Article Text


Testicular dysfunction in men with sickle cell disease.
  1. D. N. Osegbe,
  2. O. O. Akinyanju
  1. College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.


    In order to assess the role of the gonads and anterior pituitary gland in the production of poor quality semen of males with homozygous sickle cell disease (SCD) serum gonadotrophins, namely follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin and serum testosterone, were assayed radioimmunologically in 33 men with sickle cell disease and in 29 age-matched normal control subjects. Our results show a significantly lower mean serum testosterone, a higher mean FSH and prolactin in SCD subjects than in normal controls. No single SCD subject had significantly low serum testosterone associated with low FSH, LH or prolactin. The tendency for higher gonadotrophins associated with lower testosterone in subjects with SCD suggests that the hypothalamic/pituitary function in these patients is intact and that the primary fault leading to poor sperm production lies in the testes.

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