Overtall stature

The effect of testosterone on epiphysial closure may be used to treat boys who are dissatisfied with their prospective final overtall body height (for review Drop etal. 1998). Treatment has to start before the age of 14. Doses of 500 mg testosterone enanthate have to be administered every two weeks for at least a year to produce effects (Bettendorf etal. 1997). This treatment should be reserved for special cases since tall stature is not a disease but rather a cosmetic and psychological problem. However, social and psychological conflicts caused by this condition should not be underestimated. It should also be remembered that testosterone is not registered for this treatment, which has therefore to be considered "experimental". Combining ethinylestradiol with testosterone injections has no additional height-reducing effect (Decker etal. 2002).

An additional reservation comes from the possible effects of such high-dose testosterone treatment at this early age on fertility, the prostate, the cardiovascular system, on bones and other organs. Long-term follow-up of men treated on average ten years earlier with high-dose testosterone for tall stature revealed no negative effects on sperm parameters and reproductive hormones in comparison to controls (deWaal etal. 1995;Lemcke etal. 1996). Prostate morphology as evaluated byultra-sonsography did not show any abnormalities and serum lipids were not different from the control group. Slightly lower sperm motility was rather attributable to a higher incidence of varicocele and maldescended testes in the treated men than to the treatment as such. Thus it appears that, as far as evaluated, high-dose treatment has no long-term negative side-effects in these adolescents.

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