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1.  Thyroid Hormone Status and Health-Related Quality of Life in the LifeLines Cohort Study 
Thyroid  2013;23(9):1066-1073.
Thyroid disorders are prevalent in Western society, yet many subjects experience limited symptoms at diagnosis, especially in hypothyroidism. We hypothesize that health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) is more severely impaired in subjects with more abnormal thyroid hormone function tests.
This is a cross-sectional study of Dutch adults participating in the LifeLines Cohort Study between December 2009 and August 2010. In 9491 Western European participants (median age 45 years; 3993 men and 5498 women), without current or former use of thyroid medication, we compared HR-QOL using the RAND 36-Item Health Survey between subjects with normal thyrotropin (TSH) values and subjects with disturbed thyroid hormone status (serum TSH, free thyroxine, and free triiodothyronine). The influence of possible confounders (age, smoking, co-morbidity) on HR-QOL was evaluated as well.
Suppressed TSH values (TSH <0.5 mU/L) were found in 114 (1.2%), while 8334 (88.8%) had TSH within the normal range, 973 participants (10.3%) had TSH between 4 and 10 mU/L, and 70 (0.7%) had TSH >10 mU/L. Men had a higher HR-QOL than women (70–92 vs. 65–89; p<0.001), except for the domain “general health” (72 vs. 72; p=0.692). Men with suppressed or elevated TSH values did not score significantly lower than euthyroid men for any of nine domains of the RAND 36-Item Health Survey. Compared with euthyroid women, women with suppressed TSH scored significantly lower in the domains “physical functioning” (84 vs. 89, p=0.013) and “general health” (67 vs. 72, p=0.036). Women with markedly elevated TSH (>10 mU/L) had a score in all HR-QOL domains that was similar to that of women with normal TSH values. There were no differences in the physical component score and the mental component score between any of the TSH groups. Physical component score and mental component score were mainly determined by smoking status, co-morbidity, and body mass index or waist circumference.
In this population-based study, HR-QOL scores of subjects with suppressed TSH values or markedly elevated TSH values were generally not significantly lower than those of subjects with normal or mildly elevated TSH values.
PMCID: PMC3770241  PMID: 23530992
2.  Similar Adverse Pregnancy Outcome in Native and Nonnative Dutch Women with Pregestational Type 2 Diabetes: A Multicentre Retrospective Study 
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology  2013;2013:361435.
Objective. To assess the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcome in native and nonnative Dutch women with pregestational type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a multicenter study in The Netherlands. Methods. Maternal characteristics and pregnancy outcome were retrospectively reviewed and the influence of ethnicity on outcome was evaluated using independent t-test, Mann-Whitney U-test, and chi-square test. Results. 272 pregnant women (80 native and 192 non-native Dutch) with pregestational T2D were included. Overall outcome was unfavourable, with a perinatal mortality of 4.8%, major congenital malformations of 6.3%, preeclampsia of 11%, preterm birth of 19%, birth weight >90th percentile of 32%, and a Caesarean section rate of 42%. In nonnative Dutch women, the glycemic control was slightly poorer and the gestational age at booking somewhat later as compared to native Dutch women. However, there were no differences in incidence of preeclampsia/HELLP, preterm birth, perinatal mortality, macrosomia, and congenital malformations between those two groups. Conclusions. A high incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes was found in women with pregestational T2D, although the outcome was comparable between native and non-native Dutch women. This suggests that easy access to and adequate participation in the local health care systems contribute to these comparable outcomes, offsetting potential disadvantages in the non-native group.
PMCID: PMC3833010  PMID: 24294525
3.  Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes: design of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC psychology  2013;1(1):17.
