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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2019 Aug 13. doi: 10.1111/cen.14075. [Epub ahead of print]

Male sickle cell patients, compensated transpubertal hypogonadism and normal final growth.

Author information

1
Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
2
Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Investigate the gonadal hormonal function in sickle cell individuals.

CONTEXT:

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with delayed physical and sexual development, and it has been related to both primary testicular failure and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis abnormalities.

DESIGN:

The study of the pituitary gonadotrophin reserve were done evaluating the hormonal levels before and after stimulation by gonadoliberin.

PATIENTS:

Male patients with homozygous SCD (18 to 39 years, median = 29.5 years).

MEASUREMENTS:

Gonadal function was evaluated through clinical parameters and the hormonal quantification.

RESULTS:

Although low bodyweight and other clinical signs of undernutrition such as clinical hypoandrogenism and the extreme retardation of puberty were seen in these patients, final stature and hormonal testicular reserve to hCG stimulation were proved to be normal according to our previous data. In the present investigation, the basal luteotropic gonadotropin (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone (T) levels were similar between the patients and controls. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels - used as a biochemical marker of androgenicity, mainly in puberty - were lower in the patients than in the controls and were only correlated with T. A subtle abnormality in the pituitary responsivity to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was disclosed, with a higher response to LH 60 minutes after stimulation in patients than in controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data, in addition to both the clinical and biochemical signs of hypoandrogenism associated with normal to elevated T levels strongly suggest a peripheral origin of hypogonadism, which is probably due to androgen resistance in the patients with SCD.

KEYWORDS:

hypoandrogenism; pituitary hormonal function; pubertal development; sickle cell disease

PMID:
31408198
DOI:
10.1111/cen.14075

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