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Open access

Joke Marlier, Guy T’Sjoen, Jean Kaufman, and Bruno Lapauw

Introduction

Thyroid hormone replacement in central hypothyroidism (CHT) is more difficult than in primary hypothyroidism (PHT), putting patients at risk for inappropriate substitution. In this study, we compared the dosage of thyroid hormone replacement in patients with CHT with that of patients with PHT. In addition, we explored and compared quality of life (QoL) between both groups, based on two questionnaires, the SF-36 health score and the thyroid-specific ThyPRO score.

Methods

This is a monocentric, cross-sectional study, performed at the Ghent University Hospital (Belgium). We included 82 patients in total, 41 patients with CHT and 41 patients with PHT. At the time of inclusion, all patients had to have a stable dose of levothyroxine over the past 6 months and patients with PHT needed to be euthyroid (defined as having a thyroid-stimulating hormone level within the reference range, 0.2–4.5 mU/L). All data were retrieved from medical files, and questionnaires on QoL were self-administered.

Results

The CHT and PHT groups were comparable regarding age and BMI. There was no significant difference between both groups regarding total daily dose of levothyroxine (100 (93.75–125.00) vs 107.14 (75.00–133.93) μg in CHT and PHT, respectively; P = 0.87) or daily dose of levothyroxine per kg body weight (1.34 (1.16–1.55) vs 1.55 (1.16–1.82) μg/kg, respectively; P = 0.13). Serum levels of fT4 (P = 0.20) and fT3 (P = 0.10) also did not differ between the two groups and both were in the normal (mid)range for the two groups. Regarding QoL, patients with CHT scored worse in terms of depressive and emotional symptoms, impaired daily and social life.

Conclusion

We could demonstrate a difference in QoL between patients with CHT and PHT. Although patients with CHT had a somewhat lower levothyroxine substitution dose than patients with PHT, this difference was also not significant and probably does not explain the difference in QoL.

Open access

Bernadette L Dekker, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Adrienne H Brouwers, Christopher M Shuford, Ido P Kema, Anneke C Muller Kobold, and Thera P Links

Objective

Thyroglobulin (Tg) is an established tumor marker for differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) patients. However, Tg immunoassays can be subject to Tg autoantibody (TgAb) interference resulting in incorrect Tg values. Therefore, Tg measurement with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) could be promising in patients with TgAbs. In this study, we compared Tg IRMA and Tg-LC-MS/MS analytically in the presence of TgAbs. Furthermore, we compared the clinical interpretation of results obtained by both Tg assays in DTC patients with lower TgAbs titers (<10 U/mL) during 131I ablation therapy.

Methods

Totally 118 DTC patients diagnosed between 2006 and 2014 in a University Medical Center were followed with the Tg-IRMA (Thermo Fischer Scientific) and ARCHITECT anti-Tg (Abbott Laboratories) assays. We re-analyzed their samples with a sensitive Tg-LC-MS/MS method (Labcorp, limit of quantification of 0.02 ng/mL). Passing-Bablok regression analysis was performed on samples obtained during 131I ablation therapy and follow-up.

Results

In 304 samples with lower TgAb titers, a good analytical agreement was found between both Tg assays (slope of 1.09 (95% CI: 1.05–1.16)). Fifty-five samples with potentially interfering TgAbs showed higher Tg-LC-MS/MS values than Tg-IRMA (slope of 1.45 (95% CI: 1.12–>>100)). In patients(n  = 91) with lower TgAb titers at the time of 131I ablation therapy, the Tg assays showed a clinical concordance of 91.2, 87.9, and 98.9%, respectively, using a Tg cut-off value of 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0 ng/mL.

Conclusions

In DTC patients with lower titer TgAbs, Tg-IRMA is still a reliable and useful tumor marker. In DTC patients with potentially interfering TgAbs, Tg-IRMA values decreased due to TgAb interference.

