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Transient Hypogonadism Induced by SARS-CoV-2 during COVID-19 in Men Aged under 65 Years

Etoa Etoga Martine Claude, Biwole Sida Ghislaine, Ama Moor Vicky, Ongmeb Boli Anne, Ndi Manga Jean Arnaud, Dehayem Yefou Mesmin, Mendane Mekobe Francine, Jean Claude Mbanya, Sobngwi Eugène

Abstract: Background: The presence of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, the main entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in lung alveolar tissue, in Sertoli and Leydig cells of the adult testis, may suggest possible testicular involvement during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our aim was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on gonadal function in men. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study in a population of men aged below 65 years of age with SARS-CoV-2. Not included in the study were any subjects on testosterone replacement therapy or with a known condition that could create hypogonadism. We recruited patients through a questionnaire and then performed total testosterone and SHBG analysis at 8 hours and 2 months post infection by ELISA. We used the Spearman Rho test for statistical analysis of correlations. The significance level was set at 0.05. Results: The sample consisted of 40 male COVID positive patients with a mean age of 46.4 ± 11.8 years. Eight patients were reviewed after infection. The mean total testosterone was 11 ng/ml ± 2.4 and the SHBG was 113 nmol/l ± 66.9 during infection. In the 8 patients reviewed after infection, median total testosterone decreased during infection (11 ng/ml) and increased after infection (12.7 ng/ml), this result was statistically significant (P = 0.028). Median SHBG during infection was increased (115.7 nmol/l) and after infection was decreased (82 nmol/l). There was a statistically significant (P = 0.04) and positive correlation between serum testosterone and SHBG levels in patients with severe infection. Conclusion: There could be a transient relative hypogonadism during SARS-CoV-2 infection, more marked in the severe forms of the disease with a tendency to improve after infection.
Keywords: COVID-19 / Testosterone / Severity

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