The effects of medical castration on testes in patients with advanced prostate cancer

Yi-Sheng Huang, Yi Chia Lin, Michael Chin Cheng Lee, Guang Dar Juang, Chung Hsin Yeh, Yi Hong Cheng, Kuang Yu Chou, Hong En Chen, Te Fu Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Because of patients' fear of surgery, the psychological symbolism of the male character, and significant encouragement by urologists, the majority of patients with advanced prostate cancer prefer medical castration as a choice of hormonal treatment. We investigated how the preserved testes were affected by medical castration with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonist and/or antiandrogen therapy. Materials and Methods: Thirty-four consecutive patients with advanced prostate cancer who underwent a bilateral epididymal-sparing orchiectomy were enrolled in this study. Before surgery, 19 of them had received LH-RH agonists and/or antian-drogens, while the other 15 patients had not. Morphological measurements were made immediately after the operation, and a histological examination was performed by a uropathologist with confirmation by urologists. The axial length, weight, and histopathological findings of the testes and prostate-specific antigen (PSA)/tes-tosterone level were compared between the two groups. Histological changes and characteristics were recorded and analyzed. Results: The median axial length and weight of the testes in the 19 patients with prior medical castration were 2.6 (2.0-3.6) cm and 8.0 (6.0-11.5) g, which significantly differed from those with primary surgical castration [4.0 (2.9-5.0) cm and 12.0 (9.0-17.0) g, both p<0.001]. Moreover, profound atrophic and fibrosclerotic changes were noted in the seminiferous tubules in the group with prior medical castration. Specific findings, including basement membrane thickening and interstitial cell hyperplasia, were noted in specimens with prior medical castration. However, the postoperative serum PSA and testosterone levels did not significantly differ between the two groups. Conclusion: Medical castration in patients with advanced prostate cancer indeed caused a significant reduction in the volume and profound pathological change in the testes, which may compromise a patient's expectation of his self-image (symbol of sexual virility).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalUrological Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Castration
  • Neoplasm
  • Prostate cancer
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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