Objective: Hematocrit (HCT)/hemoglobin (Hb) ratio in (%/g/dL) is around 3, with high fidelity between measured and derived Hb (applying the conversion using HCT) in various pathologies. We examined changes in HCT and Hb values and HCT/Hb, compared with baseline, in men with adult-onset testosterone deficiency (TD) given testosterone therapy (TTh).
Materials and Methods: Data were analyzed from an observational, prospective registry study at various time points in 353 men with adult-onset TD receiving testosterone undecanoate (median follow-up: 105 months). After establishing baseline HCT/Hb, we compared (cf. baseline) changes in HCT, Hb, and HCT/Hb at 12, 48, 72, and 96 months. Regression analyses determined predictors of HCT and Hb change.
Results: TTh was associated with (p?<?0.0001) increases in median HCT and Hb; 44% to 49% and 14.5 to 14.9?g/dL at final assessment, respectively. Regression analyses showed that HCT change was associated with baseline HCT and testosterone levels, while Hb change was associated with baseline Hb, HCT, and testosterone levels. In the total cohort and subgroups, HCT/Hb increased significantly at all time points (p?<?0.0001, cf. baseline) with over 90% of men demonstrating increases. Linear regression showed that the ratio of HCT change/Hb change (i.e., difference between HCT at the various time points and baseline value/difference between Hb at the various time points and baseline value), following TTh at each time point was higher than the baseline HCT/Hb ratio.
Conclusion: HCT increase was greater than we anticipated from the established HCT/Hb of 3. We speculate that increased erythrocyte life span with associated higher Hb loss via vesiculation could account for our observation. This could have a bearing when using HbA1c as an indicator in men with adult-onset TD on TTh.