Normal testosterone function is a complex process that requires an intact hypothatlamic-pituitary-gonadal axis as well as appropriate testosterone interactions with binding proteins and the androgen receptor. The diagnosis of testosterone deficiency requires the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms along with deficient testosterone serum concentrations. Biochemical determination of low testosterone however is marred by the lack of standardization of assays, intra-individual variation, as well the absence of a universally accepted numerical cut-point for deficiency. Despite the diagnostic challenges though, correction of a testosterone deficient state can have profound effects on patient well-being due to its significant effects on disparate systems in the body.
Testosterone; Free testosterone; Sex-hormone binding globulin; Androgen; Hypogonadism; Pituitary; Physiology; Assays
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