Dihydrotestosterone, LC/MS/MS Most Popular

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: DHT, Dihydrotestosterone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Dihydrotestosterone DHT LCMSMS


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The Dihydrotestosterone, LC/MS/MS test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) test is a blood test that measures the levels of dihydrotestosterone in the body. DHT is a hormone derived from testosterone and is a potent androgen responsible for the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. This test provides valuable information about the androgen status in both males and females.

Also Known As: DHT

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why a Dihydrotestosterone Test may be Ordered

A Dihydrotestosterone test may be ordered in the following situations:

  1. Evaluation of Androgen-Related Disorders: It is commonly ordered to investigate and monitor conditions related to androgen excess or deficiency. These include disorders such as androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness), hirsutism (excessive hair growth), virilization in females (development of masculine features), and ambiguous genitalia in newborns.

  2. Assessment of Hormonal Imbalances: The test may be ordered as part of a comprehensive hormonal evaluation to assess androgen levels in individuals experiencing symptoms such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, irregular menstrual cycles, or infertility.

  3. Monitoring Hormone Therapy: For individuals receiving androgen replacement therapy or anti-androgen treatment, periodic monitoring of DHT levels can help ensure appropriate dosing and treatment effectiveness.

What a Dihydrotestosterone Test checks for

The Dihydrotestosterone test checks for the levels of DHT in the bloodstream. DHT is an active androgen that binds to and activates androgen receptors, contributing to the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics, including growth of facial and body hair, deepening of the voice, and sexual function.

Other Lab Tests Ordered alongside a Dihydrotestosterone Test

When a DHT test is ordered, it's typically part of a broader assessment of hormonal health and related conditions. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Testosterone (Total and Free):

    • Purpose: To measure the total and bioavailable testosterone in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Since DHT is derived from testosterone, understanding total and free testosterone levels can provide context for DHT levels. This is particularly relevant in assessing conditions like hypogonadism or androgenic alopecia.
  2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH):

    • Purpose: These hormones regulate the function of the gonads and testosterone production.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To determine whether hormonal imbalances are due to primary (testicular) or secondary (pituitary) issues. Elevated LH and FSH levels can indicate primary testicular failure, while lower levels might suggest a problem with the pituitary gland.
  3. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):

    • Purpose: SHBG binds to sex hormones, affecting their bioavailability.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the levels of bioavailable androgens. Changes in SHBG levels can influence the amount of free testosterone available for conversion to DHT.
  4. Prolactin:

    • Purpose: Prolactin is a hormone that can influence testosterone levels and sexual function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated prolactin can interfere with testosterone production, affecting DHT levels.
  5. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA):

    • Purpose: PSA is a marker often used in the screening and monitoring of prostate health, including BPH and prostate cancer.
    • Why Is It Ordered: DHT plays a role in prostate growth and health, so assessing PSA can be important in diagnosing and monitoring prostate conditions.
  6. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To provide a general overview of health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: While not directly related to DHT levels, a CBC can help assess overall health, particularly if treatment for a DHT-related condition is being considered.
  7. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: The liver metabolizes hormones, including DHT, and liver diseases can affect hormone metabolism.

These tests, when ordered alongside a DHT test, provide a comprehensive view of androgen status and can assist in diagnosing, managing, and monitoring conditions related to hormonal imbalances, prostate health, and hair loss. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the reasons for testing.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring a Dihydrotestosterone Test

The Dihydrotestosterone test is primarily used for:

  1. Androgenetic Alopecia: This test can help diagnose androgenetic alopecia, a common condition causing progressive hair thinning and baldness in both men and women. Elevated DHT levels are associated with the development and progression of this condition.

  2. Hirsutism: Hirsutism refers to excessive hair growth in females, typically in a pattern more characteristic of male hair distribution. Measuring DHT levels can help determine if excessive androgen activity, including elevated DHT, contributes to the condition.

  3. Evaluation of Virilization: When females develop male-like features, such as deepening voice, increased muscle mass, or clitoral enlargement, a Dihydrotestosterone test can be ordered to assess androgen levels and identify the underlying cause.

Utilization of Dihydrotestosterone Test Results by Health Care Providers

Health care providers use the results of the Dihydrotestosterone test to:

  1. Confirm Androgen-Related Disorders: Abnormal DHT levels, either elevated or decreased, can aid in confirming or ruling out androgen-related conditions, guiding appropriate diagnosis andtreatment.

  2. Monitor Hormone Therapy: In individuals receiving androgen replacement therapy, regular monitoring of DHT levels helps ensure therapeutic efficacy and safety by ensuring that hormone levels are within the target range.

  3. Guide Treatment Decisions: The results of the Dihydrotestosterone test, in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory findings, help guide treatment decisions for androgen-related disorders. Treatment options may include hormonal therapies, anti-androgen medications, or surgical interventions, depending on the specific condition and underlying cause.

  4. Evaluate Response to Treatment: Follow-up Dihydrotestosterone testing can assess the effectiveness of treatment interventions by monitoring changes in DHT levels over time. This information assists in evaluating treatment response and making necessary adjustments to optimize patient outcomes.

Most Common Questions About the Dihydrotestosterone test:

Understanding the Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Test

What is the Dihydrotestosterone test?

The Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) test measures the level of DHT in your blood. DHT is a potent form of testosterone, a male sex hormone, that is critical for the development of male physical characteristics and is involved in several health conditions in both men and women.

Why is the Dihydrotestosterone test performed?

