Hypogonadism is not related to the etiology of liver cirrhosis

J Gastroenterol. 1995 Dec;30(6):745-50. doi: 10.1007/BF02349641.


We investigated the clinical and laboratory findings of hypogonadism and feminization in male patients with viral or alcoholic cirrhosis to determine whether chronic liver disease plays a primary role in the development of sexual dysfunction and hormonal changes. Two groups of male patients with liver cirrhosis (23 alcoholic, 33 viral) age- and Child's grade-matched, and 20 age-matched healthy men, as a control group, were included in this study. Clinical signs of hypogonadism and feminization were examined in the cirrhotic patients. Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and sex hormone-binding globulin were estimated in all groups. Seminal fluid was also analyzed in 7 alcoholic and 15 viral cirrhotics. Serum levels of estradiol, androstenedione, and sex hormone-binding globulin were significantly higher, and free testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels were significantly lower in both groups of cirrhotics compared with the control group. Child's C patients in both groups of cirrhotics were found to have higher estradiol and lower free testosterone levels than child's A and B patients. Alcoholic and viral cirrhotics had markedly reduced sperm motility and density. The differences between alcoholic and viral cirrhotic patients in the clinical signs of hypogonadism, serum levels of sex steroids, and the results of seminal fluid analysis were not statistically significant. These findings suggest that liver cirrhosis per se, independent of etiology, causes hypogonadism and feminization, and that the degree of hypogonadism and feminization correlates well with the severity of liver failure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Feminization / diagnosis
  • Feminization / etiology*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / diagnosis
  • Hypogonadism / etiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligospermia / diagnosis
  • Oligospermia / etiology
  • Semen / cytology
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin