Journal of Nephrology

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 775–783 | Cite as

Testosterone in renal transplant patients: effect on body composition and clinical parameters

  • Danilo Lofaro
  • Anna PerriEmail author
  • Antonio Aversa
  • Benedetta Aquino
  • Martina Bonofiglio
  • Antonella La Russa
  • Maria Giovanna Settino
  • Francesca Leone
  • Alessandro Ilacqua
  • Filomena Armentano
  • Donatella Vizza
  • Simona Lupinacci
  • Giuseppina Toteda
  • Renzo Bonofiglio
Original Article



Clinical studies have demonstrated that, after renal transplantation (TX), testosterone deficiency (TD) at the time of the procedure is independently associated with lower survival of the patient and graft. However, data between TD and the functional CAG polymorphism of the androgen receptor promoter (AR) are discordant. We investigated the prevalence of TD and its association with body composition, biochemical parameters, the Aging Males’ Symptoms rating scale (AMS) domains and AR polymorphism.


In 112 TX patients, we assessed the AMS, biochemical/hormonal (FSH/LH/TT) anthropometric/bioimpedance analysis parameters, and AR CAG polymorphism of AR by gene sequencing.


Median values of total testosterone (TT) were 340 ng/dl and 52% of TX patients were affected by TD. Significant correlations between TT and FSH and FSH and LH (p = 0.005, p < 0.0001, respectively) were found. TD patients had lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and hemoglobin (Hb) (p = 0.034, p = 0.022 respectively) and showed higher values of C-reactive protein (p = 0.023) and fat tissue index/adipose tissue mass (p = 0.034 and p = 0.021, respectively), and lower values of serum albumin (p = 0.003) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p = 0.038) levels. Significant differences were found in the number of patients on mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors immunosuppressant therapy (p = 0.045). Logistic regression analysis did not show any correlation between age, AMS scores, TT or CAG repeat length, gonadotropins, time of the transplant, and dialysis.


Our results suggest that in TX recipients an appropriate sexual hormonal evaluation should be performed, as we found a high prevalence of TD. However, further studies are needed to clarify the association between TD and patient and graft survival.


Hypogonadism Testosterone deficiency Renal transplantation Androgen receptor polymorphism 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants enrolled in the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Nephrology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danilo Lofaro
    • 1
  • Anna Perri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Aversa
    • 2
  • Benedetta Aquino
    • 1
  • Martina Bonofiglio
    • 1
  • Antonella La Russa
    • 1
  • Maria Giovanna Settino
    • 1
  • Francesca Leone
    • 1
  • Alessandro Ilacqua
    • 3
  • Filomena Armentano
    • 1
  • Donatella Vizza
    • 1
  • Simona Lupinacci
    • 1
  • Giuseppina Toteda
    • 1
  • Renzo Bonofiglio
    • 1
  1. 1.“Kidney and Transplantation” Research Center, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and TransplantationAnnunziata HospitalCosenzaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineMagna Græcia UniversityCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.Department of Human Movement and Sport SciencesItalian University of Sport and Movement “Foro Italico”RomeItaly

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