Lab Test

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

SHBG, testosterone binding capacity, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Test Codes

Antrim #32004, EPIC: LAB5818, SHBG

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Gold-top SST tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 2.0 mL)

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) the centrifuged collection tube within two hours of collection. (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Centrifuged collection tube, refrigerated (2-8 °C or 36-46 °F). (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

Plasma specimens. 

Grossly hemolyzed, lipemic, or icteric specimens. 

In-Lab Processing

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Room temperature is acceptable for a maximum of two hours. (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)

Storage

Specimen Stability for Testing:

Centrifuged SST Tubes and Microtainers® with Separator Gels
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Red-top Tubes and Microtainers® without Separator Gels
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 2 months

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days

Laboratory

Royal Oak Automated Chemistry Laboratory

Performed

Monday – Friday.
Results available within 2 business days.

Reference Range

Age

Male
(nmol/L)
Female
(nmol/L)

0 Days – < 1 Month

14 – 120

14 – 120

1 Month – 12 Months

36 – 229

36 – 229

13 Months – 7 Years

42 – 189

42 – 189

8 – 10 Years

26 – 162

26 – 162

11 – 12 Years

15 – 108

15 – 108

13 – 14 years

11 – 98

11 – 98

15 – 16 years, Females

N/A

10 – 84

17 – 18 years, Females

N/A 

10 – 155

15 – 18 years, Males

10 – 50

N/A

Adult

11 – 78 

12 – 137 

Test Methodology

Chemiluminescent Immunoassay.

Interpretation

Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a ß-globulin which transports testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol in plasma. It tightly binds approximately 60% of plasma testosterone and DHT. Neither steroid is metabolically active in the bound form.

The sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) assay can be useful in interpreting blood testosterone levels. Alterations in SHBG levels in certain disease states can result in measurements of testosterone which do not accurately reflect bioavailable levels.

Decreased SHBG levels may be found in obesity, hypothyroidism, androgen use, nephrotic syndrome, Cushing's disease, acromegaly, hirsutism, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Increased SHBG levels may be increased in hepatic cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, and estrogen use. Free testosterone levels are often more useful in these situations.

Clinical Utility

SHBG may be useful in the differential diagnosis of hirsutism and in the assessment of bioavailable testosterone.

CPT Codes

LOINC: 13967-5

Contacts

Last Updated

8/2/2021

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