237 results found
Papanikolaou N, Millar O, Coulden A, et al., 2023, Clinical characteristics of functioning gonadotroph adenoma in women presenting with ovarian hyperstimulation: Audit of UK pituitary centres., Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), Vol: 99, Pages: 386-395
OBJECTIVE: Functioning gonadotroph adenomas (FGAs) are rare pituitary tumours stimulating ovarian function with potential life-threatening consequences in women. However, a lack of aggregated clinical experience of FGAs impairs management in affected women. The aim of this study is to present the clinical course of FGA-induced ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) cases as identified by some of the largest UK pituitary endocrine tertiary centres with a view to increasing awareness and improving diagnosis and management of women with FGA. DESIGN: A retrospective observational study; audit of eight UK regional pituitary centres for cases of FGAs. SETTING: Specialist neuroendocrine centres in the United Kingdom. PATIENTS AND MEASUREMENTS: Women diagnosed with FGA-induced OHSS. Description of their clinical course. RESULTS: Seven cases of FGA were identified in women, all causing OHSS. Mean age was 33.4 years at diagnosis. Abdominal pain, irregular periods, headache, and visual disturbances were reported at presentation by 100%, 71%, 57% and 43% of women, respectively. Three of seven women underwent ovarian surgery before FGA diagnosis. Six women underwent transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) with incomplete tumour resection in five of those, but all showed improvement or resolution in symptoms and biochemistry postoperatively. CONCLUSION: FGA is a rare cause of spontaneous OHSS. TSS improves clinical and biochemical features of ovarian hyperstimulation in FGAs. Improved awareness of FGA will prevent inappropriate emergency ovarian surgery.
Stackhouse AA, Rafi D, Walls R, et al., 2023, Knowledge attainment and engagement among medical students: a comparison of three forms of online learning, Advances in Medical Education and Practice, Vol: 14, Pages: 373-380, ISSN: 1179-7258
Objective: This study compared knowledge attainment and student enjoyment and engagement between clinical case vignette, patient-testimony videos and mixed reality (MR) teaching via the Microsoft HoloLens 2, all delivered remotely to third year medical students. The feasibility of conducting MR teaching on a large scale was also assessed.Setting & Participants: Medical students in Year 3 at Imperial College London participated in three online teaching sessions, one in each format. All students were expected to attend these scheduled teaching sessions and to complete the formative assessment. Inclusion of their data used as part of the research trial was optional.Primary and Secondary Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was performance on a formative assessment, which served to compare knowledge attainment between three forms of online learning. Moreover, we aimed to explore student engagement with each form of learning via a questionnaire, and also feasibility of applying MR as a teaching tool on a large scale. Comparisons between performances on the formative assessment between the three groups were investigated using a repeated measures two-way ANOVA. Engagement and enjoyment were also analysed in the same manner.Results: A total of 252 students participated in the study. Knowledge attainment of students using MR was comparable with the other two methods. Participants reported higher enjoyment and engagement (p< 0.001) for the case vignette method, compared with MR and video-based teaching. There was no difference in enjoyment or engagement ratings between MR and the video-based methods.Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the implementation of MR is an effective, acceptable, and feasible way of teaching clinical medicine to undergraduate students on a large scale. However, case-based tutorials were found to be favoured most by students. Future work could further explore the best uses for MR teaching within the medical curriculum.
Dodd RV, Rafi D, Stackhouse AA, et al., 2023, The impact of patient skin colour on diagnostic ability and confidence of medical students, Advances in Health Sciences Education, ISSN: 1382-4996
Previous literature has explored unconscious racial biases in clinical education and medicine, finding that people with darker skin tones can be underrepresented in learning resources and managed differently in a clinical setting. This study aimed to examine whether patient skin colour can affect the diagnostic ability and confidence of medical students, and their cognitive reasoning processes. We presented students with 12 different clinical presentations on both white skin (WS) and non-white skin (NWS). A think aloud (TA) study was conducted to explore students’ cognitive reasoning processes (n = 8). An online quiz was also conducted where students submitted a diagnosis and confidence level for each clinical presentation (n = 185). In the TA interviews, students used similar levels of information gathering and analytical reasoning for each skin type but appeared to display increased uncertainty and reduced non-analytical reasoning methods for the NWS images compared to the WS images. In the online quiz, students were significantly more likely to accurately diagnose five of the 12 clinical presentations (shingles, cellulitis, Lyme disease, eczema and meningococcal disease) on WS compared to NWS (p < 0.01). With regards to students’ confidence, they were significantly more confident diagnosing eight of the 12 clinical presentations (shingles, cellulitis, Lyme disease, eczema, meningococcal disease, urticaria, chickenpox and Kawasaki disease) on WS when compared to NWS (p < 0.01). These findings highlight the need to improve teaching resources to include a greater diversity of skin colours exhibiting clinical signs, to improve students’ knowledge and confidence, and ultimately, to avoid patients being misdiagnosed due to the colour of their skin.
