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The Relationship of Testosterone to Prostate-Specific Antigen in Men with Sexual Dysfunction


Mario Maggi, MD, Clinical Physiopathology, Andrology Unit, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, 6 Florence Italy 50139, Viale Pieraccini,Florence, 50139, Italy. Tel: 39 0554271415; Fax: 39 0554271413; E-mail: m.maggi@DFC.UNIFI.IT


Introduction.  Concern about a testosterone (T)-induced prostate-specific antigen (PSA) increase is often perceived as one of the main limitations in treating hypogonadism even when it is symptomatic, such as in subjects with sexual dysfunction (SD).

Aim.  The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between T and PSA levels in subjects with SD.

Methods.  We retrospectively evaluated the relationship between T and PSA in 2,291 subjects seeking medical care at our outpatient clinic for SD (sample A). The analysis was then repeated in a selected subpopulation of 1,421 subjects apparently free from prostatic diseases (sample B).

Main Outcome Measures.  The specific association between PSA levels, circulating androgens, and different clinical signs and symptoms of hypogonadism, as assessed by ANDROTEST structured interview, was evaluated.

Results.  In both samples A and B, subjects with higher PSA levels reported a lower prevalence of hypogonadism-related symptoms and signs, as well as higher total testosterone (TT), and analogue and calculated free T. However, when the association between PSA and T was evaluated as a function of T deciles, the upper nine groups had similar PSA values, with the lowest demonstrated a significantly reduced PSA (the lowest vs. the rest of the sample: 0.61[0.38–1.23] ng/mL vs. 0.86[0.57–1.44] ng/mL, and 0.51[0.30–0.94] ng/mL vs. 0.73[0.52–1.10] ng/mL, respectively, for samples A and B; both P < 0.0001). Furthermore, when the relationship between hypogonadism (TT < 8 nmol/L) and PSA levels was evaluated according to age, it was significant only in younger subjects, but not in the older ones.

Conclusions.  Our data demonstrated that PSA is unrelated to T concentration across most of the T range, except for the most severely T deficient, and that a significant relationship between T and PSA is seen in younger but not in older men. Corona G, Boddi V, Lotti F, Gacci M, Carini M, De Vita G, Sforza A, Forti G, Mannucci E, and Maggi M. The relationship of testosterone to prostate-specific antigen in men with sexual dysfunction. J Sex Med 2010;7:284–292.