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Summary of Some Laboratory Methods in Endocrinology

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Abstract

In the diagnosis and treatment of endocrinological disorders, the clinician has had the assistance of the clinical laboratory for a number of years. For example, disorders of the parathyroid glands involve calcium metabolism, and diabetic conditions alter the level of blood and urinary glucose. All well-equipped hospital laboratories are prepared to investigate these problems. Certain studies, however, involve specialized technics which are not usually available to the physician who is faced with an endocrinological problem. Although these technics are specialized, they are not difficult and any of them can be mastered by the average technician. In this paper we summarize the methods employed at present in the endocrine laboratories of this institution. These laboratories are part of the clinical division of endocrinology which is under the direction of Dr. E. Perry McCullagh. The methods have been adapted or devised in the Research Division of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. A considerable portion of this work was done in collaboration with Mr. W. Kenneth Cuyler who was particularly interested in studies relating to the endocrinology of the female.

Determination of Androgens in Urine

Several chemical methods1,2,3 have been described for the determination of androgenic steroids. In our hands, none of these has been completely satisfactory. We therefore continue to use biological methods of assay.

The method is as follows: A 24 hour specimen of urine is collected without preservative. The urine is acidified, using 50 cc. of concentrated hydrochloric acid per liter, and hydrolyzed for 15 minutes by boiling over a free. . .


 

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