[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increased prevalence of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) has been reported in women with diabetes mellitus (DM). Our aim was to evaluate correlates (psychological, cardiovascular, and neurophysiologic) of FSD in DM women without chronic diabetic complications. Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Michigan Diabetic Neuropathy Index (DNI), and the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (SDN) questionnaires, metabolic variables, endothelial vascular function (flow-mediated dilation, FMD), echocardiography, and electromyography were studied. 109 pre-menopausal women (18-50 years) [48 with DM (14 type 1 DM, 34 type 2 DM, duration 12.6 ± 1.91 years), and 61 healthy women] received the above questionnaires; physical activity, smoking habits, parity, BMI, waist circumference, HOMA-IR index, fibrinogen, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL), triglycerides, HbA1c, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, total testosterone, and estradiol were measured; echocardiography, assessment of intima-media thickness (IMT), FMD, ECG (heart rate and Qtc, indexes of sympathetic activity), and electromyography were performed. FSFI total score and score for arousal, lubrication, and orgasm domains were lower in DM women than in controls (P < 0.05); DM women had higher BDI, Doppler A wave peak velocity, DNI, and SDN score (P < 0.001 to P < 0.04). Doppler E wave peak velocity, peroneal, posterior tibial and sural nerves conduction velocity and amplitude were lower in diabetic women than in controls (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001). FSFI score was positively correlated with physical activity, Doppler E wave peak velocity, and peroneal nerve amplitude and negatively with BDI, parity, IMT, SDN, and HbA1c (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001). At stepwise regression, SDN score (negatively) and Doppler E wave peak velocity (positively) predicted FSFI score (r = 507, P < 0.001). In conclusion, cardiovascular and neurological impairments are associated with FSD in diabetic women. Follow-up studies are required to evaluate sexual dysfunction as a risk factor for future cardiovascular or neurological events.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Sexual dysfunction is reported in diabetic women (female sexual dysfunction [FSD]). AIM: To examine the frequency of FSD in diabetic women, and its clinical or metabolic correlates, through meta-analysis of available studies. METHODS: We searched in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and in reference lists of articles and systematic reviews; we considered human clinical studies published as full articles reporting on FSD in diabetic and control women. In total, we considered 26 studies, including 3,168 diabetic and 2,823 control women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency of FSD and score of Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) as a function of study size, patient details (age, body mass index [BMI], duration of diabetes, metabolic control [HbA1c], chronic complications, Beck Depression Inventory [BDI] score). RESULTS: Frequency of FSD was higher in type 1 (OR [95%CI] 2.27 [1.23, 4.16]), in type 2 diabetes (2.49 [1.55, 3.99]), and in "any diabetes" (type 1 and 2) women (2.02 [1.49, 2.72]) than in controls for any duration of diabetes. FSFI was lower in type 1 (-0.27 [-0.41, -0.12]), in type 2 diabetes (-0.65 [-0.75, -0.54]), and in "any diabetes" women (-0.80 [-0.88, -0.71]) than in controls. Depression was significantly more frequent in diabetic than in control women. At meta-regression only BMI was significantly associated with effect size (P = 0.005). At weighed regression, the only significant association was found between age and FSFI (P = 0.059). The limitations were as follows: only studies of observational nature were available, and heterogeneity was seen among studies. CONCLUSIONS: FSD is more frequent in diabetic than in control women, but it is still poorly understood; low FSFI is associated with high BMI. Further studies are necessary to better understand risk factors for FSD in diabetic women.
Journal of Sexual Medicine 01/2013; 10(4). DOI:10.1111/jsm.12065 · 3.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal hyperthyrotropinaemia is associated with an increased risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Physiological changes during pregnancy require an increased production of thyroid hormones (or an increase in daily substitutive doses of L-T4 in hypothyroid patients) to meet the maternal and foetal needs. The aim of the study was to evaluate variations of substitutive L-T4 doses that are able to maintain serum TSH between 0.5 and 2.5 mU/l in pregnant women with subclinical- (SH), overt- (OH) and post-ablative (PH) hypothyroidism.
This was a retrospective study on hypothyroid pregnant women referred to the out-patient department between January 2004 and December 2006.
A total of 185 pregnant women were studied during gestation; 155 patients (76 SH, 52 OH, 27 PH) were already on L-T4 before conception and 30 (SH) started L-T4 therapy during gestation. Thyroid function and body weight were evaluated every 4-6 weeks.
