Measurement of serum dihydrotestosterone levels is used to monitor patients treated with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors and to evaluate patients with potential 5-alpha-reductase deficiency.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced by testosterone with the aid of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and has strong androgenic activity. There are two isoenzymes of 5-alpha-reductase. Type 1 is present in most tissues in the body where 5-alpha-reductase is present and mainly in the skin and sebaceous glands and type 2 is the predominant isoenzyme in genital tissues, including the prostate.
Dihydrotestosterone levels remain unchanged with aging despite decreasing testosterone levels. Dihydrotestosterone is strongly bound to the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
Dihydrotestosterone is involved in the development of primary sex characteristics during fetal life and is also responsible for the development of most secondary sex characteristics in men during adolescence and is important for the sexual function of men throughout adulthood.
Increased levels of dihydrotestosterone in men and women can lead to the appearance of androgenetic alopecia, and to increased hair growth in the rest of the body as well as prostate hyperplasia in men.
Patients receiving 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors and patients with genetic deficiency of 5-alpha-reductase (a rare disease) have reduced levels of dihydrotestosterone.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.