This guidance updates that previously published by the Endocrine Society in 2006. It recommends making a diagnosis of androgen deficiency only in men with consistent symptoms and signs and unequivocally low serum testosterone levels. A series of recommendations address the circumstances in which testosterone therapy is or is not appropriate.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to update the guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of androgen deficiency syndromes in adult men published previously in 2006.
PARTICIPANTS: The Task Force was composed of a chair, selected by the Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee of The Endocrine Society, five additional experts, a methodologist, and a medical writer. The Task Force received no corporate funding or remuneration.
CONCLUSIONS: We recommend making a diagnosis of androgen deficiency only in men with consistent symptoms and signs and unequivocally low serum testosterone levels. We suggest the measurement of morning total testosterone level by a reliable assay as the initial diagnostic test. We recommend confirmation of the diagnosis by repeating the measurement of morning total testosterone and, in some men in whom total testosterone is near the lower limit of normal or in whom SHBG abnormality is suspected by measurement of free or bioavailable testosterone level, using validated assays. We recommend testosterone therapy for men with symptomatic androgen deficiency to induce and maintain secondary sex characteristics and to improve their sexual function, sense of well-being, muscle mass and strength, and bone mineral density. We recommend against starting testosterone therapy in patients with breast or prostate cancer, a palpable prostate nodule or induration or prostate-specific antigen greater than 4 ng/ml or greater than 3 ng/ml in men at high risk for prostate cancer such as African-Americans or men with first-degree relatives with prostate cancer without further urological evaluation, hematocrit greater than 50%, untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea, severe lower urinary tract symptoms with International Prostate Symptom Score above 19, or uncontrolled or poorly controlled heart failure. When testosterone therapy is instituted, we suggest aiming at achieving testosterone levels during treatment in the mid-normal range with any of the approved formulations, chosen on the basis of the patient's preference, consideration of pharmacokinetics, treatment burden, and cost. Men receiving testosterone therapy should be monitored using a standardized plan.