In the group of patients already treated before conception, 134 (86.5%) increased L-T4 doses during gestation one or more times, eight (6%) reached a definitive therapeutic dosage within the 12th week of pregnancy, 64 (47.8%) within the 20th week and 62 (46.2%) within the 31st week. This initial L-T4 increase at the first evaluation during pregnancy was 22.9 +/- 9.8 microg/day. The final L-T4 doses were significantly different depending on the aetiology, being 101.0 +/- 24.6 microg/day in SH, 136.8 +/- 30.4 microg/day in OH and 159.0 +/- 24.6 microg/day in PH. The per cent increase of L-T4, expressed as Delta% of absolute dose, was +70% in SH, +45% in OH and +49% in PH as compared to baseline dose. In SH patients diagnosed during gestation, the starting L-T4 dose was higher than L-T4 dose before pregnancy of SH patients already treated (75.4 +/- 14.5 and 63.2 +/- 20.1 microg/day, respectively), whereas the final doses were similar. L-T4 dose was increased one or more times in 24 patients (80%), 8 reached the definitive dosage within the second trimester (33.3%) and 16 within the third trimester (66.7%).
Serum TSH and FT4 measurements are mandatory in pregnant patients and the optimal timing for increasing L-T4 is the first trimester of pregnancy, though many patients require adjustments also during the second and third trimester. The aetiology of hypothyroidism influences the adjustment of L-T4 therapy and SH patients needed a larger increase than OH and PH. Close monitoring during pregnancy appears to be mandatory in hypothyroid women.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate how resistin and adiponectin (ApN) are involved in maternal energy metabolism and foetal growth.
A cross-sectional study.
Resistin and ApN were measured in 30 healthy nonpregnant women, 73 pregnant women [10-41 weeks of gestation; 18 with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), five with pregnancy-induce hypertension (PIH), nine with pre-eclampsia (PE), eight with chronic hypertension (CH) and 33 normal] and 40 foetal samples (20-41 weeks of gestation; 18 from GDM mothers and 22 from normal mothers).
Resistin levels were significantly higher in normal pregnant women than in nonpregnant controls (13.7 +/- 2.1 vs. 6.3 +/- 1.6 ng/ml; P < 0.005) and showed a negative correlation with gestational age (P < 0.0001, r = -0.7). Only women with PE presented resistin levels significantly lower than normotensive women of the same gestational age (8.2 +/- 1.2 vs. 17.9 +/- 4.3 ng/ml; P < 0.005). ApN levels, although similar in normal pregnant women to those in nonpregnant controls, were significantly lower in women with GDM (37-41 weeks; 5.2 +/- 0.5 vs. 8.2 +/- 0.8 mg/l; P < 0.0001) and PE (20-37 weeks; 5.0 +/- 0.7 vs. 9.5 +/- 0.7 mg/l; P = 0.008) than those found in normal women matched for gestational age. Resistin was detected in the umbilical venous blood in foetuses from 20 to 41 weeks of gestation. In all newborns, both resistin and ApN levels were significantly higher than those recorded in adult life and did not correlate with maternal levels (P = ns, r = 0.03 for resistin and P = ns, r = -0.3 for ApN). Foetuses from diabetic mothers had ApN significantly lower than normal foetuses (26.8 +/- 2.6 vs. 37.5 +/- 3.5 mg/l; P = 0.02), while resistin levels were similar (17.3 +/- 3.7 vs. 18.2 +/- 1.5 ng/ml; P = ns).
