Blastocyst implantation contains the following three processes: apposition, attachment, and invasion of the blastocyst. Ovarian hormone progesterone (P4) regulates these processes exquisitely. P4-induced molecular communications between the endometrial epithelium and stroma as well as endometrial proliferation-differentiation switching (PDS) until blastocyst attachment are fundamental steps in blastocyst implantation. Based on the knowledge obtained from the previous studies of mouse models by my group and others, this article outlines how P4 directs the uterus to complete blastocyst implantation.
Adrenal Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is caused by cortisol-producing adrenal adenoma and is frequently accompanied by glucose metabolism disorders, which are characterized by increased insulin resistance and insufficient β-cell compensation. However, considering the rarity of CS, few studies have assessed whether the glucose metabolism disorders could be ameliorated by surgical treatment. In this case series, we evaluated glucose metabolism before and after surgery in 11 patients (10 women and 1 man) who underwent unilateral adrenalectomy for overt adrenal CS between 2005 and 2016. Patients with pre-diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) were excluded. Pre- and post-operative 75-g oral glucose tolerance tests were performed. Cortisol secretion decreased significantly after surgery (median 24-h urinary free cortisol: 582.0 μg/day [interquartile range: 321.0–743.0 μg/day] to 31.3 μg/day [23.6–40.6 μg/day], p = 0.001). The results of the OGTT generally improved after surgery (normal glucose tolerance/impaired glucose tolerance/DM: 2/8/1 to 8/3/0), with significant decreases in the immunoreactive insulin and glucose levels. We also found a decrease in the median homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (2.4 [1.4–2.8] to 1.0 [0.6–1.1], p = 0.002), and increases in the median Matsuda index (3.0 [2.3–4.5] to 8.2 [6.3–11.4], p < 0.001), median insulinogenic index (0.70 [0.22–1.51] to 1.22 [0.78–1.64], p = 0.08), and median disposition index (609.1 [237.8–1,095.2] to 1,286.0 [1,034.6–1,857.6], p = 0.002). These findings indicate that adrenalectomy for adrenal CS without overt DM may help ameliorate glucose metabolism disorders, and improve both insulin resistance and insulin secretion.
Pseudohypoparathyroidism type 1A (PHP1A) is characterized by resistance to multiple hormones, the Albright Hereditary Osteodystrophy phenotype, obesity, and developmental delay. Developmental delay usually appears prior to hypocalcemia due to parathyroid hormone resistance and could be a clinically important feature for early diagnosis of PHP1A. To date, however, the details have not been documented. With regard to developmental delays, we conducted a multicenter retrospective study of 22 PHP1A patients from 18 families who were diagnosed clinically or genetically from 2005 to 2015. For quantitative analysis of their development, we calculated the ratios of the milestone ages of the patients to those in normal reference data. The ratio of the ages with respect to speech development, i.e., speaking a first meaningful word (median: 1.67), was significantly higher than that for gross motor development, walking unassisted (median: 1.34). The ratio of age at stringing a two-word sentence (median: 1.32) was significantly lower than that of saying a first word (median: 1.84). Ten out of 11 (91%) patients exhibited two or three of the following clinical phenotypes: developmental delay, obesity, and hyperthyrotropinemia. These results suggest two possible clinical features of developmental delays in PHP1A patients: developmental delay is more obvious in speech acquisition than in gross motor skills, and speech delays could be attenuated during later childhood. Further, the presence of multiple of three clinical symptoms could be an important indicator to differentiate the diagnosis of PHP1A during early childhood.
This article aims to understand the isolated effect of maternal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4) and antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) in early pregnancy on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Based on a birth cohort, pregnant women presented to maternity hospitals for the first antenatal care from Nov 2008 to Oct 2010 were invited to participate in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was asked to complete to collect data on socio-economic variables, previous adverse pregnancy outcomes, method of conception, previous endocrinic and metabolic diseases, and pregnancy-related anxiety in 1st trimester of the index pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy BMI was measured. Serum samples were collected, and TSH, FT4 and TPOAb were assayed. GDM was confirmed from medical records screened on 24–28 gestational weeks by using oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The prevalence of isolated subclinical hypothyroidism, hypothyroidemia and positive TPOAb in early pregnancy was 2.0%, 2.0% and 12.8%. Prevalence of GDM in women with the isolated sub-clinical hypothyroidism, hypothyroxinemia and positive TPOAb was 2.9%, 2.8% and 3.1%, respectively, which were all higher than that detected in euthyroidism women (1.2%). Women with isolated positive TPOAb had significantly higher TSH and lower FT4 level compared with euthyroidism women. It was found that isolated positive TPOAb in early pregnancy increased the risk of GDM, adjusted RR and 95%CI being 2.541(1.037–6.226). No significant relationships were identified between isolated sub-clinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroxinemia with GDM. In conclusion, isolated thyroid autoimmunity, represented by positive TPOAb, in early pregnancy were associated with GDM independent of TSH and FT4.
