Determination of the plasma concentration of testosterone (T) is important in evaluating infants born with ambiguous genitalia and micropenis, and several commercially available kits provide a direct assay of T in unextracted plasma. Using plasma samples obtained from 36 subjects <6 months old, we compared the concentration of plasma T measured by RIA after extraction and purification by column chromatography with the T concentration measured in a direct assay. When aliquots of samples were purified before RIA, the concentration of T was markedly lower than in the direct assay. In the first 3 weeks postpartum, results of the direct assay were 3.8-fold greater than those obtained after purification. This difference decreased over time, and by age 2 months there was fairly good agreement between the two methods. These data indicate that some direct assays of plasma T are inappropriate during the first 2 months postpartum.
- intermethod comparison
- sample preparation
- sex differentiation disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry