DHEA and its sulphate derivative DHEA-sulphate (DHEA-s) are major androgen hormones of adrenal origin. The purpose of this study was to investigate DHEA-s levels in male patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and to determine whether DHEA-s levels are a useful marker in the diagnosis of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. 91 subjects, 31 male patients diagnosed with IHH (mean age 19.7±2.6 years) and 60 healthy males (mean age 20.7±2.6 years) as a control group, were included in the study. The patients in the IHH group were selected from subjects who had not yet started treatment for hypogonadism and who had no additional disease, while the healthy control group consisted entirely of individuals presenting to the clinic for routine check-ups. Both groups FSH, LH, total and free testosterone, ACTH, cortisol and DHEA-s levels were investigated. Mean DHEA-s levels were 133.4±56.5 μg/dl in the IHH group and 433.3±160.3 μg/dl in the control group. The difference was statistically significant (P=0.000). Total testosterone levels in the patient and control groups were 28.0±26.3 nmol/l and 568.1±288.0 nmol/l, respectively (P=0.000), free testosterone levels were 9.7±14.3 pg/ml and 18.0±9.0 pg/ml (P=0.006). The differences were statistically significant. Low DHEA-s levels in patients with IHH were determined to be independent of age, cortisol and ACTH at multivariate logistic regression analysis. ROC analysis showed that DHEA-s ≤38.2 μg/dl supports a diagnosis of IHH with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. DHEA-s is as useful and predictive marker as total testosterone, which is used in the diagnosis of patients with IHH. DHEA-s levels were significantly lower in patients diagnosed with IHH compared to the control group, and we conclude that DHEA-s may be a predictive marker capable of use in the diagnosis of IHH.
20 - 23 May 2017
European Society of Endocrinology