The secretion pattern of ApN in normal and complicated pregnancies strongly suggests an involvement of ApN in insulin resistance during gestation, while resistin seems to have a minor role. Moreover, the detection of high levels of resistin and ApN in cord blood during gestation is consistent with a regulatory action of these adipokines on tissue differentiation and foetal growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adiponectin (ApN), an adipocytokine expressed in adipocytes with antidiabetic and antiatherogenic actions, has been detected in cord blood, suggesting a putative role in intrauterine fetal development. The aim of this study was to confirm the presence of ApN in the fetal circulation and directly investigate ApN expression in fetal tissues. The study showed high ApN levels in umbilical venous blood from fetuses [n = 44; 31.2 +/- 14.1 (sd) mg/liter in umbilical vs. 8.4 +/- 4.0 in maternal circulation (P < 0.0001)] that positively correlated with gestational age. By using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry, ApN was detected in several fetal tissues at mid- and late gestation (from 14 to 36 wk) but not in the placenta. ApN was expressed in tissues of mesodermic origin, i.e. brown and white adipocytes, skeletal muscle fibers of diaphragm and iliopsoas, smooth muscle cells of small intestine and arterial walls, perineurium and renal capsule, and tissues of ectodermal origin, i.e. epidermis and ocular lens. The distribution of ApN expression in nonadipose tissues showed a general decline during the progression of gestation. The unexpected pattern of ApN expression in the human fetus may account for the high ApN levels in cord blood and predicts novel roles for ApN during fetal development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relationships between circulating levels of inhibin A, inhibin B and activin A, and sex, gestational age and gonadotropins in normal and pathological fetuses.
The study included 31 normal fetuses and 12 affected with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) of gestational age ranging 20-40 weeks.
No gender difference in inhibin A and activin A levels were observed. Inhibin B levels were significantly higher in males than in females (P < 0.05). Fetuses with the highest levels of inhibin A and B were found in the IUGR group that also showed activin A levels significantly higher than normal. No correlations were observed between inhibin A, inhibin B, activin A and both gonadotropins.
Plasma inhibin A, inhibin B and activin A are detectable in both genders during intrauterine life. The different gender pattern of inhibin B suggests that inhibin B may contribute to the assessment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal set-point at least in males.
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 11/2004; 117(1):38-44. DOI:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2004.02.030 · 1.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC) are genetic diseases due to activating mutations of the RET proto-oncogene. Affected patients develop medullary thyroid carcinoma (100%), in an isolated form (FMTC) or in association with phaeochromocytoma (30-50%), and primary hyperparathyroidism (10-20%) (MEN 2A). The presence of cutaneous lichen amyloidosis (CLA) has been anecdotally described in few families harbouring RET proto-oncogene mutation in codon 634. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of CLA in MEN 2A/FMTC families.
Ten MEN 2A/FMTC families were studied and RET gene mutations identified in all. Complete dermatological assessment was carried out in each family member. Skin biopsy for histological studies was performed in patients with CLA.
Among 10 MEN 2A/FMTC families, the presence of CLA was found only in patients belonging to the three families with MEN 2A and RET mutation in codon 634. Nine of 25 patients (36%) with codon 634 mutation presented CLA, though two of them did not show CLA skin lesions but the typical neurological pruritus in the upper back. In all patients, neurological pruritus was present since infancy as a precocious marker of the disorder. The dermatological study of patients with CLA skin lesions added further evidence that pruritus has a pivotal role in the development of CLA, the amyloid deposition being the consequence of repeated scratching. Light microscopy revealed orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, with elongation of the rete ridges, rare intramalpighian apoptic keratinocytes and deposits of amorphous material in the superficial dermis. Examination under ultraviolet light showed thioflavin T-positive staining, confirming the presence of amyloid in the papillary dermis. The use of Capsaicin at the dilution of 0.025% had a mild efficacy on the cutaneous symptoms.
Among the members of the three families with MEN 2A and RET 634 mutation, the incidence of CLA was 36%, a figure similar to that reported in the literature for phaeochromocytoma (30-50%) and even higher than that for hyperparathyroidism (10-20%). The present data confirm that CLA is linked to codon 634 RET mutations and is a precocious marker of the disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ghrelin is a GH secretagog isolated recently from rat stomach and involved in the stimulation of food intake and adiposity in rodents and humans. Moreover, subsequent studies showed that ghrelin is expressed in rat and human placenta, suggesting a possible influence of the peptide on fetal growth. The aim of this study was to evaluate circulating levels of ghrelin in appropriate for gestational age (AGA) or intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetuses.
Ghrelin levels between 20 and 39 weeks of gestation were measured in 16 AGA and nine IUGR fetuses in whom blood was collected by cordocentesis performed for prenatal diagnosis of different diseases or during elective cesarean section. In most samples, GH, cortisol and leptin levels were also evaluated. Results are expressed as means+/-S.D. Differences were tested using the Student's t-test with Welch correction. P<0.05 was considered significant.
