What is Known About Testosterone Therapy and Cirrhosis
the MPR take:
In men with cirrhosis, serum testosterone levels may be reduced by up to 90%. A low testosterone level could predict mortality in these patients since testosterone deficiency may be a factor in the complications of cirrhosis. A review article published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology illustrates that more research still needs to be done to see how testosterone affects men with liver disease and whether replacement therapy can be used safely and effectively. Previous trials, while small in size, have examined the use of testosterone therapy in cirrhosis patients; however, no conclusive evidence could be found as to whether the therapy is beneficial. What is known is that testosterone therapy can increase muscle mass, bone mineral density, and hemoglobin; it also reduces insulin resistance. Recent data suggests that the link between testosterone therapy and hepatocellular carcinoma, which has many clinicians hesitant about using the hormone therapy, may have been overstated.
Abstract: Serum testosterone is reduced in up to 90% of men with cirrhosis, with levels falling as liver disease advances. Testosterone is an important anabolic hormone, with effects on muscle, bone, and haematopoiesis. Many of the features of advanced liver disease are similar to those seen in hypogonadal men, including sarcopenia, osteoporosis, gynecomastia and low libido.