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Eur J Endocrinol. 1996 Feb;134(2):201-6.

Relationship between serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, androstenedione, and sex hormones in men and women.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA.


Previous reports of a correlation between serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and testosterone in both men and women have led to the suggestion that adrenal and gonadal secretion are related. In the present study, the correlation of DHEAS with testosterone and free testosterone (FT) in both normal men and women was tested. Androstenedione, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and insulin were also measured and their correlations determined. All correlations were controlled for age and body mass index. In the men in the study, DHEAS did not correlate with testosterone or FT but correlated strongly with androstenedione. In the women, DHEAS correlated strongly with testosterone, FT, and androstenedione; androstenedione in turn correlated strongly with testosterone and FT. DHEAS showed no correlations with estradiol, SHBG, or insulin in the men or women. The lack of a correlation between DHEAS and testosterone in normal men is consistent with the independent secretion of these hormones by the adrenal and testis, respectively. The finding of a strong DHEAS-testosterone correlation in normal women may be explained by parallel adrenal secretion in response to trophic stimuli, i.e., without invoking an adrenal-gonadal interaction.

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