Depressive symptoms are a common problem in patients with diabetes, laying an additional burden on both the patients and the health care system. Patients suffering from these symptoms rarely receive adequate evidence-based psychological help as part of routine clinical care. Offering brief evidence-based treatments aimed at alleviating depressive symptoms could improve patients’ medical and psychological outcomes. However, well-designed trials focusing on the effectiveness of psychological treatments for depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes are scarce. The Mood Enhancement Therapy Intervention Study (METIS) tests the effectiveness of two treatment protocols in patients with diabetes. Individually administered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are compared with a waiting list control condition in terms of their effectiveness in reducing the severity of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, we explore several potential moderators and mediators of change underlying treatment effectiveness, as well as the role of common factors and treatment integrity.
The METIS trial has a randomized controlled design with three arms, comparing CBT and MBCT with a waiting list control condition. Intervention groups receive treatment immediately; the waiting list control group receives treatment three months later. Both treatments are individually delivered in 8 sessions of 45 to 60 minutes by trained therapists. Primary outcome is severity of depressive symptoms. Anxiety, well-being, diabetes-related distress, HbA1c levels, and intersession changes in mood are assessed as secondary outcomes. Assessments are held at pre-treatment, several time points during treatment, at post-treatment, and at 3-months and 9-months follow-up. The study has been approved by a medical ethical committee.
Both CBT and MBCT are expected to help improve depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes. If MBCT is at least equally effective as CBT, MBCT can be established as an alternative approach to CBT for treating depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes. By analyzing moderators and mediators of change, more information can be gathered for whom and why CBT and MBCT are effective.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials NCT01630512.
PMCID: PMC4269993  PMID: 25566369
Cognitive behavioral therapy; Mindfulness; Diabetes; Depression; Treatment; Intervention; Randomized controlled trial
4.  ACTH-independent macronodular adrenocortical hyperplasia reveals prevalent aberrant in vivo and in vitro responses to hormonal stimuli and coupling of arginine-vasopressin type 1a receptor to 11β-hydroxylase 
Adrenal Cushing’s syndrome caused by ACTH-independent macronodular adrenocortical hyperplasia (AIMAH) can be accompanied by aberrant responses to hormonal stimuli. We investigated the prevalence of adrenocortical reactions to these stimuli in a large cohort of AIMAH patients, both in vivo and in vitro.
In vivo cortisol responses to hormonal stimuli were studied in 35 patients with ACTH-independent bilateral adrenal enlargement and (sub-)clinical hypercortisolism. In vitro, the effects of these stimuli on cortisol secretion and steroidogenic enzyme mRNA expression were evaluated in cultured AIMAH and other adrenocortical cells. Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) receptor mRNA levels were determined in the adrenal tissues.
Positive serum cortisol responses to stimuli were detected in 27/35 AIMAH patients tested, with multiple responses within individual patients occurring for up to four stimuli. AVP and metoclopramide were the most prevalent hormonal stimuli triggering positive responses in vivo. Catecholamines induced short-term cortisol production more often in AIMAH cultures compared to other adrenal cells. Short- and long-term incubation with AVP increased cortisol secretion in cultures of AIMAH cells. AVP also increased steroidogenic enzyme mRNA expression, among which an aberrant induction of CYP11B1. AVP type 1a receptor was the only AVPR expressed and levels were high in the AIMAH tissues. AVPR1A expression was related to the AVP-induced stimulation of CYP11B1.
Multiple hormonal signals can simultaneously induce hypercortisolism in AIMAH. AVP is the most prevalent eutopic signal and expression of its type 1a receptor was aberrantly linked to CYP11B1 expression.
PMCID: PMC3847204  PMID: 24034279
AIMAH; Cushing’s syndrome; Arginine-vasopressin
5.  Aberrant Pregnancy Adaptations in the Peripheral Immune Response in Type 1 Diabetes: A Rat Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65490.
Despite tight glycemic control, pregnancy complication rate in type 1 diabetes patients is higher than in normal pregnancy. Other etiological factors may be responsible for the development of adverse pregnancy outcome. Acceptance of the semi-allogeneic fetus is accompanied by adaptations in the maternal immune-response. Maladaptations of the immune-response has been shown to contribute to pregnancy complications. We hypothesized that type 1 diabetes, as an autoimmune disease, may be associated with maladaptations of the immune-response to pregnancy, possibly resulting in pregnancy complications.
