Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

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Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate

(DHEAS)
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Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Overview


What is DHEAS?

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) test is also known as DHEA-SO4 or DHEA Sulfate Test. This test helps in evaluating the function of the adrenal gland, detecting adrenal tumors, or cancers. It also helps in determining the cause of virilization (masculine physical characteristics) in girls and women or early puberty in boys.


Why is DHEAS done?

DHEAS test is done in females in case of:


  • Hirsutism (excess facial and body hair) 

  • Acne 

  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods) 

  • Infertility 


DHEAS test is done in males in case of:


  • Signs of Precocious (early) puberty such as deeper voice, pubic hair, or muscle development


DHEAS test is done in small babies in case of:


  • Ambiguous external genitalia (female babies born with genitals which are not clear in appearance that they are male or female genitals)


What does DHEAS Measure?

DHEAS test measures the DHEAS level in the blood. DHEAS is a male sex hormone which is present both in men and women. It is majorly produced by the adrenal glands. Along with that, it is produced in small quantities by ovaries in women and by testicles in men. DHEAS plays an important role in developing secondary sexual characteristics at puberty in males. It can be further converted into more potent androgens by the body such as testosterone and androstenedione. Whereas, in females, it can be converted into the female hormone estrogen.

For proper adrenal gland function, the production of DHEAS is important and is treated as a marker. In case of adrenal tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous) and adrenal hyperplasia, there is an overproduction of DHEAS. However, in very few cases, high levels of DHEAS can be seen in ovarian tumors. 

Interpreting DHEAS results


Interpretations


Age (Years)

Males (ug/dL)

Females (ug/dL)

11-14

16.60 - 242.70

8.60 - 169.80 

15-19

45.10 - 385.00

61.20 - 493.60

20-24

238.40 - 539.30

134.20 - 407.40

25-34

167.90 - 591.90

95.80 - 511.70

35-44

139.70 - 484.40

74.80 - 410.20

45-54

136.20 - 447.60

56.20 - 282.90

55-64

48.60 - 361.80

29.70 - 182.20

65-70

228.50 - 283.60

33.60 - 78.90



Age

Children (ug/dL)

< 1 week

24.60 - 302.80

1 - 4 weeks

8.50 - 317.30

1 - 12 months

31.60 - 214.10

1 - 4 years

32.70 - 276.00

5 - 10 years

24.40 - 209.70



Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about DHEAS


Frequently Asked Questions about Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate

Q. How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle which has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once the sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.
Q. Is there any risk associated with the withdrawal of blood sample procedure?
As such there is no risk but in few cases, bruising, bleeding, and infection at the puncture site can be seen. In very few cases, there can be swelling of the vein after the blood is withdrawn.
Q. When can abnormal results of DHEAS test be seen?
The increased levels of DHEAS test can be seen in the case of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenal carcinoma, virilizing tumors of the adrenal gland, and pituitary-dependent Cushing's disease. These levels of DHEAS can also increase in PCOS. Whereas, the decreased levels of DHEAS test can be seen in the case of Addison’s disease and Adrenal hypoplasia.
Q. What are the symptoms of increased levels of DHEAS?
In women, the increased levels can be due to symptoms such as absence of menstrual periods, excess of facial and body hair, acne, hair loss, fertility problems, male-like characteristics in females such as deep voice, lack of breasts, male pattern baldness, large ADAM’s apple, and more masculine muscles. Whereas, in men, high levels of DHEAS may not be noticeable. In case of children, high levels of DHEAS can lead to early development of pubic and underarm hair.
Q. What are the symptoms of decreased levels of DHEAS?
Decreased levels of DHEAS can be seen in old age and conditions such as diabetes, dementia, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, weakened bones or osteoporosis, lupus, AIDS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
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