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Steroids. 2006 Mar;71(3):273-6. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Adequacy of saliva 17-hydroxyprogesterone determination using various collection methods.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, University Hospital of Patras Medical School, Patras, Greece.


Steroids determination in saliva offers several advantages. The collection of saliva is a noninvasive, less stressful technique than blood withdrawal and reflects the circulating unbound fractions. The suitability of saliva for 17-hydroxyprogesterone and cortisol determinations has been documented in healthy subjects as well as in diseases like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Cushing syndrome. The aim of the study was to compare the influence of different collection methods on the results of 17-hydroxyprogesterone measurement in saliva collected by different ways, using commercially available RIAs developed for plasma. 17-hydroxyprogesterone was determined in 64 healthy adult volunteers (30 males, 34 females) in serum (Group SE) and in saliva collected before meals at 8-10 p.m. by directly spitting into a plastic tube (Group SP), using a cotton swab (Group SA) and using a polyester swab Salivette (Group SB). We used a commercially available direct radioimmunoassay without separation technique. The 17-hydroxyprogesterone mean values (ng/ml) were 1.16+/-1.3 (Group SE), 0.056+/-0.046 (Group SP), 0.089+/-0.048 (Group SA) and 0.058+/-0.049 (Group SB). The detection limit was 0.010 ng/ml. The correlations between the values in serum (Group SE) and in saliva were: r=0.77, p<0.05 (Group SP); r=0.62, p<0.05 (Group SA); r=0.70, p<0.05 (Group SB). The saliva values corresponding to the serum cut-off point of 3 ng/ml upper limit of normal values were in ng/ml 0.13 (Group SP), 0.16 (Group SA) and 0.11 (Group SB). In conclusion, 17-hydroxyprogesterone determinations in saliva using commercially available RIAs primarily developed for serum, is a reliable and easy to perform procedure. The three different methods of saliva collection showed 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations to have good agreement.

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