Reproductive Endocrinology Assays
Measurements of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) are used as an aid in managing non-seminomatous testicular cancer when used in conjunction with physical examination, histology/pathology, and other clinical evaluation procedures. It is also used to measure maternal serum and amniotic fluid during gestational weeks 15 through 20 – used in conjunction with ultrasonography or amniography – to aid in the detection of fetal open neural tube defects.
Androstenedione is a useful aid in the diagnosis of various pathologies, including male and female infertility. This steroid is the common precursor to testosterone and estrone in the endogenous synthetic pathways of androgens and estrogens.
DHEAS assists in the evaluation of patients with infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, amenorrhea, abnormal hair growth (hirsutism) and balding (alopecia) in women. It is also of value in the assessment of adrenarche and delayed puberty.
Of the various estrogens, estradiol is the most potent. Measurements are used for monitoring ovulation induction and in the differential diagnosis of amenorrhea and precocious puberty in girls. Estradiol has also proven to be useful in evaluating clinical conditions in the male such as hypogonadism.
Free Beta HCG1
Measurements of free βHCG levels have been found to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of trophoblastic diseases (moles, choriocarcinoma) and certain testicular tumors, where the ratios of the free β subunit to intact HCG can be quite high. Free βHCG may also have clinical utility in first-and second-trimester prenatal screening for Down syndrome and other chromosomal anomalies.
Follicle-stimulating hormone induces ovarian follicular growth and stimulates follicular secretion of estradiol in the female. In the male, it facilitates the development of the testes and stimulates spermatogenesis. It is particularly useful in the clinical evaluation of infertility and menopause.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is commonly used to confirm and monitor pregnancy, but also has clinical utility in detection of miscarriages, preeclampsia, neoplasms, trophoblastic diseases, and risk calculations for Trisomy-21 and Trisomy-18.
Luteinizing hormone promotes ovulation and the production of estrogen and progesterone. In the male, it stimulates the testes to produce androgens and estrogens. Measurements of LH are used in the clinical evaluation of various conditions including infertility, hypogonadism and menopause.
Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) is used to screen pregnant women in the first trimester of their pregnancy to assess the risk that the fetus they are carrying may have a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) or Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy18).
Among its many important functions, progesterone acts in concert with estradiol to control the phases of the menstrual cycle; it also maintains the fetus during early pregnancy. Progesterone measurement is indicated in conditions such as infertility, normal and ectopic pregnancy, and menopause.
Prolactin is used as an aid in the diagnosis and treatment of pituitary disorders. It plays an essential role in the secretion of milk and has the ability to suppress gonadal function. Determination of prolactin has become an important tool in the investigation of amenorrhea, galactorrhea and hypothalamic-pituitary disorders.
SHBG measurements are useful in the evaluation of androgen disorders including virilization, hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome. SHBG typically circulates at higher concentrations in women than in men, because of the higher ratio of estrogens to androgens in women. For the same reason, SHBG levels in late pregnancy or after estrogen administration may be especially elevated. Administration tends to be associated with decreased SHBG levels. The SHBG assay from Siemens meets the clinician’s need for effective and efficient monitoring of androgen status.
‘SHBG and the Assessment of Androgen Status’ white paper 0.1 MB
‘Development of a New Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin (sHBG) Assay on the ADVIA Centaur System 0.2 MB
Validation of SHBG immunoassay on the Centaur 0.4 MB
Testosterone measures are helpful in the evaluation of hypogonadal states in males, and hirsutism and virilism in females. Siemens offers assays for both testosterone and SHBG. When these assays are used in combination, the free androgen index can be calculated from results obtained with the ease and efficiency of an automated system.
Exploring the Free Androgen Index: User-friendly calculator to facilitate the joint assessment of testosterone and SHBG levels in adults.
UE3 is used as an aid in monitoring fetal maturity and well-being in the context of high-risk and poorly dated pregnancies. The unconjugated estriol assay from Siemens offers standardization to GC/MS, excellent precision, improved analytical and functional sensitivity and specificity.
*Product availability may vary from country to country and is subject to varying regulatory requirements.
1. Not available for sale in the U.S. or Canada.
2. Under FDA review. Not available for sale in the U.S.
For additional information on Siemens’ broad range of instruments, assays, and solutions, contact your local Siemens representative or click on the link above.