.

Learning points:

  • Malignant transformation of struma ovarii (MSO) is extremely rare and even rarer are metastatic deposits in bone and viscera.
  • MSO can be difficult to predict by initial ovarian pathology, analogous to the difficulty in some cases of differentiating between follicular thyroid adenoma and carcinoma.
  • No consensus exists on the management for post operative treatment of MSO; however, in this case, three doses of 6Gbq radioiodine therapy over a short time period eliminated metastases to viscera and bone.
  • Patients should continue to have TSH suppression for ~5 years.
  • Monitoring thyroglobulin levels can predict recurrence.
Open access

Marianne Geilswijk, Lise Lotte Andersen, Morten Frost, Klaus Brusgaard, Henning Beck-Nielsen, Anja Lisbeth Frederiksen, and Dorte Møller Jensen

Summary

Hypoglycemia during pregnancy can have serious health implications for both mother and fetus. Although not generally recommended in pregnancy, synthetic somatostatin analogues are used for the management of blood glucose levels in expectant hyperinsulinemic mothers. Recent reports suggest that octreotide treatment in pregnancy, as well as hypoglycemia in itself, may pose a risk of fetal growth restriction. During pregnancy, management of blood glucose levels in familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia thus forms a medical dilemma. We report on pregnancy outcomes in a woman with symptomatic familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, type 3. During the patient’s first pregnancy with a viable fetus octreotide treatment was instituted in gestational age 23 weeks to prevent severe hypoglycemic incidences. Fetal growth velocity declined, and at 37 weeks of gestation, intrauterine growth retardation was evident. During the second pregnancy with a viable fetus, blood glucose levels were managed through dietary intervention alone. Thus, the patient was advised to take small but frequent meals high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Throughout pregnancy, no incidences of severe hypoglycemia occurred and fetal growth velocity was normal. We conclude that octreotide treatment during pregnancy may pose a risk of fetal growth restriction and warrants careful consideration. In some cases of familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, blood glucose levels can be successfully managed through diet only, also during pregnancy.

Learning points:

  • Gain-of-function mutations in GCK cause familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia.
  • Hypoglycemia during pregnancy may have serious health implications for mother and fetus.
  • Pregnancy with hyperinsulinism represents a medical dilemma as hypoglycemia as well as octreotide treatment may pose a risk of fetal growth restriction.
  • In some cases of familial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, blood glucose levels can be successfully managed through diet only.