Dimitrios Karakitsos a, d , Alexandros P. Patrianakos b , Eric De Groot g , John Boletis e , Andreas Karabinis d , John Kyriazis f , George Samonis c , Frangiskos I. Parthenakis b , Panos E. Vardas b , Eugene Daphnis a
19 January 2007
Objectives and Methods: Two thirds of men with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have serum testosterone levels in the hypogonadal range. We examined if low serum testoster- one levels were correlated with measures of endothelial dysfunction in ESKD. Bilateral common carotid artery (CCA) intima-media thickness (IMT) and atherosclerotic plaque occurrence, left ventricular mass index, flow- (FMD) and nitrate-mediated vasodilatation (NMD) of the brachial artery were determined by ultrasound imaging in 100 nondiabetic men with ESKD (50 men exhibited androgen deficiency; serum testosterone concentrations <300 ng/dl). Results: Left-ventricular mass index, CCA diameter, CCA-IMT and atherosclerotic plaque occurrence were all significantly increased in ESKD patients with androgen deficiency compared with patients without androgen deficiency (p < 0.05). Also, FMD and NMD measurements were significantly reduced in the former compared with the latter (p < 0.05). Testosterone levels were inversely correlated with age and duration of hemodialysis therapy (r = –0.44 and r = –0.55; p < 0.001). Testosterone levels were negatively correlated to CCA-IMT and atherosclerotic plaque occurrence in patients with androgen deficiency (r = –0.32, p < 0.003, and r = –0.23, p < 0.04, respectively). FMD and NMD measurements were positively correlated to total (r = 0.65 and r = 0.61; both p < 0.0001) and free (r = 0.52 and r = 0.48; both p < 0.001) testosterone levels in patients with low androgenicity. Conclusion: The present results indicated that ESKD patients with androgen deficiency had increased CCA-IMT, atherosclerotic plaque occurrence and reduced FMD and NMD compared with patients without androgen deficiency. Testosterone serum levels were negatively correlated to CCA-IMT and positively correlated to endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in ESKD patients with androgen deficiency.