Amiodarone, an antiarrhythmic drug approved for use in patients who survive cardiac arrest, has been associated with infiltration of or inflammatory changes in various tissues. To date thyroid dysfunction has been the only endocrine disturbance noted. In an initial group of seven amiodarone-treated men undergoing evaluation for sexual dysfunction, an elevation in serum gonadotropin concentration was detected, suggesting testicular dysfunction. Because of this finding, gonadal function was prospectively evaluated in 44 men (18 who had been treated with amiodarone for >1 year and 26 survivors of cardiac arrest who had been treated with antiarrhythmic drugs other than amiodarone). Amiodarone-treated men had higher serum follicle-stimulating hormone (41.8 ± 22.8 vs. 14.4 ± 10.4 mIU/ml, p < 0.001) and luteinizing hormone (34.8 ± 26.4 vs. 10.1 ± 5.2 mIU/ml, p < 0.001) concentrations compared with control subjects. Although serum total and free testosterone levels were comparable between the two patient groups, these levels were inversely correlated (r = -0.53, p < 0.05; r = -0.62, p < 0.01, respectively) with cumulative amiodarone dose. Hyperresponsiveness to the administration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone was noted in the 10 amiodarone-treated men evaluated by this diagnostic test. Sexual dysfunction was common in both groups (70% of control subjects and 82% of amiodarone-treated subjects), although atrophic testes were more commonly observed in amiodarone-treated men (p < 0.05). Because of the elevated serum gonadotropin level, it is concluded that testicular dysfunction may result from prolonged amiodarone treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine