This narrative review offers a guideline-based approach to optimizing the diagnostic evaluation and treatment decision-making in men being evaluated for testosterone deficiency.
A narrative review RESULTS: Testosterone deficiency is a clinical syndrome that results from the inability of the testes to produce normal amounts of testosterone, and is characterized by a constellation of symptoms and signs associated with consistently low testosterone concentrations. The diagnosis of testosterone deficiency is made by ascertainment of symptoms and signs; measurement of total and, if indicated, free testosterone levels, in early morning fasting samples on 2 or more days; measurement of LH and FSH to distinguish primary from secondary hypogonadism; and additional evaluation to ascertain the cause of testosterone deficiency. Non-specificity of symptoms and signs; variations in testosterone levels over time; inaccuracy in the measurement of total and free testosterone levels; variations in binding protein concentrations; and the suboptimal reference ranges contribute to diagnostic inaccuracy. Testosterone treatment is indicated for men with symptomatic testosterone deficiency. Testosterone treatment should be avoided in men with prostate or breast cancer, erythrocytosis, thrombophilia, increased risk of prostate cancer or severe lower urinary tract symptoms without prior urological evaluation, recent major adverse cardiovascular event, uncontrolled heart failure or severe untreated sleep apnea. Testosterone replacement therapy should be accompanied by a standardized monitoring plan.
The shared decision to treat should be guided by consideration of the burden of symptoms, potential benefits and risks, patient’s values, and the cost and burden of long-term treatment and monitoring.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.