Testosterone May Ease Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Hypogonadal Men

Long-term treatment led to a decrease in Crohn's Disease Activity Index.
Long-term treatment led to a decrease in Crohn's Disease Activity Index.

ARLINGTON, Va.—Normalization of testosterone (T) levels improved Crohn's disease in hypogonadal men in a prospective, observational registry study, researchers reported at the Men's Health World Congress.

The study included 71 hypogonadal men with Crohn's disease and two with colitis ulcerosa. The patients received treatment with parenteral testosterone undecanoate on day 1, after six weeks, and every 12 weeks thereafter for up to 75 months. Twelve hypogonadal men of similar age with Crohn's disease who did not receive testosterone served as an untreated control group. T levels at baseline were 9.37 and 10.75 nmol/L in the T group and control group, respectively.

During treatment, T increased to 15.72 nmol/L and declined slightly in the control group. The Crohn's Disease Activity Index improved from 231 to 75 in the testosterone-treated group but worsened from 196 to 210 in the control arm (scores below and above 150 are considered to reflect inactive and active disease, respectively). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, decreased in the testosterone-treated men but increased in the control group. The Aging Males' Symptoms Scale (AMS) score improved in the testosterone-treated men but remained unchanged in the control group.

“The mechanism of this improvement may be through anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of testosterone,” said investigator Farid Saad, MD, of Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany, who presented study findings.

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