DHEA-sulfate test measures the amount of DHEA-sulfate in the blood. DHEA-sulfate is a weak male hormone (androgen) produced by the adrenal gland in both men and women.
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
No special preparation is necessary. However, tell your health care provider if you are taking any vitamins or supplements that contain DHEA or DHEA-sulfate.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or sting. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
This test is done to check the function of the adrenal glands. The adrenal gland is one of the major sources of androgens in women.
The DHEA-sulfate test is often done in women who have male body characteristics (virilism) or excessive hair growth (hirsutism). It is also done in children who are maturing too early (precocious puberty).
Normal blood levels of DHEA-sulfate can differ by sex and age.
Typical normal ranges for females are:
Typical normal ranges for males are:
Note: ug/dL = microgram per deciliter
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some laboratories use different measurements or test different specimens.Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
An increase in DHEA-sulfate may be due to:
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Serum DHEA-sulfate; Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate test; DHEA-sulfate - serum
Guber HA, Farag AF, Lo J, Sharp J. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: W.B. Saunders Company; 2006:chap 24.
Updated by: Shehzad Topiwala, MD, Chief Consultant Endocrinologist, Premier Medical Associates, The Villages, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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