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      Testosterone Deficiency and Replacement

      ,

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Replacement, Hypogonadism, Deficiency, Testosterone

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          Abstract

          In the human male, testosterone is the major circulating androgen. More than 95% of circulating testosterone is secreted by the testis with a production rate of 6–7 mg/day. The clinical effects of androgens are numerous, and testosterone deficiency is associated with a number of clinical abnormalities. Overt hypogonadism results in reductions in bone mineral density, alterations in body composition and effects on mood, aggressive behaviour, cognitive function, sexual function and several factors important for cardiovascular risk. Androgen replacement in this context is clearly beneficial, and numerous studies have demonstrated improvements in bone and muscle mass, reductions in body fat, and positive effects on quality of life following treatment. The benefits of therapy in men with milder degrees of hypogonadism, and elderly men with ‘physiological’ testosterone deficiency, are less clear-cut, and the appropriate biochemical cut-off below which replacement should be offered has not been clearly defined. Several options are available for androgen replacement in adult men. Oral testosterone, intramuscular injections, subcutaneous implants and transdermal therapy have all been used. Each mode of delivery has advantages and drawbacks and the choice between them will often depend on patient reference. Recent advances include the development of longer-acting intramuscular preparations, which offer more stable androgen levels with fairly infrequent injections, and testosterone gel which appears to provide transdermal replacement without a high incidence of skin reactions. This article will examine the evidence concerning the impact of male hypogonadism and the response to androgen therapy. The question of who to treat will be addressed with particular reference to mild hypogonadism and hypogonadism in the elderly. Finally, an overview of the different modes of replacement therapy will be presented.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          HRE
          Horm Res Paediatr
          10.1159/issn.1663-2818
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-7369-6
          978-3-318-00810-4
          1663-2818
          1663-2826
          2001
          January 2002
          17 November 2004
          : 56
          : Suppl 1
          : 86-92
          Affiliations
          Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK
          Article
          48142 Horm Res 2001;56(suppl 1):86–92
          10.1159/000048142
          11786693
          © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          References: 60, Pages: 7
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