Long-term interferon-α therapy does not affect sex hormones in males with chronic hepatitis C

Marcello Piazza, Grazia Tosone, Guglielmo Borgia, Raffaele Orlando, Gianfranco Fenzi, Mario Vitale, Antonella Bloise, Angela Mariano, Vincenzo Macchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effects of interferon-α (IFN-α), given at a dosage of 6 MU thrice weekly for 12 months, on gonadal function were investigated in 18 males affected by chronic hepatitis C. Periodically, all patients were clinically monitored and questioned about sexual function. Gonadotropin and serum androgen concentrations (follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, total testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and sex hormone binding globulin) were tested every 3 months. Ten of 18 patients (55%) responded to IFN-α therapy. Serum total testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin values decreased slightly at the third month of treatment, then returned to baseline values. Serum free testosterone and other sex hormones remained essentially unchanged during IFN-α therapy. Four patients (22.2%) complained of sexual dysfunction (impaired libido, erectile failure, and impaired ejaculation), which was unrelated to any significant hormonal change and resolved after IFN therapy was stopped. Serum sex hormones values did not differ between responders and uonresponders to IFN-α. This study indicates that 12 months treatment with 6 MU of IFN-α thrice weekly does not significantly affect gonadal function in men with chronic hepatitis C. The sexual dysfunction observed could be ascribed to such other side effects of IFN as asthenia, fatigue, or anxiety, or it could have a psychologic basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Volume17
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term interferon-α therapy does not affect sex hormones in males with chronic hepatitis C'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Piazza, M., Tosone, G., Borgia, G., Orlando, R., Fenzi, G., Vitale, M., Bloise, A., Mariano, A., & Macchia, V. (1997). Long-term interferon-α therapy does not affect sex hormones in males with chronic hepatitis C. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, 17(9), 525-529.