This study was conducted to assess quality of counseling provided to type 2 diabetic patients. For this cross-sectional study, a simulated patient method was applied in 562 selected community pharmacies of Punjab, Pakistan. A scenario for the metformin oral therapy was developed that illustrates direct counseling for adult diabetic patients. Counseling and communication skills were also assessed. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were used for analysis. Only 29.4% of simulated patients received medication counseling directly; 47.6% received it on request. About 32.8% of clients were referred to a physician without counseling. The most frequently provided information was dietary instruction (94.8%) and dose of therapy (84.5%). Only one quarter (25.3%) of simulated patients were asked about disease duration and similar rate (25.0%) was found for discussions of special warnings. The side effects, drug storage, drug–drug interactions and duration of therapy were ignored. Minimal information was provided about other medication during therapy (0.2%) and effect of medicine withdrawal (2.7%). About 59.5% simulated patients were instructed for compliance to medication. Counseling to type 2 diabetic patients in Pakistani community pharmacies is not very satisfactory. Pharmacies’ staff have little focus on counseling. Professional training of staff could improve counseling and communication skills.
The inflammatory biomarkers that fully characterize the metabolically unhealthy (MU) state—which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD)—remain unclear. Recent studies suggest follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL1) could be used as a biomarker for inflammation and CVD, however there is little information on FSTL1 levels in the MU state. We aimed to evaluate the associations between FSTL1, the presence of MU state and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. In a cross-sectional study, we evaluated FSTL1 levels and their relationship with the presence of MU state and coronary artery plaques in 230 Korean patients. Significant increase in FSTL1 levels was observed in subjects with MU state (p = 0.020), but not those with obesity state according to body mass index criteria (p = 0.790). After adjusting for confounders, the odd ratio (OR) for the MU state among patients in the highest FSTL1 tertile (T3) was higher in comparison with the lowest tertile (T1) (OR = 3.60, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.20–10.83). In a subgroup (n = 66), FSTL1 levels were also marginally higher in patients with plaques (p = 0.098). The OR for plaque presence in patients with T3 was significantly higher in comparison with T1 after adjusting for confounders (OR = 12.51, 95% CI = 1.15–135.73). Plasma FSTL1 may be a useful biomarker for the risk of MU state and CVD.
Although hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), an extreme form of morning sickness, is a common complication during pregnancy, HG associated simultaneous onset of rhabdomyolysis and diabetes insipidus due to electrolyte abnormalities are rare. A 34-year-old woman with severe HG at 17 weeks of gestation complicated with appetite loss, weight reduction by 17 kg, general fatigue, myalgia, weakness and polyuria was identified to have simultaneous hypophosphatemia (1.6 mg/dL) and hypokalemia (2.0 mEq/L). Appetite recovery and the improvement of the hypophosphatemia (3.2 mg/dL) were observed prior to the first visit to our department. At the admission, she presented polyuria around 7,000~8,000 mL/day with impaired concentrating activity (U-Osm 185 mOsm/L), and abnormal creatine kinase elevation (4,505 U/L). The electrolyte disturbances and physio-metabolic abnormalities in undernourished state due to HG let us diagnose this case as refeeding syndrome (RFS). In this case, abnormal loss by vomiting, insufficient intake and previous inappropriate fluid infusion as well as the development of RFS may accelerate the severity of hypokalemia due to HG. Thus, as her abnormalities were considered as results of rhabdomyolysis and diabetes insipidus due to severe HG associated hypokalemia based on RFS, oral supplementation of potassium chloride was initiated. After 6 days of potassium supplementation, her symptoms and biochemical abnormalities were completely resolved. Severe HG followed by RFS can be causes of electrolyte abnormalities and subsequent complications, including rhabdomyolysis and renal diabetes insipidus. Appropriate diagnosis and prompt interventions including adequate nutrition are necessary to prevent electrolyte imbalance induced cardiac, neuromuscular and/or renal complications.