The DHT test is performed to help diagnose conditions related to hormone imbalance. In men, it may be used to determine the cause of masculine physical characteristics, early or late puberty, or infertility. In women, it can help diagnose conditions like hirsutism (excessive hair growth), virilization (development of male characteristics), or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Understanding DHT and its Role in the Body

What role does Dihydrotestosterone play in the body?

DHT is an androgen, a type of hormone that contributes to male sexual development and function. It's critical for the formation of primary male characteristics during fetal development and secondary characteristics at puberty. In both sexes, it affects skin and hair growth.

How is Dihydrotestosterone produced in the body?

DHT is produced from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. It occurs in various tissues, including the prostate gland, testes, hair follicles, and adrenal glands.

What is the normal range for Dihydrotestosterone?

Normal DHT levels vary based on age and sex. In adult males, it's usually between 30-85 ng/dL, while in adult females, it's typically between 15-70 ng/dL. However, these ranges can vary among different labs. Your healthcare provider will interpret your results based on the specific laboratory standards.

Interpretation and Implications of DHT Test Results

What does a high Dihydrotestosterone level indicate?

High DHT levels in men can lead to conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness. In women, high DHT levels can cause conditions like hirsutism, virilization, and PCOS.

What does a low Dihydrotestosterone level indicate?

Low DHT levels in men can be associated with conditions such as hypogonadism and may contribute to reduced sexual desire and function. It's less common to have clinically significant low DHT levels in women.

How does age affect Dihydrotestosterone levels?

DHT levels change throughout life. They rise during puberty, contributing to the development of secondary sexual characteristics. In adult men, levels generally decline with age, which may contribute to conditions like BPH and male pattern baldness.

Can the Dihydrotestosterone test diagnose prostate cancer?

The DHT test is not typically used to diagnose prostate cancer. While DHT can contribute to the growth of prostate cancer, many men with elevated DHT levels don't develop this cancer. Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a biopsy.

DHT and Health Conditions

How does Dihydrotestosterone contribute to hair loss?

High levels of DHT can bind to receptors in hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce thinner, shorter hairs. Over time, this can lead to baldness, known as androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness.

How does the Dihydrotestosterone test help in the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Women with PCOS often have high levels of androgens, including DHT. Elevated DHT levels can contribute to symptoms such as irregular periods, infertility, hirsutism, and acne. The DHT test, in conjunction with other tests and exams, can help diagnose PCOS.

Can the Dihydrotestosterone test help diagnose infertility?

While the DHT test isn't typically the first test used in an infertility evaluation, it may be part of a comprehensive hormonal evaluation. Abnormal DHT levels, along with abnormalities in other hormones, can contribute to infertility in both men and women.

How does Dihydrotestosterone affect sexual development?

DHT is crucial for male sexual development. It plays a significant role in the development of the penis and prostate gland in fetuses, and during puberty, it contributes to the growth of facial and body hair, deepening of the voice, and growth of the genitals.

Treatment and Medications Related to DHT

How are abnormal Dihydrotestosterone levels treated?

Treatment for abnormal DHT levels depends on the underlying cause. Treatments can include lifestyle changes, medication to block DHT production (like finasteride or dutasteride), or treatments to manage symptoms of high DHT, such as hair loss treatments or treatments for acne or hirsutism.

How do medications like finasteride or dutasteride affect the Dihydrotestosterone test?

Finasteride and dutasteride are medications that inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT. These medications can lower DHT levels, which would be reflected in a DHT test.

Can the Dihydrotestosterone test help monitor treatment for hormone-related conditions?

In some cases, the DHT test may be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatments like 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. However, treatment is usually guided more by symptom management than by DHT levels alone.

What are the side effects of medications that alter Dihydrotestosterone levels?

Medications like finasteride and dutasteride that lower DHT levels can have side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorders, and in rare cases, breast enlargement or tenderness.

Can lifestyle modifications affect Dihydrotestosterone levels?

Lifestyle modifications may have some effect on DHT levels, although the impact may be modest compared to medications. A balanced diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress can support overall hormonal balance.

DHT and Other Tests

How does the Dihydrotestosterone test relate to other hormonal tests?

The DHT test is often performed along with other hormonal tests, like those for testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estradiol. This helps provide a comprehensive picture of hormonal balance or imbalance.

How does the Dihydrotestosterone test relate to the testosterone test?

DHT is derived from testosterone, so these two tests are closely related. However, the levels can change independently, and the ratio of testosterone to DHT can be informative for certain conditions.

Additional Considerations

How do Dihydrotestosterone levels differ between men and women?

DHT levels are generally higher in men than in women due to the higher production of testosterone, which is converted into DHT. However, women also produce DHT, and elevated levels can lead to conditions like hirsutism or PCOS.

How do Dihydrotestosterone levels change during the day?

DHT levels can fluctuate throughout the day, with levels usually highest in the morning. However, the fluctuations aren't as pronounced as those of some other hormones.

Can the Dihydrotestosterone test be used to monitor treatment for hair loss?

In some cases, doctors may use DHT levels to monitor the effectiveness of treatments for hair loss. However, treatment is often based more on improvement in symptoms (i.e., reduced hair loss or increased hair growth).

How does Dihydrotestosterone affect muscle growth and athletic performance?

DHT, like other androgens, can contribute to muscle growth and strength. However, its role in athletic performance is complex and can also be influenced by other factors, such as genetics, nutrition, and training.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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