Centre of Endocrinology is one of the major endocrinology sites in Lithuania where modern and innovative laboratory, imaging and genetic technologies are applied for the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine diseases.

The Centre of Endocrinology consists of:

  1. Division of Endocrinology
  2. Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic includes:
  • Diabetic Foot Care Room 
  • Diabetes School 
  • Ultrasound Room 

Division of Endocrinology

Head of the Division is Assoc. Prof. Ž. Visockienė. The Division of Endocrinology currently has 30 beds which are designed for patients with various endocrine diseases. Patients suffering from diabetes, various thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, parathyroid and numerous rare endocrine diseases are examined and provided treatment accordingly. The Division has private wards (of increased comfort). Doctors endocrinologists work together with diabetes nurse, 10nurses and 4 nurse assistants who are guided by senior nursing administrator V. Senavaitiene.

Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic

The responsible senior doctor endocrinologist is R. Žiukaitė. Patients with various common and rare endocrine diseases from all over the country are consulted and treated at the Outpatient Clinic using modern diagnostic procedures and therapeutic approaches. Thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal ultrasounds, ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsies are performed and assessed. Doctors from all over the country can refer patients to the Clinic for the endocrinologist’s consultation.

We run clinics for patients with:

  • Gestational diabetes mellitus
  • Adrenal diseases
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Pituitary diseases
  • Rare endocrine diseases – multidisciplinary team consilium.

Diabetic Foot Care Room

Patients visit the Diabetic Foot Care Room to receive preventive and urgent treatment of the diabetic foot. Multidisciplinary team consisting of endocrinologist, diabetes nurse, traumatologist and vascular surgeon takes care of complicated diabetic foot and foot ulcer cases.

Diabetes School

Diabetes nurses G. Milošienė and B. Šepetienė individually meets with patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes and gives them consultations on an adequate diet, insulin and other injectable antidiabetic drug injection technique, insulin dose adjustment, hypoglycaemia recognition and self-help, monitoring and prevention of acute and chronic diabetic complications.

Ultrasound Room

Doctors R. Laukienė and V. Dunauskas perform thyroid, parathyroid gland and neck lymph node ultrasound examination. In case of suspicious findings an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy is performed in order to differentiate between benign and malignant thyroid diseases.

Endocrine diseases diagnosed and treated:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Chronic complications of diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Endocrine ophthalmopathy
  • Parathyroid diseases
  • Adrenal diseases
  • Pituitary and hypothalamic diseases
  • Hypogonadism
  • Rare endocrine diseases

Tests and treatment procedures:

  • Thyroid, neck lymph node, parathyroid gland ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy of thyroid nodules and cervical lymph nodes
  • Dinamic testing (including dexamethasone suppression, fasting, fluid deprivation, growth hormone stimulation, Synacten, intravenous saline infusion, captopril suppression tests)
  • Adrenal vein sampling
  • Sinus pertosus sampling
  • Insulin pump and continous glucose monitoring system settings
  • Professional pedicure provided by diabetes nurse
  • Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

 

Achievements
Main work areas of the Centre: diagnosis, treatment, long-term monitoring of diabetes mellitus and its complications, thyroid, adrenal, pituitary gland diseases, application of modern technology in the treatment and diagnostics of endocrine diseases.

Over the year, about 1,900 patients with various endocrine diseases receive treatment in the Division of Endocrinology. Diabetic patients get a blood glucose monitoring and the analysis of the results, setting of insulin pumps, they undergo testing for the detection of autoimmune and other specific types of diabetes. Patients and their relatives are trained to live with the disease and control it. We aim at offering the most modern and effective diabetes treatment.

Another concern and common pathology is endocrine ophthalmopathy (EO) which is diagnosed and treated in collaboration with ophthalmologists and radiologists. Magnetic resonance of the orbit and ophthalmometry is used to assess the severity of the condition, and intravenous steroid treatment is given in accordance with the latest international recommendations. If needed, orbital radiotherapy, decompression, eye muscle and eyelid plastic surgery are performed.

Adrenal pathology is diagnosed by doing hormone laboratory tests, dynamic testings, computed tomography, scintigraphy with labeled isotopes, and adrenal vein sampling. Up to 10 adrenal vein catheterizations are performed over the year, and the number of procedures is increasing. Before the intervention, patients are fully examined in collaboration with cardiologists, nephrologists, radiologists. If pheochromocytoma is suspected, after having hormonal tests, scintigraphy with the J131 MIBG or somatostatin receptor scintigraphy is done. Surgical treatment is discussed by the multidisciplinary team. If needed, surgical treatment is offered in the hospital's surgical departments.

Dynamic tests are performed in the case of suspected pituitary diseases. We closely collaborate with neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, and radiologists of our hospital. After neurosurgical operations patients are followed-up and treated in the Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic by experienced endocrinologists.

Secondary and tertiary level endocrinological health care services are provided in the Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic. The clinic has 8 rooms where the adult patients are given consultations. Every year about 30 000 patients visit the Clinic to receive diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus, thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary gland, adrenal diseases, rare endocrine syndromes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer immunotherapy -induced endocrinopathies.

Planning and supervision of pregnancy are offered for patients with diabetes by applying continuous glucose monitoring and setting of insulin pumps. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes and diabetes mellitus are monitored, trained and treated during the pregnancy closely cooperating with obstetrician gynecologists from the Perinatal Center and Pregnancy Pathology Department. About 1,600 consultations are held every year.

Diabetes education is provided in the Diabetes School. Diabetes nurses teach the patients about gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, provide information on nutrition, self-management, insulin injection techniques, the principles of insulin dose titration. About 2,000 patients are given consultations each year. The consultations are aimed not only at treatment but also at teaching to control diabetes. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the chronic complications of diabetes are offered, too.

Diabetic Foot Care Room provides diabetic foot care services. Preventive and curing treatment is provided for about 700 patients with diabetic foot during the year. In complicated cases, all necessary tests are done – Radiographic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Computed Tomography, microbiological cultures are taken from the ulcers, long-term treatment is applied. Vascular surgeons consult and perform surgical interventions in the case of peripheral vascular pathology. Cooperation with traumatologists is needed if there is pathology in the bones.

Ultrasound of the thyroid gland and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy in a liquid medium are performed the Centre. We cooperate with surgeons who perform thyroid and parathyroid operations. Nuclear medicine specialists, radiologists perform thyroid and parathyroid gland scintigraphy, apply radioactive iodine therapy according to the defined indications.

We collaborate closely with geneticists in cases of suspected hereditary endocrine diseases.

Since 2012, capillary blood glucose tests have been done for patients and visitors of the Hospital's Outpatient Clinic on World Diabetes Day (14th November). About 500 people are screened every year and those who have hyperglycemia are recommended further investigations. Lectures and educational activities in public places, on television and in the Press are initiated.
Scientific activity
The Centre of Endocrinology cooperates with scientists from Latvia, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Great Britain and other countries. We regularly participate in or organize scientific conferences, give lectures and present our experience in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various endocrine disorders. Two medical doctoral dissertations were prepared and defended in the Centre of Endocrinology. Three PhD students are currently performing their scientific research in the Centre. The employees of the Centre are members of editorial offices of various scientific and practical journals, regularly do educational work, publish articles on endocrinology in the media and participate in related TV programmes.

As partners, the Staff of the Centre of Endocrinology participate in scientific projects of other centres of VUH or other medical institutions of the country.

In addition to the clinical work, doctors regularly participate in II-IV phase international clinical trials. More than 30 clinical trials on endocrine diseases and metabolic disorders were performed in the Centre of Endocrinology.

The main research interest of the Centre is related to diabetes and complications, gestational diabetes, thyroid cancer, rare endocrine diseases.

Currently we run the following biomedical clinical trials at the Centre of Endocrinology:
  • Risk of diabetes amongst women with gestational diabetes (DIARIND). 2018-2034. Principal investigator Assoc. prof. Ž. Visockienė
  • Long-term follow-up of patients with endocrine diseases. 2018-2030. Principal investigator R. Laukienė
  • Influence of genetic, epigenetic and lifestyle on the development of diabetes complications. 2019-2032. Principal investigator Assoc. prof. Ž. Visockienė
Teaching activity
The Centre of Endocrinology is a training base of Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine (VU MF), Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Oncology Clinic. Endocrinology knowledge is acquired there by VU MF students of clinical medicine.

Endocrinology seminars are held in the Centre of Endocrinology for the MF students. The staff of the Clinic has prepared an extensive study programme of Endocrinology for medical students. In the Centre, more than 200 students (both Lithuanian and international) study over the year. Student Scientific Society’s (Lith. Studentų mokslinė draugija SMD) endocrinology group is actively operating and doing scientific work.

Every year new doctors endocrinologists are prepared in the residency of endocrinology. In recent years doctors residents have been accepted in the residency of endocrinology on a regular basis.  The Centre also accepts residents from other major field of Internal Medicine to follow the residency programme.

Doctors endocrinologists and other internal medicine physicians from all over Lithuania come to the Clinic for regular professional education. They attend training courses on diabetes, thyroid and other endocrine diseases.

Currently Assoc. Prof. Ž. Visockienė, Assoc. Prof. V. Urbanavičius, A.Abraitienė, A. Galkinė, R. Laukienė, G. Naskauskienė, K. Švaikevičienė and L. Šaulienė work with medical students and postgraduate training attendees in the Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Oncology Clinic.
Last edited: 2021-07-20
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