Effect of exogenous glucocorticoids on male hypogonadism
- Adel Gassab Mohammed
- Abbas Ali Mansour
- Jawad Hassan Ahmed
Affiliations: Thi‑Qar Specialized Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism Center, Endocrine and Metabolism Division, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Thi‑Qar, Nasiriyah, Thi‑Qar 64001, Iraq, Faiha Specialized Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism Center, Endocrine and Metabolism Division, Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Basrah, Basrah 61013, Iraq
- Published online on: June 26, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2020.1319
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exogenous glucocorticoids (GCs), a potent cause of male hypogonadism, on the function of the hypothalamic‑pituitary‑gonadal axis, and to determine their secondary effects in male patients. The present study was a case‑controlled study conducted in Basrah, Iraq. Of the 152 participants who met the inclusion criteria, 100 patients used different types of GCs. Of these 100 patients, 57 patients (57%) were current GC users, and 43 patients (43%) were not currently using GCs (had not used GCs in the past 30 days). The control group was comprised of 52 men (34.21%), considered as healthy participants, although 7 men (13.65%) were biochemically diagnosed with hypogonadism. Current GC exposure significantly decreased the total and free testosterone levels, whereas previous GC exposure increased estradiol (E2) levels, with the 31 patients on oral dexamethasone (cumulative dose, 18.9 mg) exhibiting a 7.5‑fold increased risk of being diagnosed with hypogonadism. For previous GC users, a significant increase in the E2 level was observed, whereas all other gonadal hormonal levels were within normal reference ranges, including the total and free testosterone levels. The total cumulative dose of equivalent GCs was 240 mg, which resulted in a decrease in total testosterone levels, and subsequent hypogonadism. Oral dexamethasone at a lower total cumulative dose resulted in hypogonadism.