We studied pregnancy outcome and pregnancy-induced immunological adaptations in a normoglycemic rat-model of type 1 diabetes, i.e. biobreeding diabetes-prone rats (BBDP; 5 non-pregnant rats, 7 pregnant day 10 rats and 6 pregnant day 18 rats) , versus non-diabetic control rats (i.e. congenic non-diabetic biobreeding diabetes-resistant (BBDR; 6 non-pregnant rats, 6 pregnant day 10 rats and 6 pregnant day 18 rats) and Wistar-rats (6 non-pregnant, 6 pregnant day 10 rats and 5 pregnant day 18 rats)).
We observed reduced litter size, lower fetal weight of viable fetuses and increased numbers of resorptions versus control rats. These complications are accompanied by various differences in the immune-response between BBDP and control rats in both pregnant and non-pregnant animals. The immune-response in non-pregnant BBDP-rats was characterized by decreased percentages of lymphocytes, increased percentages of effector T-cells, regulatory T-cells and natural killer cells, an increased Th1/Th2-ratio and activated monocytes versus Wistar and BBDR-rats. Furthermore, pregnancy-induced adaptations in BBDP-rats coincided with an increased Th1/Th2-ratio, a decreased mean fluorescence intensity CD161a/NKR-P1b ratio and no further activation of monocytes versus non-diabetic control rats.
This study suggests that even in the face of strict normoglycemia, pregnancy complications still occur in type 1 diabetic pregnancies. This adverse pregnancy outcome may be related to the aberrant immunological adaptations to pregnancy in diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3689741  PMID: 23805184
6.  Pancreatic cyst development: insights from von Hippel-Lindau disease 
Cilia  2013;2:3.
Pancreatic cysts are a heterogeneous group of lesions, which can be benign or malignant. Due to improved imaging techniques, physicians are more often confronted with pancreatic cysts. Little is known about the origin of pancreatic cysts in general. Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an atypical ciliopathy and inherited tumor syndrome, caused by a mutation in the VHL tumor suppressor gene encoding the VHL protein (pVHL). VHL patients are prone to develop cysts and neuroendocrine tumors in the pancreas in addition to several other benign and malignant neoplasms. Remarkably, pancreatic cysts occur in approximately 70% of VHL patients, making it the only hereditary tumor syndrome with such a discernible expression of pancreatic cysts. Cellular loss of pVHL due to biallelic mutation can model pancreatic cystogenesis in other organisms, suggesting a causal relationship. Here, we give a comprehensive overview of various pVHL functions, focusing on those that can potentially explain pancreatic cyst development in VHL disease. Based on preclinical studies, cilia loss in ductal cells is probably an important early event in pancreatic cyst development.
PMCID: PMC3579754  PMID: 23384121
Cilia; Cytoskeleton; Pancreatic cysts or serous cystadenomas; VHL tumor suppressor protein; von Hippel-Lindau disease
7.  Everolimus Induces Rapid Plasma Glucose Normalization in Insulinoma Patients by Effects on Tumor As Well As Normal Tissues 
The Oncologist  2011;16(6):783-787.
Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor everolimus administered to 4 insulinoma patients rapidly controlled hypoglycemia. We wanted to identify the kinetics of everolimus effects on controlling hypoglycemia and understand underlying mechanisms. Everolimus normalizes plasma glucose levels in metastatic insulinoma within 14 days, coinciding with a lower glucose uptake in tumor and muscles and declining (pro)insulin levels. This effect on tumor as well as normal tissues explains the rapid controlling of hypoglycemia.
Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor everolimus administered to four insulinoma patients rapidly controlled hypoglycemia (Kulke et al., N Engl J Med 2009;360:195–197). We wanted to identify the kinetics of everolimus effects on controlling hypoglycemia and understand underlying mechanisms.
