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Life Sci. 1985 Aug 26;37(8):711-6.

Direct radioimmunoassay (RIA) of salivary testosterone: correlation with free and total serum testosterone.


Simple and sensitive direct RIA for determination of salivary testosterone was developed by using RSL NOSOLVEX TM (125 1) kit produced by Radioassay System Laboratories (Carson, California). In addition, a relationship between salivary and serum free and total testosterone concentrations was studied in randomly selected 45 healthy subjects, 5 females on oral contraceptive pills and 28 hypertensive patients on various treatment regimens. The lowest weight of testosterone detectable by our modified method was equivalent to 1 pg/ml of saliva, taking into account analytical variability. Intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were 5.09 +/- 2.7% and 8.2 +/- 5.9% respectively. Statistically significant correlations were found between salivary and serum free testosterone (r = 0.97) and salivary and serum total testosterone concentrations (r = 0.70-0.87). The exception to this was a group of hypertensive females in which no correlation (r = 0.14) between salivary and total serum testosterone was found. It is also of interest that, while salivary testosterone was significantly increased in subjects taking oral contraceptives and most of the hypertensive patients the total serum testosterone concentration was in normal range. Our findings suggest that determination of salivary testosterone is a reliable method to detect changes in the concentration of available biologically active hormone in the circulation.

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