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Respir Med. 2007 Dec;101(12):2502-10. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

Hypogonadism in male outpatients with sarcoidosis.

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Department of Research, Development & Education, Centre for Integrated Rehabilitation of Organ failure (CIRO), Hornerheide 1, 6085 NM, Horn, The Netherlands.


Hypogonadism is assumed to be present in sarcoidosis. Nevertheless, a comparison of circulating sex hormone concentrations of male sarcoidosis patients with those of healthy men has never been done. Moreover, it remains unknown if hypogonadism may contribute to a reduced muscle function, exercise intolerance, diminished vitality and depressed mood in male sarcoidosis patients. Pulmonary function, muscle function, exercise tolerance, vitality, mood, circulating sex hormone concentrations and C-reactive protein were assessed in 30 male sarcoidosis patients and 26 age-matched men with a normal pulmonary function. On average, patients had a restrictive pulmonary function, worse inspiratory and quadriceps muscle function, functional exercise intolerance, diminished vitality, depressed mood and increased systemic inflammation. Moreover, patients had significantly lower circulating (free) testosterone concentrations, while circulating sex hormone-binding globulin tended to be lower (p=0.0515). Circulating gonadotrophin concentrations were comparable. Non-significant relationships were found between sex hormones, clinical outcomes and C-reactive protein in patients with sarcoidosis. A significant number of male outpatients with sarcoidosis (46.7%) had low circulating testosterone concentrations, which was most probably caused by hypogonadotrophism. The clinical relevance of hypogonadism in male outpatients with sarcoidosis, however, remains currently unknown. Indeed, poor inspiratory and quadriceps muscle function, exercise intolerance, diminished vitality and depressed mood were not related to hypogonadism in these patients.

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