Absent pituitary gland and hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis associated with partial ophthalmoplegia and postaxial polydactyly: a variant of orofaciodigital syndrome VI or a new syndrome? (1/1069)

We report two sibs with features overlapping those of orofaciodigital syndrome type VI (Varadi syndrome). Both presented at birth with oculomotor abnormalities, dysmorphic facial features, and dysgenesis of the cerebellar vermis. There were minimal oral manifestations (high arched palate) in both of them and one had postaxial polydactyly of both hands and one foot. In addition, there was evidence of aplasia of the pituitary gland on MRI scan in both of them with evidence of hypopituitarism. Both responded well to hormone replacement therapy with improvement in their linear growth and mental ability. These cases may represent a new autosomal recessive midline defect syndrome with features overlapping OFDS VI. Alternatively the features in these children could represent variability within OFDS VI.  (+info)

Apo E phenotype and changes in serum lipids in adult patients during growth hormone replacement. (2/1069)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether apo E phenotype influences changes in lipid profiles induced by growth hormone replacement in growth hormone (GH)-deficient adults. DESIGNS: Patients were treated for 6 months with recombinant human GH (hGH), given in a dose of 0.125 U/kg per week for 4 weeks followed by 0.25 U/kg per week thereafter. The effects on serum lipids and the influence of apo E phenotype were examined. METHODS: Thirty patients (aged 35.1+/-11.8 years: mean +/- S.D.) with adult growth hormone deficiency with included in the study. Fasting serum samples were analysed for apo E phenotype total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) and IGF-I. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol was calculated using the Friedwald formula. RESULTS: Six months of replacement treatment with hGH resulted in a reduction in HDL-cholesterol from 0.90+/-0.10 to 0.68+/-0.08 mmol/l (P<0.01), and a small, non-significant reduction in total cholesterol from 6.14+/-0.40 to 5.99+/-0.35 mmol/l (P = 0.06). There was no significant change in the other lipid parameters. The decrease in HDL-cholesterol concentration was greater in patients carrying the apo E2 allele (0.40+/-0.07 mmol/l, P<0.05) than in patients homozygous for the apo E3 allele (0.23+/-0.04 mmol/l) and patients carrying the apo E4 allele (0.15+/-0.36 mmol/l). Patients with the apo E4 allele had lower baseline cholesterol concentrations than patients lacking the apo E4 allele, and this persisted after treatment with hGH (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Apo E phenotype may be a determining factor in the response of HDL-cholesterol to hGH in GH-deficient adults.  (+info)

Turner's syndrome and pregnancies after oocyte donation. (3/1069)

A total of 20 clinical pregnancies was achieved among 18 women with Turner's syndrome who were treated in an oocyte donation programme. The oocytes were donated by voluntary unpaid donors. A mean of 1.8 embryos per transfer was given to each recipient by way of 28 fresh and 25 frozen embryo transfers. With fresh and frozen embryos, 13 and seven pregnancies respectively were achieved. The clinical pregnancy rate per fresh embryo transfer was 46%, and the implantation rate 30%, being similar to the corresponding rates among our oocyte recipients with primary ovarian failure in general. The corresponding rates with frozen embryos were 28 and 19%. Of these pregnancies, 40% ended in miscarriage. This high rate may be explained by uterine factors. Six women were hypertensive during pregnancy, a rate comparable with that in other oocyte donation pregnancies. All these women delivered by Caesarean section. Pregnancy and implantation rates after oocyte donation were high in women with Turner's syndrome, but the risk of cardiovascular and other complications is high. Careful assessment before and during follow-up of pregnancy are important. Transfer of only one embryo at a time to avoid the additional complications caused by twin pregnancy is recommended.  (+info)

Primary prevention of CHD: nine ways to reduce risk. (4/1069)

Lowering cholesterol can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease. Treating hypertension reduces overall mortality and is most effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in older patients. Smoking cessation reduces the level of risk to that of nonsmokers within about three years of cessation. Aspirin is likely to be an effective means of primary prevention, but a group in whom treatment is appropriate has yet to be defined. Evidence that supplementation with vitamin A or C reduces the risk of coronary heart disease is inadequate; the data for use of vitamin E are inconclusive. Epidemiologic evidence is sufficient to recommend that most persons increase their levels of physical activity. Lowering homocysteine levels through increased folate intake is a promising but unproven primary prevention strategy. Hormone replacement therapy was associated with reduced incidence of coronary heart disease in epidemiologic studies but was not effective in a secondary prevention trial.  (+info)

Hormone replacement therapy, inflammation, and hemostasis in elderly women. (5/1069)

