Transversal European survey on testosterone deficiency diagnosis
Behre HM, Christin-Maitre S, Morales AM, Tostain J. Aging Male. 2012 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]


Center for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University Hospital Halle (Saale), Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg , Germany.


Background: Despite being one of the relevant public health threats among ageing men, testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS) is under-recognized and under-diagnosed. Objective: To assess current clinical practices of European physicians regarding diagnosis and management of TDS compared with current guidelines. Methods: Postal survey conducted June-November 2008 in France, Germany, Italy and Spain among urologists, endocrinologists and general practitioners to collect information regarding knowledge of TDS. Results: Among 801 respondents, the majority of endocrinologists and urologists had received training on TDS, either initially or as part of continuous medical education. TDS was recognized by 86.5% of physicians as a true clinical entity, and estimated the prevalence at 10-15% of the male population; 73.5% considered that symptoms and a low level of testosterone were required for diagnosis. Treatment preferences were quarterly intramuscular injections (26.3% of physicians), percutaneous gels (23.9%), matrix patch (21.2%), semi-monthly injections (15.4%) and oral therapy (13.4%). Adverse effects of testosterone replacement therapy, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, were a concern for physicians. Conclusions: TDS management appeared to be close to that recommended in international guidelines. Signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency were fairly well known, but some diagnostic and treatment variations were observed.