Edited by Carrie J.
Bagatell, M.D. and William J. Bremner, M.D., Ph.D.
Totowa, New Jersey,
Humana Press, Inc., 448 pages, 2003.
Over the past several decades,
significant insight has been gained into the broad effects that androgens exert
in many aspects of normal physiology. This book very effectively integrates
current reviews of androgens both from the basic science and clinical
perspectives. As such, it is appropriate reading for both clinicians and basic
The book is divided into three sections.
is titled "General Andrology," and the biology of
androgens and androgen receptors is thoroughly detailed by prominent authors in
the chapters comprising this section. The molecular basis of androgen synthesis,
transport, metabolism, and signaling are presented in the first nine chapters.
These reviews are comprehensive and provide a state-of-the-art overview of
androgen physiology at the molecular level. Chapter three,
"Hypogonadism in Men", details etiologic factors leading to
primary and secondary hypogonadism as well as the associated clinical
Section II is titled "Androgen Effects on
Physiological Systems." The accompanying chapters detail the role of
androgens in the skeletal system (bone), the coronary vasculature, the
hematopoietic system, and cognition. Chapter 13 addresses "Androgens
and Body Composition" with a very good discussion of the therapeutic
use of testosterone therapy in men afflicted with sarcopenia and men infected
Section III is titled "Applied
Andrology" and the role of androgens in a variety of clinical
settings is detailed. In addition to the chapter"Androgen Treatment
of the Hypogonadal Male" individual chapters are dedicated to the
treatment of each of the following patient groups: pubertal males, older men,
and women. The emerging role of androgens as potential male contraceptive agents
is also thoughtfully explored in one chapter. Finally, Chapter 20 provides a
good overview of "Androgens as Anabolic Agents." This timely
chapter provides a detailed explanation on the clinical impact of testosterone
supplementation, with a particularly good discussion of anabolic steroid
use/abuse, effects on athletic performance, and laboratory detection methods.
"Androgens in Health and Disease" provides a
thorough overview of androgens from both clinical and basic science
perspectives. This book is timely, and it would be a useful resource for the
clinician and basic scientist alike. While there is some overlap between content
in some of the chapters, the book is overall well-organized, comprehensive, and
quite enjoyable to read.