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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Feb 7. pii: dgz324. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgz324. [Epub ahead of print]
Rate and Extent of Recovery from Reproductive and Cardiac Dysfunction Due to Androgen Abuse in Men.
Shankara-Narayana N1, Yu C2, Savkovic S1, Desai R1, Fennell C1, Turner L1, Jayadev V1, Conway AJ1, Kockx M2, Ridley L3, Kritharides L2, Handelsman DJ1.

Androgen abuse impairs male reproductive and cardiac function but the rate, extent and determinants of recovery are not understood.


To investigate recovery of male reproductive and cardiac function after ceasing androgen intake in current and past androgen abusers compared with healthy non-users.


Cross-sectional, observational study recruited via social media 41 current and 31 past users (≥3 months since last use, median 300 days since last use) with 21 healthy, eugonadal non-users. Each provided a history, examination, serum and semen sample and underwent testicular ultrasound, body composition analysis and cardiac function evaluation.


Current abusers had suppressed reproductive function, impaired cardiac systolic function and lipoprotein parameters compared with non or past users. Past users did not differ from non-users suggesting full recovery of suppressed reproductive and cardiac functions after ceasing androgen abuse, other than residual reduced testicular volume. Mean time to recovery was faster for reproductive hormones (AMH, 7.3 months; LH, 10.7 months) than for sperm variables (output, 14.1 months) whereas spermatogenesis (serum FSH, inhibin B, inhibin) took longer. The duration of androgen abuse was the only other variable associated with slower recovery of sperm output (but not hormones).


Suppressed testicular and cardiac function due to androgen abuse is effectively fully reversible (apart from testis volume and serum SHBG) with recovery taking between 6 to 18 months after ceasing androgen intake with possible cumulative effects on spermatogenesis. Suppressed serum AMH, LH and FSH represent convenient, useful and underutilized markers of recovery from androgen abuse.


PMID: 32030409

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