Testicular responses to hCG stimulation at varying doses in men with spinal cord injury

W. A. Bauman, M. F. La Fountaine, C. M. Cirnigliaro, S. C. Kirshblum, A. M. Spungen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Study design: Prospective.Objectives: To test whether provocative stimulation of the testes identifies men with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), a population in which serum testosterone concentrations are often depressed, possibly due to gonadal dysfunction. To accomplish this objective, conventional and lower than the conventional doses of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) were administered.Methods: Thirty men with chronic SCI (duration of injury >1 year; 18 and 65 years old; 16 eugonadal (>12.1 nmol l-1) and 14 hypogonadal (≤12.1 nmol l-1)) or able-bodied (AB) men (11 eugonadal and 27 hypogonadal) were recruited for the study. Stimulation tests were performed to quantify testicular responses to the intramuscular administration of hCG at three dose concentrations (ithat is, 400, 2000 and 4000 IU). The hCG was administered on two consecutive days, and blood was collected for serum testosterone in the early morning prior to each of the two injections; subjects returned on day 3 for a final blood sample collection.Results: The average gonadal response in the SCI and AB groups to each dose of hCG was not significantly different in the hypogonadal or eugonadal subjects, with the mean serum testosterone concentrations in all groups demonstrating an adequate response.Conclusions: This work confirmed the absence of primary testicular dysfunction without additional benefit demonstrated of provocative stimulation of the testes with lower than conventional doses of hCG. Our findings support prior work that suggested a secondary testicular dysfunction that occurs in a majority of those with SCI and depressed serum testosterone concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-663
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


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