Abnormal endocrinology labs? Look beyond ‘usual suspects’

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Abnormal endocrinology labs? Look beyond ‘usual suspects’

By: WHITNEY MCKNIGHT, Family Practice News Digital Network | May 29, 2014

PHILADELPHIA – Psychiatric medications can affect prolactin levels, while antibodies can affect thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Hirsutism may be the result of polycystic ovary syndrome – but it may also be caused by congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

And if that’s not confounding enough, physicians should add to the medical factors that can influence lab reports what Dr. Ellen L. Connor says is the importance of "knowing the typical ranges of the assays you are using, and what the ranges considered normal are at the [laboratory] you’re working with."

In a video interview at the annual meeting of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Dr. Connor of the department of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reviews what can change prolactin levels, how to get the most clinical utility out of thyroid tests, what is the gold standard for testosterone testing in women, how best to test and interpret vitamin D levels, and what adrenal malfunctions are possible in young women. She also stresses the value of working with knowledgeable lab personnel.


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