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Monika Bals-Pratsch, Hans-Udo Schweikert, and Eberhard Nieschlag

Abstract

Three brothers with congenital transposition of the penis, scrotal hypospadias, bifid scrotum, and bilateral undescended testes are described. Further signs of incomplete virilization, but no gynecomastia were seen. LH and FSH were elevated, whereas testosterone levels were reduced or in the normal range. Serum concentrations of 17-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, 5α-dihydrotestosterone and estradiol measured in two affected brothers were in the normal range. Fibroblasts from scrotal skin biopsies performed in two patients showed normal 5α-reductase activity (419 and 214 pmol · (mg protein)−1 · h−1; normal >1), whereas androgen receptors had reduced maximal binding capacity (Bmax 4 and 14 fmol · (mg protein)−1; normal ≥ 18) and an increased equilibrium dissociation constant (0.7 and 1.26 nmol/l; normal 0.2±0.08) indicating a quantitative and qualitative androgen receptor defect. These patients represent a further variant of androgen insensitivity.

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Monika Bals-Pratsch, Klaus Langer, Virgil A. Place, and Eberhard Nieschlag

Abstract. Current testosterone substitution therapy either by injectable or oral testosterone esters suffers from markedly fluctuating serum testosterone levels often far above or below the physiological range. Recently, a transdermal therapeutic system (TTS) for the delivery of testosterone was developed which, when applied to the scrotum, provides smooth serum testosterone levels. Here we report results from seven hypogonadal men treated with the TTS for 14 months by applying a new patch every day. In all patients serum testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) determined 3–5 h after applying a new patch increased significantly and remained within the physiological range during the entire treatment period. The DHT/testosterone ratio remained constant. In 4 of these patients and 2 others under TTS treatment serum testosterone and DHT were also determined over a 24-h period at regular intervals. In these patients serum testosterone levels in the physiological range were seen during the entire observation period, whereas an increase in the DHT/testosterone ratio occurred towards the end of the one-day treatment phase. All patients in the 14-month treatment study were clinically well substituted and responded with good compliance. Clinical chemistry showed no abnormalities during treatment. Thus, the TTS appears to be an effective and safe new modality for the treatment of male hypogonadism.