Publications by authors named "Christine Gervy"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Letrozole-associated controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in breast cancer patients versus conventional controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in infertile patients: assessment of oocyte quality related biomarkers.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2019 Jan 3;17(1). Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Fertility Clinic, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CUB-Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Route de Lennik 808, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Fertility preservation (FP) protocols in case of breast cancer (BC) include mature oocyte cryopreservation following letrozole associated controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (Let-COH). To date, the impact of Let-COH on the follicular microenvironment has been poorly investigated, although a high androgen/estrogen ratio was previously associated with low oocyte quality.

Methods: In this prospective study, follicular fluid (FF) steroid levels (estradiol, testosterone, progesterone) and cumulus cell (CC) gene expression related to oocyte quality (HAS2, PTGS2, GREM1) were compared between 23 BC patients undergoing Let-COH for FP and 24 infertile patients undergoing conventional COH without letrozole. All patients underwent an antagonist COH cycle, and ovulation was triggered with hCG or GnRHa in both groups.

Results: FF estradiol levels were significantly lower while testosterone levels were significantly higher in the study group compared to controls irrespective of the trigger method. However, estradiol levels increased significantly with GnRHa triggering compared to hCG in the study group (median = 194.5 (95.4-438) vs 64.4 (43.8-152.4) ng/ml, respectively, p < 0.001), but not in the control group (median = 335.5 (177.5-466.7) vs 354 (179-511) ng/ml, respectively). After hCG trigger, Cumulus cell (CC) gene expression was lower in the study group compared to the control group, and difference was significant for PTGS2. Conversely, CC gene expression of PTGS2 and GREM1 was significantly higher in the study group compared to controls when ovulation was triggered with GnRHa.

Conclusions: Let-COH triggered with hCG may negatively impact oocyte quality. However, ovulation triggering with GnRHa may improve the oocyte microenvironment and cumulus cell genes expression in Let-COH, suggesting a positive impact on oocyte quality in breast cancer patients.

Trial Registration: - NCT02661932 , registered 25 January 2016, retrospectively registered.
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January 2019

Comparison of two assays measuring human chorionic gonadotrophin serum concentrations in pregnancy termination and trophoblastic or non-trophoblastic tumours.

Scand J Clin Lab Invest 2017 Dec 25;77(8):689-693. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

a Department of Clinical Chemistry , LHUB-ULB, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles , Brussels , Belgium.

Background: Differences in human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) results provided by the commercial immunoassays reflect the heterogeneity of antibodies and the use of suboptimal standards. As a consequence, the principal forms of hCG and metabolites are differentially detected and the hCG tests are not suited for the same clinical applications. Conflicting results are available in the literature regarding which hCG variants are recognized by the Roche Elecsys hCG + β test. The aim of our study was to compare the hCG concentrations provided by the Siemens Immulite 2000 test and the Roche test as well as to assess the concordance between both assays.

Methods: In this purpose, 152 samples obtained from women and 44 samples from men were analysed by both tests during the follow-up of pregnancy termination, gestational trophoblastic disease and malignancies. The intermediate precision of the Roche test was also investigated on a pool with a low hCG concentration.

Results And Conclusions: The hCG concentrations measured with the Roche test were slightly lower compared with the Siemens assay; mean biases of -34.2% and -8% were respectively obtained for hCG values ≤100 UI/L and higher than 100 UI/L. The overall agreement between both assays was 96.1% for women and 97.7% for men. By using an upper reference limit of 3.2 UI/L for women and 1.6 UI/L for men, the Roche test demonstrated a respective concordance of 98.7% and 100%. This test also yielded an excellent precision with a coefficient of variation of 2.8% at a mean hCG concentration of 7 UI/L.
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December 2017

Biochemical parameters after cholecalciferol repletion in hemodialysis: results From the VitaDial randomized trial.

Am J Kidney Dis 2014 Nov 22;64(5):696-705. Epub 2014 May 22.

Nephrology Department, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: The 2009 KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder clinical practice guideline suggests correcting 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D) levels<30ng/mL in patients treated with maintenance hemodialysis, but does not provide a specific treatment protocol.

Study Design: 2-center, double-blind, randomized, 13-week, controlled trial followed by a 26-week open-label study.

Setting & Participants: 55 adult maintenance hemodialysis patients with 25(OH)D levels<30ng/mL were recruited from June 2008 through October 2009.

