Because testosterone has an anabolic effect in myotonic dystrophy, we conducted a 12-month, randomized, double-blind therapeutic trial of testosterone enanthate (3 mg/kg/wk) in 40 men with myotonic dystrophy. We evaluated strength by manual muscle tests, quantitative myometry, pulmonary function, and quantitative functional assessment. A sustained, significant elevation of testosterone levels was produced but there was no effect on any measurement of muscle strength. Muscle mass as estimated by creatinine excretion and lean body mass (40K method) increased significantly. We conclude that testosterone does not improve strength in myotonic dystrophy despite increasing muscle mass.