Data from prior studies have yielded inconsistent results on the association of serum testosterone levels with the risk for cardiovascular disease. There are no clinical trial data on the effects of testosterone replacement therapy on plaque progression.Objective
We designed a study to investigate the effect of testosterone therapy on coronary artery plaque progression using serial coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA). In this paper, we describe the study design, methods, and characteristics of the study population.Methods
The Cardiovascular Trial of the Testosterone Trials (TTrials; NCT00799617) is a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 1 year of testosterone therapy in men 65 years or older with clinical manifestations of androgen deficiency and unequivocally low serum testosterone concentrations (<275 ng/dl). CCTA performed at baseline and after 12 months of therapy will determine the effects of testosterone on the progression of the total volume of noncalcified plaques. All scans are evaluated at a central reading center by an investigator blinded to treatment assignment.Results
A total of 165 men were enrolled. The average age is 71.1 years, and the average BMI is 30.7. About 9% of men had a history of myocardial infarction, 6% angina, and 10% coronary artery revascularization. A majority reported hypertension and/or high cholesterol; 31.8% reported diabetes. Total noncalcified plaque at baseline showed a slight but nonsignificant trend toward lower plaque volume with higher serum testosterone concentrations (P=0.12).Conclusion
The Cardiovascular Trial will test the hypothesis that testosterone therapy inhibits coronary plaque progression, as assessed by serial CCTA.