Open access

Stine Linding Andersen, Niels Henrik Bruun, Peter Astrup Christensen, Simon Lykkeboe, Aase Handberg, Annebirthe Bo Hansen, Maja Hjelm Lundgaard, Louise Knøsgaard, Nanna Maria Uldall Torp, Allan Carlé, Jesper Karmisholt, Inge Bülow Pedersen, Peter Vestergaard, and Stig Andersen

Objective

Thyroid disease in women of reproductive age is mainly of autoimmune origin, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Ab) as well as thyroglobulin antibodies (Tg-Ab) are key markers. Adding to this, much focus in pregnancy is on euthyroid women who are thyroid antibody positive. Evidence to substantiate the cut-offs for the definition of thyroid autoantibody positivity in early pregnant women is warranted.

Methods

Stored serum samples from 14,030 Danish pregnant women were used for the measurement of TPO-Ab, Tg-Ab, TSH, and free thyroxine (ADVIA Centaur XPT, Siemens Healthineers). Among all women, a reference cohort of 10,905 individuals was identified for the establishment of antibody cut-offs. Percentile cut-offs for TPO-Ab and Tg-Ab were determined using regression on order statistics (the reference cohort). The established cut-offs were then applied (the full cohort), and frequencies of early pregnancy as well as later diagnosis of hypothyroidism were evaluated.

Results

The highest established cut-offs (95th, 97.5th, and 99th percentiles) were 59, 68, and 81 U/mL for TPO-Ab and 33, 41, and 52 U/mL for Tg-Ab. When the cut-offs were applied in the full cohort, 11.0, 10.2, and 9.7% were TPO-Ab positive, whereas 13.3, 12.3, and 11.2% were Tg-Ab positive. Antibody-positive women (TPO-Ab and/or Tg-Ab) had higher median TSH and were more likely to have hypothyroidism in early pregnancy and to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism during follow-up.

Conclusions

This large study established and evaluated pregnancy-specific cut-offs for TPO-Ab and Tg-Ab. The findings are important regarding the classification of exposure in pregnancy and assessment of thyroid autoimmunity per se.

Open access

Heleen I Jansen, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Henk J Huijgen, Rebecca C Painter, Jacquelien J Hillebrand, Anita Boelen, and Annemieke C Heijboer

Objective

Thyroid hormone measurements are often performed in pregnant women, as hypo- and hyperthyroidism during pregnancy can severely affect the fetus. Serum free thyroxine (fT4) measurements are well known for their analytical challenges, due to low serum concentrations and the subtle equilibrium between free and bound T4 (to thyroid-binding globulin (TBG), transthyretin and albumin). Pregnant women have high TBG concentrations due to an increase in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen and lower albumin concentrations which change the equilibrium and may affect the validity of fT4 measurements in their samples. As accurate serum fT4 measurements in pregnant women are important for the long-term health of the fetus, we aimed to evaluate the accuracy of several fT4 immunoassays in the serum of pregnant women.

Methods

FT4 was measured in healthy controls and pregnant women using a candidate-reference method (LC-MS/MS) and five commercially available automated immunoassays (Alinity (Abbott), Atellica (Siemens), Cobas (Roche), Lumipulse (Fujirebio) and UniCel DXI (Beckman Coulter)). Method comparisons (Bland Altman plots and Passing and Bablok analyses) were performed.

Results

Serum samples from both healthy controls (n  = 30) and pregnant women (n  = 30; mean gestational age, 24.8 weeks) were collected. The fT4 immunoassays deviated +7 to +29% more from the LC-MS/MS in serum samples of pregnant women than healthy controls (falsely high).

Conclusions

Our results indicate that immunoassays overestimate fT4 in pregnant women, which might lead to an overestimation of thyroid status. Physicians and laboratory specialists should be aware of this phenomenon to avoid drawing false conclusions about thyroid function in pregnant women.

