Serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone strongly correlates with intratesticular testosterone in gonadotropin-suppressed normal men receiving various dosages of human chorionic gonadotropin.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if serum concentrations of testosterone precursors would correlate with intratesticular testosterone (ITT) concentration measured directly by testicular aspiration and allow for a less invasive means of inferring ITT. DESIGN: Controlled clinical study. SETTING: Healthy volunteers in an academic research environment. PATIENT(S): Twenty-nine normal men. INTERVENTION(S): We determined ITT concentration by testicular aspiration before and after treatment in men receiving exogenous T to block endogenous gonadotropin production and randomly assigned to one of four doses of hCG (0, 125 IU, 250 IU, or 500 IU every other day) for 3 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The association between serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17OH-P), androstenedione, and DHEA and ITT. RESULT(S): With T administration alone, serum 17OH-P decreased significantly and increased significantly when 500 IU hCG was administered. End-of-treatment ITT strongly correlated with serum 17OH-P. Moreover, serum 17OH-P, but not androstenedione or DHEA, was independently associated with end-of-treatment ITT by multivariate linear regression. CONCLUSION(S): Serum 17OH-P is highly correlated with ITT in gonadotropin-suppressed normal men receiving T and stimulated with hCG. Serum 17OH-P is a surrogate biomarker of ITT and may be useful in research and in men receiving gonadotropin therapy for infertility.
Amory, JK; Coviello, AD; Page, ST; Anawalt, BD; Matsumoto, AM; Bremner, WJ
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