The vulnerable man: impact of testosterone deficiency on the uraemic phenotype

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Nov;27(11):4030-41. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs383. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism is a common finding in men undergoing dialysis, to a great extent a consequence of the failing kidney per se. Testosterone restoration in hypogonadism is common practice among endocrinologists. However, there is currently little awareness of this condition among both uremic patients and nephrologists, and in many cases, testosterone deficiency remains unscreened and untreated. This review article summarizes our current understanding of the role of testosterone deficiency at the crossroad of cardiometabolic complications of patients with chronic kidney disease. Pathways discussed include, among others, the plausible role of testosterone deficiency in the development of anaemia and ESA hyporesponsiveness, muscle catabolism, endothelial dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, decreased libido, cardiovascular disease and mortality. As there are limited sources to guide decision-making, we also review existing testosterone replacement therapy studies in the context of CKD as well as considerations for side and adverse effects. This review makes a case for consideration of screening and better management of hypogonadism in men undergoing dialysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / complications*
  • Hypogonadism / drug therapy
  • Hypogonadism / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / deficiency*
  • Uremia / complications*
  • Uremia / therapy


  • Testosterone