Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S)
Why this test?
To assess adrenal function.
In order to distinguish diseases related to the adrenal glands from diseases caused by dysfunction of the ovaries and testicles.
To aid in the diagnosis of adrenocortical tumors, adrenal cancer, congenital or acquired adrenal hyperplasia and to differentiate these diseases from tumors and ovarian cancer.To aid in the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome.
To find out the causes of infertility, amenorrhea and hirsutism.
To diagnose and clarify the causes of masculinization in girls, as well as premature puberty in boys.
In what cases is it prescribed?
As a rule, in complex with other hormones tests,
When there is a suspicion of an excess (rarely a lack) of androgen production or when it is necessary to check the functioning of the adrenal glands.
With symptoms of amenorrhea, infertility or masculinization in women.
In the latter case, there are such signs as a low voice, hirsutism (excess hair cover), male pattern baldness, acne, enlarged pubic hair, small breasts, in girls - ambiguous genitalia, when the clitoris grows very large, while the internal female organs have a normal appearance.
When small boys have premature sexual development: the voice becomes low too early, pubic hair appears, muscles develop and the penis increases in size.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate is a male sex hormone (androgen) that is found in the blood of both men and women. It participates in the formation of male secondary sexual characteristics during puberty and can be converted by the body into more effective androgens (testosterone and androstenedione), as well as converted into the female hormone estrogen. The production of DHEA-C is controlled by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), as well as other pituitary factors.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate is an informative marker of adrenal function. Adrenal tumors and cancer, as well as their hyperplasia, can lead to excessive production of DHEA-C. In men, an increase in the level of this androgen sometimes goes unnoticed, while for women it is dangerous with amenorrhea and masculinization. Excessive synthesis of DHEA-C in children contributes to premature puberty in boys and increased body hair and abnormal menstrual cycle in girls.