Pituitary adenoma has been reported to be detectable in only 36–63% of Cushing’s disease (CD) patients by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this study, we investigate the outcomes and problems associated with tumor identification using 3-Tesla (3-T) MRI, which provides clearer images than ≤1.5-T MRI, in 115 patients who were initially diagnosed with CD. Before surgery, 31 macroadenomas (27%) and 54 microadenomas (47%) were identified by 3-T MRI, but pituitary adenoma was invisible on MRI in the remaining 30 cases (26%). The smallest tumor diameter amenable to a definitive diagnosis was 2 mm, and spoiled gradient-echo was the best sequence for diagnosing microadenomas. In 14 of 30 cases of MRI-invisible CD, the pituitary adenoma was identified during surgery. Nine of these 14 tumors that developed from outside the pituitary gland were retrospectively identified on MRI by comparison with surgical findings. The remaining 16 cases of MRI-invisible CD in which the pituitary adenoma was not identified during surgery involved partial hypophysectomy. Seven cases were hormonally remitted, but another nine cases experienced persistent disease after surgery. The sensitivity and specificity of the pituitary adenoma diagnosis in CD patients after the introduction of 3-T MRI were 80% and 100%, respectively. However, the sensitivity decreased to 72% when macroadenomas were excluded. Some adenomas associated with CD are still undetectable on 3-T MRI due to tumor size, location and intensity. However, sensitivity can be improved by monitoring tumors that develop outside the pituitary gland.
The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction. Earlier studies reported that increased levels of pancreatic fat may lead to the development of β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. The present study aimed to demonstrate the relationship between pancreatic fat content (PFC) and insulin secretion and insulin resistance in Chinese subjects with T2DM. Seventy-eight T2DM subjects and 35 non-diabetic volunteers were recruited in this study. All subjects were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). We also measured PFC and liver fat content (LFC) by three-point Dixon method (3p-Dixon), and we examined the relations between PFC and OGTT-derived parameters. T2DM subjects had higher PFC than non-diabetic subjects (p < 0.01). PFC was correlated with body mass index (BMI), liver fat content (LFC) and age in two groups, however, it was only positively associated with insulin secretion, insulin resistance, early- and late-phase insulin secretion in male T2DM subjects, but not in non-diabetic and female T2DM subjects. After adjusting for BMI, LFC and age, the association still existed (all p < 0.05). Furthermore, the relationship was more obvious in male T2DM subjects with a shorter course of disease. PFC was associated with β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance in subjects with T2DM and was more obvious in male T2DM subjects with shorter duration of diabetes. Therefore, PFC might represent a potential risk factor for the development of T2DM.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) has been known as a cause of secondary osteoporosis, which often requires medication. Herein, we give the first report of a case of a 38-year-old man with fatigue and paralysis in both upper limbs who had been treated with denosumab for secondary osteoporosis associated with PSC. Since bisphosphonate (alendronate) was ineffective in our patient, the treatment was changed from alendronate to denosumab. Despite replacements with calcium and active vitamin D (alfacalcidol; 1-hydroxycholecalciferol), he developed severe hypocalcemia (albumin-adjusted serum calcium: 5.2 mg/dL) 2 weeks after the second administration of denosumab, which required immediate correction. After that, the corrected serum calcium levels were controlled within the normal range with 0.75 μg of eldecalcitol (1α,25-dihydroxy-2β-(3-hydroxypropyloxy)vitamin D3) and increased doses of calcium (1,500 mg daily) and phosphate (900 mg daily) without denosumab. Even though denosumab treatment had been terminated, the T score of the lumbar spine improved from –4.4 to –2.6 by 1 year after the second administration, possibly due to the amelioration of osteomalacia through the treatment with eldecalcitol and the higher doses of calcium and phosphate. This report indicates that denosumab can cause severe hypocalcemia in patients with osteoporosis associated with chronic diseases of the hepatobiliary system including PSC, in turn suggesting that the possibility of vitamin D deficiency or osteomalacia should be considered before administering treatments and that serum calcium levels should be closely monitored to detect life-threatening hypocalcemia in patients who have high risk factors for hypocalcemia.