All fetuses showed levels of ghrelin in the umbilical venous blood (100+/-99 pmol/l) that did not correlate with the gestational age or the maternal ghrelin levels. No difference was found between umbilical venous and arterial concentrations, suggesting that fetal tIssues are a source of ghrelin. Ghrelin levels in IUGR fetuses were significantly higher than those found in AGA fetuses (176+/-125 vs 58+/-44 pmol/l; P<0.005). Moreover, in samples obtained at birth, ghrelin concentrations correlated negatively with birth weight (P<0.05). In IUGR fetuses, GH and cortisol concentrations were higher and leptin levels lower than in AGA fetuses, although no significant correlation between these parameters and ghrelin levels was found.
The presence of ghrelin in the fetal circulation as well as its increase in IUGR fetuses suggest a role of this peptide during intrauterine development.
European Journal of Endocrinology 08/2003; 149(2):111-6. DOI:10.1530/eje.0.1490111 · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summaryobjective Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC) are genetic diseases due to activating mutations of the RET proto-oncogene. Affected patients develop medullary thyroid carcinoma (100%), in an isolated form (FMTC) or in association with phaeochromocytoma (30–50%), and primary hyperparathyroidism (10–20%) (MEN 2A). The presence of cutaneous lichen amyloidosis (CLA) has been anecdotally described in few families harbouring RET proto-oncogene mutation in codon 634. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of CLA in MEN 2A/FMTC families.patients and design Ten MEN 2A/FMTC families were studied and RET gene mutations identified in all. Complete dermatological assessment was carried out in each family member. Skin biopsy for histological studies was performed in patients with CLA.results Among 10 MEN 2A/FMTC families, the presence of CLA was found only in patients belonging to the three families with MEN 2A and RET mutation in codon 634. Nine of 25 patients (36%) with codon 634 mutation presented CLA, though two of them did not show CLA skin lesions but the typical neurological pruritus in the upper back. In all patients, neurological pruritus was present since infancy as a precocious marker of the disorder. The dermatological study of patients with CLA skin lesions added further evidence that pruritus has a pivotal role in the development of CLA, the amyloid deposition being the consequence of repeated scratching. Light microscopy revealed orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, with elongation of the rete ridges, rare intramalpighian apoptic keratinocytes and deposits of amorphous material in the superficial dermis. Examination under ultraviolet light showed thioflavin T-positive staining, confirming the presence of amyloid in the papillary dermis. The use of Capsaicin at the dilution of 0·025% had a mild efficacy on the cutaneous symptoms.conclusions Among the members of the three families with MEN 2A and RET 634 mutation, the incidence of CLA was 36%, a figure similar to that reported in the literature for phaeochromocytoma (30–50%) and even higher than that for hyperparathyroidism (10–20%). The present data confirm that CLA is linked to codon 634 RET mutations and is a precocious marker of the disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental evidence suggests an involvement of thyroid hormones in myocardial nonmyocyte component growth. We evaluated the possible role of thyroid hormones in myocardial remodeling by ultrasonic tissue characterization (videodensitometry) in 8 hyperthyroid patients, in 10 hypothyroid patients, and in 2 patients with thyroid hormone resistance syndrome (RTH), before, 60, and 120 days after treatment (T0, T60, T120), and in 10 age-matched euthyroids. According to a previously described procedure, the derived collagen volume fraction (dCVF%, an echocardiographic index estimating the collagen content) was predicted from the pixel-level frequency distribution width (broadband, Bb) of the selected echocardiographic images. Thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3) were assessed by immunometric method. QT interval dispersion (QTd) on basal electrocardiogram was measured as a marker of dyshomogeneous ventricular repolarization. At T0, Bb and dCVF% were normal in hyperthyroid and euthyroid patients, and slightly increased in RTH patients, whereas significantly higher values were found in hypothyroids. At T60, a significant reduction in Bb was observed in hypothyroids, with nearly normal dCVF% values. This trend was confirmed at T120 with complete normalization of