Clarke SA, Phylactou M, Patel B, et al., 2023, Letter to the Editor of Clinical Endocrinology: Assessment of adrenal function in patients who survive COVID‐19, Clinical Endocrinology, Vol: 98, Pages: 270-272, ISSN: 0300-0664
It is widely recognised that the effects of COVID-19 extend beyond the respiratory system. Moreover, there are an estimated 1.3 million people living with Long COVID (symptoms persisting beyond 12 weeks after infection) in the UK alone.
Sam AH, Fung CY, Reed M, et al., 2022, Time for preference-informed foundation allocation?, Clinical medicine (London, England), Vol: 22, Pages: 590-593, ISSN: 1470-2118
Successful completion of year 1 of the UK Foundation Programme is a General Medical Council requirement that newly qualified doctors must achieve in order to gain full registration for licence to practise in the UK. We present compelling evidence that both sections of the UK Foundation Programme allocation process, consisting of the Educational Performance Measure and Situational Judgement Test scores, are not fit for purpose. The ranking process drives competitive behaviours among medical students and undermines NHS teamworking values. Furthermore, data from 2013-2020 show that UK minority ethnic students consistently receive significantly lower SJT scores than White students. The current process in the UK allocates lower ranked students, who often need more academic and social support, to undersubscribed regions. This can lead to vacancies in less popular regions, ultimately worsening health inequality. A preference-informed allocation process will improve trainee access to support and help retain trainees in underserved regions. We aim to summarise the flaws of the current system and report a potential radical solution.
Papanikolaou N, Coulden A, Parker N, et al., 2022, Pituitary functioning gonadotroph adenomas (FGA)-induced ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): results from tertiary neuroendocrine centres in the UK, 38th Hybrid Annual Meeting of the European-Society-of-Human-Reproduction-and-Embryology (ESHRE), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: I518-I518, ISSN: 0268-1161
Almazrouei R, Zaman S, Wernig F, et al., 2022, Utility of cannulated prolactin to exclude stress hyperprolactinemia in patients with persistent mild hyperprolactinemia, Clinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1178-1173
Background:Stress-induced hyperprolactinemia can be difficult to differentiate from true hyperprolactinema and may result in patients having unnecessary investigations and imaging. We report the results of cannulated prolactin tests with serial prolactin measurements from an indwelling catheter to differentiate true from stress-induced hyperprolactinemia in patients with persistently mildly elevated prolactin levels in both referral and repeat samples.Methods:Data were collected for 42 patients who had a cannulated prolactin test between January 2017 and May 2018. After cannula insertion, prolactin was measured at 0, 60, and 120 minutes. Normalization is defined as a decline in prolactin to gender-defined normal ranges.Results:The mean age was 33.8 years (SD ± 9.9), and 37 (88%) were female. Menstrual irregularities were the main presenting symptom in 28.57% of the patients. Prolactin normalized in 12 (28.6%) patients of whom cannulated prolactin test was done. Repeat random prolactin levels were significantly higher in patients whose prolactin did not normalize during the cannulated prolactin test. MRI of the pituitary gland showed an abnormality in 23 out of 28 (82%) patients who did not normalize prolactin, a microadenoma in the majority of patients (18 patients).Conclusion:The cannulated prolactin test was useful in excluding true hyperprolactinemia in 28.6% of patients with previously confirmed mildly elevated random prolactin on two occasions, thus avoiding over-diagnosis and unnecessary imaging.
Mohamed RS, Abuelgasim B, Barker S, et al., 2022, Late night salivary cortisol and cortisone should be the initial screening test for Cushing’s syndrome, Endocrine Connections, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2049-3614
Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome (CS) poses considerable diagnostic challenges. Although late night salivary cortisol (LNSC) is recommended as a first line screening investigation, it remains the least widely used test in many countries. The combined measurement of LNSC and late-night salivary cortisone (LNS cortisone) has shown to further improve diagnostic accuracy1. We present a retrospective study in a tertiary referral centre comparing LNSC, LNS cortisone, overnight dexamethasone suppression test, low dose dexamethasone suppression test and 24-hour urinary free cortisol results of patients investigated for CS. Patients were categorised into those who had CS (21 patients) and those who did not (33 patients).LNSC had a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 91%. LNS cortisone had a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 86%. With an optimal cut-off for LNS cortisone of >14.5 nmol/l the sensitivity was 95.2%, and the specificity was 100% with an area under the curve of 0.997, for diagnosing CS. Saliva collection is non-invasive and can be carried out at home.We therefore advocate simultaneous measurement of LNSC and LNS cortisone as the first-line screening test to evaluate patients with suspected CS.
