Male osteoporosis is now a well-recognized medical disorder with established clinical guidelines for both diagnosis and management. Prevention as well as management of osteoporosis in men consulting the andrological outpatient clinic because of low testosterone, however, is not well established. This gap of knowledge is-at least partly-explained by the controversy with respect to the threshold of testosterone needed for skeletal maintenance. However, testosterone deficiency may be clearly associated with bone loss as well as frailty in men. If anything, andrologists should therefore be aware of the potential silent presence of osteoporosis in men with confirmed hypogonadism. Therefore, the management of patients with potential hypogonadism should include a complete bone health assessment, besides clinical and biochemical evaluation of gonadal status. Such bone health assessment should include specific items in medical history and physical examination related to fracture risk. Furthermore, dual-energy absorptiometry is indicated to evaluate fracture risk in men with confirmed clinical hypogonadism. Regarding treatment, besides general measures to prevent or manage male osteoporosis testosterone replacement can be initiated (as described in guidelines for hypogonadism), but data on its efficacy in preventing fractures are lacking. Thus, additional anti-osteoporotic may be needed, especially in men with very low testosterone who are at high risk of bone loss and/or in men not able to receive testosterone replacement.
Andrology. 2018 Mar 02 [Epub ahead of print]
V Rochira, L Antonio, D Vanderschueren
Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy., Department of Endocrinology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.