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Low Inhibin B Levels Linked to Male Infertility

Dimeric hormone may be a more direct marker of spermatogenesis than follicle stimulating hormone

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The dimeric hormone inhibin B may be a more sensitive marker of spermatogenesis than follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone, according to a study published in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Philip Kumanov, M.D., Ph.D., of the Clinical Centre of Endocrinology and Gerontology, Medical University in Sofia, Bulgaria, and colleagues studied 75 patients with infertility problems and 12 controls with proven fertility.

The researchers found that the patients had significantly lower mean serum levels of inhibin B than controls (116.3 versus 181.2 pg/mL) and significantly lower mean serum levels of testosterone (13.9 versus 25.1 nmol/L). They also found that sperm count and testicular volume were significantly and positively correlated with levels of inhibin B, that the inhibin B-FSH index was negatively correlated with FSH, and that inhibin B had a stronger correlation with testicular volume and semen parameters than FSH.

"In patients with infertility, measuring inhibin B levels may provide useful information on spermatogenesis and possibly serve as a more direct marker of the spermatogenesis than FSH," the authors conclude. "The inhibin B-FSH index may also be a potentially useful marker of male factor infertility along with inhibin B. However, further prospective studies are essential to define the significance of these indices in male factor infertility evaluation."

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