Misky A, Shah R, Meeran K, et al., 2022, Understanding concepts of generalism and specialism amongst medical students at a research-intensive London Medical School, BMC Medical Education, Vol: 22, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1472-6920
BackgroundMany prominent UK medical organisations have identified a need for more generalist clinicians to address the complex requirements of an aging society. We sought to clarify attitudes towards “Specialists” and “Generalists” amongst medical students and junior doctors at Imperial College School of Medicine.MethodsA survey exploring medical students’ beliefs was followed up by qualitative analysis of focus groups of medical students and Imperial-graduate foundation year doctors.ResultsFirst year medical students associated specialists with academia and higher income, and generalists with ease of training and job availability. Senior (Years 5/6) medical students associated specialists even more firmly with broader influence and academic work, whilst generalists were assigned lower prestige but the same workload as specialists. The medicalstudent focus group discussed concepts of Generalism pertaining only to Primary Care. In contrast, the foundation year doctor focus group revealed that Generalism was now seen to include some hospital care, and the perception that generalists sat lower in a knowledge hierarchy had been challenged.ConclusionPerceptions that Generalism is associated with lower prestige in the medical profession are already present at the very start of medical school and seem to be reinforced during undergraduate training. In early postgraduate clinical practice, the perceived knowledge and prestige hierarchy lessens. These findings can help inform curriculum redesign and the promotion of Generalism as a rewarding career aspiration.
Alkaf B, Siddiqui M, Ali T, et al., 2022, Ramadan fasting and changes in thyroid function in hypothyroidism: identifying patients at risk, Thyroid, Vol: 32, Pages: 368-375, ISSN: 1050-7256
Background: Ramadan fasting (RF) is associated with major changes in meal times. This can affect thyroxine absorption and thyroid function (TF) in patients with hypothyroidism. We aimed to examine the short- and long-term impact of RF on TF in patients with primary hypothyroidism on levothyroxine.Methods: TF tests in patients with primary hypothyroidism attending an endocrine center in the United Arab Emirates were retrospectively analyzed. The impact of RF on TF, namely serum thyrotropin (TSH) TSH, free thyroxine (fT4) and free triiodothyronine (fT3), was investigated in 481 patients within 3 months before Ramadan (BR), 1–2 weeks (PR1), and 3–6 months (PR2) post-Ramadan. Controlled TF was defined as TSH between 0.45 and 4.5 μIU/mL. Inadequate control was defined as TSH >4.5 μIU/mL. Loss of control was defined as having controlled TF at BR and inadequate control at PR1. Multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the association of baseline TSH, baseline levothyroxine dose, and medication use with loss of thyroid control in Ramadan.Results: TSH increased significantly from a median of 2.0 (0.8–3.7) μIU/mL at BR to 2.9 (1.4–5.6) μIU/mL at PR1 (p < 0.001). This was accompanied by a fall in fT4 and fT3 at PR1 (p < 0.001). 25.5% of patients with previously controlled TF at BR had deterioration in TF at PR1. Sixty-one percent of patients with previously uncontrolled TF at BR remained uncontrolled at PR1. Baseline TSH was significantly associated with loss of thyroid control in Ramadan with an odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.5 (1.17–1.92) (p < 0.001), whereas other variables, including medications known to affect levothyroxine absorption were not associated with loss of control. TSH, fT4, and fT3 levels returned to normal at PR2.Conclusions: RF can negatively affect TF of patients on levothyroxine replacement. Although this effect is modest and
Clarke S, Phylactou M, Patel B, et al., 2022, Preserved C-peptide in survivors of COVID-19: post-hoc analysis, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: a journal of pharmacology and therapeutics, Vol: 24, Pages: 570-574, ISSN: 1462-8902
Ramadoss V, Lazarus K, Prevost AT, et al., 2021, Improving the interpretation of afternoon cortisol levels and SSTs to prevent misdiagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency, Journal of the Endocrine Society, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2472-1972
IntroductionAdrenal Insufficiency (AI), especially iatrogenic-AI, is a treatable cause of mortality. The difficulty in obtaining 9am cortisol levels means samples are taken at suboptimal times, including a substantial proportion in the afternoon. Low afternoon cortisol levels often provoke short Synacthen Tests (SSTs). It is important that this does not lead to patients misdiagnosed with AI, exposing them to the excess mortality and morbidity of inappropriate steroid replacement therapy.MethodsThis retrospective study collected 60,178 cortisol results. Medical records, including subsequent SSTs of initial cortisol results measured after midday were reviewed.ResultsROC analysis (AUC- 0.89) on 6531 suitable cortisol values showed that a limit of <201.5nmol/L achieved a sensitivity and specificity of 95.6% and 72.6%, whilst a limit of <234nmol/L had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 59.5%. Out of 670 SSTs, 628 patients passed. Of these, 140 would have otherwise failed if only their 30-minute cortisol was assessed without the 60-minute value.A 30-minute and 60-minute SST cortisol cut-off of 366.5nmol/L and 418.5nmol/L respectively, can achieve a sensitivity of >95% on the Abbott analyser platform.ConclusionAn afternoon cortisol >234nmol/L excludes AI on Abbott analyser platforms. In patients who have an afternoon cortisol <234nmol/L, including both a 30-minute and a 60-minute SST cortisol values prevents unnecessary glucocorticoid replacement therapy in 22.3% of individuals in this study. The Abbott analyser SST cortisol cut-offs used to define AI should be 366.5nmol/L and 418.5nmol/L at 30- and 60-minutes respectively. All patients remained well subsequently with at least one year longitudinal follow up.