Open access

Marine Sitbon, Porhuoy Chou, Seydou Bengaly, Brigitte Poirot, Marie Laloi-Michelin, Laure Deville, Atanas Pachev, Ahouefa Kowo-Bille, Clement Dumont, and Cécile N Chougnet

The endocrine secretions of carcinomas can be life-threatening. Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare cancer that is often associated with cortisol secretion, leading to paraneoplastic Cushing’s syndrome. Mutations of the proto-oncogene RET are driver molecular events in 70% of MTC cases. Here, we report a case of a woman, born in 1956, who was diagnosed with sporadic MTC in 2005, with subsequent relapses treated with focal treatments. In April 2019, she presented with severe and rapidly progressive paraneoplastic Cushing’s syndrome associated with lymph node, lung, liver and bone metastases. A supraclavicular lymph node biopsy revealed a somatic p.M918T (c.2753T>C) mutation in exon 16 of the RET proto-oncogene. The patient began treatment with selpercatinib in September 2019. Clinical efficacy was immediate. Chronic diarrhea disappeared within a few days. Clinical hypercorticism quickly disappeared, with quick improvements in muscle and skin conditions and fatigue. Two months after treatment initiation, urinary free cortisol normalized to 42 µg/24 h. Levels of the tumor markers carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and calcitonin also greatly decreased from baseline. After 34 months of treatment, selpercatinib elicits sustained clinical, biological and morphological responses. In summary, this case report illustrates the rapid and long-lasting antisecretory effect of selpercatinib associated with tumor control. As Cushing’s syndrome associated with medullary thyroid cancer is associated with poor prognosis, this case report is very encouraging. In addition, this suggests the potential benefit of molecular testing in all cases of medullary thyroid cancer.

Open access

Stamatina Ioakim, Akheel A Syed, George Zavros, Michalis Picolos, Luca Persani, and Angelos Kyriacou

Background

The 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) Guidelines recommend the following size cut-offs based on sonographic appearances for subjecting nodules to fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy: low risk: 15 mm and intermediate risk and high risk: 10 mm.

Objective

We conducted a ‘real-world’ study evaluating the diagnostic performance of the ATA cut-offs against increased thresholds, in the interest of safely limiting FNAs.

Methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data on 604 nodules which were sonographically risk-stratified as per the ATA Guidelines and subsequently subjected to ultrasound-guided FNA. Nodules were cytologically stratified into ‘benign’ (Bethesda class 2) and ‘non-benign’ (Bethesda classes 3–6). We obtained the negative predictive value (NPV), accuracy, FNAs that could be spared, missed ‘non-benign’ cytologies and missed carcinomas on histology, according to the ATA cut-offs compared to higher cut-offs.

Results

In low-risk nodules, the high performance of NPV (≈91%) is unaffected by increasing the cut-off to 25 mm, and accuracy improves by 39.4%; 46.8% of FNAs could be spared at the expense of few missed B3–B6 cytologies (7.9%) and no missed carcinomas. In intermediate-risk nodules, a 15 mm cut-off increases the NPV by 11.3% and accuracy by 40.7%. The spared FNAs approach 50%, while B3–B6 cytologies are minimal, with no missed carcinomas. In high-risk nodules, low NPV (<35%) and accuracy (<46%) were obtained regardless of cut-off. Moreover, the spared FNAs achieved at higher cut-offs involved numerous missed ‘non-benign’ cytologies and carcinomas.

Conclusion

It would be clinically safe to increase the ATA cut-offs for FNA in low-risk nodules to 25 mm and in intermediate-risk nodules to 15 mm.

Open access

Jeppe Lerche la Cour, Line Tang Møllehave, Bjarke Røssner Medici, Christian Zinck Jensen, Anne Ahrendt Bjerregaard, and Birte Nygaard

Introduction

High compared with low educational level increases the odds of starting levothyroxine (L-T4) with a normal thyroid-stimulating hormone – the mechanism is most likely patient request. The use of liothyronine (L-T3) and desiccated thyroid extract (DTE) is also speculated to be initiated at patients’ request. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to evaluate if educational level influences treatment with L-T3 and DTE.

Material and methods

In this register-based cross-sectional study, we included all Danish citizens ≥30 years with redeemed prescription of L-T4, L-T3, or DTE during 2017–2020. We defined educational levels as short, medium, and long (<10 years, 10–12 years, and above 12 years, respectively). The association between educational level and treatment with LT3 or DTE vs only LT4 was analyzed in logistic regression models adjusted for age and sex.

