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Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1985 May;109(1):130-8.

Sex hormone binding globulin response to testosterone. An androgen sensitivity test.


Adequate distinction between an abnormality in androgen secretion or in target cell response is important in the diagnosis and management of male pseudohermaphroditism. Hormone serum levels give reasonable information on steroid secretion, but there are no simple methods, in clinical practice, to evaluate target cell response to androgens. In this work, we have evaluated the validity of the acute decrease in serum (SHBG) after administration of hCG or exogenous testosterone, as an indicator of androgen sensitivity in prepubertal subjects. The results were expressed as percentage of basal values. In control subjects, after hCG, SHBG dropped below 85% of basal, mean 55 +/- 17, and, after exogenous testosterone, below 80%, mean 62.18 +/- 8.85. In 23 patients studied with the hCG test, 10 positive and 13 negative results were found, but most of the negative responses became positive after exogenous testosterone. Of 25 patients studied with the exogenous testosterone test, 19 positive and 6 negative results were found. Clinical analysis of these 6 patients with negative responses showed that 4 subjects had a confirmed androgen insensitivity syndrome, while clinical information was compatible with this diagnosis in the other 2 patients. Furthermore, in 4 additional patients with the androgen insensitivity syndrome, but with high basal serum testosterone, this test was also negative. It is concluded that determination of serum SHBG after hCG is not reliable as an androgen sensitivity test, but the detection of the decrease in serum SHBG after exogenous testosterone is a useful and simple test of androgen sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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