AIM: To assess plasma testosterone and sexual function in Southeast Asian men on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) or buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT).
METHODS: 76 sexually active men on MMT (mean age = 43.30 ± 10.32 years) and 31 men on BMT (mean age = 41.87 ± 9.76 years) from a Southeast Asian community were evaluated using plasma total testosterone (TT) and prolactin levels, body mass index, social demographics, substance use measures, and depression severity scale.
OUTCOMES: Prevalence and associated factors of TT level lower than the reference range in men on MMT or BMT.
RESULTS: More than 1 third of men (40.8%, n = 31) on MMT had TT levels lower than the reference range, whereas 1 fourth of men (22.6%, n = 7) on BMT did. At univariate analysis, MMT vs BMT (β = 0.298, adjusted R2 = 0.08, P = .02) and body mass index (β = -0.23, adjusted R2 = 0.12, P = .02) were associated with changes in TT after stepwise regression. There were no significant associations with age; Opiate Treatment Index Q scores for alcohol, heroin, stimulant, tobacco, or cannabis use and social functioning domain; education levels; hepatitis C status; and severity of depression. Prolactin level did not differ between the MMT and BMT groups.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The sex hormonal assay should be used regularly to check men on MMT.
STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This is the first study conducted in the Southeast Asian community. Our study was limited by the lack of a healthy group as the reference for serum levels of testosterone and prolactin.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings showed that plasma testosterone levels are lower in MMT than in BMT users. Hence, men who are receiving MMT should be screened for hypogonadism routinely in the clinical setting. Yee A, Loh HS, Danaee M, et al. Plasma Testosterone and Sexual Function in Southeast Asian Men Receiving Methadone and Buprenorphine Maintenance Treatment. J Sex Med 2018;15:159-166.
METHODS: We studied 50 patients (31 males) with mean age 57 ± 12.2 years who had treatment for NPC between 3 and 21 years (median 8 years) without pre-existing HP disorder from other causes. All patients had a baseline cortisol, fT4, TSH, LH, FSH, oestradiol/testosterone, prolactin and renal function. All patients underwent dynamic testing with insulin tolerance test to assess the somatotroph and corticotroph axes. Baseline blood measurements were used to assess thyrotroph, gonadotroph and lactotroph function.
RESULTS: Hypopituitarism was present in 82% of patients, 30% single axis, 28% two axes, 18% three axes and 6% four axes deficiencies. Somatotroph deficiency was most common (78%) while corticotroph, gonadotroph and thyrotroph deficiencies were noted in 40% (4 complete/16 partial), 22 and 4% of the patients respectively. Hyperprolactinaemia was present in 30% of patients. The development of HP dysfunction was significantly associated with the time elapsed from irradiation, OR 2.5 (1.2, 5.3), p = 0.02, for every 2 years post treatment. The use of concurrent chemo-irradiation (CCRT) compared to those who had radiotherapy alone was also significantly associated with HP dysfunction, OR 14.5 (2.4, 87.7), p < 0.01.
CONCLUSION: Despite low awareness and detection rates, HP dysfunction post-NPC irradiation is common. Use of CCRT may augment time related pituitary damage. As these endocrinopathies result in significant morbidity and mortality we recommend periodic assessment of pituitary function amongst NPC survivors.