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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1994 May;13(5):519-22.

Germ cell failure and Leydig cell insufficiency in post-pubertal males after autologous bone marrow transplantation with BEAM for lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, London, UK.


Thirteen post-pubertal male patients aged 17-25 years were assessed for pituitary-gonadal function 0-3 months prior to and 2-3 months post-bone marrow transplantation for haematological malignancy. All patients had multiagent cytotoxic treatment prior to transplantation and 30% were found to have germ cell dysfunction with abnormal semen parameters before high-dose therapy indicating damage to the germinal epithelium. They also had evidence of reduced Leydig cell reserve even before transplantation. During transplantation all patients sustained sustained gonadal injury, the effect on their germ cells being more pronounced than on the Leydig cells. Fifty per cent had reduction in testicular volume and all had azoospermia 2-3 months post-transplantation. Our results indicate that short-term chemoradiotherapy causes profound damage to the germ cell compartment of the testis, with less severe damage to the Leydig cells, but no overt injury to the anterior pituitary gland. The changes appeared to be identical in patients conditioned with total body irradiation-based protocols and those who received only high-dose chemotherapy prior to bone marrow transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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