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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2006 Aug;85(8):678-84; quiz 685-7.

Testosterone levels among men with spinal cord injury admitted to inpatient rehabilitation.

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Department of Health Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.



Although previous research has shown an association between spinal cord injury (SCI) and testosterone production, these studies have yielded inconsistent results. The present study documented the prevalence of low testosterone among men with SCI.


Participants were 92 men with SCI participating in inpatient rehabilitation. Data included total serum testosterone level, demographic and injury information, neurologic level and degree of incomplete function, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade, and additional laboratory values, including prealbumin, albumin, hematocrit, and aspartate aminotransferase.


The median testosterone level for men who sustained injuries <4 mos earlier was 160 ng/dl. Testosterone categories were significantly associated with age, time since injury, hematocrit, albumin level, and aspartate aminotransferase in the univariate analyses. Age, time since injury, and hematocrit levels were significant predictors of low testosterone in the multivariate analysis.


The prevalence of low testosterone among men with acute SCI seems to be high. The results suggest the need for routine screening for low testosterone among men with SCI and consideration given to testosterone replacement therapy. Future research is needed to investigate the etiology, pathogenesis, and potential avenues for treatment of low testosterone among men with SCI.

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