Impact of Kidney Transplantation on Reproductive Hormone Levels in Males: A Longitudinal Study

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Background/Aims: Male patients with end-stage renal disease suffer from sexual disturbances and infertility. Disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis are one of the causes of this. Decreased testosterone synthesis in Leydig cells of the testes and hyperprolactinemia are common. Kidney transplantation, unlike hemodialysis, normalizes these changes. However, how kidney transplantation affects Sertoli cell function is poorly understood. This study is aimed at investigating the changes in fertility-related hormones in men before, during, and after renal transplantation. Methods: This longitudinal and prospective single center study enrolled 12 men undergoing living donor kidney transplantation. Plasma levels of creatinine, cystatin C, and serum levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, inhibin B, and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) were assayed at 10 different time points before, during, and after kidney transplantation. Results: A rapid decrease in creatinine and cystatin C levels indicated successful renal transplantation. High pre-transplantation plasma levels of prolactin (mean 516 ± 306 mIE/L) and LH (9.4 ± 4.7 IU/L) were normalized after 7 days (248 ± 161 mIE/L and 6.1 ± 3.1 IU/L, respectively). Testosterone decreased rapidly during transplantation and increased again one week post-transplantation. Sertoli cell-derived hormone inhibin B decreased after transplantation, and there was a small non-significant trend of increased AMH after 12 months. Conclusion: Sertoli cell function, based on AMH and inhibin B levels, does not improve to the same extent or as fast as Leydig cell function after kidney transplantation, as determined by testosterone and LH levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-201
Early online date2017 Dec 14
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology

Free keywords

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Fertility
  • Hemodialysis
  • Transplantation


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