Three consecutive patients with a metastasized symptomatic insulinoma were started on 100 μg of octreotide subcutaneously three times daily. Because of persisting hypoglycemias, treatment with daily 10 mg of oral everolimus was initiated. Serial plasma glucose levels and serum insulin levels were measured. Computer tomography (CT) scans were performed before and after 2 and 5 months of treatment. [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET) scans, to visualize glucose metabolism, were made before and after 2 weeks, 5 weeks, and 5 months of treatment. The 18F-FDG uptake was quantified as the maximum standardized uptake value.
All patients achieved control of hypoglycemia on everolimus within 14 days. Insulin levels were 2.5- to 6.3-fold elevated before start of treatment and declined 14%–64% after 4 weeks of treatment. CT scans showed stable disease at 2 months in all patients, with progressive disease after 5 months in one. Before treatment, both the tumor lesions and the muscles and myocardium showed high 18F-FDG uptake. Everolimus reduced tumor and muscle 18F-FDG uptake after 2 weeks by 26% ± 14% and 19% ± 41%, and after 5 months by 31% ± 13% and 27% ± 41%.
Everolimus normalizes plasma glucose levels in metastatic insulinoma within 14 days, coinciding with a lower glucose uptake in tumor and muscles and declining (pro)insulin levels. This effect on tumor as well as normal tissues explains the rapid controlling of hypoglycemia.
PMCID: PMC3228208  PMID: 21482586
mTOR inhibition; Insulinoma; Everolimus; 18F-FDG-PET
8.  Total 18F-dopa PET tumour uptake reflects metabolic endocrine tumour activity in patients with a carcinoid tumour 
Positron emission tomography (PET) using 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-dopa) has an excellent sensitivity to detect carcinoid tumour lesions. 18F-dopa tumour uptake and the levels of biochemical tumour markers are mediated by tumour endocrine metabolic activity. We evaluated whether total 18F-dopa tumour uptake on PET, defined as whole-body metabolic tumour burden (WBMTB), reflects tumour load per patient, as measured with tumour markers.
Seventy-seven consecutive carcinoid patients who underwent an 18F-dopa PET scan in two previously published studies were analysed. For all tumour lesions mean standardised uptake values (SUVs) at 40% of the maximal SUV and tumour volume on 18F-dopa PET were determined and multiplied to calculate a metabolic burden per lesion. WBMTB was the sum of the metabolic burden of all individual lesions per patient. The 24-h urinary serotonin, urine and plasma 5-hydroxindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), catecholamines (nor)epinephrine, dopamine and their metabolites, measured in urine and plasma, and serum chromogranin A served as tumour markers.
All but 1 were evaluable for WBMTB; 74 patients had metastatic disease. 18F-dopa PET detected 979 lesions. SUVmax on 18F-dopa PET varied up to 29-fold between individual lesions within the same patients. WBMTB correlated with urinary serotonin (r = 0.51) and urinary and plasma 5-HIAA (r = 0.78 and 0.66). WBMTB also correlated with urinary norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine and plasma dopamine, but not with serum chromogranin A.
Tumour load per patient measured with 18F-dopa PET correlates with tumour markers of the serotonin and catecholamine pathway in urine and plasma in carcinoid patients, reflecting metabolic tumour activity.
PMCID: PMC3168742  PMID: 21698413
18F-dopa PET; Carcinoid tumour; Whole-body metabolic tumour burden; 5-HIAA
9.  Life Expectancy in a Large Cohort of Type 2 Diabetes Patients Treated in Primary Care (ZODIAC-10) 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6817.
