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Open access

Annabelle M Warren, Peter R Ebeling, Vivian Grill, Ego Seeman, and Shoshana Sztal-Mazer

follow-up In September 2020, nearly 2 years after the bilateral AFFs originally occurred, and after 7 months of teriparatide, repeat X-rays demonstrated further fracture healing, although it was unclear whether it was attributable to teriparatide

Open access

Paraskevi Kazakou, George Simeakis, Maria Alevizaki, and Katerina Saltiki

arrow). (B) MTC metastatic lesion in the right mandible (black arrow). Outcome and follow-up During the following 12 months, laboratory examination and repeat imaging was compatible with disease stabilization. However, in September 2016

Open access

F Keen, F Iqbal, P Owen, A Christian, N Kumar, and A Kalhan

September 2019, our patient, a 59-year-old woman was found unconscious at home by her family. Her capillary blood glucose levels were noted to be low (1.1 mmol/L) by the paramedics who, on arrival at the scene, promptly initiated i.v. dextrose infusion as

Open access

Hiroki Nakajima, Yasuhiro Niida, Eriko Hamada, Kuwata Hirohito, Masahide Ota, Sadanori Okada, Takako Mohri, Yukako Kurematsu, Shigeto Hontsu, Shigeo Muro, and Yutaka Takahashi

Summary

Ectopic ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) syndrome (EAS) is rarely associated with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Although chemotherapy is initially effective for SCLC, complicated EAS scarcely improves. Recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors have been used to treat SCLC. Atezolizumab plus chemotherapy for SCLC improved progression-free survival compared to conventional chemotherapy. However, little has been reported on the efficacy of the combination therapy for SCLC with EAS. We report a 72-year-old male who presented with 4-week history of leg oedema, proximal myopathy, weight loss, and worsened symptoms of diabetes and hypertension. Laboratory findings revealed hypokalaemia, increased plasma ACTH, and serum cortisol levels. Cortisol levels were not suppressed by the high-dose dexamethasone test. Chest and abdominal CT revealed a right lower lobe tumour with multiple metastases on the hilar lymph nodes, liver, lumbar spine, and bilateral enlarged adrenal glands. The patient was diagnosed with stage 4B SCLC with EAS. Hypercortisolaemia was then treated with metyrapone and atezolizumab plus chemotherapy, which was started for SCLC. After 10 days, the tumour shrank noticeably, and the ACTH level drastically decreased concomitantly with low cortisol levels with symptoms of fever, appetite loss, and general fatigue. Hydrocortisone treatment was initiated, and the symptoms resolved immediately. We describe a case of SCLC with EAS treated with atezolizumab plus chemotherapy, presenting with adrenal insufficiency. Close observation is required for patients with adrenal insufficiency receiving atezolizumab plus chemotherapy because of its stronger effect. Furthermore, advances in cancer therapy and care for endocrine paraneoplastic syndrome needs to be adapted.

Learning points

  • The immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab has recently been approved for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

  • Approximately 1–6% of tumour ectopically produce ACTH and cause ectopic ACTH syndrome (EAS) as an endocrine paraneoplastic syndrome.

  • The use of combined chemotherapy and atezolizumab in the ectopic ACTH syndrome secondary to small-cell lung cancer may cause a precipitous fall in circulating ACTH/cortisol, resulting in symptomatic adrenal insufficiency

  • The advances in cancer therapy and treatment for endocrine paraneoplastic syndrome need to be adapted.

Open access

Fiona Melzer, Corinna Geisler, Dominik M Schulte, and Matthias Laudes

Summary

Familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD) syndromes are rare heterogeneous disorders especially in women characterized by selective loss of adipose tissue, reduced leptin levels and severe metabolic abnormalities. Here we report a 34-year-old female with a novel heterozygotic c.485 thymine>guanine (T>G) missense variant (p.phenylalanine162cysteine; (Phe162Cys)) in exon 4 of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) gene, developing a non-ketotic diabetes and severe hypertriglyceridemia with triglyceride concentrations >50 mmol/L. In this case, a particular interesting feature in comparison to other known PPARG mutations in FPLD is that while glycaemic control could be achieved through standard anti-diabetic medication, hypertriglyceridemia did neither respond to fibrate nor to omega-3-fatty acid therapy. This might suggest a lipid metabolism driven phenotype of the novel PPARG c.485T>G missense variant. Notably, recombinant leptin replacement therapy (metreleptin (Myalepta®)) was initiated showing a rapid and profound effect on triglyceride levels as well as on liver function tests and satiety feeling. Unfortunately, severe allergic skin reactions developed at the side of injection which could be covered by anti-histaminc treatment. We conclude that the heterozygous PPARG c.485T>G variant is a yet undescribed molecular basis underlying FPLD with difficulties predominantly to control hypertriglyceridemia and that recombinant leptin therapy may be effective in affected subjects.