Intervention: Cholecalciferol, 25,000IU, per week orally versus placebo for 13 weeks, then 26 weeks of individualized cholecalciferol prescription based on NKF-KDOQI (National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative) guidelines.

Outcomes: Primary end point was the percentage of patients with 25(OH)D levels≥30ng/mL at 13 weeks. Secondary outcomes included the percentage of patients with normal calcium, phosphorus, and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) blood levels. Safety measures included incidence of hypercalcemia and hypervitaminosis D.

Measurements: Blood calcium and phosphate were measured weekly; iPTH, 25(OH)D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D), and bone turnover markers, trimonthly; fetuin A and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) serum levels and aortic calcification scores were determined at weeks 0 and 39.

Results: The primary end point significantly increased in the treatment group compared with the placebo group (61.5% vs 7.4%; P<0.001), as well as 1,25(OH)2D levels (22.5 [IQR, 15-26] vs 11 [IQR, 10-15]pg/mL; P<0.001) and the proportion of patients achieving the target calcium level (76.9% vs 48.2%; P=0.03). Incidence of hypercalcemia and phosphate and iPTH levels were similar between groups. The second 26-week study phase did not significantly modify the prevalence of 25(OH)D level≥30ng/mL in patients issued from the placebo group.

Limitations: Small size of the study population.

Conclusions: Oral weekly administration of 25,000IU of cholecalciferol for 13 weeks is an effective, safe, inexpensive, and manageable way to increase 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D levels in hemodialysis patients. Further evaluation of clinical end points is suggested.
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November 2014

Marked 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency is associated with poor prognosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease.

J Hepatol 2013 Aug 1;59(2):344-50. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatopancreatology and Digestive Oncology, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Background & Aims: Vitamin D deficiency has been frequently reported in advanced liver disease. However, its influence on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been poorly elucidated. We investigated the association of vitamin D with clinical, biological, and histological parameters and survival in ALD patients. Furthermore, we explored the effect of vitamin D treatment on ALD patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and in a murine experimental model of ALD.

Methods: Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were determined in 324 Caucasian ALD patients and 201 healthy controls. In vitro experiments on vitamin D pre-treated PBMCs evaluated TNFα production by ELISA in culture supernatants. Mice were submitted to an ethanol-fed diet and some of them were orally supplemented three times per week with 1,25(OH)2D.

Results: Severe deficiency in 25(OH)D (<10 ng/ml) was significantly associated with higher aspartate aminotransferase levels (p=1.00 × 10(-3)), increased hepatic venous pressure gradient (p=5.80 × 10(-6)), MELD (p=2.50 × 10(-4)), and Child-Pugh scores (p=8.50 × 10(-7)). Furthermore, in multivariable analysis, a low 25(OH)D concentration was associated with cirrhosis (OR=2.13, 95% CI=1.18-3.84, p=0.013) and mortality (HR=4.33, 95% CI=1.47-12.78, p=7.94 × 10(-3)) at one year. In addition, in vitro, 1,25(OH)2D pretreatment decreased TNFα production by stimulated PBMCs of ALD patients (p=3.00 × 10(-3)), while in vivo, it decreased hepatic TNFα expression in ethanol-fed mice (p=0.04).

Conclusions: Low 25(OH)D levels are associated with increased liver damage and mortality in ALD. Our results suggest that vitamin D might be both a biomarker of severity and a potential therapeutic target in ALD.
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August 2013

Vitamin D deficiency and hyperparathyroidism in relation to ethnicity: a cross-sectional survey in healthy adults.

Eur J Nutr 2009 Feb 21;48(1):31-7. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Route de Lennik 808, 1070, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: The study of vitamin D status at population level gained relevance since vitamin D deficiency was recently suggested to trigger chronic disease.

Aim Of The Study: We aimed to describe vitamin D status, its association with bone and mineral metabolism and risk factors for deficiency in adults over 40 years in Belgium.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in a stratified random sample of 401 subjects aged between 40 and 60 years living in Brussels, and drawn from 4 different ethnic backgrounds: autochthonous Belgian, Moroccan, Turkish and Congolese. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), parathyroid hormone (PTH), osteocalcin, C-telopeptide and bone mineral density was measured.

