Introduction: Testosterone deficiency (TD), also known as hypogonadism, is a condition affecting a substantial proportion of men as they age. The diagnosis and management of TD can be challenging and clinicians should be aware of the current literature on this condition.
Aim: To review the available literature concerning the diagnosis and management of TD and to provide clinically relevant recommendations from the Fourth International Consultation for Sexual Medicine (ICSM) meeting.
Methods: A literature search was performed using the PubMed database for English-language original and review articles published or e-published up to January 2016.
Main outcome measures: Levels of evidence (LoEs) and grades of recommendations are provided based on a thorough analysis of the literature and committee consensus.
Results: Recommendations were given for 12 categories of TD: definition, clinical diagnosis, routine measurement, screening questionnaires, laboratory diagnosis, threshold levels for the biochemical diagnosis of TD, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, fertility, testosterone (T) formulations, alternatives to T therapy, and adverse events and monitoring. A total of 42 recommendations were made: of these, 16 were unchanged from the Third ICSM and 26 new recommendations were made during this Fourth ICSM. Most of these recommendations were supported by LoEs 2 and 3. Several key new recommendations include the following: (i) the clinical manifestations of TD occur as a result of decreased serum androgen concentrations or activity, regardless of whether there is an identified underlying etiology [LoE = 1, Grade = A]; (ii) symptomatic men with total T levels lower than 12 nmol/L or 350 ng/dL should be treated with T therapy [LoE = 1, Grade = C]; (iii) a trial of T therapy in symptomatic men with total T levels higher than 12 nmol/L or 350 ng/dL can be considered based on clinical presentation [LoE = 3, Grade = C]; (iv) there is no compelling evidence that T treatment increases the risk of developing prostate cancer or that its use is associated with prostate cancer progression [LoE = 1, Grade = C]; and (v) the weight of evidence indicates that T therapy is not associated with increased cardiovascular risk [LoE = 2, Grade = B].
Conclusion: TD is an important condition that can profoundly affect the sexual health of men. We provide guidance regarding its diagnosis and management. Men with TD who receive treatment often experience resolution or improvement in their sexual symptoms and non-sexual health benefits.
Keywords: Androgens; Cardiovascular Disease; Hypogonadism; Prostate Cancer; Testosterone Deficiency.
Copyright Â© 2016 International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.