Learning points

  • Heterozygous c.485T>G variant in PPARG is most likely a cause for FPLD in humans.

  • This variant results in a special metabolic phenotype with a predominant dysregulation of triglyceride metabolism not responding to standard lipid lowering therapy.

  • Recombinant leptin therapy is effective in rapidly improving hypertriglyceridemia.

Open access

Mitsuhiro Kometani, Takashi Yoneda, Yuji Maeda, Masashi Oe, Yoshimichi Takeda, Takuya Higashitani, Daisuke Aono, Asuka Yoshino, Shigehiro Karashima, and Yoshiyu Takeda

Summary

Pheochromocytoma crisis results from the sudden release of large quantities of catecholamines and leads to progressive multiple organ dysfunction. Here we report a case of pheochromocytoma crisis with symptoms associated with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and severe fluctuations in blood pressure (BP). A 43-year-old Japanese man with hypertension (240/120 mmHg) visited a general hospital for chest pain. Echocardiogram showed ST segment depression and blood test demonstrated elevated troponin T. However, emergent coronary angiography revealed normal findings. CT showed a large adrenal mass on the left side, which was suspected as the cause of chest pain and BP elevation. After the patient was transported to our hospital, his BP was found to oscillate between 70 and 240 mmHg, and level of consciousness was decreased. After hospitalization, he had a further decrease in consciousness, a rise in body temperature, and a gradual increase in the interval between the upper and lower systolic BP. His systolic BP varied between 30 mmHg and 300 mmHg at the intervals of 20-30 min. After a multimodality therapy, including α-blocker and high dose fluid replacement, the fluctuation in his BP was gradually decreased and got stabilized after approximately 24 h. Approximately 3 weeks later, he underwent left adrenalectomy. This case showed that pheochromocytoma with internal necrosis might be misdiagnosed as ACS. Furthermore, in cases with a large adrenal tumor and severe elevation or fluctuations of BP, pheochromocytoma should be suspected and treated with α-blockers and fluid replacements as soon as possible prior to surgery.

Learning points:

  • High catecholamine levels due to pheochromocytoma crisis might cause symptoms associated with acute coronary syndrome.

  • Adrenal tumor with internal necrosis and the elevation or fluctuations of blood pressure should be suspected to be pheochromocytoma.

  • If pheochromocytoma crisis is suspected, the specialist, such as an endocrinologist or a urologist, should intervene, and an α-blocker treatment with adequate fluid replacement therapy should be initiated as soon as possible.

  • Pheochromocytoma multisystem crisis (PMC) is a fatal condition characterized by multiple organ failure, severe blood pressure variability, high fever, and encephalopathy. This is an extremely rare subtype of a very rare disease such as pheochromocytoma. However, because the fatality rate of PMC is high, clinicians should be aware of the symptoms that mark its onset.

Open access

Butheinah A Al-Sharafi, Faiza Askar, and Ahmed A Qais

Summary

A 38-year-old female was initially seen in the intensive care unit after severe postpartum hemorrhage. She was initially diagnosed to have Sheehan’s syndrome and after discharge, she was diagnosed to have a vesicovaginal fistula which initially caused a delay in diagnosing diabetes insipidus in the patient because she was having urinary incontinence. The patient had the vesicovaginal fistula repaired and was on replacement with levothyroxine, prednisone, and desmopressin. Years after her diagnosis, the patient experienced recurrent episodes of hyponatremia in the setting of desmopressin therapy. This case highlights the challenges of diagnosing diabetes insipidus in a patient with Sheehan’s syndrome and a vesicovaginal fistula, as well as the long-term management of central diabetes insipidus in a resource-limited setting.

Learning points

  • Sheehan’s syndrome is rarely associated with diabetes insipidus, and in our patient, it was initially missed due to a vesicovaginal fistula which caused urinary incontinence.

  • Water intoxication is more common in young children and older adults but can occur years after initiating treatment with desmopressin in adults and should be kept in mind when treating patients with hyponatremia who have hypopituitarism associated with diabetes insipidus.

  • Water intoxication is much more common in patients with diabetes insipidus being treated with intranasal desmopressin than in those using the oral preparations.

Open access

Satyanarayana V Sagi, Hareesh Joshi, Jamie Trotman, Terence Elsey, Ashwini Swamy, Jeyanthy Rajkanna, Nazir A Bhat, Firas J S Haddadin, Samson O Oyibo, and Soo-Mi Park

Summary

Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH) is a dominantly inherited, lifelong benign disorder characterised by asymptomatic hypercalcaemia, relative hypocalciuria and variable parathyroid hormone levels. It is caused by loss-of-function pathogenic variants in the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) gene. Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is characterised by variable hypercalcaemia in the context of non-suppressed parathyroid hormone levels. Unlike patients with FHH, patients with severe hypercalcaemia due to PHPT are usually symptomatic and are at risk of end-organ damage affecting the kidneys, bone, heart, gastrointestinal system and CNS. Surgical resection of the offending parathyroid gland(s) is the treatment of choice for PHPT, while dietary adjustment and reassurance is the mainstay of management for patients with FHH. The occurrence of both FHH and primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in the same patient has been described. We report an interesting case of FHH due to a novel CASR variant confirmed in a mother and her two daughters and the possible coexistence of FHH and PHPT in the mother, highlighting the challenges involved in diagnosis and management.

