|See Also||Lab Tests|
The DHEA test helps to determine the DHEAs level in the blood and evaluates adrenal gland function. It is also used to detect adrenal tumors or cancers and to help determine the cause of virilization in females or early puberty in boys.
- DHEAS, or Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate is an androgen or male sex hormone that is present in the blood of both men and women.
- DHEA/DHEA-S are the precursors to both testosterone and estradiol, and are the limiting factor in their production, especially when a person is under stress.
- DHEAs are made in the gonads and the adrenal gland.
- DHEA is involved in developing male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty.
- DHEAS can be further metabolized by the body into more potent androgens, such as testosterone and androstenedione, or can be converted into estrogen.
- It is useful as a marker of adrenal function
- Factors which can cause increased levels:
- radioactive scan
- Medications such as corticotropin, clomiphene and metyrapone.
- Factors which can cause decreased levels:
- Medications such as steroids.
High levels indicate:
- Adrenal tumors
- Adrenal cancer
- Adrenal hyperplasia
- Ectopic ACTH-producing tumors
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Precocious puberty in boys
Low levels indicate:
- Primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency
- Ovarian failure
- Testosterone, ACTH, FSH, Luteinizing hormone (LH), Prolactin, Estrogen, Cortisol, SHBG, 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
- Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.