Inhibin and steroid response to testicular stimulation with pure FSH (Metrodin) in infertile men with unilateral cryptorchidism
Mahmoud, A M × Comhaire, F H Vereecken, A Verhoeven, Guido Abdel-Rahim, D E Abdel-Hafez, K M #
Andrologia vol:28 issue:2 pages:103-8
Static measurements of immunoreactive inhibin have proven of little relevance in the diagnosis of testicular disorders. Dynamic evaluation of the inhibin secretory reserve might detect a specific Sertoli cell defect in a subgroup of infertile men. We compared the response of inhibin and steroids to an intravenous injection of pure FSH (Metrodin, Serono, 300 IU) in 13 infertile men with unilateral cryptorchidism to that in eight normal fertile men. Blood was aspirated before, 24, 48, and 72 h after the FSH injection. Two subgroups of patients with unilateral cryptorchidism were detected: those who responded by secreting inhibin in a pattern similar to normal men (seven patients), and those who responded poorly or not at all (six patients). The presumed cause of this difference is a defect of Sertoli cell reserve function due to a combination of insults to the testes, and not to cryptorchidism itself. The difference in response to FSH cannot be predicted from semen analysis nor from static hormone measurements. Overall, inhibin levels correlated significantly with the serum concentrations of FSH (r = -0.36, P < 0.05), testosterone (r = 0.37, P < 0.05), and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (r = 0.66, P < 0.001). It is concluded that, in infertile men with unilateral cryptorchidism, Stimulation of Sertoli cells by FSH can identify a subgroup of patients with Sertoli cell malfunction involving inhibin synthesis.