Results

We included 154,360 individuals using thyroid medication of whom 3829 were treated with L-T3 (2.48%) and 430 with DTE (0.28%). The usage was highest among women (3.15%) and the age group 40–49 (5.6%). Longer education compared with short increased the odds of being treated with DTE or L-T3 (medium education odds ratio (OR) 1.61 (95% CI 1.50–1.8) and long education OR 1.95 (95% CI 1.79–2.13)). Test for trend: OR: 1.37 (95% CI 1.31–1.42). Adjustment for other covariates did not affect the results substantially.

Conclusion

Persons with a longer compared to a shorter education are more often treated with either DTE or L-T3, and the usage of these drugs is limited to less than 3% of thyroid hormone users.

Open access

Rémy Louvel, Nathalie Badois, Jerzy Klijanienko, Ségolène Hescot, and Caroline Hoffmann

Open access

Luciana Puleo, Laura Agate, Irene Bargellini, Giuseppe Boni, Paolo Piaggi, Claudio Traino, Tommaso Depalo, Giulia Lorenzoni, Francesca Bianchi, Duccio Volterrani, Sandra Brogioni, Valeria Bottici, Maurizia Rossana Brunetto, Barbara Coco, Eleonora Molinaro, and Rossella Elisei

Objectives

Liver metastases occur in 45% of patients with advanced metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Transarterial radioembolization (TARE) has been proposed to treat liver metastases (LM), especially in neuroendocrine tumors. The aim of this study was to investigate the biochemical (calcitonin and carcino-embryonic antigen) and objective response of liver metastases from MTC to TARE.

Methods

TARE is an internal radiotherapy in which microspheres loaded with β-emitting yttrium-90 (90Y) are delivered into the hepatic arteries that supply blood to LM. Eight patients with progressive multiple LM underwent TARE and were followed prospectively. They were clinically, biochemically and radiologically evaluated at 1, 4, 12 and 18 months after TARE.

Results

Two patients were excluded from the analysis due to severe liver injury and death due to extrahepatic disease progression, respectively. One month after TARE, a statistically significant (P = 0.02) reduction of calcitonin was observed in all patients and remained clinically relevant during follow-up; reduction of CEA, although not significant, was found in all patients. Significant reduction of liver tumor mass was observed 1, 4 and 12 months after TARE (P = 0.007, P = 0.004, P = 0.002, respectively). After 1 month, three of six patients showed partial response (PR) and three of six stable disease (SD) according to RECIST 1.1, while five of six patients had a PR and one of six a SD according to mRECIST. The clinical response remained relevant 18 months after TARE. Excluding one patient, all others showed only a slight and transient increase in liver enzymes.

Conclusions

TARE is effective in LM treatment of MTC. The absence of severe complications and the good tolerability make TARE a valid therapeutic strategy when liver LM are multiple and progressive.

Open access

Benjamin Chevalier, Oriane Karleskind, Arnaud Jannin, Olivier Farchi, Catherine Vermaut, Alexandre Escande, Clio Baillet, Stephanie Espiard, Marie-Christine Vantyghem, Bruno Carnaille, Emmanuelle Leteurtre, and Christine Do Cao

Introduction: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is the most aggressive form of thyroid cancer with a bleak prognosis. Favorable outcomes are rare but help decipher molecular pathophysiology, investigate prognosis factors, and discover new therapeutic targets.

Cases presentation: Two patients were diagnosed with locally advanced non resectable ATC, one with metastatic extension. Each patient received chemotherapy and radiotherapy, allowing thyroid surgical resection. In both cases, pathological examination was consistent with complete response with no viable tumor cell. After follow-ups of 48 and 70 months, both patients remain disease-free. Molecular explorations on thyroid biopsies revealed Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and alterations on MisMatch Repair (MMR)-gene complex, also PTEN and ATM variants in both cases. Both also presented with non-classical immune infiltrate composed of equal parts T CD4+ lymphocytes and macrophages.

Discussion/Conclusion: We report two cases of patients cured from advanced ATC, and for the first time provide genetic and immunological explorations in this setting. It seems with these two cases that MSI-ATCs may indicate better prognosis. Our study hypothesizes different responsible mechanisms including increased sensitivity to chemoradiotherapy and/or immune tumor infiltrate modulation.