Transversal European survey on testosterone deficiency diagnosis.
ABSTRACT Despite being one of the relevant public health threats among ageing men, testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS) is under-recognized and under-diagnosed.
To assess current clinical practices of European physicians regarding diagnosis and management of TDS compared with current guidelines.
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.
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.
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.