Lipid-lowering by postmenopausal hormone therapy (HRT) explains only partly the assumed coronary risk reduction associated with therapy. To explore other possible mechanisms, we studied associations of HRT use with inflammation and hemostasis risk markers in women >/=65 years of age. Subjects were selected from 3393 participants in the fourth year examination of the Cardiovascular Health Study, an observational study of vascular disease risk factors. After excluding women with vascular disease, we compared levels of inflammation and hemostasis variables in the 230 women using unopposed estrogen and 60 using estrogen/progestin, with those of 196 nonusers selected as controls. Compared with nonusers, unopposed estrogen use was associated with 59% higher mean C-reactive protein (P<0.001), but with modestly lower levels of other inflammation indicators, fibrinogen, and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (P<0.001). Factor VIIc was 16% higher among estrogen users (P<0.001), but this was not associated with higher thrombin production (prothrombin fragment 1-2), or increased fibrin breakdown (D-dimer). Concentration of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 was 50% lower in both using groups (P<0.001) compared with nonusers, and this was associated with higher plasmin-antiplasmin complex: 8% higher in estrogen and 18% higher in estrogen/progestin users (P<0. 05). Relationships between the markers and hormone use were less pronounced in estrogen/progestin users, with no association for C-reactive protein except in women in upper 2 tertiles of body mass index (P for interaction, 0.02). The direction and strength of the associations of HRT use with inflammation markers differed depending on the protein, so it is not clear whether HRT confers coronary risk reduction through an inflammation-sensitive mechanism. Associations with hemostasis markers indicated no association with evidence of procoagulation and a possible association with increased fibrinolytic activity.  (+info)

Alteration in sexually dimorphic testosterone biotransformation profiles as a biomarker of chemically induced androgen disruption in mice. (6/1069)

Assessment of the impact of environmental chemicals on androgen homeostasis in rodent models is confounded by high intraindividual and interindividual variability in circulating testosterone levels. Our goal was to evaluate changes in testosterone biotransformation processes as a measure of androgen homeostasis and as a biomarker of exposure to androgen-disrupting chemicals. Sex-specific differences in hepatic testosterone biotransformation enzyme activities were identified in CD-1 mice. Gonadectomy followed by replacement of individual steroid hormones identified specific sex differences in biotransformation profiles that were due to the inductive or suppressive effects of testosterone. Notably, significant androgen-dependent differences in testosterone 6[alpha]- and 15[alpha]-hydroxylase activities were demonstrated, and the ratio of 6[alpha]- and 15[alpha]-hydroxylase activities proved to be an excellent indicator of the androgen status within the animal. The male or "masculinized" testosterone 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio was significantly less than the female or "feminized" ratio. Male mice were exposed to both an antiandrogen, vinclozolin, and to a compound that modulates serum androgen levels, indole-3-carbinol, to test the utility of this ratio as a biomarker of androgen disruption. Treatment with the antiandrogen vinclozolin significantly increased the 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio. Indole-3-carbinol treatment resulted in a dose-dependent, but highly variable, decrease in serum testosterone levels. The 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio increased as serum testosterone levels decreased in these animals. However, the increase in the ratio was much less variable and more sensitive than serum testosterone levels. These investigations demonstrate that the 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio is a powerful measure of androgen modulation and a sensitive indicator of exposure to androgen-disrupting chemicals in CD-1 mice.  (+info)

Is recruitment more difficult with a placebo arm in randomised controlled trials? A quasirandomised, interview based study. (7/1069)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether including a placebo arm in a clinical trial of hormone replacement therapy influenced women's stated willingness to participate. DESIGN: Quasirandomised, interview based study. SETTING: 10 group practices in the Medical Research Council's General Practice Research Framework. PARTICIPANTS: 436 postmenopausal women aged 45-64 who had not had a hysterectomy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Stated willingness to enter a trial and reasons for the decisions made. RESULTS: Of 218 women told about the trial without a placebo arm, 85 (39%) indicated their willingness to enter compared with 65 (30%) of the 218 women told about the trial with the placebo arm (P=0.06). Part of this difference was due to explicit reluctance to take a placebo. Altruism and personal benefit were the reasons most frequently given for wanting to take part in a trial. The reasons most frequently cited for not wanting to take part were reluctance to restart periods, not wanting to take unknown or unnecessary tablets, or not wanting to interfere with present good health. CONCLUSION: For preventive trials the inclusion of a placebo arm may reduce patients' willingness to participate.  (+info)

Regression of cardiac abnormalities after replacement therapy in Addison's disease. (8/1069)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate by echocardiography the cardiac structure and function in patients with primary adrenocortical insufficiency. DESIGN AND METHODS: Two-dimensionally guided M-mode echocardiograms and spectral Doppler studies were performed in seven consecutive patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune primary adrenal failure before and 4-8 months after an adequate regimen of steroid substitution. Echocardiographic parameters were also studied in ten healthy controls. RESULTS: In the cases with untreated Addison's disease, both left ventricular end-systolic and end-diastolic dimensions were significantly reduced in comparison with those in controls (P<0.01). Four patients had echocardiographic signs of mitral valve prolapse (MVP) at the anterior leaflet, with no evidence of mitral regurgitation by Doppler echocardiography. Systolic clicks characteristic of MVP were present on auscultation in two of these cases. Left ventricular chamber size normalized, i.e. significantly increased (P<0.01), and both echocardiographic and physical signs of MVP resolved after steroid substitution in all patients. All other echocardiographic indices were normal before and after treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with untreated Addison's disease have cardiac abnormalities which regress after steroid substitution. A valvular-ventricular disproportion due to the hypovolemic state could explain these findings.  (+info)