Most longitudinal studies showed increased relative mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus until now. As a result of major changes in treatment regimes over the past years, with more stringent goals for metabolic control and cardiovascular risk management, improvement of life expectancy should be expected. In our study, we aimed to assess present-day life expectancy of type 2 diabetes patients in an ongoing cohort study.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We included 973 primary care type 2 diabetes patients in a prospective cohort study, who were all participating in a shared care project in The Netherlands. Vital status was assessed from May 2001 till May 2007. Main outcome measurement was life expectancy assessed by transforming actual survival time to standardised survival time allowing adjustment for the baseline mortality rate of the general population. At baseline, mean age was 66 years, mean HbA1c 7.0%. During a median follow-up of 5.4 years, 165 patients died (78 from cardiovascular causes), and 17 patients were lost to follow-up. There were no differences in life expectancy in subjects with type 2 diabetes compared to life expectancy in the general population. In multivariate Cox regression analyses, concentrating on the endpoints ‘all-cause’ and cardiovascular mortality, a history of cardiovascular disease: hazard ratio (HR) 1.71 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23–2.37), and HR 2.59 (95% CI 1.56–4.28); and albuminuria: HR 1.72 (95% CI 1.26–2.35), and HR 1.83 (95% CI 1.17–2.89), respectively, were significant predictors, whereas smoking, HbA1c, systolic blood pressure and diabetes duration were not.
This study shows a normal life expectancy in a cohort of subjects with type 2 diabetes patients in primary care when compared to the general population. A history of cardiovascular disease and albuminuria, however, increased the risk of a reduction of life expectancy. These results show that, in a shared care environment, a normal life expectancy is achievable in type 2 diabetes patients.
PMCID: PMC2729379  PMID: 19714245
10.  The clinical relevance of assessing advanced glycation endproducts accumulation in diabetes 
Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes. There is increasing evidence that advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) play a pivotal role in atherosclerosis, in particular in diabetes. AGE accumulation is a measure of cumulative metabolic and oxidative stress, and may so represent the "metabolic memory". Furthermore, increased AGE accumulation is closely related to the development of cardiovascular complications in diabetes. This review article will focus on the clinical relevance of measuring AGE accumulation in diabetic patients by focusing on AGE formation, AGEs as predictors of long-term complications, and interventions against AGEs.
PMCID: PMC2569910  PMID: 18840258
11.  Extra-Intestinal Manifestations of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2008;15(9):2439-2450.
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder, which results from a germ line mutation in the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene. FAP is characterized by the formation of hundreds to thousands of colorectal adenomatous polyps. Although the development of colorectal cancer stands out as the most prevalent complication, FAP is a multisystem disorder of growth. This means, it is comparable to other diseases such as the MEN syndromes, Von Hippel-Lindau disease and neurofibromatosis. However, the incidence of many of its clinical features is much lower. Therefore, a specialized multidisciplinary approach to optimize health care—common for other disorders—is not usually taken for FAP patients. Thus, clinicians that care for and counsel members of high-risk families should have familiarity with all the extra-intestinal manifestations of this syndrome. FAP-related complications, for which medical attention is essential, are not rare and their estimated lifetime risk presumably exceeds 30%. Affected individuals can develop thyroid and pancreatic cancer, hepatoblastomas, CNS tumors (especially medulloblastomas), and various benign tumors such as adrenal adenomas, osteomas, desmoid tumors and dental abnormalities. Due to improved longevity, as a result of better prevention of colorectal cancer, the risk of these clinical problems will further increase.
We present a clinical overview of extra-intestinal manifestations, including management and treatment options for the FAP syndrome. Furthermore, we provide recommendations for surveillance of FAP complications based on available literature.
PMCID: PMC2518080  PMID: 18612695
Familial adenomatous polyposis; Extra-intestinal manifestations; Multisystem disorder
12.  The diagnostic value of 124I-PET in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer 
The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the clinical diagnostic value of iodine-124 (124I)-positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with advanced differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) and to compare the 124I-PET imaging results with the 131I whole-body scan (WBS).
Materials and methods
Twenty patients with histologically proven advanced DTC (including T4, extra-nodal tumour growth, or distant metastases) underwent diagnostic 131I-WBS, 124I-PET scan, and post-treatment 131I-WBS 4 months after ablation. The findings on the 124I-PET were compared with the findings on the diagnostic and post-therapeutic 131I-WBS and were also correlated with radiologic and/or cytological investigations.