echoreflectivity. No echoreflectivity changes were observed in hyperthyroid and RTH patients during treatment. QTd was significantly increased in hypothyroids at T0, while no significant differences were found among groups at T60 and T120. Because the different videodeonsitometric myocardial properties observed in hypothyroid versus hyperthyroid patients correspond to an increase of dCVF%, this study suggests that thyroid hormones exert an inhibitory effect on myocardial collagen synthesis in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between in utero fetal growth and fetal leptin concentrations was investigated between 19 and 41 wk in 40 normal (appropriate for gestational age, AGA) fetuses, in 25 intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetuses, and in 18 fetuses from gestational diabetic mothers (GDM), representing different intrauterine growth patterns. Umbilical venous plasma leptin concentrations were determined at the time of either in utero fetal blood sampling or delivery. Plasma leptin was measurable as early as 19 wk of gestation. A significant difference was observed between umbilical venous and arterial plasma leptin concentrations (0.6+/-0.6 ng/mL; p<0.01). In AGA and in IUGR fetuses, significant positive relationships were found between fetal leptin concentrations and both gestational age (p<0.001) and fetal weight (p<0.001). Leptin concentrations were significantly higher in AGA than IUGR only after 34 wk (p<0.05), but leptin per kilogram fetal weight (leptin/kg) was not significantly different. In IUGR with abnormal umbilical arterial Doppler velocimetry and fetal heart rate, leptin/kg significantly higher than in IUGR with normal biophysical and biochemical parameters was found (p<0.05). Both circulating plasma leptin and leptin/kg were significantly higher in GDM than in normal fetuses (p<0.001) and correlated with abdominal fat mass measured by ultrasound. No gender differences were observed in any group of fetuses. These findings indicate a clear relationship between fetal leptin concentrations and fetal fat mass. Data in severe IUGR suggest the presence of increased leptin concentrations associated with in utero signs of fetal distress.
Pediatric Research 12/2000; 48(5):646-51. DOI:10.1203/00006450-200011000-00016 · 2.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of fetal hypothyroidism is based at present on measurements of TSH and free thyroxine (FT4) in fetal blood samples obtained by cordocentesis. The measurement of maternal serum and urinary concentrations of compound W, immunologically similar to but chromatographically distinct from diiodothyronine sulfate (T2S), has been advocated as a new possible marker for fetal hypothyroidism.
In this paper, we measured serum compound W levels in 84 pregnant women, 20 with and 64 without thyroid disorders before and during specific treatment. Compound W was also assessed in fetal blood obtained by cordocentesis from 49 normal fetuses and 4 fetuses with suspected hypothyroidism due to transplacental passage of propylthiouracil (PTU). Compound W levels were measured by T2S RIA in maternal and fetal serum. To assess the possible usefulness of 3, 5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC) for therapy of fetal hypothyroidism we evaluated the transplacental passage of TRIAC by administering the drug to four pregnant women before therapeutic abortion.
In normal pregnancies, both maternal and fetal compound W levels increased progressively during gestation with a significant direct correlation (P<0.001, in both mothers and fetuses). Moreover, a significant positive correlation was observed between fetal compound W and fetal FT4 values (P<0.005), whereas no correlation was observed between maternal serum compound W and maternal FT4 in either euthyroid or hyperthyroid women, suggesting the fetal origin of compound W. The hypothyroid fetuses of PTU-treated mothers showed low compound W levels, and maternal compound W values were in the low normal range and did not show the typical increase during progression of gestation. A significant increase of maternal compound W was observed when the PTU dose was reduced. TRIAC was documented to cross the placental barrier and the treatment of a hyperthyroid pregnant woman on PTU caused the high fetal TSH levels and goiter to normalize.
Serial measurements of 3,3'-T2S crossreactive materials (compound W and 3, 3'-diiodothyroacetic acid sulfate) in maternal blood and the administration of TRIAC to the mother may represent a useful and safe alternative to invasive techniques for the diagnosis and therapy of fetal hypothyroidism.
