Androgen-receptor blockade does not impair bone mineral density in adolescent females

S. Bertelloni, G. I. Baroncelli, M. C. Sorrentino, S. Costa, R. Battini, G. Saggese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of peripheral androgen hypersensitivity on bone mineral density (BMD) was investigated in a group of adolescent women with idiopathic hirsutism (n = 17; mean age 17.0 ± 1.7 years). The effect of long-term androgen-receptor blockade with flutamide (500 mg daily in two divided doses for 12 months) on BMD was assessed too. BMD was measured at lumbar spine (L2- L4) by a dual energy X-ray densitometer. Before flutamide treatment, patient BMD (1.14 ± 0.07 g/cm2) was not significantly different from that of the control group (1.16 ± 0.12 g/cm2, n = 22), and was normal for age and sex (BMD 0.14 ± 0.69 SDS, P = NS vs. 0). After 12 months of treatment, absolute BMD in patients increased (1.18 ± 0.08 g/cm2, P <0.002), but SDS BMD did not change (0.21 ± 0.72, P = NS vs. baseline). Flutamide treatment determined a clinical, marked improvement of androgen hypersensitivity (Ferriman-Gallwey score: before 22.0 ± 6.2; 6 months: 13.2 ± 6.4, P <0.003; 12 months; 7.6 ± 4.1, P <0.001; acne score: before 3.8 ± 0.8; 3 months 0.8 ± 0.5, P <0.001; later disappeared). The serum levels of 3α- androstenediol-glucoronide decreased (before: 8.6 ± 1.1 μg/liter; 12 months: 7.2 ± 1.0 μg/liter, P <0.02), whereas the other endocrinological parameters did not change. No relationship was found between BMD and clinical or biochemical parameters of hyperandrogenism. We concluded that in adolescent women, peripheral hyperandrogenism is not associated with abnormal BMD; long-term treatment with flutamide, which blocks the androgen receptor, does not alter their BMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Adolescent females
  • Androgen receptor blockade
  • Bone mineral density
  • Flutamide
  • Idiopathic hirsutism
  • Peripheral androgen hypersensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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