Results: Three-hundred and six subjects (77%) showed 25OHD concentrations below 50 nmol/l,135 (34%) below 25 nmol/l and 18 (5%) below 12.5 nmol/l. The proportion of subjects with vitamin D deficiency was four times greater amongst those of Moroccan or Turkish descent compared with those of Congolese or Belgian descent. Moroccan subjects showed a significant higher PTH and bone marker concentrations compared to Belgian. Ethnicity, season and sex were independently associated with vitamin D deficiency in multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is very high amongst the adult population of Brussels but immigrants are at greater risk. Given the established link between population health and adequate vitamin D status, a policy of vitamin D supplementation should be considered in these risk groups.
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February 2009

Acrylamide does not induce tumorigenesis or major defects in mice in vivo.

J Endocrinol 2008 Aug 15;198(2):301-7. Epub 2008 May 15.

Faculté de Médecine, Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (IRIBHM), Universtité Libre de Bruxelles, Campus Erasme, Route de Lennik 808, B 1070 Brussels, Belgium.

Chronic administration of acrylamide has been shown to induce thyroid tumors in rat. In vitro acrylamide also causes DNA damage, as demonstrated by the comet assay, in various types of cells including human thyroid cells and lymphocytes, as well as rat thyroid cell lines. In this work, mice were administered acrylamide in their drinking water in doses comparable with those used in rats, i.e., around 3-4 mg/kg per day for mice treated 2, 6, and 8 months. Some of the mice were also treated with thyroxine (T(4)) to depress the activity of the thyroid. Others were treated with methimazole that inhibits thyroid hormone synthesis and consequently secretion and thus induces TSH secretion and thyroid activation. These moderate treatments were shown to have their known effect on the thyroid (e.g. thyroid hormone and thyrotropin serum levels, thyroid gland morphology...). Besides, T(4) induced an important polydipsia and degenerative hypertrophy of adrenal medulla. Acrylamide exerted various discrete effects and at high doses caused peripheral neuropathy, as demonstrated by hind-leg paralysis. However, it did not induce thyroid tumorigenesis. These results show that the thyroid tumorigenic effects of acrylamide are not observed in another rodent species, the mouse, and suggest the necessity of an epidemiological study in human to conclude on a public health policy.
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August 2008

Relative adrenal insufficiency in patients with septic shock: comparison of low-dose and conventional corticotropin tests.

Crit Care Med 2005 Nov;33(11):2479-86

Department of Intensive Care, Erasme University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Objective: To compare a low-dose (1 microg) corticotropin stimulation test with the more standard (250 microg) test for the diagnosis of relative adrenal insufficiency.

Design: Diagnostic study.

Setting: Thirty-one-bed mixed medico-surgical department of intensive care.

Patients: Forty-six consecutive patients with septic shock.

Interventions: Corticotropin stimulation tests (low-dose test, 1 microg, and standard 250-microg test), performed consecutively at an interval >4 hrs.

Measurements And Main Results: In each test, serum cortisol levels were measured before (T0) and 30 (T30), 60 (T60), and 90 (T90) mins after corticotropin injection. The maximal increase in cortisol (Deltamax) was calculated as the difference between T0 and the highest cortisol value at T30, T60, or T90 and considered as adequate if >9 microg/dL (250 nmol/L). Nonresponders to the low-dose test had a lower survival rate than responders to both tests (27 vs. 47%, p = .06; Kaplan Meier curves). Interestingly, nonresponders to high-dose test received hydrocortisone treatment and had a similar survival to responders. Multivariable logistic regression disclosed that the response to the combined low-dose test and high-dose test was an independent predictor of survival (odds ratio 28.91, 95% confidence interval 1.81-462.70, p = .017), whereas basal or maximal cortisol levels in both tests were not.

Conclusions: The low-dose test identified a subgroup of patients in septic shock with inadequate adrenal reserve who had a worse outcome and would have been missed by the high-dose test. These patients may also benefit from glucocorticoid replacement therapy.
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November 2005

A controlled study of vitamin D3 to prevent bone loss in renal-transplant patients receiving low doses of steroids.

Transplantation 2005 Jan;79(1):108-15

Department of Nephrology, Hopital ULB-Erasme, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: New and potent immunosuppressive regimens allow for reduced doses of corticosteroids after renal transplantation. The aims of our study were to investigate whether the use of low-dose corticosteroids is associated with a reduction in posttransplant bone loss and to assess the ability of cholecalciferol supplementation to further decrease bone loss in this setting.

