European journal of medical research

Effects of various modes of androgen substitution therapy on erythropoiesis.

PMID 9233903


In order to investigate differential effects of androgens on erythropoiesis, 55 men with clincally and biochemical confirmed hypogonadism were randomly assigned to 4 groups receiving different forms of androgen substitution: Mesterolone (MES) 100 mg/d, testosterone undecanoate (TU) 160 mg/d, testosterone enanthate (TE) 250 mg i.m./21 days or 1200 mg crystalline testosterone (TPEL) subcutaneously implanted at study begin. Previous testosterone medication had been suspended at least 3 months prior to study begin. Testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), hemoglobin (HB) and hematocrit (HC) were assessed before, during and after substitution of androgens. MES did not increase serum T and TU raised average T levels during substitution to 5.7 +/- 0.3 nmol/l, thereby doubling baseline concentrations. TE resulted in a 6fold increase of baseline T yielding 13.5 +/- 0.7 nmol/l and TPEL increased serum T 8.5fold to 23.2 +/- 1.1 nmol/l. Average DHT levels during substitution were 4.3 +/- 0.2 (MES), 3.3 +/- 0.2 (TU), 4.0 +/- 0.4 (TE) and 5.5 +/- 0.4 (TPEL) nmol/l. The groups receiving TPEL, TU or TE showed a significant rise of HB and HC compared to baseline, whereas in the MES group these parameters did not change significantly. MES increased HB by 5.6 +/- 1.8 g/l, TU by 12.7 +/- 2.8 g/l, TE by 21.1 +/- 2.6 g/l and TPEL by 21.7 +/- 4.0 g/l. HC was raised by 1.8 +/- 0. 4% in the MES group, 3.9 +/- 1.1% in the TU group and 6.4 +/- 0.9% and 6.5 +/- 1.6% in the TE and TPEL groups, respectively. Except for 1 subject in the TPEL group, the HB and HC stayed within the normal limits. We conclude that, T, but not DHT, stimulates erythropoiesis in a dose dependent manner. T levels within the low normal range for men are required for maximal stimulation of erythropoiesis.

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Mesterolone, analytical standard