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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1983 May;18(5):447-57.

Plasma and salivary androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone in women with hyperandrogenism.

Abstract

Sensitive radioimmunoassays (RIA) have been developed to measure salivary and plasma androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone levels in normal women, women with polycystic ovaries (PCO) and idiopathic hirsutism, and patients on antiandrogen therapy. There was a highly significant correlation (r = 0.92, P less than 0.001) between the concentration of androstenedione in saliva and the unbound concentration in plasma. The unbound plasma androstenedione was measured in the dialysate by RIA and ranged from 6.0-10.4% of the total concentration. Salivary and plasma androstenedione levels in patients with PCO (185 +/- 72 pg/ml (n = 11) and 3262 +/- 814 pg/ml (n = 12) respectively) and in those with hirsutism (151 +/- 110 pg/ml (n = 25) and 2177 +/- 1096 pg/ml (n = 25) were significantly higher than levels in normal women (78 +/- 30 pg/ml (n = 18) and 787 +/- 355 pg/ml (n = 18). A good correlation (r = 0.82, P less than 0.001) was also found between salivary and unbound plasma dihydrotestosterone concentrations. Salivary and plasma dihydrotestosterone levels in patients with PCO (8.2 +/- 3.3 pg/ml (n = 9) and 167 +/- 45 pg/ml (n = 11) respectively and hirsutism (6.0 +/- 2.1 pg/ml (n = 14) and 176 +/- 69 pg/ml (n = 17) were significantly higher than levels in normal women (4.5 +/- 1.3 pg/ml (n = 17) and 90 +/- 44 pg/ml (n = 16), although there was a large overlap between groups. A similar decrease was observed in salivary and plasma androstenedione levels after treatment with cyproterone acetate (CA) and ethinyl oestradiol (EE) for 3 months. Plasma dihydrotestosterone levels remained elevated in 47% of treated women whereas only 21% of cases had raised salivary dihydrotestosterone levels. It is concluded that, as with testosterone salivary androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone measurements give a good reflection of their biologically active levels in normal, hyperandrogenic and CA + EE treated women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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