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Am J Cardiol. 2008 Mar 1;101(5):618-24. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2007.09.114. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Effects of oral testosterone treatment on myocardial perfusion and vascular function in men with low plasma testosterone and coronary heart disease.

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Cardiac Medicine, Royal Brompton Campus, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Intracoronary testosterone infusions induce coronary vasodilatation and increase coronary blood flow. Longer term testosterone supplementation favorably affected signs of myocardial ischemia in men with low plasma testosterone and coronary heart disease. However, the effects on myocardial perfusion are unknown. Effects of longer term testosterone treatment on myocardial perfusion and vascular function were investigated in men with CHD and low plasma testosterone. Twenty-two men (mean age 57 +/- 9 [SD] years) were randomly assigned to oral testosterone undecanoate (TU; 80 mg twice daily) or placebo in a crossover study design. After each 8-week period, subjects underwent at rest and adenosine-stress first-pass myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance, pulse-wave analysis, and endothelial function measurements using radial artery tonometry, blood sampling, anthropomorphic measurements, and quality-of-life assessment. Although no difference was found in global myocardial perfusion after TU compared with placebo, myocardium supplied by unobstructed coronary arteries showed increased perfusion (1.83 +/- 0.9 vs 1.52 +/- 0.65; p = 0.037). TU decreased basal radial and aortic augmentation indexes (p = 0.03 and p = 0.02, respectively), indicating decreased arterial stiffness, but there was no effect on endothelial function. TU significantly decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increased hip circumference, but had no effect on hemostatic factors, quality of life, and angina symptoms. In conclusion, oral TU had selective and modest enhancing effects on perfusion in myocardium supplied by unobstructed coronary arteries, in line with previous intracoronary findings. The TU-related decrease in basal arterial stiffness may partly explain previously shown effects of exogenous testosterone on signs of exercise-induced myocardial ischemia.

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