Systemic lupus erythematosus in men. Genetic and endocrine features
Endocrine System Diseases
Sixteen men with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were examined to assess their genetic and hormonal status. The results of buccal smears in 13 patients examined were normal. Hormonal profiling was done in eight patients receiving no steroid therapy. Four patients had elevated plasma estradiol levels (30, 35, 55, and 103 pg/mL; normal, 12 to 23 pg/mL) and elevated plasma estrone levels (115, 150, 155, and 160 pg/mL; normal, 48 to 100 pg/mL). One patient had a decreased serum testosterone level (134 ng/dL; normal, 300 to 1,000 ng/dL), with an elevated luteinizing hormone (LH) level (4.2 ng/mL; normal, 1.6 to 4.0 ng/mL). One patient had an elevation in both levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone (17.6 ng/mL; normal, 1 to 5 ng/mL) and LH (10.0 ng/mL). Two patients given infusions of 3H-androstenedione and 14C-testosterone had normal findings from kinetic studies of these hormones. Hyperestrogenemia and hypoandrogenemia observed in some men with SLE suggest that female sex hormones may create an immunologic milieu that facilitates the autoimmune phenomena.