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The relationship between'levels'and treatment
Mar 17, 2002

Hello, Please explain the realtionship between total and free testosterone levels. I received my labs and according to the Dr., my total was 'on the low side of normal (290 on a range of 241-827) and my free level was 2.45 on a scale of 1.-2.7.. I saw this Dr. to investigate whether what I have been experiencing is perhaps some type of android deficiency/ hypogonadism, and these values are hard for me to understand. Could you please clarify what these numbers mean in the context of gonadal function and possible TX implications. Thx LS

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The total testosterone is a measure of all the testosterone in the blood. Most of the available testosterone is bound to proteins and not readily available for use. The free testosterone is the unbound fraction, which is the active form. Given your total level, most HIV docs would probably have prescribed supplemental testosterone. With a free level in the normal range, the implication is that you have a sufficient free/active level and would not need supplementation. However, this still might not be the case, and supplementation in the presence of sexual dysfunction or wasting syndrome might be of benefit. MH



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