Introduction

During the era of automated hormone measurements a chapter about testosterone assay may seem obsolete. Yet, various methods of measuring testosterone continue to be challenged in the endocrinological literature by studies comparing the (poor) performance of commercial kits (Boots et al. 1998; Taieb et al. 2003; Wang et al. 2004). This contribution aims to help the reader choose the testosterone detection

Table 21.1 Transport of endogenous testosterone and DHT in male and female serum

Serum concentration (nM)

Unbound(%)

SHBG (%)

CBG (%)

Albumin (%)

Testosterone

Adult men

23.0

2.23

44.3

3.56

49.9

Adult women

Follicular phase

1.3

1.36

66.0

2.26

30.4

Luteal phase

1.3

1.37

65.7

2.20

30.7

Pregnancy

4.7

0.23

95.4

0.82

3.60

DHT

Adult men

1.70

0.88

49.7

0.22

39.2

Adult women

Follicular phase

0.65

0.47

78.4

0.12

21.0

Luteal phase

0.65

0.48

78.1

0.12

21.3

Pregnancy

0.93

0.07

97.8

0.04

2.15

From Dunn et al., 1981

From Dunn et al., 1981

system most suitable for his/her needs and to be aware of its analytical performance and limitations. In addition, because of their relevance for testosterone physiology and substitution, methods for assessing of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) will be considered as well.

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