Serum luteinizing hormone measurement is used to assess menstrual abnormalities, assess patients with suspected hypogonadism, predict ovulation time, assess female infertility, and various pituitary lesions (very often, growth hormone and luteinizing hormone are the first hormones affected in pituitary lesions).
Luteinizing hormone (LH), like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), is secreted from the anterior pituitary lobe. FSH promotes the maturation of the follicle in the ovaries, which is essential for the production of estrogens. As estrogen levels rise, luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced. High levels of both FSH and LH are necessary for ovulation to occur and for the follicle to transform into a corpus luteum, a process known as luteinization. After ovulation, LH retains the pale body, which produces progesterone. If no pregnancy occurs, the pale body decomposes after about 10 days. LH also stimulates the ovaries to produce steroids, mainly estradiol.
During menopause, the ovaries stop functioning and LH levels rise.
In men, LH and FSH stimulate the testes to produce testosterone, which is necessary for spermatogenesis.
The main clinical use of luteinizing hormone measurement is the evaluation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
Increase: Acromegaly (early), alcohol abuse, amenorrhea, congenital absence of ovaries, hyperpituitarism, Klinefelter syndrome, menopause, ovarian failure, polycystic ovary syndrome, precocious puberty, primary gonadal dysfunction, Stein-Leventhal syndrome, Turner syndrome
Decrease: Anorexia nervosa, hypogonadism, hypopituitarism, hypothalamic dysfunction, malnutrition, prolactinoma, Sheehan's syndrome
Drugs that may increase LH levels: Bromocriptine, clomiphene, finasteride, hydrocortisone, ketoconazole, leuprolide, spironolactone, tamoxifen, valproic acid
Drugs that may decrease LH levels: Anabolic steroids, anticonvulsants, digoxin, estrogens, ketoconazole, metformin, octreotide, phenothiazines, progestogens, tamoxifen
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.