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The relationship between plasma prolactin and testosterone levels in male hypogonadism


Fifty seven male patients either complaining of poor sexual development, gynecomastia or dwarfism and signs of sexual infantilism were studied. Plasma prolactin (PRL) and testosterone (T) were estimated in all patients while 33 of them were also subjected to full pituitary function tests. Twelve of the latter had an elevated basal plasma cortisol or growth hormone which suggested the patient may have been “stressed”; the results were analyzed both excluding and including these patients. The remaining patients were divided into those with a plasma T < 8.0 nmol/l (Group A, 25 patients) and those with a plasma T > 8.0 nmol/l (Group B, 20 patients). The results were compared with those from 18 normal men (Group C). The mean plasma PRL in group A (108.1 mU/I) was significantly lower than that in group B (181.5 mU /I, p < 0.005) or group C (255.7 mU /I, p < 0.001). The difference between groups A and B became much less (p < 0.01) when results from the “stressed” patients were included but this did not affect the difference with group C. The mean plasma PRL in group B was also significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that in group C but the significance of the difference disappeared when all the patients were included (p < 0.2). In the patients there was a significant correlation between plasma and PRL plasma T (p < 0.05). Twelve patients in group A were followed up and it was noticed that when the plasma T exceeded 8.0 nmol/1 either spontaneously (delayed puberty) or as a result of androgen therapy (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and primary testicular failure), the plasma PRL also rose in 10 patients but fell in 2. It is concluded that the plasma PRL is directly or indirectly influenced by the plasma T level.

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Correspondence to L. J. Hipkin.

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Hipkin, L.J., Diver, M.J. & Davis, J.C. The relationship between plasma prolactin and testosterone levels in male hypogonadism. J Endocrinol Invest 9, 453–457 (1986).

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  • Plasma prolactin
  • testosterone
  • male hypogonadism
  • delayed puberty