The total volume of Leydig cells in the testes of men coming to necropsy with a history of chronic bronchitis and emphysema of at least 15 years' duration, and with morphological evidence at necropsy of the cardiopulmonary effects of hypoxia, was significantly less than the volume in matched controls (0.98 (SD 0.39) and 0.93 (0.42) ml v 1.66 (0.54) and 1.72 (0.52) ml for left and right testes respectively; p less than 0.005). This atrophy may be a consequence of hypoxic inhibition of pituitary synthesis or release of luteinising hormone.
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