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Volume 22, Issue 4 (July 2020) 22, 396–400; 10.4103/aja.aja_100_19

Establishing the lower limits of total serum testosterone among Chinese proven fertile men who received treatment of assisted reproductive technology

Hui-Yu Xu1,2,3,4, Hui Jiang2,4,5, Guo-Shuang Feng6, Ying Feng1,2,3,4, Yong Han7, Wen-Hao Tang5, Hong-Xian Zhang5, Feng-Hua Chen1,2,3,4, Hong-Xia Zhang1,2,3,4, De-Feng Liu5, Rong Li1,2,3,4, Jie Qiao1,2,3,4

1 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
2 Key Laboratory of Assisted Reproduction (Peking University), Ministry of Education, Beijing 100191, China
3 National Clinical Research Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beijing 100191, China
4 Beijing Key Laboratory of Reproductive Endocrinology and Assisted Reproductive Technology, Beijing 100191, China
5 Department of Urology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
6 Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, National Center for Children's Health, Beijing 100045, China
7 Clinical Research Institute, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310014, China

Correspondence: Dr. R Li (roseli001@sina.com)

Date of Submission 21-Jan-2019 Date of Acceptance 04-Jul-2019 Date of Web Publication 27-Sep-2019


Testosterone (T) plays a crucial role in spermatogenesis because extremely low levels of intratesticular T lead to correspondingly low serum levels of total T (tT), severe disorders of spermatogenesis, and male sterility. However, there is little consensus on the lower limits of serum tT in proven fertile men undergoing assisted reproductive technology treatments in Chinese or other Asian populations. We aimed to establish the reference range of serum tT based on a population of 868 fertile Chinese men undergoing in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo transfer (IVF/ICSI-ET) treatments. We defined a fertile man as having had a live baby with his partner as recorded in our IVF registration system. The lower limits of serum tT were established using a Siemens IMMULITE 2000 chemiluminescent system. The 1st, 2.5th, and 5th percentiles and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were 3.6 (95% CI: 2.7–4.1) nmol l−1, 4.3 (95% CI: 4.1–5.0) nmol l−1, and 5.6 (95% CI: 4.8–5.8) nmol l−1, respectively. Using the linear correlation of serum tT between the Siemens platform and a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry platform, the calculated lower limits of serum tT were also established for fertile Chinese men undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET treatments, which will benefit the clinical diagnosis and treatment of male infertility during such procedures.

Keywords: chemiluminescence; fertile men; in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo transfer; liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry; lower reference limits; serum total T

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