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Open access

Teresa Rego, Fernando Fonseca, Stéphanie Espiard, Karine Perlemoine, Jérôme Bertherat, and Ana Agapito

Summary

PBMAH is a rare etiology of Cushing syndrome (CS). Familial clustering suggested a genetic cause that was recently confirmed, after identification of inactivating germline mutations in armadillo repeat-containing 5 (ARMC5) gene. A 70-year-old female patient was admitted due to left femoral neck fracture in May 2014, in Orthopedics Department. During hospitalization, hypertension (HTA) and hypokalemia were diagnosed. She presented with clinical signs of hypercortisolism and was transferred to the Endocrinology ward for suspected CS. Laboratory workup revealed: ACTH <5 pg/mL; urinary free cortisol (UFC), 532 µg/24 h (normal range: 20–90); failure to suppress the low-dose dexamethasone test (0.5 mg every 6 h for 48 h): cortisol 21 µg/dL. Abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed enlarged nodular adrenals (right, 55 × 54 × 30 mm; left, 85 × 53 × 35 mm), and she was submitted to bilateral adrenalectomy. In 2006, this patient’s 39-year-old daughter had been treated by one of the authors. She presented with severe clinical and biological hypercortisolism. Computed tomography (CT) scan showed massively enlarged nodular adrenals with maximal axis of 15 cm for both. Bilateral adrenalectomy was performed. In this familial context of PBMAH, genetic study was performed. Leucocyte DNA genotyping identified in both patients the same germline heterozygous ARMC5 mutation in exon 1 c.172_173insA p.I58Nfs*45. The clinical cases herein described have an identical phenotype with severe hypercortisolism and huge adrenal glands, but different ages at the time of diagnosis. Current knowledge of inheritance of this disease, its insidious nature and the well-known deleterious effect of hypercortisolism favor genetic study to timely identify and treat these patients.

Learning points:

  • PBMAH is a rare etiology of CS, characterized by functioning adrenal macronodules and variable cortisol secretion.
  • The asymmetric/asynchronous involvement of only one adrenal gland can also occur, making disease diagnosis a challenge.
  • Familial clustering suggests a genetic cause that was recently confirmed, after identification of inactivating germline mutations in armadillo repeat-containing 5 (ARMC5) gene.
  • The insidious nature of this disease and the well-known deleterious effect of hypercortisolism favor genetic study of other family members, to diagnose and treat these patients timely.
  • As ARMC5 is expressed in many organs and recent findings suggest an association of PBMAH and meningioma, a watchful follow-up is required.
Open access

Ana Gonçalves Ferreira, Tiago Nunes da Silva, Sofia Alegria, Maria Carlos Cordeiro, and Jorge Portugal

: article reviewer and patient’s Cardiologist; Maria C Cordeiro: - article reviewer; Jorge Portugal: article reviewer. This paper was written with permission and revision from the patient’s physicians (who are also authors, as stated above

Open access

Carla Costa, Cíntia Castro-Correia, Alda Mira-Coelho, Bessa Monteiro, Joaquim Monteiro, Ieuan Hughes, and Manuel Fontoura

