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Arch Sex Behav. 1990 Jun;19(3):223-34.

Effects of androgen treatment in impotent men with normal and low levels of free testosterone.

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Department of Endocrinology, University of Modena, Italy.


The relation between sexual function and serum free testosterone (fT) levels, which represent the active fraction of circulating testosterone, was evaluated. Two groups of impotent male subjects with mild hypogonadism were treated with oral testosterone undecanoate (TU); these men presented with tT/luteinizing hormone (LH) ratio and tT levels at the lower limits of normal. The first group had serum fT below 6.6 ng/ml, considered the lower normal value, according to our laboratory method, whereas the second group had normal fT limits. Administration of TU improved sexual function only in impotent men with low fT levels, but not in subjects with normal fT levels, even though the tT levels and the tT/LH ratio of the two groups were not significantly different. The results of our study suggest the presence of a minimum serum fT threshold, lying near the lower normal range, which determines the male sexual function. Moreover, serum fT levels were a more sensitive index than tT for identifying impotent men who can be successfully treated with androgens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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