Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946)

[Isolated gonadotropic deficiency after multiple concussions in a professional soccer player].

PMID 23589045


A 27-year-old man was admitted to our outpatient clinic with symptoms of loss at libido, erectile dysfunction and fatigue. He had been playing soccer from the age of 7, for the last 10 years as a high-level professional. During that time repeated mild head-trauma without loss of consciousness had occurred, mainly triggered by excessive header-training and occasional collisions. Serum levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone were low. A gonadotropin releasing hormone loading test revealed significant gonadotropin responses, therefore pituitary gonadotropic insufficiency was unlikely. Further pituitary insufficiency of any other axis was also excluded by insulin hypoglycemia test. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed no significant abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary unit. Testosterone substitution, at first applied transdermally, then intramuscularly, was initiated after approval by the National Anti Doping Agency. Four months later most of the symptoms had regressed. Pituitary deficiency in the course of craniocerebral trauma is frequent and may be transient or permanent, mostly affecting somatotropic or gonadotropic function. Hormonal imbalances may also be observed after mild but repeated trauma without loss of consciousness and should be considered in cases of isolated pituitary dysfunction, since such traumas may often occur in contacts sports such as boxing or intensive soccer play.