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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1995 Aug;16(2):253-9.

Gonadal function and psychosexual adjustment in male long-term survivors of bone marrow transplantation.

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Department of Nursing Studies, Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK.


Gonadal function and psychosexual adjustment were evaluated in 29 male patients after autologous and allogeneic BMT (mean post-BMT time 35.6 months). Patients were divided into groups according to their interval from transplant in order to evaluate gonadal function throughout the post-BMT years. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) were normal throughout the post-BMT years. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) were increased throughout the years after BMT, suggesting moderate compensated hypogonadism. Hyperprolactinaemia was observed only in the 2nd year post-BMT and testosterone levels were normal, suggesting that Leydig cells can withstand alkylating agents or TBI. Psychosexual functioning in BMT survivors was compared with that of a group of mixed-diagnosis cancer patients (n = 30) and a group of healthy young subjects (n = 119). Long-term BMT survivors had similar psychosexual adjustment to that of other cancer patients who had received less intensive chemotherapy. Half the patients were dissatisfied with their current sex life. Major problems included impotence/erectile difficulties (37.9%), low sexual desire (37.9%) and altered body image (20.7%). However, both BMT survivors and cancer patients had significantly higher psychosexual dysfunction compared with healthy subjects. The type of chemotherapy, TBI (either single-dose or fractionated), type of transplant and post-BMT time did not correlate with either gonadal or psychosexual functioning.

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