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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2007 Nov;67(5):656-62.

Salivary testosterone: a reliable approach to the diagnosis of male hypogonadism.

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Endocrine Research Department, Instituto de Investigaciones M├ędicas A. Lanari, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



This study was to demonstrate that Sal-T is a reliable biomarker of androgen status in the diagnosis of male hypogonadism.


In order to validate the salivary testosterone assay (Sal-T), its reproducibility, the agreement with serum free testosterone levels (Free-T), the correlation with other circulating androgen markers (bioavailable testosterone, total testosterone) and cut-off values were defined.


We studied 52 eugonadic (E) and 20 hypogonadic (Hy) men. Sal-T was assayed using an adapted radioimmunoassay for serum testosterone. Sal-T concentrations were compared in nine cases before and after citric acid stimulation of salivary flow rate. Free-T and bioavailable testosterone (Bio-T) were calculated by Vermeulen equation and SHBG were determined by binding assay.


Sal-T did not depend on salivary flow rate and morning samples from 07.00 h to 09.00 h were stable. Agreement between Sal-T and Free-T measurements was confirmed in all subjects. Sal-T levels correlated positively with all circulating androgens, showing the best correlation with Free-T in E (r = 0.92) as well as in Hy (r = 0.97). A cut-off value of Sal-T < or = 0.195 nm showed 100% sensibility and specificity to rule out hypogonadism.


Our data showed that Sal-T is a reliable marker of testosterone bioavailability. The results support the inclusion of this biomarker as a noninvasive approach in the diagnosis of male androgen deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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