P revious investigators have reported that erythrocytosis or polycythemia may be a complication of testosterone replacement therapy. Hematocrit elevation may be associated with increased blood viscosity, stagnant flow, and vascular occlusion. 1 This complication is not widely recognized and, therefore, hematocrit monitoring during testosterone replacement is not standard practice in some medical centers. Factors predisposing to the development of erythrocytosis have not been defined. We report reversible polycythemia in hypogonadal nursing home men with risk factors for the sleep apnea syndrome who were participating in a clinical trial of the effects of testosterone replacement on bone density. METHODS AND PROCEDURES The study was conducted in long‐term care residents at the Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Twenty‐six competent male veterans aged 60 to 90 having two morning total testosterone values with a mean less than 320 mg/100 cc and free testosterone values less than 12 pg/mL, body weight between 90 and 130% of ideal, and normal UA, CBC, and chemistry panel were recruited. Men with connective tissue diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic urinary tract infection, cardiomegaly, uncontrolled hypertension, elevated PSA values, or abnormalities on digital rectal exam or transrectal
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1995
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