Methods: Ninety patients admitted for renal transplantation and scheduled to be treated per protocol with low doses of prednisolone were randomized to receive either 400 mg daily oral calcium (Ca group, n=44) or the same dose of calcium in association with a monthly dose of 25,000 IU of vitamin D3 (CaVitD group, n=46). Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual energy absorptiometry at baseline and at 1 year.

Results: The overall population experienced a moderate but significant -2.3+/-0.9% loss of lumbar spine BMD (P<0.01) but no bone loss at the femoral neck and shaft during the first posttransplant year. Bone loss tended to be slightly higher in the CaVitD group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Patients in the CaVitD group had significantly higher 25(OH) but not 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D levels. We observed a highly significant negative correlation between 25(OH) vitamin D and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) serum levels.

Conclusions: Kidney-transplant recipients receiving modern immunosuppressive regimens with low doses of corticosteroids experience only minimal loss of BMD during the first posttransplant year. Cholecalciferol supplementation did not prevent posttransplant bone loss but contributed to the normalization of iPTH levels after renal transplantation.
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January 2005

Relationship among maternal serum endocrinology, placental karyotype, and intervillous circulation in early pregnancy failure.

Fertil Steril 2003 Jun;79(6):1373-9

Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, UCL Campus, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: To evaluate the relationship among maternal serum endocrinology, placental karyotype, and intervillous blood flow in missed miscarriage.

Design: Cross-sectional study of maternal serum, transvaginal ultrasound/Doppler, and placental cytogenetic and immunohistochemical investigations.

Setting: Tertiary care academic hospital.

Patient(s): One hundred fifty-two women with missed miscarriage between 7 and 13 weeks of gestation.

Intervention(s): Ultrasound features, placental intervillous circulation findings on color Doppler imaging, and maternal serum level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-hCG, E(2), P, and inhibin A were compared retrospectively with placenta karyotype and hCG immunochemistry.

Main Outcome Measures: Data were analyzed according to karyotype results, presence or absence of an intervillous circulation, and delay between fetal demise and evacuation.

Result(s): The presence of intervillous blood flow and serum concentrations of the different hormones were independent of placental karyotype. Serum beta-hCG and P were significantly higher in cases with intervillous blood flow. No difference in immunostaining for beta-hCG was found between placental tissues from normal pregnancies and missed miscarriages, but significantly higher villous beta-hCG content was found on Western blotting in miscarriage with a recent fetal demise.

Conclusion(s): The excessive entry of maternal blood inside the placenta in the early stage of most miscarriages is unrelated to conceptus karyotype, and hCG features may reflect a temporary attempt of the trophoblast to stabilize after the initial oxidative insult.
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June 2003

Reference intervals for plasma homocysteine by the AxSYM immunoassay after collection in fluoride tubes.

Clin Chem 2003 Feb;49(2):315-7

Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 808 route de Lennik, B1070 Brussels, Belgium.

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February 2003

Fetal tissues are exposed to biologically relevant free thyroxine concentrations during early phases of development.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002 Apr;87(4):1768-77

Unidad de Endocrinología Molecular, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Maternal hypothyroxinemia in early pregnancy is often associated with irreversible effects on neuropsychomotor development. To evaluate fetal tissue exposure to maternal thyroid hormones up to midgestation, we measured total T(4) and free T(4) (FT(4)), T(3), rT(3), TSH, and possible binding proteins in first trimester coelomic and amniotic fluids and in amniotic fluid and fetal serum up to 17 wk. Samples were obtained before interruption of maternal-fetal connections. The concentrations in fetal compartments of T(4) and T(3) are more than 100-fold lower than those in maternal serum, and their biological relevance for fetal development might be questioned. We found, however, that in all fetal fluids the concentrations of T(4) available to developing tissues, namely FT(4), reach values that are at least one third of those biologically active in their euthyroid mothers. FT(4) levels in fetal fluids are determined by both their T(4)-binding protein composition and the T(4) or FT(4) in maternal serum. The binding capacity is determined ontogenically, is independent of maternal thyroid status, and is far in excess of the T(4) in fetal fluids. Thus, the availability of FT(4) for embryonic and fetal tissues would decrease in hypothyroxinemic women, even if they were euthyroid. A decrease in the availability of FT(4), a major precursor of intracellular nuclear receptor-bound T(3), may result in adverse effects on the timely sequence of developmental events in the human fetus. These findings ought to influence our present approach to maternal hypothyroxinemia in early pregnancy regardless of whether TSH is increased or whether overt or subclinical hypothyroidism is detected.
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April 2002