Bartalena L, Kahaly GJ, Baldeschi L, et al., 2021, The 2021 European Group on Graves' orbitopathy (EUGOGO) clinical practice guidelines for the medical management of Graves' orbitopathy., European Journal of Endocrinology, Vol: 185, Pages: G43-G67, ISSN: 0804-4643
Graves' orbitopathy (GO) is the main extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves' disease (GD). Choice of treatment should be based on the assessment of clinical activity and severity of GO. Early referral to specialized centers is fundamental for most patients with GO. Risk factors include smoking, thyroid dysfunction, high serum level of thyrotropin receptor antibodies, radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment, and hypercholesterolemia. In mild and active GO, control of risk factors, local treatments, and selenium (selenium-deficient areas) are usually sufficient; if RAI treatment is selected to manage GD, low-dose oral prednisone prophylaxis is needed, especially if risk factors coexist. For both active moderate-to-severe and sight-threatening GO, antithyroid drugs are preferred when managing Graves' hyperthyroidism. In moderate-to-severe and active GO i.v. glucocorticoids are more effective and better tolerated than oral glucocorticoids. Based on current evidence and efficacy/safety profile, costs and reimbursement, drug availability, long-term effectiveness, and patient choice after extensive counseling, a combination of i.v. methylprednisolone and mycophenolate sodium is recommended as first-line treatment. A cumulative dose of 4.5 g of i.v. methylprednisolone in 12 weekly infusions is the optimal regimen. Alternatively, higher cumulative doses not exceeding 8 g can be used as monotherapy in most severe cases and constant/inconstant diplopia. Second-line treatments for moderate-to-severe and active GO include (a) the second course of i.v. methylprednisolone (7.5 g) subsequent to careful ophthalmic and biochemical evaluation, (b) oral prednisone/prednisolone combined with either cyclosporine or azathioprine; (c) orbital radiotherapy combined with oral or i.v. glucocorticoids, (d) teprotumumab; (e) rituximab and (f) tocilizumab. Sight-threatening GO is treated with several high single doses of i.v. methylprednisolone per week and, if unresponsive, with urgent orbital decom
Clarke S, Phylactou M, Patel B, et al., 2021, Normal adrenal and thyroid function in patients who survive COVID-19 infection, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol: 106, Pages: 2208-2220, ISSN: 0021-972X
ContextThe COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert an immense burden on global health services. Moreover, up to 63% of patients experience persistent symptoms, including fatigue, after acute illness. Endocrine systems are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 as many glands express the ACE2 receptor, used by the SARS-CoV-2 virion for cellular access. However, the effects of COVID-19 on adrenal and thyroid gland function after acute COVID-19 remain unknown. ObjectivesOur objectives were to evaluate adrenal and thyroid gland function in COVID-19 survivors. DesignA prospective, observational study was undertaken. SettingClinical Research Facility, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust. ParticipantsSeventy patients ≥ 18 years at least 3 months after diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. InterventionParticipants attended a research study visit (08:00-09:30), during which a short Synacthen test (250 µg IV bolus), and thyroid function assessments were performed.ResultsAll patients had a peak cortisol ≥450 nmol/l after Synacthen, consistent with adequate adrenal reserve. Basal and peak serum cortisol did not differ according to disease severity or history of dexamethasone treatment during COVID-19. There was no difference in baseline or peak cortisol after Synacthen or in thyroid function tests, or thyroid status, in patients with fatigue (n=44) compared to those without (n=26).ConclusionsAdrenal and thyroid function ≥3 months after presentation with COVID-19 was preserved. Whilst a significant proportion of patients experienced persistent fatigue, their symptoms were not accounted for by alterations in adrenal or thyroid function. These findings have important implications for the clinical care of patients after COVID-19.
Zaman S, Almazrouei R, Sam AH, et al., 2021, Synacthen stimulation test following unilateral adrenalectomy needs to be interpreted with caution, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1664-2392
Background: Cortisol levels in response to stress are highly variable. Baseline and stimulated cortisol levels are commonly used to determine adrenal function following unilateral adrenalectomy. We report the results of synacthen stimulation testing following unilateral adrenalectomy in a tertiary referral center.Methods: Data were collected retrospectively for 36 patients who underwent synacthen stimulation testing one day post unilateral adrenalectomy. None of the patients had clinical signs of hypercortisolism preoperatively. No patient received pre- or intraoperative steroids. Patients with overt Cushing’s syndrome were excluded.Results: The median age was 58 (31-79) years. Preoperatively, 16 (44%) patients had a diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, 12 (33%) patients had primary aldosteronism and 8 (22%) patients had non-functioning adenomas with indeterminate/atypical imaging characteristics necessitating surgery. Preoperative overnight dexamethasone suppression test results revealed that 6 of 29 patients failed to suppress cortisol to <50 nmol/L. Twenty (56%) patients achieved a stimulated cortisol ≥450 nmol/L at 30 minutes and 28 (78%) at 60 minutes. None of the patients developed clinical adrenal insufficiency necessitating steroid replacement.Conclusions: Synacthen stimulation testing following unilateral adrenalectomy using standard stimulated cortisol cut-off values would wrongly label many patients adrenally insufficient and may lead to inappropriate prescriptions of steroids to patients who do not need them.
Lee V, 2021, A ‘Real Life’ service evaluation model for multidisciplinary thyroid eye services, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1664-2392
Background/Aims: There is no universal consensus on the practical implementation and evaluation of the Amsterdam Declaration on Graves Orbitopathy in a Multidisciplinary Thyroid Eye Disease (MDTED) pathway. Recent recommendations from the UK TEAMeD-5 and BOPSS initiative highlight the importance of prevention, screening, and prompt referral of patients with moderate to severe and sight-threatening thyroid eye disease to multidisciplinary (MDTED) clinics and recommends annual auditing. We propose a practical service evaluation model with Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that are achievable and could be implemented across most TED pathways.Material and Methods: We conducted a service evaluation from an integrated TED pathway in London with three MDTED clinics. Data was collected retrospectively from consecutive TED patients included: 1) Patient demographics, 2) Referral to first appointment time, 3) Documented smoking cessation and selenium supplementation advice, 4) Presenting disease activity and severity, 5) Investigations and treatments, including radio-iodine, 6) Time from decision to treatment initiation, 7) Initial and subsequent thyroid status.Results: The median age was 49.0 yrs, 77.5% (183/236) were female and 49.5% (101/204) Afro-Caribbean or Asian. At their first clinic attendance, 47.6% (110/231) were biochemically euthyroid and 76.7% (79/103) at discharge. All 23.1% (52/225) current smokers received smoking cessation advice and 64.8% (153/236) received selenium supplementation advice. Intravenous methylprednisolone was given to 33.9% (80/236) patients and 12.7% (30/236) received second-line immunosuppression. All 7.2% (17/236) patients with sight-threatening disease received treatment within two weeks of diagnosis.Conclusions: This study forms a waymark for other units using TEAMeD-5 and BOPSS audit criteria. Dedicated electronic patient records with ongoing data capture, including quality of life assessments, and diagnostic coding would significantly ai
Boharoon H, Tomlinson J, Limback-Stanic C, et al., 2021, A case series of patients with isolated IgG4-related hypophysitis treated with rituximab, Journal of the Endocrine Society, Vol: 4, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2472-1972
ContextThe acute presentation of Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related hypophysitis can be indistinguishable from other forms of acute hypophysitis and histology remains the diagnostic gold standard. The high recurrence rate necessitates long term immunosuppressive therapy. Rituximab (RTX) has been shown to be effective in systemic IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD), but experience with isolated pituitary involvement remains limited.Case descriptionWe report three female patients with MRI findings suggestive of hypophysitis. All patients underwent transsphenoidal biopsy and fulfilled diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related hypophysitis. Treatment with GCs (GC) resulted in good therapeutic response in patients 1 and 2, but the disease recurred on tapering doses of GCs. GC treatment led to emotional lability in Patient 3 necessitating dose reduction. All three patients received RTX and Patients 2 and 3 received further courses when symptoms returned and B-cells repopulated. Patient 3 did not receive RTX until 12 months from onset of symptoms. Patient 1 was not able to have further RTX treatments due to an allergic reaction when receiving the second dose. RTX treatment resulted in sustained remission and full recovery of anterior pituitary function in Patients 1 and 2 with complete resolution of pituitary enlargement. By contrast, Patient 3 only showed symptomatic response following RTX treatment, but pituitary enlargement and hypofunction persisted.ConclusionRTX treatment for IgG4-related hypophysitis resulted in sustained remission in two patients treated early in the disease process, but only achieved partial response in a patient with chronic disease suggesting that early therapeutic intervention may be crucial to avoid irreversible changes.
