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Asian J Androl. 2019 Jul 5. doi: 10.4103/aja.aja_68_19. [Epub ahead of print]

Histologically proven hepatic steatosis associates with lower testosterone levels in men with obesity.

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Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Pathology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Hepathology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Clinical Biology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Gastro-Intestinal Surgery, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Men with obesity often present with low testosterone (T) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. Several mechanisms for this have been proposed, but as SHBG is secreted by hepatocytes and sex steroids undergo hepatic metabolization, this study investigates whether severity and histological components of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are associated with sex steroid levels in obese men. This cross-sectional study included 80 obese men (age: 46 ± 11 years; body mass index: 42.2 ± 5.5 kg m-2). Serum levels of total T and estradiol (E2) were measured using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectroscopy (LC/MS-MS) and SHBG and gonadotropins by immunoassay. Liver biopsies were evaluated using Steatosis, Activity, and Fibrosis scoring. Participants with steatohepatitis had similar median (1stquartile-3rd quartile) total T levels (7.6 [5.0-11.0] nmol l-1 vs 8.2 [7.2-10.9] nmol l-1; P = 0.147), lower calculated free T (cFT) levels (148.9 [122.9-188.8] pmol l-1 vs 199.5 [157.3-237.6] pmol l-1; P = 0.006), and higher free E2/T ratios (10.0 [6.4-13.9] x10-3 vs 7.1 [5.7-10.7] x10-3.


male hypogonadism; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; obesity; sex steroids; steatosis; testosterone

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