Learning points:

  • Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH) and primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) can coexist in the same patient.

  • Urinary calcium creatinine clearance ratio can play a role in distinguishing between PHPT and FHH.

  • Genetic testing should be considered in managing patients with PHPT and FHH where the benefit may extend to the wider family.

  • Family segregation studies can play an important role in the reclassification of variants of uncertain significance.

  • Parathyroidectomy has no benefit in patients with FHH and therefore, it is important to exclude FHH prior to considering surgery.

  • For patients with coexisting FHH and PHPT, parathyroidectomy will reduce the risk of complications from the severe hypercalcaemia associated with PHPT.

Open access

Shuhei Baba, Arina Miyoshi, Shinji Obara, Hiroaki Usubuchi, Satoshi Terae, Masao Sunahara, Takahiro Oshima, Kazuhito Misawa, Takahiro Tsuji, Bunya Takahashi, Yuto Yamazaki, Hironobu Sasano, and Norio Wada

Summary

A 31-year-old man with Williams syndrome (WS) was referred to our hospital because of a 9-year history of hypertension, hypokalemia, and high plasma aldosterone concentration to renin activity ratio. A diagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA) was clinically confirmed but an abdominal CT scan showed no abnormal findings in his adrenal glands. However, a 13-mm hypervascular tumor in the posterosuperior segment of the right hepatic lobe was detected. Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) subsequently revealed the presence of an extended tributary of the right adrenal vein to the liver surrounding the tumor. Segmental AVS further demonstrated a high plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) in the right superior tributary vein draining the tumor. Laparoscopic partial hepatectomy was performed. The resected tumor histologically separated from the liver was composed of clear cells, immunohistochemically positive for aldesterone synthase (CYP11B2), and subsequently diagnosed as aldosterone-producing adrenal adenoma. After surgery, his blood pressure, serum potassium level, plasma renin activity and PAC were normalized. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of WS associated with PA. WS harbors a high prevalence of hypertension and therefore PA should be considered when managing the patients with WS and hypertension. In this case, the CT findings alone could not differentiate the adrenal rest tumor. Our case, therefore, highlights the usefulness of segmental AVS to distinguish adrenal tumors from hepatic adrenal rest tumors.

Learning points:

  • Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder, characterized by a constellation of medical and cognitive findings, with a hallmark feature of generalized arteriopathy presenting as stenoses of elastic arteries and hypertension.

  • WS is a disease with a high frequency of hypertension but the renin-aldosterone system in WS cases has not been studied at all.

  • If a patient with WS had hypertension and severe hypokalemia, low PRA and high ARR, the coexistence of primary aldosteronism (PA) should be considered.

  • Adrenal rest tumors are thought to arise from aberrant adrenal tissues and are a rare cause of PA.

  • Hepatic adrenal rest tumor (HART) should be considered in the differential diagnosis when detecting a mass in the right hepatic lobe.

  • Segmental adrenal venous sampling could contribute to distinguish adrenal tumors from HART.

Open access

Beryl Stütz, Marta Korbonits, Karl Kothbauer, Werner Müller, and Stefan Fischli

Summary

The coincidence of a pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma and a pituitary adenoma in the same patient is a rare condition. In the last few years SDHx and MAX mutations have been identified and discussed as a potential causal connection in cases of coincidence. We describe a case of a middle-aged female patient which presented with acromegaly, a growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma and a symptomatic neck paraganglioma. The patient was cured by surgery from both the pituitary tumour and the paraganglioma and is well after ten years follow-up. Due to the unusual coexistence of two neuroendocrine tumours, further molecular genetic testing was performed which revealed a variant in the TMEM127 gene (c245-10C>G).

Learning points:

  • Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and coexisting functioning pituitary adenoma are a very rare condition. An appropriate treatment of each tumour entity with a multi-disciplinary approach and regular follow-up is needed.

  • The possibility of a hereditary disease should be considered and genetic workup is recommended. Genetic testing should focus primarily on the genes with mutations related to pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas.

  • Next-generation sequencing with multi-gene panel testing is the currently suggested strategy.

  • Genes associated with paragangliomas and pituitary adenomas are SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, MAX and MEN1, while case reports with VHL, RET and NF1 may represent coincidences.

  • Variants of uncertain significance may need ongoing vigilance, in case novel data become available of these variants.