Newcastle Laboratories

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, serum

Clinical Background:

The DHEA-S in circulation originates almost entirely from the adrenals, though in men some may also derive from the testes. In itself, DHEA-S is only weakly androgenic, but it can be metabolised to...

The DHEA-S in circulation originates almost entirely from the adrenals, though in men some may also derive from the testes. In itself, DHEA-S is only weakly androgenic, but it can be metabolised to produce more potent androgens such as androstenedione and testosterone. Circulating concentrations of DHEA-S increase steadily from about the seventh year of life, then gradually decline after the third decade. DHEA-S is secreted into the blood stream at a rate only somewhat greater than DHEA, but because of its much slower turnover (DHEA-S has a half-life of nearly a full day) it maintains a plasma level almost a thousand fold higher. Unlike cortisol, DHEA-S does not exhibit significant diurnal variation. It does not circulate bound to sex hormone binding globulin and hence is not influenced by alterations the level of this carrier protein. Its abundance, together with its within-day and day-to-day stability makes it a useful indicator of adrenal androgen output. Accordingly DHEA-S is often assayed in conjunction with testosterone as an initial screen for hyperandrogenism in hirsutism.

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Test Details

  • Discipline:

    Biochemistry

    Biochemistry

  • Specimen Container Adult:

    Serum 

    Serum 

  • Specimen Container Paediatric:

    Serum

    Serum

  • Minimum Volume Adult:

    1 mL blood

    1 mL blood

  • Minimum Volume Paediatric:

    1 mL blood

    1 mL blood

  • Sample Stability:

    Unseparated sample: 2 days

    Separated sample: 1 day at 15-25C; 2 weeks at 2-8C, 1 year at -20C

    Unseparated sample: 2 days

    Separated sample: 1 day at 15-25C; 2 weeks at 2-8C, 1 year at -20C

  • Transport Requirements:

    Ambient

    Ambient

  • Interpretation:

    Elevated DHEA-S levels can cause symptoms or signs of hyperandrogenism in women. Mild to moderate elevations in DHEA-S levels may be associated with PCOS. However, pronounced elevations of DHEA-S m...

    Elevated DHEA-S levels can cause symptoms or signs of hyperandrogenism in women. Mild to moderate elevations in DHEA-S levels may be associated with PCOS. However, pronounced elevations of DHEA-S may suggest an androgen-producing adrenal tumour. In children, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 3 beta-hydroxysteroid deficiency is associated with excessive DHEA-S production. Lesser elevations may be observed in 21-hydroxylase deficiency (the most common form of CAH) and 11 beta-hydroxylase deficiency.

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  • Reference Ranges:

    DHEAS LC-MS/MS Reference Ranges (µmol/L):

     

    Age

    Male

    Female

    <1yr

    <1.9

    <2.5

    1-5

    <0.3

    <0.3

    6-8

    0.1-2.0

    <1.1

    9-10

    0.1-3.0

    0.3-2.0

    11-12

    0.6-3.6

    0.6-3.2...

    DHEAS LC-MS/MS Reference Ranges (µmol/L):

     

    Age

    Male

    Female

    <1yr

    <1.9

    <2.5

    1-5

    <0.3

    <0.3

    6-8

    0.1-2.0

    <1.1

    9-10

    0.1-3.0

    0.3-2.0

    11-12

    0.6-3.6

    0.6-3.2

    13-15

    0.4-4.5

    0.4-4.5

    16-17

    1.4-7.5

    0.4-5.8

    18+

    0.9-10.0

    0.9-7.4

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  • Routine Contact Name:

    Duty Biochemist

  • Routine Telephone:

    Freeman: 0191 244 8889

    RVI: 0191 282 9719

    Freeman: 0191 244 8889

    RVI: 0191 282 9719

  • Routine Email:

  • Specialist Test:

    Yes

    Yes

  • Specialist Contact Name:

    Endocrine Lab

    Endocrine Lab

  • Specialist Telephone:

    0191 282 4025

    0191 282 4025

Availability:

Assayed weekly
Sites of analysis: RVI

Turn Around:

Within 2 weeks

Send To:

Department of Blood Sciences

Level 3
Leazes Wing
Royal Victoria Infirmary
Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4LP

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