Background: Recent evidence indicates that a systemic state of inflammation may impair fertility, but data about psoriatic males are scarce. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess gonadal function in psoriatic males implementing our knowledge about fertility in these subjects. Methods: Male psoriatic patients, aged between 18 and 55 years, and a group of healthy subjects matched for age, BMI and geographic origin were enrolled. All subjects underwent a complete physical and andrological examination, standard semen analysis, complete microbiological analysis and ultrasound evaluation of sexual glands. Seminal levels of soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) and serum levels of testosterone, estradiol (E2), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone were also assessed. Results: Fifty patients and 50 controls fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were enrolled in our study. Testosterone and SHBG were found to be significantly decreased in patients with psoriasis compared with the control group. Higher levels of E2 were also reported in psoriatic patients. Total sperm count, sperm motility and percent of spermatozoa with normal morphology were significantly reduced in patients compared to controls. suPAR levels were significantly increased in patients compared to controls and found to be above the reference limits. Ultrasound signs of inflammation of the accessory glands were observed in 35/50 patients with psoriasis and in none of the controls. Conclusion: Our study suggests that untreated psoriasis may impair male fertility. We also found that this might be due to an impact of systemic inflammation on the hormonal profile and on sexual accessory gland inflammation.
- Immune-mediated inflammatory disease