Publications by authors named "Alan Kelsall"

6 Publications

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SDHC phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma: A UK-wide case series.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGL) are rare, but strongly heritable tumours. Variants in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits are identified in approximately 25% of cases. However, clinical and genetic information of patients with SDHC variants are underreported.

Design: This retrospective case series collated data from 18 UK Genetics and Endocrinology departments.

Patients: Both asymptomatic and disease-affected patients with confirmed SDHC germline variants are included.

Measurements: Clinical data including tumour type and location, surveillance outcomes and interventions, SDHC genetic variant assessment, interpretation, and tumour risk calculation.

Results: We report 91 SDHC cases, 46 probands and 45 non-probands. Fifty-one cases were disease-affected. Median age at genetic diagnosis was 43 years (range: 11-79). Twenty-four SDHC germline variants were identified including six novel variants. Head and neck paraganglioma (HNPGL, n = 30, 65.2%), extra-adrenal paraganglioma (EAPGL, n = 13, 28.2%) and phaeochromocytomas (PCC) (n = 3, 6.5%) were present. One case had multiple PPGLs. Malignant disease was reported in 19.6% (9/46). Eight cases had non-PPGL SDHC-associated tumours, six gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) and two renal cell cancers (RCC). Cumulative tumour risk (95% CI) at age 60 years was 0.94 (CI: 0.79-0.99) in probands, and 0.16 (CI: 0-0.31) in non-probands, respectively.

Conclusions: This study describes the largest cohort of 91 SDHC patients worldwide. We confirm disease-affected SDHC variant cases develop isolated HNPGL disease in nearly 2/3 of patients, EAPGL and PCC in 1/3, with an increased risk of GIST and RCC. One fifth developed malignant disease, requiring comprehensive lifelong tumour screening and surveillance.
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September 2021

Somatosensory network functional connectivity differentiates clinical pain phenotypes in diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetologia 2021 Jun 25;64(6):1412-1421. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Oncology and Human Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this work was to investigate whether different clinical pain phenotypes of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) are distinguished by functional connectivity at rest.

Methods: This was an observational, cohort study of 43 individuals with painful DPN, divided into irritable (IR, n = 10) and non-irritable (NIR, n = 33) nociceptor phenotypes using the German Research Network of Neuropathic Pain quantitative sensory testing protocol. In-situ brain MRI included 3D T1-weighted anatomical and 6 min resting-state functional MRI scans. Subgroup differences in resting-state functional connectivity in brain regions involved with somatic (thalamus, primary somatosensory cortex, motor cortex) and non-somatic (insular and anterior cingulate cortices) pain processing were examined. Multidimensional reduction of MRI datasets was performed using a machine-learning approach to classify individuals into each clinical pain phenotype.

Results: Individuals with the IR nociceptor phenotype had significantly greater thalamic-insular cortex (p false discovery rate [FDR] = 0.03) and reduced thalamus-somatosensory cortex functional connectivity (p-FDR = 0.03). We observed a double dissociation such that self-reported neuropathic pain score was more associated with greater thalamus-insular cortex functional connectivity (r = 0.41; p = 0.01) whereas more severe nerve function deficits were more related to lower thalamus-somatosensory cortex functional connectivity (r = -0.35; p = 0.03). Machine-learning group classification performance to identify individuals with the NIR nociceptor phenotype achieved an accuracy of 0.92 (95% CI 0.08) and sensitivity of 90%.

Conclusions/interpretation: This study demonstrates differences in functional connectivity in nociceptive processing brain regions between IR and NIR phenotypes in painful DPN. We also establish proof of concept for the utility of multimodal MRI as a biomarker for painful DPN by using a machine-learning approach to classify individuals into sensory phenotypes.
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June 2021

Determinants of Treatment Response in Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A Combined Deep Sensory Phenotyping and Multimodal Brain MRI Study.

Diabetes 2020 08 29;69(8):1804-1814. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Oncology and Human Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K.

Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is difficult to manage, as treatment response is often varied. The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in pain phenotypes between responders and nonresponders to intravenous lidocaine treatment using quantitative sensory testing. The secondary aim was to explore differences in brain structure and functional connectivity with treatment response. Forty-five consecutive patients who received intravenous lidocaine treatment for painful DPN were screened. Twenty-nine patients who met the eligibility criteria (responders, = 14, and nonresponders, = 15) and 26 healthy control subjects underwent detailed sensory profiling. Subjects also underwent multimodal brain MRI. A greater proportion of patients with the irritable (IR) nociceptor phenotype were responders to intravenous lidocaine treatment compared with nonresponders. The odds ratio of responding to intravenous lidocaine was 8.67 times greater (95% CI 1.4-53.8) for the IR nociceptor phenotype. Responders to intravenous lidocaine also had significantly greater mean primary somatosensory cortex cortical volume and functional connectivity between the insula cortex and the corticolimbic circuitry. This study provides preliminary evidence for a mechanism-based approach for individualizing therapy in patients with painful DPN.
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August 2020

Adrenal incidentaloma: cardiovascular and metabolic effects of mild cortisol excess.

Gland Surg 2020 Feb;9(1):94-104

Department of Oncology and Metabolism, The Medical School, University of Sheffield, Beech Hill Road, Sheffield, UK.

In the vast majority of cases adrenal incidentalomas (AI) are benign adrenocortical adenomas. They are present in up to 10% of the population over 70 years, with incidence increasing with age. Mild cortisol excess (MCE) in the context of AI is defined as autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) in the absence of the classical clinical features of Cushing's syndrome. MCE has been reported in up to at least one third of patients with AI. Numerous studies have shown that MCE in AI is associated with increased cardiovascular events and mortality, likely to be consequent upon both hemodynamic changes and inflammatory pathways, and a worse metabolic phenotype characterized by: pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, insulin resistance, visceral obesity and dyslipidemia. There is currently no level 3 evidence from large intervention randomized controlled trials to guide management of MCE in AI, and there is a lack of predictive tools to allow stratification to intervention of only those patients who would benefit in terms of improved metabolic and cardiovascular end-points. Here, we describe the mal-effects of cortisol on cardiovascular and metabolic tissues and discuss management strategies based on current largely observational data.
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February 2020

Cushing's disease-from Minnie G to key issues in the early 21st century.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2019 12 7;7(12):959-964. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Department of Oncology and Metabolism, The Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2RX, UK. Electronic address:

Oct 7, 2019, marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Harvey Cushing, the father of modern neurosurgery. Here we give a historical perspective from Cushing's original description of the clinical syndrome that now bears his name through to the modern day. We highlight some of the key milestones that allowed improved understanding and management of this extraordinarily challenging condition, and identify some of the key issues that still exist in the 21st century.
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December 2019

A UK study assessing the population prevalence of self-reported gluten sensitivity and referral characteristics to secondary care.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014 Jan;26(1):33-9

Departments of aGastroenterology bNeurology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK.

Background: Reports suggest that gluten sensitivity (GS) exists in the absence of coeliac disease (CD). This clinical entity has been termed noncoeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

Objectives: To determine the population prevalence of self-reported GS and referral characteristics to secondary care.

Patients And Methods: A UK population-based questionnaire screened for GS and related symptoms. Diagnostic outcomes were also analyzed in patients referred to secondary care with GS. CD diagnosis entailed a positive coeliac serology (endomysial and/or tissue transglutaminase antibodies) plus Marsh 1-3 on duodenal biopsies. NCGS diagnosis was based on exclusion of CD. Clinical comparisons were made between NCGS and CD.

Results: A total of 1002 adults in the population (female 55%, mean age 39 years). The self-reported prevalence for GS was 13% (female 79%, mean age 39.5 years, P<0.0001), with 3.7% consuming a gluten-free diet and 0.8% known to have a doctor diagnosis of CD. Individuals with GS had an increased prevalence of fulfilling the Rome III criteria for irritable bowel syndrome, in comparison with those without GS (20 vs. 3.89%, odds ratio 6.23, P<0.0001).In secondary care 200 GS patients (female 84%, mean age 39.6 years) were investigated, in whom 7% were found to have CD and 93% to have NCGS. All CD patients were human leucocyte antigen DQ2 or DQ8 positive compared with 53% of NCGS cases (P=0.0003). Nutritional deficiencies (P≤0.003), autoimmune disorders (23.1 vs. 9.7%, P=0.0001) and a lower mean BMI (23.7 vs. 25.8, P=0.001) were significantly associated with CD compared with NCGS.

Conclusion: GS is commonly self-reported with symptoms suggesting an association with irritable bowel syndrome. The majority of patients have NCGS, an entity which demonstrates clinical and immunologic difference to CD.
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January 2014