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Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2014 Jan;20(1):22-30. doi: 10.1177/1076029613485154. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Testosterone, thrombophilia, and thrombosis.

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1The Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


We describe thrombosis, deep venous thrombosis (DVT) pulmonary embolism (PE; n = 9) and hip-knee osteonecrosis (n = 5) that developed after testosterone therapy (median 11 months) in 14 previously healthy patients (13 men and 1 woman; 13 Caucasian and 1 African American), with no antecedent thrombosis and previously undiagnosed thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis. Of the 14 patients, 3 were found to be factor V Leiden heterozygotes, 3 had high factor VIII, 3 had plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 4G4G homozygosity, 2 had high factor XI, 2 had high homocysteine, 1 had low antithrombin III, 1 had the lupus anticoagulant, 1 had high anticardiolipin antibody Immunoglobulin G, and 1 had no clotting abnormalities. In 4 men with thrombophilia, DVT-PE recurred when testosterone was continued despite therapeutic international normalized ratio on warfarin. In 60 men on testosterone, 20 (33%) had high estradiol (E2 >42.6 pg/mL). When exogenous testosterone is aromatized to E2, and E2-induced thrombophilia is superimposed on thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis, thrombosis occurs. The DVT-PE and osteonecrosis after starting testosterone are associated with previously undiagnosed thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis. Thrombophilia should be ruled out before administration of exogenous testosterone.


anticoagulants; blood coagulation factors; clinical thrombophilia; deep venous thrombosis; endocrinology; hypercoagulability; testosterone

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