Kelada M, Avari P, Farag S, et al., 2021, Association of other autoimmune diseases in thyroid eye disease, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-2392
Background: Thyroid eye disease (TED) is a potentially disfiguring and sight-threatening autoimmune (AI) orbitopathy, affecting up to 400,000 people in the UK. There are no accurate early predictors of TED severity. Although polyautoimmunity has been shown to affect AI disease severity, its influence on TED severity has never been investigated. The prevalence of polyautoimmunity among TED patients is also unclear, with discordant results reported in the literature. This study evaluates the prevalence of non-thyroid/“other” AI (OAI) conditions in an ethnically diverse TED cohort and assesses how polyautoimmunity affects TED severity and activity.Methods: A retrospective study of patients presenting to multidisciplinary TED clinics across three North-West London hospitals between 2011 and 2019. Data collected included: 1) demographics; 2) OAI conditions and management; 3) endocrine management of thyroid dysfunction; 4) details of TED and clinical activity score at presentation.Results: Two hundred and sixty-seven patients with a median age of 46 (35–54) years were included, 79.4% were female and 55% were Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME). Thirty-seven patients (13.9%) had OAI conditions, with rheumatoid arthritis (3.7%), vitiligo (3.0%) and psoriasis (3.0%) among the most prevalent. Of patients with OAI conditions, 43.2% (16/37) required immunosuppression prior to TED onset. Non-immunosuppressed patients with OAI conditions had a significantly higher clinical activity score at presentation than TED-only and previously immunosuppressed patients (p=0.02). No significant differences were observed in thyroid receptor antibody titers between these groups.Conclusions: This study finds a 13.9% prevalence of OAI conditions among TED patients. Patients with OAI conditions overall have a tendency for more severe and significantly more clinically active TED than those without OAI conditions. Larger, prospective studies are warranted to further evaluate po
Meeran M, Zaman S, 2021, The Vanishing Adrenal Glands: A transient regression of adrenal lymphoma after a single dose of 1 mg dexamethasone, AACE Journal, Vol: 7, Pages: 109-112, ISSN: 1551-3696
Objective: Dexamethasone is a known treatment for lymphoma, but it’s potency and rapidity of its effect has not been recognised. Our objective is to present a case of bilateral adrenal lymphoma, which significantly reduced in size after a single dose of dexamethasone. Methods: Clinical course and investigations including Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, short synacthen test, computed tomography (CT) and adrenal biopsy are presented.Results: A 52-year-old man had a fall and was incidentally found to have bilateral adrenal masses (6 cm on left and 5 cm on right) on CT. His adrenal function tests included plasma metanephrines (normetanephrine 830 pmol/L (0-1180); metanephrine <100 pmol/L (0-510); 3-methoxytyramine <100 pmol/L (0-180), aldosterone 270 pmol/L( 90-700) and random cortisol 230 nmol/L (160-550). Overnight dexamethasone suppression test (ONDST), with 1 mg of dexamethasone, showed cortisol of <28 nmol/L (0-50).. A repeat CT, eight days following ONDST, showed adrenal masses of 4.5 cm and 3.5 cm on left and right respectively. He had a follow-up CT three months later, which showed adrenal lesions measuring 8 cm (left) and 9 cm (right). He subsequently presented with fatigue and dizziness. Morning cortisol of 201 nmol/L (160-550) with ACTH of 216 ng/L (10-30) indicated primary adrenal insufficiency. Mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid replacement was commenced. Adrenal biopsy showed abnormal enlarged B-cells consistent with a diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Conclusion: A diagnosis of lymphoma should be considered when adrenal lesions shrink, following even a single low dose of dexamethasone administered as a part of a diagnostic test.