Summary

The development of male internal and external genitalia in an XY fetus requires a complex interplay of many critical genes, enzymes, and cofactors. The enzyme 17β-hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase type 3 (17βHSD3) is present almost exclusively in the testicles and converts Delta 4-androstenodione (Δ4) to testosterone. A deficiency in this enzyme is rare and is a frequently misdiagnosed autosomal recessive cause of 46,XY, disorder of sex development. The case report is of a 15-year-old adolescent, who was raised according to female gender. At puberty, the adolescent had a severe virilization and primary amenorrhea. The physical examination showed a male phenotype with micropenis and blind vagina. The Tanner stage was A3B1P4, nonpalpable gonads. The karyotype revealed 46,XY. The endocrinology study revealed: testosterone=2.38 ng/ml, Δ4>10.00 ng/ml, and low testosterone/Δ4 ratio=0.23. Magnetic resonance imaging of the abdominal–pelvic showed the presence of testicles in inguinal canal, seminal vesicle, prostate, micropenis, and absence of uterus and vagina. The genetic study confirmed the mutation p.Glu215Asp on HSD17B3 gene in homozygosity. The dilemma of sex reassignment was seriously considered when the diagnosis was made. During all procedures the patient was accompanied by a child psychiatrist/psychologist. The teenager desired to continue being a female, so gonadectomy was performed. Estrogen therapy and surgical procedure to change external genitalia was carried out. In this case, there was a severe virilization at puberty. It is speculated to be due to a partial activity of 17βHSD3 in the testicles and/or extratesticular ability to convert Δ4 to testosterone by 17βHSD5. Prenatal exposure of the brain to androgens has increasingly been put forward as a critical factor in gender identity development, but in this case the social factor was more important for the gender assignment.

Learning points

  • In this case, we highlight the late diagnosis, probably because the patient belongs to a poor family without proper primary medical care.
  • We emphasize the psychological and social aspects in the sex assignment decision.

Open access

Ana G Ferreira, Tiago N Silva, Henrique V Luiz, Filipa D Campos, Maria C Cordeiro, and Jorge R Portugal

Cordeiro: article reviewer. Jorge R Portugal: article reviewer. This paper was written with permission and revision from the patients’ physicians (who are also authors, as stated earlier). References 1 Jiang CZ Lin QS Wu XY Wang CY

Open access

F Serra, S Duarte, S Abreu, C Marques, J Cassis, and M Saraiva

.( doi:10.1136/jmg.39.9.617 ) † F Serra is now at Rua Almeida Brandão No. 4, 2° Andar, 1200-603 Lisbon, Portugal ‡ S Duarte, C Marques, J Cassis and M Saraiva are now at Rua da Junqueira No. 126, 1349-019 Lisbon, Portugal

Open access

Carlos Tavares Bello, Francisco Sousa Santos, João Sequeira Duarte, and Carlos Vasconcelos

. HIV is an infectious disease with a relatively high prevalence in Portugal. In the past, it was considered a rapidly progressive disease with high mortality secondary to opportunistic infections. With the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Open access

Joanna Prokop, João Estorninho, Sara Marote, Teresa Sabino, Aida Botelho de Sousa, Eduardo Silva, and Ana Agapito

insufficiency. Case presentation A 33-year-old African man presented with a mass on the right side of the neck and was transferred to Portugal from Guinea Bissau in November 2015 for medical care. Two years before, he had complained of a toothache and

Open access

Joana Simões-Pereira, Rafael Adame Cabrera, and Valeriano Leite

Summary

Thyroid fibromatosis is a very rare lesion; to our knowledge, there are only four cases reported in the medical literature. Herein, we report the clinical case of a woman with thyroid fibromatosis with a long follow-up (11 years). A 63-year-old female patient, with an increasing multinodular goitre without compressive symptoms, was admitted to total thyroidectomy. The histology revealed a spindle-cell proliferation with fibroblastic characteristics with no atypia and thin capillary vessels. Immunohistochemistry was positive for beta-catenin, focally to desmin and alfa-actin and negative for cytokeratins and CD34. Thyroid cells did not display any features of papillary thyroid cancer. These characteristics were compatible with thyroid fibromatosis. For the past 11 years, the patient has been periodically followed up with neck CTs and she has not shown any signs of recurrence. Thyroid fibromatosis has been associated with invasion of surrounding structures in previous reported cases. However, this aggressive behaviour was not observed in our patient. The most challenging differential diagnosis is with papillary thyroid cancer with fibromatosis-like stroma, in which the malignant component is usually peripheral. Therefore, in these cases, it is mandatory to perform an extensive examination of the resected sample.

