Semen quality in men with disseminated testicular cancer: relation with human chorionic gonadotropin beta-subunit and pituitary gonadal hormones

Daphne de Bruin*, Igle J. de Jong, Eugene G. J. M. Arts, Janine Nuver, Robin P. F. Dullaart, Willem J. Sluiter, Harald J. Hoekstra, Dirk T. Sleijfer, Jourik A. Gietema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: To compare the semen quality and hormonal status between patients with testicular cancer and normal versus increased serum levels of beta-hCG.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Academic research environment.

Patient(s): All 203 patients with testicular cancer who required chemotherapy in the period 1995-2003 were included.

Intervention(s): In 107 patients semen samples were stored by cryopreservation; 62 patients could be analyzed because both semen was stored and hormones were determined before starting chemotherapy (median age 25 years, range 17-49 years).

Main Outcome Measure(s): Total motile sperm count, T, E(2), LH, FSH, and PRL.

Result(s): Total motile sperm count was decreased in patients with increased beta-hCG (median 11.9 x 10(6)) compared with patients with normal beta-hCG (median 21.5 x 10(6)). Testosterone, E(2), and PRL were significantly higher in patients with increased beta-hCG levels, whereas LH and FSH were lower. Semen quality was significantly and negatively correlated with beta-hCG, E(2), and PRL.

Conclusion(s): Patients with increased beta-hCG had an inferior spermatogenesis compared with patients with normal beta-hCG. Increased beta-hCG appears to be associated with impaired spermatogenesis and increased levels of E(2) and PRL. (Fertil Steril (R) 2009;91:2481-6. (c) 2009 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2481-2486
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2009


  • Testicular cancer
  • spermatogenesis
  • beta-hCG
  • pituitary gonadal hormones

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