Reduction of serum testosterone levels during chronic glucocorticoid therapy

M. R. MacAdams, Richard H White, B. E. Chipps

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288 Scopus citations


The effect of chronic glucocorticoid therapy on serum testosterone levels was studied in men aged 67 ± 4 (SD) years with chronic pulmonary disease. The serum testosterone level was reduced in 14 of 16 patients to a mean value of 211 ± 93 ng/dL, compared with 449 ± 111 ng/dL in 11 age- and disease-matched control patients (p < 0.001). The corticosteroid dosage and the serum testosterone level were inversely related (r = -0.78). Testosterone binding to serum proteins was not significantly affected. Basal gonadotrophin levels were not elevated while their secretory responses to exogenous gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) were intact. We conclude that glucocorticoid therapy commonly reduces serum testosterone levels in older men due to alteration of hypothalamic GnRH secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-651
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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