European Journal of Endocrinology 01/2000; 141(6):570-8. DOI:10.1530/eje.0.1410570 · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the intra-uterine and postnatal thyroid status of a newborn, whose mother, affected with Hashimoto's thyroiditis superimposed on a previous Graves' disease, again became hyperthyroid during the third trimester of pregnancy. The mother had very high levels of anti-thyroid auto-antibodies, including TSH receptor auto-antibodies (TRAb) measured as TSH-binding inhibiting auto-antibodies (TBIAb). In order to exclude fetal thyroid dysfunction due to passive transplacental transfer of TRAb, fetal blood samples were obtained by cordocentesis at 21, 27 and 32 weeks of gestation. A transplacental transfer of TRAb was already seen at 21 weeks, but no alteration of fetal thyroid function was present at that time. In the following weeks, a rise in TRAb and circulating thyroid hormones was observed both in the fetus and mother, accompanied by overt hyperthyroidism in the mother and by growth retardation in the fetus. At birth, TRAb were shown to have stimulating activity both in the newborn and mother. This report documents the early transplacental passage of thyroid auto-antibodies and underlines the importance of close follow-up of pregnant women with auto-immune thyroid disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been reported that serum FSH bioactivity and inhibin levels can be used as markers of the presence of true gonadotropin-secreting pituitary adenoma (Gn-oma). To verify this hypothesis, we have investigated the bioactivity of FSH and serum inhibin α-α and α-βA levels in a series of patients with either Gn-oma or nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA). Nine patients with Gn-oma (6 men and 3 women), 21 with NFPA (9 men and 12 women) and 30 normal subjects were included in the study. We studied FSH biological activity (FSH-B) by using Sertoli cell aromatase bioassay (SAB) and α-α and α-βA inhibin levels by two noncompetitive immunometric assays (IEMA). In male patients with Gn-oma, serum immunoreactive FSH (FSH-I) and FSH-B levels ranged from 5.1 to 35.5 U/L and from 8.3 to 48 U/L, respectively, FSH B/I ratio being elevated in 2 (2.5 and 4.1; normal male range: 0.3-1.5), while female patients with Gn-oma had serum FSH-I and FSH-B levels ranging from 43.2 to 162 U/L and from 41.2 to 112.8 U/I, respectively, with a normal FSH B/I ratio. In male patients with NFPA, FSH-I and FSH-B levels ranged from 2.7 to 10.7 U/I and from 2.4 to 11.4 U/1 while in females they ranged from 3.4 to 67.9 and from 4.6 to 60.8 U/I, respectively. FSH B/I ratio was elevated in 1 male (3.3) and normal in the remaining patients with NFPA. Serum α-α inhibin levels were normal or low in patients with Gn-oma and NFPA, while α-βA inhibin concentrations were slightly elevated in 1 of 6 postmenopausal women (0.9; normal range < 0.7 U/ml). The present study confirms and extends previous reports indicating that male patients with Gn-oma may secrete FSH molecules with increased bioactivity. However, this abnormality was also observed in one male patient with NFPA. Moreover, the measurement of inhibin levels does not appear to be a reliable in vivo marker of pituitary tumors of gonadotroph origin, as it was normal or low in almost all patients with either Gn-oma or NFPA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here a new family with thyroid hormone resistance (RTH), with phenotypic variability among subjects. Particular emphasis is given to the clinical and hormonal outcome after 2 years of triiodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC) treatment in an affected child with peripheral thyrotoxic features (pituitary RTH [PRTH]). The genetic defect was a substitution in position 1642 (C to A) within the exon 10 of thyroid hormone receptor beta1 (TRbeta1) gene, resulting in the codon change P453T. The mutant receptor had a significantly reduced triiodothyronine (T3) binding affinity. Within this family, the child and the mother suffered from hyperthyroidism and were clinically classified as PRTH, while the maternal grandmother was clinically euthyroid, indicating a generalized form of the disease (GRTH). Rapid normalization of heart rate was initially obtained by the association of the cardioselective beta-blocker atenolol with TRIAC. Nevertheless, long-term TRIAC therapy, through its lowering action of serum thyrotropin (TSH) and thyroid hormone levels, maintained a normal heart rate after atenolol discontinuation and normalized the neurological disturbances and the clinical signs in the child, without any apparent side effect. In fact, growth velocity remained unchanged and no alteration of several parameters of thyroid hormone action at the tissue level was observed, whereas soluble interleukin-2 receptor levels improved significantly, confirming the safety and efficacy of long-term TRIAC therapy for PRTH also during childhood. We thus recommend testing the efficacy of TRIAC therapy in all RTH patients presenting with clinical features of hyperthyroidism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Normal or elevated thyrotropin (TSH) levels in hyperthyroid patients are characteristic of rare TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma (TSH-oma), which is easily