Backround. Aging men suffer from a decrease of androgen-anabolic steroids known as „Partial Androgen Decline
in the Aging Male“ (PADAM) that is sometimes compensated by the use of androgen replacement therapy.
Methods and Results. To decide whether androgen therapy should be considered, hormonal serum levels are
commonly tested. In addition, the St. Louis questionnaire is used as and indication. Accordingly, serum levels of
testosterone, androstendione, dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, its sulphate, epimers of 7-hydroxy-dehydroepiandrosterone,
epitestosterone, lutropin, follitropin, prolactin and sex hormone binding globulin were
measured in 216 men over 50 years of age. Further, the Sr. Louis questionnaire was applied and the extent of the
relations among the data was evaluated. RIA and IRMA kits from Immunotech and Orion-Diagnostica were used
for measurement of the hormones except epitestosterone and 7-hydroxy-dehydroepiandrosterone epimers, which
were determined using specific radioimmunoassays.
Conclusions. The decline in the index of free testosterone, given by the increase of SHBG levels, as well as the
decrease in the levels of DHEA and its derivates were the most prominent. No correlation was found between the
levels of hormones and the individual items of the questionnaire or with the total score calculated from the
questionnaire data. In conclusion, the University of Saint Louis questionnaire did not give a reliable indication of
an androgen deficit. However, the found values and their changes can still be helpful during the decision process
concerning indication and initiation of hormone replacement.
aging, PADAM, andropause, androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone, St. Louis questionnaire.