Sachin V. Bendre, Pamela J. Murray and Shehzad Basaria
Background: Obesity has been associated with low testosterone (T) in adult males and in pubertal boys. Therapy for hypogonadism with exogenous T may lead to testicular atrophy and later infertility. Only a few studies have demonstrated that the Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) clomiphene citrate (CC), an estrogen receptor antagonist, increases T in obese hypogonadal men while preventing testicular atrophy. No studies to date using CC have been done in younger obese post-pubertal hypogonadal males.
Objective: To determine whether CC therapy is effective in increasing serum T levels in hypogonadal post-pubertal obese males 18-21 years.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of records in obese men aged 18-21 years was done. Patients with early morning T level <350 ng/dl were given 25 mg CC on alternate days. Out of 18 patients found to have low T, 11 were analyzed. Baseline serum T, LH, FSH, weight and BMI were compared at baseline and after 3 months of CC treatment.
Results: Baseline T level was 233 ± 66 ng/dl and increased to 581 ± 161 ng/dl (p<0.0001) after 3 months of CC treatment. Baseline LH levels increased from 3.3 ± 1.6 mIU/mL to 5.7 ± 1.7 mIU/mL (p=0.027). Similarly, baseline FSH levels increased from 2.8 ± 1.5 mIU/mL to 6.2 ± 3 mIU/mL after CC treatment (p=0.026). There was no correlation between baseline or post treatment weight or BMI and the T level, LH, or FSH level.
Conclusion: This is the first study reporting on CC therapy in obese, hypogonadal post-pubertal men 18-21 years. The SERM CC increased T in obese post-pubertal hypogonadal men, similar to efficacy of CC in adult hypogonadal men over the age 21 years. Larger randomized controlled studies to study the safety and potential use of CC to improve T in young obese HG men are needed.