Learning points:

  • Fibromatosis is a mesenchymal lesion that consists of an infiltrative proliferation of fibroblasts without atypia.
  • Thyroid fibromatosis is a rare entity in this gland. In previously reported cases, it has been associated with an invasive behaviour but this was not the case in our patient.
  • When spindle-cell proliferation with fibroblastic/myofibroblastic characteristics is detected on thyroid histology, it is mandatory to exclude a papillary thyroid carcinoma with fibromatosis-like stroma.

Open access

Ana Coelho Gomes, José Maria Aragüés, Sílvia Guerra, Joana Fernandes, and Mário Rui Mascarenhas

Summary

Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) is common and occurs prematurely in HIV-infected men. However, HH with very low testosterone has not been described. Three men with normal pubertal development and HIV1 diagnosis at the ages of 22, 34 and 35 years. All complained of decreased libido, anejaculation and erectile dysfunction thirteen years, six months and one year after HIV diagnosis, respectively. Two had depressive syndrome and two were treated with antiretroviral therapy. Laboratory tests revealed isolated HH in all. Sellar and head CT scans were normal and all had normal CD4 count. They started testosterone replacement therapy, with symptoms improvement. Causes of HH in HIV-infected men include undernutrition, severe illness, drugs, pituitary dysfunction and comorbidities. Despite having none of these conditions (except two that were treated with low-dose psychotropics), our patients had HH with uncommonly low testosterone. This suggests that a different mechanism contributes to severe HH in HIV-infected men.

Learning points:

  • The pathogenesis of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in HIV-infected men is multifactorial and androgen deficiency is more often a consequence of secondary hypogonadism than primary hypogonadism.
  • Causes of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in HIV-infected men include undernutrition, severe illness, drugs (psychotropics, opiates, megestrol acetate or steroids), pituitary dysfunction (tumor, hyperprolactinemia), an AIDS-related lesion (very rarely) and comorbid conditions, such as antibody to hepatitis C virus seropositivity and injection drug use.
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), particularly protease inhibitor therapy has been associated with sexual dysfunction in men, but the causal nature of this relation has not been clearly established.
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with uncommonly low testosterone levels are not usually associated with the conditions referred and this suggests that a different mechanism could contribute to severe hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in HIV-infected men.
  • Screening for hypogonadism in all HIV-infected men might help to understand its etiology.
Open access

Marta Guimarães, Pedro Rodrigues, Sofia S Pereira, Mário Nora, Gil Gonçalves, Nicolai Wewer Albrechtsen, Bolette Hartmann, Jens Juul Holst, and Mariana P Monteiro

Summary

Post-prandial hypoglycemia is frequently found after bariatric surgery. Although rare, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET), which occasionally are mixed hormone secreting, can lead to atypical clinical manifestations, including reactive hypoglycemia. Two years after gastric bypass surgery for the treatment of severe obesity, a 54-year-old female with previous type 2 diabetes, developed post-prandial sweating, fainting and hypoglycemic episodes, which eventually led to the finding by ultrasound of a 1.8-cm solid mass in the pancreatic head. The 72-h fast test and the plasma chromogranin A levels were normal but octreotide scintigraphy showed a single focus of abnormal radiotracer uptake at the site of the nodule. There were no other clinical signs of hormone secreting pNET and gastrointestinal hormone measurements were not performed. The patient underwent surgical enucleation with complete remission of the hypoglycemic episodes. Histopathology revealed a well-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma with low-grade malignancy with positive chromogranin A and glucagon immunostaining. An extract of the resected tumor contained a high concentration of glucagon (26.707 pmol/g tissue), in addition to traces of GLP1 (471 pmol/g), insulin (139 pmol/g) and somatostatin (23 pmol/g). This is the first report of a GLP1 and glucagon co-secreting pNET presenting as hypoglycemia after gastric bypass surgery. Although pNET are rare, they should be considered in the differential diagnosis of the clinical approach to the post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia patient.

Learning points

  • pNETs can be multihormonal-secreting, leading to atypical clinical manifestations.
  • Reactive hypoglycemic episodes are frequent after gastric bypass.
  • pNETs should be considered in the differential diagnosis of hypoglycemia after bariatric surgery.