Purpose: We report that primary infertility and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism in young patients may be caused by testicular amyloidosis and it is associated with the presence of a mutation in the apoA-I gene, resulting in the replacement of proline for leucine at residue 75 of the protein. Materials and Methods: Ten patients presenting with infertility, gynecomastia, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction or a family history of amyloidosis underwent clinical evaluation, hormone assays, semen analysis, ultrasonographic investigation of the testicles, testicular biopsy and DNA sequencing of the apoA-I gene. Results: All patients showed azoospermia and 9 had increased testicular volume. Massive amyloid deposition was observed in all testicular biopsies and the apoA-I mutation of replacement of proline for leucine at residue 75 of the protein was noted. Five patients showed hypergonadotropic hypogonadism and 5 had normal testosterone values with high gonadotropin levels. Conclusions: Nonobstructive azoospermia and macro-orchidism with or without hypogonadism may be caused by hereditary apoA-I amyloidosis in young patients. Testicular amyloidosis can be the first manifestation of this systemic disease. Specific staining for amyloid deposits and genetic analysis of apoA-I mutations are recommended in young, infertile patients with macro-orchidism. Finally, surveillance in asymptomatic mutation carriers is suggested to evaluate the opportunity to implement sperm retrieval and start androgen replacement therapy when necessary.
- apolipoprotein A-I
ASJC Scopus subject areas