Androgen assessment in hirsutism and alopecia
Manjula K. Gupta, PhDAddress reprint requests to M.K.G., Department of Immunopathology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, One Clinic Center, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Advances in technology, such as saturation analysis and nonisotopic immunoassays, have improved the measurement of androgens, binding proteins, and hormone receptors, and clarified the diagnosis of idiopathic hirsutism. Immunoassay methods in steroid biochemistry enable accurate measurement of low concentrations of various androgens and their metabolites; and high-specificity antisera with chemical blocking agents allow measurement of these steroids directly in plasma without resorting to extraction methods. The future may bring the capacity to measure free concentrations.