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    Our primary aim was to compare changes in hematocrit in testosterone-deficient men treated with intranasal testosterone gel vs intramuscular testosterone cypionate. This 2-arm, open-label, randomized trial recruited men with testosterone deficiency at the University of Miami between August 2020 and October 2022. Men with 2 total testosterone levels <350 ng/dL and hypogonadal symptoms, aged 18-75 years were randomly assigned to receive either intranasal testosterone gel 11 mg 3 times daily or intramuscular testosterone cypionate 200 mg every 2 weeks. The primary outcome was change in hematocrit after 4 months of treatment. Secondary outcomes were changes in serum testosterone, estradiol, prostate-specific antigen, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, and the 6-item International Index of Erectile Function. Of the 81 men randomized, 54 completed treatment (intranasal n=23; intramuscular n=31). The mean age was 47.5 vs 49.5 years, with mean baseline testosterone of 244.6 vs 240.7 ng/dL and mean hematocrit of 44.4% vs 42.7% in intranasal vs intramuscular groups, respectively. Men who received intramuscular injections had a significant increase after 4 months of treatment in mean hematocrit from 42.7% to 46.6% (P < .0001), but there was no significant change in men who received intranasal gel (P = .233). Men in both groups experienced significantly increased serum testosterone levels throughout the study period, though a larger increase was seen in men treated with intramuscular injections (mean change 511 vs 283, P = .025). Men who received injections also experienced an increase in estradiol (mean change 22.9, P < .001), decrease in 17-hydroxyprogesterone (mean change -39.8, P < .0001), and increase in the 6-item International Index of Erectile Function score (mean change 4.8, P = .015); men treated with intranasal gel experienced no such changes. Prostate-specific antigen levels were stable in both groups. Intranasal testosterone gel does not appear to significantly affect hematocrit levels. Men who wish to avoid polycythemia or changes in estradiol or 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels may benefit from short-acting testosterone therapy formulations such as intranasal gel.


    Marco-Jose Rivero, Jesse Ory, Parris Diaz, Nannan Thirumavalavan, Sunwoo Han, Isildinha M Reis, Ranjith Ramasamy. Comparison of Hematocrit Change in Testosterone-deficient Men Treated With Intranasal Testosterone Gel vs Intramuscular Testosterone Cypionate: A Randomized Clinical Trial. The Journal of urology. 2023 Jul;210(1):162-170

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    PMID: 37126399

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