Context: T replacement is being increasingly offered to older men with age-related low T; hence, monitoring prostate health is important during T therapy. Data suggest that estrogens have an independent effect on the prostate and some effects of T on the prostate might be mediated via its aromatization to estradiol. Although some studies have assessed the effects of T replacement on prostate volume, the differential effects of T and estradiol have not been delineated. Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the relative effects of T and estradiol on prostate volume in older men with low T. Participants: Thirty-one men, 65 years old or older with total T less than 350 ng/dL (measured by mass spectrometry) participated in the study. Intervention: The intervention included randomization to 5 g transdermal T gel (TT), 1 mg oral aromatase inhibitor (AI), or placebo daily for 12 months. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was prostate volume measured by transrectal ultrasound at baseline and 12 months. Secondary outcomes included prostate-specific antigen levels and lower urinary tract symptoms score. Results: Serum T levels increased in both intervention groups; estradiol levels increased in the TT group, whereas it decreased in the AI group. At 12 months, prostate volume significantly increased (4.5 ± 1.76 cc, P < .05) only in the TT group. Increase in prostate-specific antigen levels were seen in both intervention groups at 6 months (P < .01 and P < .001). The lower urinary tract symptoms score increased only in the TT group (P < .05). Conclusion: The tropic effects of T on the prostate are mediated via its aromatization to estradiol. Administration of AI for 12 months to older men was not detrimental to the prostate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical