What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Blood Test
- DHEA Sulfate Blood Test
- DHEA-SO4 Blood Test
What is DHEAS Blood Test? (Background Information)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is a metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a major male sex hormone. DHEAS Blood Test is used as a screening blood test to diagnose adrenal gland cancers
- DHEA is mostly produced in the adrenal glands with a small amount secreted by the ovaries and testes. It is made alongside cortisol. The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are situated atop the kidneys. The sulfated form of DHEA, called DHEAS, is only produced by the adrenal glands
- The adrenal glands are stimulated by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland. It is in turn stimulated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) produced by the hypothalamus of the brain
- DHEA can be further converted into other sex hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. It is one of the hormones responsible for secondary sex characteristics, like breast development and body hair
- Tumors of the adrenal gland may result in overproduction of DHEA. In women, this may cause the development of male secondary sex characteristics and menstrual abnormalities. It may also cause masculinization of children
- The DHEAS Blood Test is a test to assess the levels of DHEAS in circulation. Since, DHEAS is produced only in the adrenal glands, this test determines if the origin of male sex hormone overproduction is the adrenal glands, as opposed to the testes or ovaries
What are the Clinical Indications for performing the DHEAS Blood Test?
Following are the clinical indications for performing a DHEAS Blood Test:
- Development of masculine characteristics in women and children, such as:
- Deepening of the voice
- Body hair
- Excessive muscularity
- Pronounced Adam’s apple
- Ambiguous genitalia in infants
How is the Specimen Collected for DHEAS Blood Test?
Following is the specimen collection process for DHEAS Blood Test:
Sample required: Blood
Process: Insertion of a needle into an arm vein.
Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.
What is the Significance of the DHEAS Blood Test Result?
The significance of DHEAS Blood Test is explained:
- Increased DHEAS levels may indicate:
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Ectopic ACTH-producing tumors
- Polycystic ovary
- Stein-Levanthal syndrome
- Virilizing adrenal tumors
- Decreased DHEAS levels may indicate:
- Addison’s disease
- Adrenal insufficiency
The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.
Additional and Relevant Useful Information:
- Certain factors may interfere with the results of the DHEAS Blood Test. These include pregnancy and blood lipid levels
Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.