New Mercy Health Research Shows that Even with Anti-Coagulation Treatment, Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Still Lead to Dangerous Blood Clots

(CINCINNATI; May 27, 2014) – Mercy Health, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that the latest research from Mercy Health Physician Charles J. Glueck, MD has found that even with anti-coagulation treatment, men with clotting disorders who undergo testosterone (T) therapy remain at high risk for developing dangerous and potentially lethal blood clots.

In previously published research, Dr. Glueck and his team found that men and women with a previously undiagnosed tendency for increased blood clots developed dangerous blood clots as soon as one month after starting T therapy.

In this new research study, Dr. Glueck and his colleagues looked for previously undiagnosed blood clotting abnormalities in 11 T-taking men who developed blood clots soon after starting T therapy. 

“After starting T therapy, either topical or injected, five of these 11 men developed deep venous thrombosis (DVT), which is when a clot forms in a deep leg vein. Four developed clots in the lungs, known as pulmonary emboli, one developed a clot in the spinal cord leading to paralysis and one developed a clot in the hip, leading to osteonecrosis, a disease caused by reduced blood flow to bones in the joints which can lead to the death of the bone,” says Dr. Glueck. “On average, the men developed these life-threatening clots 14 weeks after starting T therapy, which interacted with their inherited clotting abnormalities.”

The men then started anti-clotting (on anticoagulation) treatment before restarting their T therapy. Three of men subsequently developed second, life-threatening blood clots in the lungs and leg veins.

Dr. Glueck urges doctors who plan to start T therapy to do the following two things to lessen the risk of their patients developing potentially lethal blood clots:

1. Before starting T therapy, determine if the patient has previously undiagnosed major blood clotting abnormalities, each one of which separately is present in about five percent of men: Factor V Leiden and Prothrombin gene mutations, high Factors VIII and XI.
2. Discontinue the use of T therapy in men with these blood clotting disorders, even if they subsequently take anticoagulants. Even on an anticoagulant, these men remain at unacceptably high risk of developing blood clots.

Dr. Charles J. Glueck and his colleagues, The Jewish Hospital Internal Medicine Residents Drs. Joel Friedman, Ahsan Hafeez, Atif Hassan and statistician Ping Wang, PhD, all of the Mercy Health - Cholesterol Center conducted the study. The medical journal Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis published Dr. Glueck’s new findings on April 12, 2014.

Dr. Glueck leads and practices from Mercy Health – Cholesterol Center, located at 2135 Dana Ave., Suite 430 in Cincinnati, ZIP 45207. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Glueck, please call 513-924-8250.

To find a Mercy Health physician in your neighborhood, or to learn about the services provided at Mercy Health, please visit e-mercy.com/physicians.asp or call 513-981-2222.