Transgender Males on Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy and Hepatobiliary Neoplasms: A Systematic Review

Endocr Pract. 2023 Oct;29(10):822-829. doi: 10.1016/j.eprac.2023.05.011. Epub 2023 Jun 5.


Objective: Behavioral therapy, gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), and surgery are all components of a successful gender transition, but due to a historical lack of access, there is paucity of long-term data in this population. We sought to better characterize the risk of hepatobiliary neoplasms in transgender males undergoing GAHT with testosterone.

Methods: In addition to the 2 case reports, a systematic literature review of hepatobiliary neoplasms in the setting of testosterone administration or endogenous overproduction across indications was conducted. The medical librarian created search strategies using keywords and controlled vocabulary in Ovid Medline,, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and A total of 1273 unique citations were included in the project library. All unique abstracts were reviewed, and abstracts were selected for complete review. Inclusion criteria were articles reporting cases of hepatobiliary neoplasm development in patients with exogenous testosterone administration or endogenous overproduction. Non-English language articles were excluded. Cases were collated into tables based on indication.

Results: Forty-nine papers had cases of hepatocellular adenoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, or other biliary neoplasm in the setting of testosterone administration or endogenous overproduction. These 49 papers yielded 62 unique cases.

Conclusion: Results of this review are not sufficient to conclude that there is an association between GAHT and hepatobiliary neoplasms. This supports current evaluation and screening guidelines for initiation and continuation of GAHT in transgender men. The heterogeneity of testosterone formulations limits the translation of risks of hepatobiliary neoplasms in other indications to GAHT.

Keywords: biliary tract neoplasms; gender-affirming hormone therapy; liver neoplasms; testosterone; transgender persons.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use
  • Transgender Persons*


  • Testosterone