Eight men with hypoxia associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were studied. Serum testosterone concentrations were low in two subjects and fell to subnormal levels in two others as the clinical condition and arterial oxygen tension deteriorated. There was a significant correlation between serum testosterone concentrations and arterial oxygen tensions (p less than 0.05). Three patients showed evidence of suppression of luteinising hormone secretion at the pituitary level. Only occasional abnormalities of thyroid and prolactin concentrations were noted. Most of the men suffered from organic sexual impotence, which is considered to be due at least in part to endocrine disturbance. These findings are similar to observations in patients with hypoxic chronic obstructive airways disease and support the hypothesis that hypoxia of lung disease suppresses the hypothalamo-pituitary-testicular axis.
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