124I-PET vs diagnostic 131I-WBS. Eleven patients showed uptake on the 124I-PET. Only 3 of these 11 patients also showed uptake on the diagnostic 131I scan, but the uptake was more clearly visible and the abnormalities were more extensive on the 124I-PET. 124I-PET vs post-treatment 131I-WBS. Eleven patients showed uptake on the 124I-PET, which was also visible on the post-treatment scan in nine patients; in the other two patients, no uptake was observed on the post-treatment scan and no anatomical localisation could be confirmed. Two patients showed only uptake on the post-treatment scan without uptake on the 124I-PET: in one, the uptake was confirmed by MRI, and in the other, no anatomical localisation was found. In seven patients, no uptake was observed on both the scans.
124I-PET proved to be a superior diagnostic tool as compared to low-dose diagnostic 131I scans and adequately predicted findings on subsequent high-dose post-treatment 131I scans.
PMCID: PMC2292795  PMID: 18175115
Iodine-124; Positron emission tomography; Differentiated thyroid cancer; Diagnostic value
13.  A Sensitive Tg Assay or rhTSH Stimulated Tg: What's the Best in the Long-Term Follow-Up of Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma? 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e816.
Sensitivity of thyroglobulin (Tg) measurement in the follow-up of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) can be optimized by using a sensitive Tg assay and rhTSH stimulation. We evaluated the diagnostic yield of a sensitive Tg assay and rhTSH stimulated Tg in the detection of recurrences in the follow-up of DTC. Additionally the value of imaging techniques for the localization of recurrences was evaluated. We included 121 disease free patients in long-term follow-up for DTC (median 10 years, range 1–34). Tg during thyroid hormone suppression therapy (Tg-on) and rhTSH stimulated Tg were measured with a sensitive Tg assay. Patients with rhTSH stimulated Tg ≥1.0 ng/ml underwent imaging with neck ultrasound, FDG-PET and post therapy 131I WBS. Sensitive Tg measurement resulted in 3 patients with Tg-on ≥1.0 ng/ml, recurrence could be localized in 2 of them. RhTSH stimulation resulted in Tg ≥1.0 ng/ml in another 17 of 118 patients. Recurrence could be localized in only 1 additional patient (1 out of 118 patients). Recurrence was localized by neck ultrasound in 1 of 3, by FDG-PET in 2 of 3 and by post therapy 131I WBS in 2 of 3 patients. In the detection of recurrences in DTC, rhTSH stimulation had very limited additional value in comparison to Tg-on measurement with a sensitive Tg assay. We consider this too low to justify rhTSH stimulation in all patients during long-term follow up. Neck ultrasound, FDG-PET and post therapy 131I WBS showed complementary value in localization of disease, but were only positive in a small fracture of all procedures.
PMCID: PMC1950687  PMID: 17726546
14.  An Introduction to Managing Medullary Thyroid Cancer 
MTC is a rare neuroendocrine thyroid tumour accounting for 3% to 10% of all thyroid malignancies. It can occur in a sporadic and a hereditary clinical setting. Hereditary MTC may either occur alone (familial MTC, FMTC) or as part of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 2A, or MEN 2B. These disorders are due to germline mutations in the RET (REarranged during Transfection) gene. In carriers of MEN 2B-associated RET mutations, prophylactic thyroidectomy is indicated before the first year of life. In the case of MEN 2A-associated germline RET mutations with a high-risk profile, total thyroidectomy is warranted before the age of 2 years and certainly before the age of 4 years. At that age the risk of invasive MTC and metastases is acceptably low. Depending on the type of RET mutation, thyroidectomy can take place at an older age in patients with a lower risk profile. In case of elevated basal or stimulated serum calcitonin, preventive surgery including total thyroidectomy and central compartment dissection should be performed regardless of age. When MTC presents as a palpable tumour, total thyroidectomy should be combined with extensive lymph node dissection of levels II-V on both sides and level VI to prevent locoregional recurrences.
PMCID: PMC4177236  PMID: 20223015
medullary thyroid cancer; MEN 2; RET mutation

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