Mehta P, Meeran K, Macphie E, et al., 2021, Variability in counselling for adrenal insufficiency in COVID-19 and beyond: a survey of rheumatology practice, The Lancet Rheumatology, Vol: 3, Pages: E92-E94, ISSN: 2665-9913
Khoo B, Tan T, Clarke S, et al., 2021, Thyroid function before, during and after COVID-19, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol: 106, Pages: e803-e811, ISSN: 0021-972X
Context: The effects of COVID-19 on the thyroid axis remain uncertain. Recent evidence has been conflicting, with both thyrotoxicosis and suppression of thyroid function reported. Objective: We aimed to detail the acute effects of COVID-19 on thyroid function and determine if these effects persisted upon recovery from COVID-19. Design: Cohort observational study. Participants and setting: Adult patients admitted to Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust, London, UK with suspected COVID-19 between March 9 to April 22, 2020 were included, excluding those with pre-existing thyroid disease and those missing either free thyroxine (FT4) or TSH measurements. Of 456 patients, 334 had COVID-19 and 122 did not.Main Outcome Measures: TSH and FT4 measurements at admission, and where available, those taken in 2019 and at COVID-19 follow-up. Results: Most patients (86·6%) presenting with COVID-19 were euthyroid, with none presenting with overt thyrotoxicosis. Patients with COVID-19 had a lower admission TSH and FT4 compared to those without COVID-19. In the COVID-19 patients with matching baseline thyroid function tests from 2019 (n=185 for TSH and 104 for FT4), both TSH and FT4 were reduced at admission compared to baseline. In a complete cases analysis of COVID-19 patients with TSH measurements at follow-up, admission and baseline (n=55), TSH was seen to recover to baseline at follow-up. Conclusions: Most patients with COVID-19 present with euthyroidism. We observed mild reductions in TSH and FT4 in keeping with a non-thyroidal illness syndrome. Furthermore, in survivors of COVID-19, thyroid function tests at follow-up returned to baseline.
Choudhury SM, Tan TMM, Lazarus K, et al., 2021, The use of prednisolone versus dual-release hydrocortisone in the treatment of hypoadrenalism, Endocrine Connections, Vol: 10, Pages: R66-R76, ISSN: 2049-3614
The introduction of adrenocortical extract in 1930 improved the life expectancy of hyhpoadrenal patients, with further increases seen after the introduction of cortisone acetate from 1948. Most patients are now treated with synthetic hydrocortisone, and incremental advances have been made with optimisation of daily dosing and the introduction of multidose regimens. There remains a significant mortality gap between individuals with treated hypoadrenalism and the general population. It is unclear whether this gap is a result of glucocorticoid over-replacement, under-replacement or loss of the circadian and ultradian rhythm of cortisol secretion, with the risk of detrimental excess glucocorticoid exposure at later times in the day. The way forwards will involve replacement of the diurnal cortisol rhythm with better glucocorticoid replacement regimens. The steroid profile produced by both prednisolone and dual-release hydrocortisone (Plenadren), provide a smoother glucocorticoid profile of cortisol than standard oral multidose regimens of hydrocortisone and cortisone acetate. The individualisation of prednisolone doses and lower bioavailability of Plenadren offer reductions in total steroid exposure. Although there is emerging evidence of both treatments offering better cardiometabolic outcomes than standard glucocorticoid replacement regimens, there is a paucity of evidence involving very low dose prednisolone (2–4 mg daily) compared to the larger doses (~7.5 mg) historically used. Data from upcoming clinical studies on prednisolone will therefore be of key importance in informing future practice.
Hameed S, Salem V, Alessimii H, et al., 2020, Imperial Satiety Protocol: A new non-surgical weight-loss programme, delivered in a health care setting, produces improved clinical outcomes for people with obesity, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: a journal of pharmacology and therapeutics, Vol: 23, Pages: 270-275, ISSN: 1462-8902
‘Imperial Satiety Protocol’ (I-SatPro) is a new multifaceted approach to weight loss for people with obesity (PwO), encompassing dietary advice, time-restricted eating, physical activity and coaching to support behaviour change. Participants (n = 84) attended fortnightly I-SatPro group sessions for 30 weeks, with 70% of participants completing. On completion at 30 weeks, the mean weight loss was 15.2 ± 1.1 kg (13.2 ± 0.8% from baseline, P < .0001), which was maintained to 52 weeks (16.6 ± 1.5 kg, 14.1 ± 1.2%, P < .0001). Weight loss was not associated with reduced energy expenditure. In participants with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes (n = 16), glycated haemoglobin fell from 50 to 43 mmol/mol (P < .01). Systolic blood pressure fell by 12 mmHg (P < .0001). Triglycerides fell by 0.37 mmol/L (P < .01) and high-density lipoprotein rose by 0.08 mmol/L (P < .01). Short Form-36 (SF-36) functioning and wellbeing scores increased in all domains post I-SatPro intervention. For selected PwO, I-SatPro delivers clinically meaningful weight loss, and the potential for long-term health and wellbeing improvements.