detectable by computed tomographic (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other diagnostic aids are an absent/impaired TSH response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), discrepant TSH and alpha-subunit responses to TRH, high sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, high alpha-subunit levels, and a high alpha-subunit/TSH molar ratio. Familial studies help rule out thyroid hormone resistance (RTH). Surgical removal of TSH-oma leads to clinical and biochemical remission in most patients. In surgical failures, radiotherapy and octreotide treatment have a high success rate. Undetectable TSH 1 week postsurgery suggests a definitive cure, backed up by tests for cosecreted hormones from the adenoma and dynamic tests of TSH suppression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the diagnosis of fetal goitre at 22 and 24 weeks' gestation in two hyperthyroid pregnant women who underwent treatment with 400-500 mg of propylthiouracil in the first weeks of pregnancy, a total of seven fetal blood samplings were performed to evaluate thyroid function before and after the initiation of two different treatment regimens. L-Thyroxine (600 micrograms) was injected five times intra-amniotically in one woman and continuous maternal administration of the thyroid analogue 3, 5, 3'-triiodothyroacetic acid (Triac) was attempted in the other. Normalization of fetal thyroid function and reduction of fetal goitre were achieved in both fetuses and transplacental passage of Triac was indirectly demonstrated by high levels of free triiodothyronine in fetal blood. In cases of fetal hypothyroidism, direct or indirect prenatal therapy can be adopted successfully and safely.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thyrotropin (TSH)-secreting pituitary tumors may be found in two opposite clinical situations: the hyperthyroidism secondary to thyrotroph adenomas, also called central hyperthyroidism, and the long-standing primary hypothyroidism which can be accompanied by a compensatory pituitary enlargement. TSH-secreting pituitary adenomas belong to the syndromes of "inappropriate secretion of TSH" (IST). The adjective "inappropriate" indicates the lack of the expected suppression of TSH secretion when free thyroid hormone levels are actually elevated, as in the other forms of thyrotoxicosis. Moreover, TSH-omas have to be differentiated from the non-neoplastic form of IST which is due to resistance to thyroid hormone. Differently, pituitary hyperplasia, which is reversible on thyroid hormone replacement, is the more frequent cause of a pituitary mass occurring in the context of untreated primary hypothyroidism. Failure or delay in the recognition of the above clinical situations may cause dramatic consequences, such as unnecessary pituitary surgery in hypothyroid patients or improper thyroid ablation in those with central hyperthyroidism. In contrast, early diagnosis and proper treatment of TSH-secreting pituitary tumors prevents the appearance of signs and symptoms of mechanical compression of the adjacent structures by the expanding tumor mass (visual field defects, headache and hypopituitarism).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overt hyperthyroidism was found in a 35-year-old pregnant woman at the 13th week of gestation who was referred to us for tachycardia, tremors, and weight loss. Clinical signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings led to the diagnosis of toxic thyroid nodule. She was treated with ultrasound guided percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) and, after 2 weeks of treatment, the woman was completely euthyroid. These findings suggest that during pregnancy PEI appears to be a rapid and safe therapy for toxic nodular goiter and an effective alternative to the administration of antithyroid drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and both total and glycosylated prolactin (PRL) levels in 131 blood samples obtained by cordocentesis in normal and abnormal fetuses from 19 to 40 weeks of gestation. In normal fetuses, IGF-I and PRL levels showed a positive correlation and GH a negative correlation with gestational age. A negative relation between GH and IGF-I levels was observed, while PRL did not show any correlation with both GH and IGF-I concentrations. IGF-I increased from 5.6 +/- 3 (at 19-22 weeks) to 10.7 +/- 5 nmol/l at term; GH decreased from 31 +/- 10 to 7.7 +/- 4 micrograms/l and PRL increased from 16 +/- 18 to 139 +/- 76 micrograms/l. Glycosylated PRL accounted for about 15% of total PRL, a value similar to that found in normal adults. In 27 fetuses of 27-37 weeks with intra-uterine growth retardation, GH and PRL levels were higher and IGF-I levels lower than in normal fetuses matched for week of gestation. In 8 anencephalic fetuses of 19-26 weeks of gestation, both GH and IGF-I levels were lower, and PRL levels were higher than in matched controls. Altogether these data support the views that a) both GH and PRL secretion are under the hypothalamic control during fetal development, b) the serum GH decrease from midgestation to the end of pregnancy is mediated by the negative feed-back mechanism of increasing IGF-I levels and c) IGF-I production is mainly regulated by fuel supply and only partially by GH.