2018 年 63 巻 3 号 p. 238-245
The role of free testosterone, that not bound to sex hormone-binding globulin, in male patients with HCV infection remains uncertain. We investigated whether free testosterone is involved in the progression to hepatic fibrosis/steatosis or insulin resistance in male patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease or not. Free androgen indices, which reflect circulating free testosterone levels, were calculated as 100 × total testosterone levels/sex hormone-binding globulin levels in 30 male patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease. Degrees of hepatic fibrosis and steatosis were evaluated by the New Inuyama Classification and the classification proposed by Brunt and colleagues, respectively. Insulin resistance was estimated by HOMA-IR values. Serum total testosterone levels were independent of hepatic fibrosis staging in the enrolled patients. However, circulating sex hormone-binding globulin levels were significantly increased in proportion to the severity of hepatic fibrosis. Therefore, free androgen indices were inversely correlated with the severity of hepatic fibrosis. Moreover, free androgen indices were inversely correlated with the grades of hepatic steatosis and HOMA-IR values in those patients. Our data suggest that lower circulating free testosterone levels may be recognized as the risk factor for more advanced hepatic fibrosis, steatosis and/or higher insulin resistance in male patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease.