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Androgens in women after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: impact of chronic GvHD and glucocorticoid therapy.

Journal article
Authors Yvonne Björk
Eva Smith Knutsson
Carina Ankarberg-Lindgren
A-K Broman
I. Andersson
Lena Björkman
J Magnusson
Karin Bergmark
H Anderson
P-O Andersson
Mats Brune
Published in Bone marrow transplantation
Volume 52
Pages 431–437
ISSN 1476-5365
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Pages 431–437
Language en
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Low androgen levels may contribute to sexual dysfunction in women after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). However, data on serum androgens in women after alloHCT are limited. The aim of this study was to assess androgen levels and their association with chronic GvHD (cGvHD) and glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Included were 65 allografted women, 33 with cGvHD, and 23 of these were on GC therapy. Controls were 94 healthy, age-matched women. Supportive study groups were women after autologous HCT (autoHCT; n=20) and non-transplanted women on GC therapy (n=26). Compared with controls, free testosterone (free T) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels were lower in both the alloHCT group and GC groups; P<0.0001 and P<0.05, respectively. Androgens in the autoHCT group were similar or higher than controls. In the subgroup of alloHCT patients without cGvHD, free T was similar to controls (7.2 vs 8.6 pmol/L; P=0.42), whereas DHEAS levels was lower than controls (1.7 vs 2.5 μmol/L; P=0.008). Compared with controls, cGvHD without GC (n=10) was associated with lower free T and DHEAS; P=0.004 and P=0.0004, respectively). The lowest androgen levels were seen in women with both cGvHD and GC therapy. In conclusion, low serum androgens were associated with cGvHD and GC therapy, prompting for studies assessing a possible association between low androgens and sexual dysfunction and quality of life in allografted women.

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