Salivary steroid assays – research or routine?

This version was published on 1 May 2009

Ann Clin Biochem 2009;46:183-196
© 2009 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


This Article

Figures Only

Full Text

Full Text (PDF)

All Versions of this Article:



most recent

Alert me when this article is cited

Alert me if a correction is posted

Email this article to a friend

Similar articles in this journal

Similar articles in PubMed

Alert me to new issues of the journal

Download to citation manager

Citing Articles

Citing Articles via HighWire
Google Scholar

Articles by Wood, P.

PubMed Citation
Social Bookmarking

What’s this?

Review Articles

Peter Wood

Department of Chemical Pathology, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK

Corresponding author: Peter Wood. Email: pjwendo{at}

Salivary concentrations of unconjugated steroids reflect thosefor free steroids in serum although concentrations may differbecause of salivary gland metabolism. Samples for salivary steroidanalysis are stable for up to 7 days at room temperature, onemonth or more at 4°C and three months or more at –20°C.When assessed against strict criteria, the evidence shows thatsalivary cortisol in evening samples or following dexamethasonesuppression provides a reliable and effective screen for Cushing’ssyndrome. Sequential salivary cortisol measurements are alsoextremely helpful for the investigation of suspected cyclicalCushing’s syndrome. There is potential for the identificationof adrenal insufficiency when used with Synacthen stimulation.Salivary 17-hydroxyprogesterone and androstenedione assays arevalued as non-invasive tests for the home-monitoring of hydrocortisonereplacement therapy in patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasiadue to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. The diagnostic value of salivaryoestradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosteroneand aldosterone testing is compromised by rapid fluctuationsin salivary concentrations of these steroids. Multiple samplesare required to obtain reliable information, and at presentthe introduction of these assays into routine laboratory testingis not justified.

CiteULike    Complore    Connotea    Digg    Reddit    Technorati    What’s this?

This article has been cited by other articles:

G. F Read
Salivary steroid assays: still awaiting a killer application
Ann Clin Biochem,

May 1, 2009;
181 – 182.

[Full Text]