Tan T, Khoo B, Mills EG, et al., 2020, Cortisol concentrations and mortality from COVID-19 - Authors' reply, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, Vol: 8, Pages: 809-810, ISSN: 2213-8595
Tan T, Khoo B, Mills EG, et al., 2020, Association between high serum total cortisol concentrations and mortality from COVID-19, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, Vol: 8, Pages: 659-660, ISSN: 2213-8595
Hussain S, Hussain S, Mohammed R, et al., 2020, Fasting with adrenal insufficiency: Practical guidance for healthcare professionals managing patients on steroids during Ramadan, Clinical Endocrinology, Vol: 93, Pages: 87-96, ISSN: 0300-0664
There are limited recommendations for fasting in many chronic diseases such as adrenal insufficiency (AI). Research in such situations highlights potential for complications and need for education for patients with AI undertaking fasting during Ramadan. This article aimed to provide up-to-date guidance for healthcare professionals to educate, discuss and manage patients with AI who are considering fasting in Ramadan and is religiously compatible. Latest guidance on this topic and the evidence base for steroid dosing are reviewed and discussed. Risk stratification for patients with AI and optimal strategies for management, including steroid dosing, are detailed. Our review highlights that patients with AI wishing to fast should undergo a thorough risk assessment ideally several months before Ramadan. ‘High risk’ and ‘Very high risk’ patients should be encouraged to explore alternative options to fasting discussed below. Prior to the commencement of Ramadan, all patients must receive up-to-date education on sick day rules, instructions on when to terminate their fast or abstain from fasting, carry steroid warning information and must have a valid intramuscular (IM) hydrocortisone pack and know how to administer this. Switching patients with AI desiring to fast from multiple daily hydrocortisone replacement to prednisolone 5 mg once daily at dawn (during Suhoor or Sehri) is recommended and discussed. Patients on fludrocortisone for AI should be advised to take their total dose at dawn. We provide practically relevant case-based scenarios to help with the application of this guidance. Future efforts need to focus on healthcare professional awareness and further research in this setting.
Abbara A, Clarke S, Brewster R, et al., 2020, Pharmacodynamic response to anti-thyroid drugs in Graves’ hyperthyroidism, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1664-2392
Objective: Graves' disease is the commonest cause of hyperthyroidism in populations with sufficient dietary iodine intake. Anti-thyroid drugs (ATD) are often used as the initial treatment for Graves' hyperthyroidism, however there is a paucity of data relating the dose of ATD therapy to the effect on thyroid hormone levels, increasing the risk of both over- and under-treatment. We aimed to determine the pharmacodynamic response to the ATD carbimazole.Design: Retrospective cohort study.Methods: Participants were patients (n = 441) diagnosed with Graves' disease at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust between 2009 and 2018. The main outcome measure was change in thyroid hormone levels in response to ATD.Results: Baseline thyroid hormone levels were positively associated with TSH receptor antibody titres (P < 0.0001). Baseline free triiodothyronine (fT3) were linearly related to free thyroxine (fT4) levels in the hyperthyroid state (fT3 = fT4*0.97–11), and fell proportionately with carbimazole. The percentage falls in fT4 and fT3 per day were associated with carbimazole dose (P < 0.0001). The magnitude of fall in thyroid hormones after the same dose of carbimazole was lower during follow up than at the initiation visit. The fall in thyroid hormone levels approximated to a linear response if assessed at least 3 weeks after commencement of carbimazole. Following withdrawal of antithyroid drug treatment, the risk of relapse was greater in patients with higher initial fT4, initial TSH receptor antibody titre, males, smokers, and British Caucasian ethnicity.Conclusion: We identify a dose-response relationship for fall in thyroid hormones in response to carbimazole to aid in the selection of dose for Graves' hyperthyroidism.
Almazrouei R, Meeran K, Palazzo FF, 2020, Visual Vignette, ENDOCRINE PRACTICE, Vol: 26, Pages: 252-252, ISSN: 1530-891X
Sam AH, Wilson RK, Lupton M, et al., 2019, Clinical prioritisation questions: A novel assessment tool to encourage tolerance of uncertainty?, Medical Teacher, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 0142-159X
Uncertainty is a common and increasingly acknowledged problem in clinical practice. Current single best answer (SBA) style assessments test areas where there is one correct answer, and as the approach to assessment impacts on the approach to learning, these exams may poorly prepare our future doctors to handle uncertainty. We therefore, need to modify our approach to assessment to emphasize reasoning and introduce the possibility of more than one ‘correct’ answer. We have developed clinical prioritization questions (CPQs), a novel formative assessment tool in which students prioritize possible responses in order of likelihood. This assessment format was piloted with a group of medical students and evaluated in comparison with the more traditional SBA question format in a team-based learning setting. Students reported that they felt ongoing use would help improve their tolerance of uncertainty (p < 0.01). Furthermore, over 80% of students felt that CPQs were more reflective of real-life clinical practice. Group based discussions were significantly longer when answering CPQs (p < 0.01), suggesting they may promote richer discourse. CPQs may have a role in formative assessment to help equip students with the skills to cope with ambiguity and strengthen clinical reasoning and decision-making. Institutions may find them more practical to implement compared with other clinical reasoning assessment tools.
Meeran K, 2019, Optimising glucocorticoid replacement in adrenal insufficiency, BRITISH JOURNAL OF DIABETES, Vol: 19, Pages: 131-132, ISSN: 2397-6233
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