Assay of plasma testosterone during the first six months of life: Importance of chromatographic purification of steroids

J. S. Fuqua, E. S. Sher, C. J. Migeon, Gary Berkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1149
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • cryptorchidism
  • intermethod comparison
  • neonates
  • radioimmunoassay
  • sample preparation
  • sex differentiation disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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