Relationship between lower urinary tract symptoms and serum levels of sex hormones in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia.


OBJECTIVES To investigate a possible association between the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and the serum levels of sex hormones in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that underwent surgery for severe benign prostatic obstruction. PATIENTS AND METHODS In all, 127 selected men with symptomatic BPH attending our urology clinic were recruited. The clinical conditions of BPH were assessed by digital rectal examination, serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) determination, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), transrectal ultrasonography and maximum urinary flow rate (Q(max) ) value at uroflussimetry. Before surgery, we measured the serum concentrations of total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT), oestradiol, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. We excluded men with endocrine diseases, those with prostate disease who were receiving antiandrogen therapy and those with psychological diseases. The relationships between the IPSS score and serum sex hormone levels were determined. RESULTS The final study population consisted of 122 men (mean age of 70.66 years), as five were excluded (three due to incomplete evaluation and two who were diagnosed with prostate cancer). On statistical analysis, the total IPSS was significantly associated with age (r= 0.405, P < 0.001) and TT (r= 0.298, P= 0.020) but not with FT or the serum levels of the other sex hormones. The serum levels of testosterone and IPSS did not correlate with prostate volume and Q(max) . PSA level and age correlated with prostate volume (r= 0.394, P < 0.001; r = 0.374, P < 0.001, respectively). We distinguished two subgroups of patients: the first group of 40 men with an IPSS of <19 and the second group of 82 with an IPSS of >19, and we evaluated the median levels of TT in each group. There was an increased risk of LUTS in men with a greater serum concentration of TT (P= 0.042), although the mean TT level was in the normal range. CONCLUSIONS In the present study, the severity of LUTS was associated with age and serum levels of TT but only age correlated with the measures of BPH, especially prostate volume. The potential effects of testosterone on LUTS may well be indirect. Additional large studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.


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