Document Type : Original Article
1 Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, New Delhi, India
2 Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, University in Rohtak, Rohtak, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
Background: One intriguing aspect of stroke is its higher incidence in men as compared to women. Endogenous sex hormones, testosterone and estradiol, may be responsible for this difference. This research aims to study serum testosterone and estradiol levels in men with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and to correlate these levels with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and infarct size in computed tomography (CT).
Methods: 100 male patients with AIS and 100 age-matched controls were included in this case-control study. Patients with hemorrhagic stroke, taking hormonal preparations, or suffering from chronic illnesses like tuberculosis (TB), cancer, etc. were excluded. Complete history was obtained including presence of established risk factors and physical examination was done in cases and controls with informed written consent. Severity of stroke in cases was assessed by the NIHSS. CT scan of brain was performed within 72 hours of patient’s admission to hospital. The infarct size was measured in centimeters as the largest visible diameter of the infarct on CT scan. Fasting blood samples were obtained for routine investigations and estimating estradiol and testosterone levels.
Results: Mean total testosterone level in cases (223.30 ± 143.44 ng/dl) was significantly lower than that of controls (515.34 ± 172.11 ng/dl) (P < 0.001), while estradiol levels had no significant statistical difference (P = 0.260). A significant inverse correlation was found between total testosterone levels and stroke severity (r = -0.581, P < 0.001) and also, total testosterone levels and infarct size (r = -0.557, P < 0.001). Estradiol levels in patients had no significant correlation with stroke severity (P = 0.618) or infarct size (P = 0.463).
Conclusion: Low testosterone levels are associated with increased stroke severity and infarct size in men. Further studies are required to establish whether low testosterone is a cause or effect of ischemic stroke and also to explore the potential benefits of testosterone supplementation in men with AIS.
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