Impaired testicular function in patients with carcinoma-in-situ of the testis

P M Petersen, A Giwercman, S W Hansen, J G Berthelsen, G Daugaard, M Rørth, N E Skakkebaek


PURPOSE: To elucidate the biologic association between germ cell neoplasia and testicular dysfunction, through investigation of Leydig cell function and semen quality in men with carcinoma-in-situ (CIS) of the testis.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We examined two groups of men, unilaterally orchidectomized for testicular cancer. Biopsy of the contralateral testis had showed CIS in a group of 24 patients and no evidence of CIS in the other group of 30 patients. Semen quality and serum levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were compared in these two groups of men after orchidectomy but before further treatment for testicular cancer.

RESULTS: Significantly higher LH levels (median, 8.1 IU/L v 4.8 IU/L; P < .001) and generally lower testosterone levels (median, 12.5 nmol/L v 15.5 nmol/L; P = .13) were found in the CIS group. The proportion of patients with Leydig cell dysfunction was higher in the group of patients with CIS (11 of 24) than in the group of patients without (two of 30) (P = .01). Sperm concentration and total sperm count were significantly lower (P < .001) in patients with CIS (median, 0.03 x 10(6)/mL and 0.10 x 10(6), respectively) than in patients without (median, 9.1 x 10(6)/mL and 32 x 10(6), respectively), whereas the levels of FSH were significantly higher (P < .001) in the former group of men (median, 19.6 IU/L v 9.0 IU/L).

CONCLUSION: Not only spermatogenesis but also Leydig cell function is impaired in testes with CIS. This impairment could be due to common factors in the pathogenesis of germ cell neoplasm and testicular dysfunction. Alternatively, CIS cells may have a negative impact on Leydig cell function.

TidsskriftJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)173-9
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - jan. 1999


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